I’ve been thinking about race a lot recently. Mostly it’s been in the form of “I hope grad schools have a quota, I hope grad schools have a quota, I hope grad schools have a quota.” But I’ve also worried about the deeper implications of getting accepted over another, equally qualified person solely on the basis of race.
And I’ve got to say: I have no problem with that.
The argument against affirmative action is thus:
Who cares that your ancestors were brutally assaulted by my ancestors. It has no bearing on your abilities now. You should play on an even playing field against people, regardless of race.
The argument for affirmative action is thus:
If my ancestors hadn’t been brutally assaulted by your ancestors, I would be in the same position as an average white person. This isn’t an even playing field, minorities start off with a handicap: affirmative action attempts to fix that.
My high school was chosen as one of Dateline’s 10 worst schools in the nation. I can name a dozen people from my graduating class that had a child before they turned 18. Statistically, only half of my school will graduate high school and only one tenth of those will graduate from college. My graduating class was 414, which was down from 811 my Freshman year. So you can see that the odds were stacked against us. Note: this has as much to do with race as with class. Were there a Social Class Card, I’d use it here, but there isn’t. Hopefully there’ll be one soon, because I think affirmative action misses the aim by focusing on race rather than class.
I don’t know if that makes the thought of being accepted based on race any better, but it sure does ease my conscience. Had I been born in New Jersey rather than New Mexico, Okay, Texas I would have had a chance to go to Rutger’s or another top-notch school. As it is, even with a great GPA and GRE scores, I’m fighting an uphill battle because my college wasn’t one of the top programs.
So, although I never pull the race card, I’ll do it here. Hopefully it’ll help me get into grad school. And my ego can handle it, because I know that if the playing field truly were equal, I would be able to compete with the best of them.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||Note: this has as much to do with race as with class. Were there a Social Class Card, I’d use it here, but there isn’t. Hopefully there’ll be one soon, because I think affirmative action misses the aim by focusing on race rather than class.|