For Affirmative Action, consider the context
This being the Opinion section, I would like to articulate the need for informed opinion over emotional and perceptional opinion. I am currently not at Colby, so I can’t engage in close and personal dialogue that I want to with students surrounding the issues that are accruing on campus. Whether the debate is good or bad, I am glad that we are talking and conversing with one another and challenging each other intellectually. However, I noticed that people seem to feel entitled to state an opinion based not on the facts, or history, but rather on emotions and feelings that stray from the truth as we know it.
I am currently away at a historically black college in Washington, D.C., Howard University, and I could not help noticing the online debate on the Civil Discourse over Affirmative Action. I believe it is good that as intelligent college students and the future of the world that we engage in these discussions but, if we are discussing Affirmative Action and the efforts to reverse the sins against people of color at the hands of the American government and people, I think we should take a completely historical perspective and background when discussing it. Much of what I have observed on the discussion on Affirmative Action has been talk of the abstract, and not realizing the entelechy of the situation of black and colored people in America.
From the onset of the founding of this country, black people have been raped, tortured, mutilated, lynched, castrated, burned, exiled, used as experiments for the government, fought in every American war, built this country’s economy and wealth, been discriminated against, conditioned to hate themselves and their features and used as alligator bait. Yes, that is right, black babies were once used as alligator bait. You can Google that. It perturbs me that after such a history of African Americans and other minorities in the U.S., we still have problems dealing with how we apologize for the sins of our fathers and mothers. To turn to Affirmative Action, since 1964 Affirmative Action has helped minorities to capitalize on their potential that was previously overlooked and admonished by the government because of racism, sexism and just downright hate.
Today, Affirmative Action seems to have worked out fine for white women, who were once a minority, but are now not surprisingly the majority of those enrolled in college in the U.S. Let me remind you that Affirmative Action was instated because people are racist, and they did discriminate against those who were able and capable of the work they sought to do. However capable they were, these minorities were not given the chance to because historically America has barred them from achieving success at the highest level possible by way of racism, sexism and discrimination. It is not that there were no minorities who were not capable of excelling at the highest level of work and intellect; it was that they were not given the chance, and in most cases they were given fewer tools to work with because of segregation, which made it even harder for them to succeed.
Today, most of our society is still segregated whether you would like to accept that or not. Being at a historically black college, I can see the distinct differences between the haves and the have-nots and everyone in between. Racism still exists in covert ways and apparently in overt ways as well. Take a look at our president, who has had to endure the most racial epithets of any president ever in U.S. history. People paint him as a monkey, terrorist, and have created this caricature of his image.
So I ask you, when you discuss Affirmative Action, or any matter that may pertain to race, take a historical perspective, look back at history and tell me what you see. Do you see justice and equality for all? Or justice and equality for some? And how does that affect or not affect today? Also, really go and Youtube “Black babies used as alligator bait,” and next time you buy anything related to alligators ask the manager if any black babies were harmed in the making of this item. Peace and Love.