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White Scholarship Draws Protests at Boston University

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The College Republicans of Boston University are offering a Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship as a protest against racial preferences in admission.

The opponents argue that the CR's have "polluted" reasoned discourse on this issue. It's hard to accept this considering that anyone who questions racial preferences is immediately labeled a racist and considered a member of the KKK by the supporters of such preferences. The fact is there has been no reasoned discussion on racial preferences because ad hominem attacks are thrown the minute the subject is brought up.

One legitimate argument is that legacy admissions do tend to benefit white students and are not given on the basis of merit. It is impossible to argue against racial preferences on the basis that they don't recognize merit and still stand behind legacy admission policies. Either admit on the basis of merit or be honest that there are more important things.

However, this doesn't mean that racial preferences have produced any real results or any real reduction of the racial achievement gap. White students still perform better than black students in college. After 30 years of affirmative action policies, it doesn't appear any real progress has been made.

It is time that there is a real discussion about racial preferences, or more generally, the racial achievement gap. Affirmative action simply has not worked and it is naïve to think that keeping it for another 30 years will somehow yield results. Any policy to deal with this problem must have an exit strategy.

Switching to an economic-based model where those who are poor get special consideration might appease some on the right who want to get away from race-based preferences. As long as minorities are disproportionately poor, they will still get the bulk of the benefit so you'd think they'd be happy too. However, this doesn't solve the problem either.

Academic achievement has been tied to many other factors than just the ability to show up. For instance, family stability has been flagged as an important factor and minority communities also have a higher incidence of broken homes. Probably one of the most important factors is the quality of K-12 education, which is indisputably poor across the nation but certainly in minority communities.

If we want to address the racial achievement gap, we must address the fact that minority families (particularly poor ones) have children trapped in public schools that tend not to care about them. It is time to give those families the ability to choose something better. It isn't a matter of school funding; it's a matter of school accountability. If the money follows the students schools start being more responsive.

While the College Republican's of Boston University have brought up a good discussion, it's time to move passed inflammation to the proposal of solutions to fix the problem. Affirmative action has failed. It's time to give school choice a chance.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com David Ben-Ariel
  • Baronius

    Wow, John, that third paragraph was beautiful. High-quality article in general, but that link between legacy and racial set-asides was niiiice.

  • anthony berry

    THANK YOU !! THANK YOU!! IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT SOME ONE SPEAKS OUT FOR THE UNFAIRNESS OF COLOR. I AM ATTENDING SCHOOL AND I HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING HELP BECAUSE I AM WHITE.. WHERE IS THE FAIRNESS. REMEMBER A FEW YEARS BACK WHEN A WOMEN AT MICHIGAN U. WAS FIGHTING FOR THE REVERSE DISCRIMNIATION THEY SHOT HER DOWN.. ONLY BECAUSE THE SCHOOL WAS AFFRAID OF RIOTS, AND LOSING GOV. MONEY KICKBACKS.. AND THEY ALSO KNOW THAT WHITEY WONT TEAR UP TOWNS OR BURN HOUSES OR THERE CITY TO THE GROUND IF THEY SAY NO TO THE WHITE FOLKS BEHALF.
    IF WE ARE SO (SUPPOSED TO BE) EQUAL THEN LETS SEE WHO REALLY IS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RedTard

    “Switching to an economic-based model where those who are poor get special consideration might appease some on the right who want to get away from race-based preferences.”

    Why not just go straight on merit? Texas has a program where top % of class gets admission to public universities. Doesn’t matter whether your rich or poor or the level of pigment in your skin.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Because not all universities are public and therefore not able to be subjected to public policy decisions as they have in Texas.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Why does anyone, or any race, even need help getting into college?

    If you can manage to graduate from high school (which is incredibly easy to do), you are granted automatic admission into a state community college. If you get your two-year degree from that community college (which is also fairly easy to do), you are automatically granted admission into a four-year state university. And if you are able to read and write and do relatively simple math, you will then get a Bachelors degree in something. And afterwards you will be able to get a job that pays a decent wage and have a nice cozy middle-class life.

    Yes, I understand that college tuition isn’t cheap, even for public schools. Well, that’s why the government offers need-based
    g r a n t s
    and subsidized loans, as well as numerous
    s c h o l a r s h i p s
    and
    w o r k – s t u d y
    programs.

    Anyone who truly wants to go to college in the United States, can. All it takes is a little effort. Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Martian. It doesn’t matter.

    Affirmative Action is nothing more than racial discrimination. Anyone who supports Affirmative Action is therefore supporting racial discrimination. And that is simply indefensible.

  • http://www.penguincomics.net larry stanley

    I also think that race based preferential programs are causing problems in work and in school.

    We need to start using merit or ecomony only (one or the other) when it comes to getting into school.

    I am not sure if I would support segregation right now. It seems like a pretty tough way to fix a problem. What you are doing is not fixing it anyway, you are just pushing it onto your children or grandchildren.

    No, no one should get help based on the color of their skin. That is silly. It never works, simply because it creates animosity on the part of the people around them.

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    There is a wonderful song sung by Pete Seeger, “No Irish Need Apply”.

    Scholarships for the protected world of learning and scholarship in a country that once had fine institutions of higher learning in which much of the world wanted to attend can be changed into apartheid awards. We are not surprised the way the country is going.

    Irish might now be able to get past the Junior Republicans but the old rule was: “No niggers, Jews, or Catholics”. Obviously there are some who would bring back the good old days of overt white supremacy.

    Minstrel shows, white only toilets and water fountains and that wide, scuffed white line toward the back of the bus could all re-appear in Boston. I am surprised that students at a cosmopolitan university in a world city would be the ones to try to bring back such a wold. I would have expected it from Mississippi or Arkansas, instead. What progress America has made in 50 years!

    With Boston’s ancient discrimination against the Irish, “No Irish need apply.”

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    You’re out of your mind, Howard.

    This little measly $250 “scholarship” is just a protest. A protest against overt nationwide racial discrimination on American college campuses. Discrimination that helps less-than-qualified Blacks and Hispanics at the expense of Whites and Asians.

    Racial discrimination is wrong, NO MATTER WHO IS BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST!

  • BD

    We live in a world that defines good and bad racism as referenced by the fact Affirmative Action, a RACE BASED policy exists. Thats a fact not an opinion. We also live in a world where Bill Gates gives money for a minority only scholarship and noone says one word that he is a racist. BTW look at the city of Boston and u will find Whites are the minority there. This isn’t a race issue in this country its a class issue that is cloaked by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as a race issue, the OJ Simpson trial was proof of that. Just because u tell me that u are being put down by “THE MAN” doesn’t mean it is true and that people really need to get outta this pity party called Welfare or Reparations or Indian Reservations or whatever scheme is being cooked up at the time to get my tax money to be wasted on self loathing people.

  • GH

    Scholarships should not be based on race. What I do love is how when it is a minority scholarship it is fine, but when it’s a white only scholarship it’s all of a sudden racism. Put that race card away already and shut up!! I am a high school senior trying to figure out how to pay for college because my parents can’t pay for it for me and the fact that I am a white male automatically eliminates me from 75% of scholarships. Something is terribly wrong about that. Screw Affirmative Action.

  • rr

    GH, I fully agree. It should be based on grades, economic situation, and other things, but NOT race. I am equal to a black person, so why are they suddenly eligible for free money JUST BECAUSE they are black? I’m white, that doesn’t mean that I don’t need help. I wasn’t born into a rich family, and as a matter of fact it’s quite the opposite. We have about $2 right now, after the rent, bills, and food. I doubt that’s going to pay for my college education.

  • Zedd

    You all are childish and naive. Must be nice to be as old as you are and not get what the real world is like.

    Proceed.

  • katie wilson

    this is so funny! i can’t believe every other ethnic group gets scholarships, and whites dont. its a bunch of b/s! So much for all people are equal!!!!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I’m curious, Zedd. The way I see it, if blacks, Mexicans, women and others can get free passes into American schools based on a history of discrimination against them, or because they can scare the living shit out of a college administration with the threat of violence, why not Jews? I remember wondering about this when all this shit got introduced in the late 60’s – when I was still in university. It was the bullying blacks (burn baby! burn!), bullying (bra-burning) women, bullying (Young Lords) Puerto Ricans and others threatening riots who got the free passes.

    Jews didn’t threaten riots, so they didn’t merit a free pass, eh? So, it’s just like Kahane said. If you didn’t bust a goy’s head, you’d get shit. Again, Kahane was right!!

    Put simply, if you give someone a pass to get in because the society discriminates against him, ALL those who suffer societal discrimination deserve a pass also. THAT IS CALLED EQUAL APPLICATION OF THE LAW, A CONCEPT EMBEDDED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF 1787. The quotas and other forms of “affirmative action” in the United States simply have not worked. All they have done is make a mockery of EQUAL APPLICATION OF THE LAW, much the same way the Volstead Amendment (Prohibition) made a mockery of law enforcement in the 1920’s.

    Or, what is fairer to me, is a merit system. He who gets the best grades gets in and all the other bullshit gets eliminated.

    I suppose admitting people based on merit and demonstrated ability is childish, isn’t it? What is more mature is to give in to bullies threatening riots and destruction, isn’t it, Zedd?

  • Heidi

    I believe that scholarships should be offered to those who are deserving according to their abilities and needs NOT because of their skin color. There are COUNTLESS scholarships available to black students while the black student is ALSO able to get the same scholarship a white person can get. HOWEVER, a white person cannot get a black scholarship.
    DOES THIS SOUND FAIR TO YOU???? NO, IT’S NOT BECAUSE IT IS RACISM 100%

  • PISSED OFF!

    My daughter has never been racist in her life she has a lot of black friends but she recently graduated 06/05/09. We are a hard working family living from pay check to pay check. My daughter cant seem to get any help going to collage. She herself came to me and said it sure is sad that I cant get a scholarship because i am not black or a different race.I was really shock to hear her say that but the sad part is that its TRUE!why do we have scholarships for blacks but we cant do it just for white or its called racisim. We will never be equal because of shit like this.

  • Nikki

    The solution is simple. College applications should not ask what color you are, as well as foreign. Foreigners are getting more scholarship money than us as well. In the UK, school is free UNLESS your a foreigner.

  • sylvistian

    Nikki,
    So your telling me I can’t go to the UK to get any scholarships either? Us white people are screwed globally.
    Think about it? Everyone hates us. You would think we are all decendents of Hitler or something. Wait, if Hitler was alive today, he could atleast come over here and get a scholarship, where I can’t. Thats messed up. (He was Jew and German)

  • Raymond Kidwell

    All of these arguments are non-sense. Minorities perform badly because of poor schools. I went to k-12 schools with lots of minorities. They sat in the same classroom, read the same book etc. Everything the same but on average they perform worse. I had a bad family life, single parent home and lived in the slums right next door to minorities. The minorities got more help because they were, well minorities, yet I did better. I go to the same programs, live on the same street, come from the same background, going to the same school and I get discriminated against because I am a different race and sex (white male). I still perform better than most of them. Admit the obvious: some people are smarter than others. No amount of education or welfare will turn a stupid person into a smart person. If anything holding people responsible for their own actions encoruages them to improve- not coddling them and making excuses for their failures!

  • sserino

    I am a mixed race female and I also notice this problem. My boyfriend is white, we go to the same school which has lots of other black students, we sit in the same room with lots of other black students who are not poor and have every opportunity to excell, but overall they perform lower in school. I’m in the top 15% of graduating class and have high enough ACT & SAT test scores that I qualify for merit based scholarships. My boyfriend is the same, but he qualifies for less because he is a white male. The black kid in our english class is in the lower 75% of our class,& he just recieved a $30,000 scholarship because he’s black! I have purposely “forgotten” to check the box in scholarship applications that ask for race, because I believe that the color of my skin should not give me an unfair advantage just as being white shouldn’t be a disadvantage. I live in a single parent family and I was taught that education is something that is earned not given. So WTF why is that I work my butt off for A’s when other minorities get a C and get a free pass. I dont live in a poor school district, I have excellent teachers, so there is no excuse for failure. It’s time that all minorities start to appreciate the work of Dr.King, Hector P. Garcia, and Susan B. Anthony…. and carry it on by stepping up in thier education and pass down thier knowledge to future generations. I’ve learned the lessons of Dr.King who was not rich & lived in a minority school district, but managed to excell in his education and career when the disadvantages of race were more emminent than they are are today. I understand that some school districts are horrible and that those districts are mainly minority districts & those kids suffer from the lack of a good education. But that does not excuse the capable minority students from excelling in education.

  • Al de Leon

    It’s disappointing to know that there are schools that prioritize one over another not based on merits. I believe that everyone, regardless of race or religion, should be treated fairly when it comes to education. When it comes to high grade average scholarships or any other scholarship, I believe that everyone who manages to maintain his or her good academic standing should be given the chance to prove his or her worth. Education is very important to all of us, so it should be open to all of us in a fair manner. On the other hand, I find this article not only informative but also a good eye opener.

  • Breann

    I am pretty happy to see that people in different parts of the country are starting these scholarship funds just to prove a point. I have said for years that there are all black universities and minority scholarships, but what would happen if there were all white universities or all white scholarships? Well, just as I suspected, people are pissed about it. I am a college student myself right now and I have noticed the huge difference in the amount of minority scholarships vs. scholarships that are based on merit. Why would scholarships not be based on merit? Colleges and organizations should want to give money to the college students who really want to be there. In high school I wanted to move schools. The school I went to was horrible. My councelor suggested the “Freedom of Choice Act” which allows students to choose which school district they would like to attend. After looking into this act, I discovered that this act did not apply to me. The “Freedom of Choice Act” was designed to try to even out the school districts and me leaving that school didn’t fit into their plan. I read in the paper not too long ago that someone had challanged this act in court, claiming this was discrimination. They lost the case. What if the same thing happened to a minority? I think we all know. I am not a racist. I am not a member of the KKK. I just believe that everyone deserves an equal shot at getting a good education, whether it’s being able to choose which high school they want to attend or getting scholarships for college.