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Old 11-23-2006, 10:28 PM   #1
Samuel Dravis
 
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Affirmative Action

Recently some Republican group at the University of Texas held an affirmative action bake sale. The TV news interviewed several members of minorities, mostly African-Americans, and asked the reason they were protesting the sale. One of them used an analogy: "If you're playing cards with a few people and you realize that at least some are cheating to win. Do you want them to just start playing fair from then on, or do you want your money back as well?"

Sure, I can understand that. I know someone cheated me, I'd want my money back too.

The issue then becomes - who cheated you? Do you demand all the money that everyone won from you, regardless of whether you *know* they cheated or not?

Because, of course, that's just not fair. I wouldn't want anyone to be unfairly termed a cheater, suffer as a cheater. They're my card buddies, after all.

Now let's put this back into reality. Supposedly, white people are the "cheaters" in this instance. Not all of them, of course, just some. Let's also take into consideration that these people protesting this event were no more than ~25 years old; typical college students. That means that they were born at least 17 years after the 1964 ruling on desegregation - enough time for an entire generation of students to go through the school system.

The thing that these cheaters are getting undeserved is admission to a university. Curious thing is, pretty much all of these 'scumbags' were also born after that ruling - it's not like people older than that are a significant part of a college's population. Consequently, they are much less likely to descriminate precisely because they have not known the racism mindset as an institutionalized value. I know the people that I am around, those my age, my friends, my generation, has very few problems with discrimination. In fact, I've personally counted a grand total of none during my time in college. Perhaps this is worse elsewhere, but I'm going from my experience.

I am 19 years old, I am a white middle class male, and I'm being called a cheater by this man. I'm being told I stole something from him, and now I need to give it back.

Why am I a cheater? Who decided this? What reason does he have to believe this kind of thing of me? I didn't give him one; I try to be fair to everyone I come into contact with; they're people, they're Americans. Those are the core values which I have been taught.

I guess the color of my skin is cheating me out of a fair evaluation of my actions.

I don't like that.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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