T Nation

Affirmative Action

I understand the why affirmative action was needed at one point in our country’s history. I also don’t think the human race will ever be totally free of biases and prejudices. That being said, I am against affirmative action. I believe equality will come from individuals achieving the positions and places in live through merit. And I do understand that there will always be instances of people getting jobs and positions not based on ability, but by other influences. And these influences may not necessarily be race or gender. Sometimes just knowing the right person can get you a job, or other issues like being willing to work for lesser pay. Ok, I’m getting off topic a bit, but my main point is our country will never move towards equality until merit is the primary area we look at in deciding if person A gets a job or admittance to a university.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
If an average Black in a lower class neighborhood gets a hold of $5000, he isn’t going to sock it away for tuition, he’s going to buy new gold rims for his car. The hard question is: why?
[/quote]

What makes you believe this is true? What does the average white person in a lower class neighborhood that gets a hold of $5000 spend it on? I’m assuming it’s education based on the point you’re trying to make.

[quote]Moriarty wrote:
thunderbolt23 wrote:
If an average Black in a lower class neighborhood gets a hold of $5000, he isn’t going to sock it away for tuition, he’s going to buy new gold rims for his car. The hard question is: why?

What makes you believe this is true? What does the average white person in a lower class neighborhood that gets a hold of $5000 spend it on? I’m assuming it’s education based on the point you’re trying to make.[/quote]

Add along with that the apparent belief that making it into college has ANYTHING to do with staying there and graduating with honors.

I remember one guy in my classes (white) who went on a few times about how he tried for four years to get into school and was rejected. Twice this was directed at me as if I simply walked up to the hospital district and yelled out, “any schools 'round here need a black guy?!”. Naturally, this lead to every school within hearing distance…including a veterinarian school, a school for the blind and a beauty college…running outside and begging me to apply for admittance.

I can only assume that if I walk up to the random white guy in a poor neighborhood and drop a Ben Franklin in his lap, this will immediately be used to start a college fund. I can see it now:

Billy (because all white guys in “black” neighborhoods are named Billy), stands up after the Franklin is dropped and screams, “Why, excuse me, sir…you seem to have dropped your monetary notification on the asphalt in front of me and I, being the respectable white guy in a black neighborhood that I am, decided to attempt to return this item to you post-haste!!”

Of course I am startled by this due to the fact that Leroy (because all black guys in black neighborhoods are named Leroy) acted completely different when the same action occured. First there was silence…and then, “Yo, POOKY, Dawg, this fool dropped a Benjy on the deck. Let’s get sprung!!”

Those silly racial differences.

Moriarty,

“I’m assuming it’s education based on the point you’re trying to make.”

Nope. You miss the point. My point was that Black culture doesn’t reward education, so a young Black has little incentive from his community to invest in his future, despite the fact that is his best way to improve his lot. A Black kid’s neighborhood is more likely to celebrate him for driving a flamboyant car than for securing a spot at the state university in the engineering college.

The point is about priorities. A Black kid has opportunities, but turns them down. To which, I ask again, why?

Pro X,

Weak.

“I can only assume that if I walk up to the random white guy in a poor neighborhood and drop a Ben Franklin in his lap, this will immediately be used to start a college fund.”

This is silliness. It’s clear - or should have been clear - that my hypothetical was a simplified example of what is typical in terms of priorities in Black culture. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been announced by Bill Cosby:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/02/national/main627156.shtml

Your hackneyed racialist commentary is your own fantasy. I never discussed what a poor white kid would do with $5000, nor did I infer that a poor white kid, by virtue of being Caucasian, would instantly start himself a 529 plan. There’s a I focused on Black youth - AA isn’t designed to assist poor white kids.

I was focused solely on that group that AA is designed to affect. We can talk about poor white kids in another thread, but this one is about Affirmative Action.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Billy (because all white guys in “black” neighborhood are named Billy), stands up after the Franklin is dropped and screams, “Why, excuse me, sir…you seem to have dropped your monetary notification on the asphalt in front of me and I, being the respectable white guy in a black neighborhood that I am, decided to attempt to return this item to you post-haste!!”

Of course I am startled by this due to the fact that Leroy (because all black guys in black neighborhoods are named Leroy) acted completely different when the same action occured. First there was silence…and then, “Yo, POOKY, Dawg, this fool dropped a Benjy on the deck. Let’s get sprung!!”
[/quote]

ROFLMAO… yo, Pooky. hee hee.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

This is silliness. It’s clear - or should have been clear - that my hypothetical was a simplified example of what is typical in terms of priorities in Black culture. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been announced by Bill Cosby:[/quote]

The sad part is, you think that Bill Cosby has a proper grasp on the current culture of black youth. It should be evidenced by that flop/waste of time Fat Albert movie that he is about 20 years late on keeping up with anything going on in the average “black neighborhood”. While I respect the man for what he has done in the past, it amazes me that white America believes what he says now as if it were raining truth every time he speaks. Many of his ideas are considered to be outdated. This isn’t 1985 and Theo grew up a long time ago.

If you want to truly know what goes on in a black neighborhood…speak to BLACK YOUTH or at least someone who deals with them on a regular basis. My dad is now a vice principal in a mostly black neighborhood. My guess is you haven’t a clue what the average black kid under the age of 20-25 thinks and if Cosby is where you get your info, it shows just how much that data is lacking.

The truth is, along with the rising degree of gang activity again, there is also a much greater push towards education. The stereotypes you choose to believe are there only because you choose to believe them. Thanks for playing.

The majority of the arguments here are empty. Comparing the plight the black race has endured and continues to endure throughout the world with Korean shop owners? $5000 given to a black youth who will then go out and buy rims? BTW, thru implication you are definitely saying that a white kid would “do the right thing”. Oh…wait…you’re not? I guess I should take my racial filter off and see your statement as merely just a statement and not but there’s that thing…let’s see what do we call it…oh I know…RACE.

It is an issue and continues to be. Turning a blind eye to it doesn’t make it go away and using “a friend of mine knows a guy who knows someone who thought about going to college but…” AA is needed. Or has no one here studied African American history? Oh, I get it, that shouldn’t matter…“pick yourself up and get to it…for god sakes the Koreans have”…why can’t you guys??? A race of people who have been all but brainwashed into “white is right” now just needs to “get over it” and make it.

Right down the street in good ole Alexandria, Virginia there have been flyers for the preservation of the white race. Unless racism is brought to the forefront and tackled head on will AA be unnecessary. Till then AA is very necessary. Till the percentage of black applicants even comes close to white AA needs to be in effect. Sheesh, you guys make it sound as if AA is keeping us from living in a utopia.

The plight of black America isn’t going to be solved with or without AA. Who does AA benefit if it goes away? I love the fact that UCLA had a study done and weren’t they the same school who had a drastic decline in accepted black applicants once they dropped AA? Then a study proving there decision was correct…co-inkidink?

Let’s not forget the most important fact. We aren’t talking about some black idiots off the street getting into Harvard. The majority of these men and women are busting their butts along with their Asian, Hispanic, White,…counterparts to get into schools.

BTW, Doogie…who the hell said that AA was because they couldn’t do it on their own? Again you guys give the impression that these are underachieving morons who are begging for a free ride. By the time your daughter is ready for grad school hispanics will be 25% of the population so she will not need to worry about this. She’ll be complaining how schools are just giving away school seats to “those” underserving people…

[quote]Professor X wrote:
thunderbolt23 wrote:

This is silliness. It’s clear - or should have been clear - that my hypothetical was a simplified example of what is typical in terms of priorities in Black culture. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been announced by Bill Cosby:

The sad part is, you think that Bill Cosby has a proper grasp on the current culture of black youth. It should be evidenced by that flop/waste of time Fat Albert movie that he is about 20 years late on keeping up with anything going on in the average “black neighborhood”. While I respect the man for what he has done in the past, it amazes me that white America believes what he says now as if it were raining truth every time he speaks. Many of his ideas are considered to be outdated. This isn’t 1985 and Theo grew up a long time ago.

If you want to truly know what goes on in a black neighborhood…speak to BLACK YOUTH or at least someone who deals with them on a regular basis. My dad is now a vice principal in a mostly black neighborhood. My guess is you haven’t a clue what the average black kid under the age of 20-25 thinks and if Cosby is where you get your info, it shows just how much that data is lacking.

The truth is, along with the rising degree of gang activity again, there is also a much greater push towards education. The stereotypes you choose to believe are there only because you choose to believe them. Thanks for playing.[/quote]

Wait a second there big fella…how dare you say that Bill who went from the Navy into Hollywood and has produced countless movies, TV shows and children shows not know about the black issues? This man is the cornerstone of black America! His voice and opinions are as true today as they ever were. Who cares that the last time he saw a ghetto was in his cartoon? Who cares that his degree is honorary…oops that would be AA now wouldn’t it? But it’s Mr. Huxtable so we’ll let him slide…

Honestly, I like Bill but these “truths” coming from his mouth were as general as they come. Grab anybody off the street and they could have given these pearls of “wisdom”. He’s applauded because he said what others would have loved to say but would have been killed for saying it. He’s no more a spokesman for the black people than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or Johnnie Cochran or…

Cosby is an entertainer. When all the other entertainers had something to say about the war they were labeled as idiots. No difference here. Just 1 rich black man’s opinion and nothing more. Funny that his statements seem to hold so high a place. I guess if black America would listen to him as intently as the other races, blacks could just pull themselves up and use that $5000 for school and not bling, bling…

I have been following the posts for a while. I realized I haven’t really fully analyzed my own views but wanted to list some observations. Maybe I’ll be able to put it together.

  1. I grew up until age 14 in the Kansas City suburbs. KC is a segregated city. Whites live in the suburbs, blacks are about 50% “downtown” and 90% in certain regions of downtown. When I grew up, if you saw a black kid in your neighborhood, it was a suprise. There simply wasn’t enough interracial contact for most people to have 1-2 black acquaintences at all.

  2. I move to inner city Denver at age 14 into a 33% poor black, 33% poor white and 33% poor mexican neighborhood. There was NO overall difference between the goals, actions, drug dealing, dropout rate, morals of kids in these 3 groups. Most of the kids from all groups felt like they were stuck there for the rest of their lives. I think it came down to the idea that the more choices you have, the more psycho-biological stress you experience (a well founded fact of social phychology). Psychologically, it relieves a lot of pressure to know that you don’t really have to make any big choices in your life, and never will. If your mom sells drugs, hey thats good enough for you. There were also about an equal (small) proportion of kids from each group who did have higher education goals. By the way, it had been different 10-15 years earlier, but the 3 races got along fine. The white kids all respected the black kids and actually held them up as role models. 90% of the violent crime was same race on same race. Just an observation. By the time I was 18, I felt safe as heck walking around through the park late at night, no problem. You just tried not to suprise any body. There were 2 black kids and 2 white kids who actually made it to state colleges on sports scholarships. They just could not handle it (I think its like the allegory of the cave, if you know that one). One kid who was as a matter of fact even better than Chauncy Billips got put in prison for selling crack in his first semester of college. None of these kids had an adult family member role model who had ever been successful by most of our standards.

  3. When I went back to visit KC I got out of my car in the “wrong neighborhood” I knew it instantly.

  4. I visited Philadelpia for 2 days, and felt sickly uncomfortable walking ANYWHERE on the streets. No one, black, white, whatever was hospitable.

  5. In college, there were some inner city black kids who got in who shouldn’t have been smart enough to get in. They all were successful in college and actually almost all went into solid careers because of it. There were also MANY rich white kids who got in who got nothing out of it. Please note, this was a small college of 2000. I knew everybody. I also spent some grad years at CU. Aside from the sports teams I was impressed at the intelligence of kids from all races. The sports teams had some smart kids, but also dumb asses of all races.

6)I teach in a suburban highschool now. 35-40% WEEKLY or DAILY potsmokers, and they are almost all good kids. About 3% black. They have the same success rate in and beyond highschool as the white kids-probably a little higher. Virtually zero racism, although they can some up with other reasons for hating someone. If your not a football player THEY have the right to pummel you. Hispanic and asian kids overall both struggle and its 100% cultural priorities. There are kids from both groups who get 1400 on their SATs too.

Thats all. Just thought someone might see something of interest here.

[quote]Croooz wrote:

It is an issue and continues to be. Turning a blind eye to it doesn’t make it go away and using “a friend of mine knows a guy who knows someone who thought about going to college but…” AA is needed. Or has no one here studied African American history? Oh, I get it, that shouldn’t matter…“pick yourself up and get to it…for god sakes the Koreans have”…why can’t you guys??? A race of people who have been all but brainwashed into “white is right” now just needs to “get over it” and make it.[/quote]

They want to skip over that whole “slavery” issue as if it had no SIGNIFICANT LONG TERM IMPACT THROUGH GENERATIONS of people in this country and act as if it is the same as someone just getting here off the boat from Asia. Do some of you realize that as recent as my own mother had segrated bathrooms and drinking fountains when she was a girl? That has little effect on the children of people who went through that? This wasn’t 100 years ago, it was the last freaking generation of people in this country. Do you realize how rare it was to see a black doctor just 10-20 years ago? Hell, even today? That is because we are all worried about rims, right? Have some of you seen the school books that many inner city kids are dealt? Do you honestly think the kids in Beverly Hills are reading from the exact same books in the same condition?

You don’t erase or skip over the impact society has on culture over the long term. You don’t pretend as if it is supposed to have no consequences. Someone whose family did not have to deal with that will not have the same mentality as the children of that affliction.

I posted the studies done that proved its necessity. I suppose that info was skipped over. Whether there is the exact same need for the exact same form of AA is worthy of debate. It is also worthy to accept that your mentality/psychology is largely based on your surrounding culture, the options available to you, and the possibilities instilled in you as a child and those that are perceived.

I remember that study done where they put a black doll and a white doll (both similar aside from color) in front of kids and then asked the children which doll was better looking or was the “good” doll. For anyone to overlook the answers received and pretend as if that doesn’t show scars that are not erased simply because you want them to be is ridiculous. Your view of the world is not the view of everyone else in the world. For unity to develop, the perspective of those in the society around you needs to be considered and solutions developed. Pretending as if it didn’t happen won’t make the problems go away. To level the playing field, drastic measures needed to be taken. Where we go from here should be the debate, not a charade as if the opposing act to blatant racism is racist and should have been avoided.

As a white guy, I really don’t get it. I don’t understand how what happened a hundred and fifty years ago sucks ambition out of people today. I don’t get why know ing your grandparents were wronged wouldn’t light a fire in your belly to rise up and prove yourself.

I’d be willing to bet Prof. X has never been given anything he didn’t work his ass off for and deserve.

I have no problem with the “all things being equal, give it to the minority” type of AA. However, I just can’t understand the “we can’t expect them to get good grades, so we’ll give them 30 points” types.

[quote]Croooz wrote:

BTW, Doogie…who the hell said that AA was because they couldn’t do it on their own? Again you guys give the impression that these are underachieving morons who are begging for a free ride. By the time your daughter is ready for grad school hispanics will be 25% of the population so she will not need to worry about this. She’ll be complaining how schools are just giving away school seats to “those” underserving people…[/quote]

If they can do it on their own, what is the purpose of AA? Are you talking about straight up quotas? I don’t understand. And isn’t 25% a minority?

[quote]doogie wrote:
As a white guy, I really don’t get it. I don’t understand how what happened a hundred and fifty years ago sucks ambition out of people today. I don’t get why know ing your grandparents were wronged wouldn’t light a fire in your belly to rise up and prove yourself.[/quote]

To have to understand it, you have to feel guilty about it. I’m white, and I don’t feel guilty about it so I don’t understand it either.

[quote]I’d be willing to bet Prof. X has never been given anything he didn’t work his ass off for and deserve.

I have no problem with the “all things being equal, give it to the minority” type of AA. However, I just can’t understand the “we can’t expect them to get good grades, so we’ll give them 30 points” types.[/quote]

Most of what goes on today with the black (I hate hyphens, if I’m white, your black) community from my daily obsevations is a feeling of ‘entitlement’, nothing more. This ranges from the ‘welfare’ mom who just pumps out units to get a bigger check, to the ‘3 generation family’ all shopping with their bridge card, to the ones who have good jobs and then do as little as possible, or looking for the quick buck, all the while complaining about how ‘bad’ they got it. We all complain about stereotyping while we are living it and doing it, doesn’t matter what race you are. This discussion is more typing than I like to do, so I’ll end this rant here. I’ll end with this…I don’t believe ‘anyone’ is ‘entitled’ to anything without doing the required work to get it, period.

[quote]doogie wrote:

If they can do it on their own, what is the purpose of AA?[/quote]

Have you not considered the fact that some people are actually excluded from positions due to skin color? Oh, that’s right…you have to be constantly reminded that racism exists and that all things are still not equal.

A previous comment is right, I was not given anything. However, one thing I do acknowledge is the benefits of having parents like I did. I never went to a school growing up that didn’t rank as one of the highest in the district as far as testing scores. That was because my mother researched them before she would send me there. That means that while I was zoned to the same crappy schools as everyone else in the majority black neighborhoods I grew up in, my parents would find a way to drive me across the city (when I didn’t have access to a bus) to where they wanted me to go. I went to a high school that had us working in hospitals and doing research work that some college students don’t do. I first used a centrifuge in the 11th grade as part of an in-class assignment. That means that while I may be able to claim that I was not given anything, I can’t overlook the advantages of that type of schooling while many of my friends around where I lived never came close. In effect, that is the point. Unless you have seen the insides of many of these schools (like the ones my dad has worked at as a teacher and vice principal in the inner city)…instead of driving really fast by them on your way to the “better” side of town, you have no clue what some of these kids deal with. Let’s not even get into the fact that many teachers are not paid anything near enough for them to feel obligated to help every kid the same.

Bottom line, everyone still does not have the same opportunities. Many schools still give preferential treatment based on race (probably seen even more often in higher education beyond under grad).

I am not crazy enough to think that there has been no improvement. There has. That is why, as I have written, that the same AA that was needed during the Clinton Administration may not be the exact same AA needed now. Many of you need to get off that extremely high horse and stop thinking of this in terms of handing something to someone that they simply do not deserve. If a college that shows bias towards a race is made to adhere to rules that give more opportunity, the effects of that decision will be seen very quickly in the grades and performance of the student.

I swear, some of you act like students who dropped out of school in the 9th grade are being given positions at Harvard for no damn reason just for a little color.

Warning: This ended up a stream of conscienousness instead of a foused reply but still worthy of a disinterested glance.

Northern Ireland was a rough place when my grandfather was coming up in the world. Being born in Northern Belfast, he saw his share of atrocities and even participated in a few. At the ripe age of 18 he sailed to America with 13 dollars in his pocket and a head full of ideas. He got a job at the NY subway and worked nights for 25 years until he got a day shift. In the mean time he raised 8 children and started college and wedding funds for them. They ate cabbage most nights and got hand-me downs for christmas. At 70 he returned to Ireland and was amazed at the transformation that had occured in his generation. Ireland is now a recovering and blosomming business epicenter for Europe’s IT and biotech start-up’s as well as other more established industries. People there have stopped going to their catholic churches that constantly reminded them of their conflicts with protestants and the Brits and they started pursuing their own betterment through hard work. The IRA is alive and well but no longer a substantial option for the common man in search of a better way of life. Opportunity and prosperity can be provided as well as created if desired. Just as in most areas of life, the most expensive advice is free. It is not until man has the strength and conviction to stand on his own moral and ethical foundation in the face of the masses that he can truly know what the right decisions are for his own betterment. The media, politicians, rap and rock stars, famous actors anybody that has the moral spotlight for any other reason than having earned it is suspect to true motive and should be avoided like the plague.

Once the spotlight was off of Ireland and the media and others shut the fuck up, people got their lives sorted out made Northern Ireland a properous and opportunity rich region again, relatively speaking.

I don’t know what the future of American race politics holds but I know that hate ends when you want it to and not before. There is no expiration date on it, so time is of no relevance. In fact, the only thing that would really need to happen is for the individual in question to stand up straight and tall, look his leaders and revelers in the eye, raise his black flag of dissent and take back his destiny. The voice of the masses is a droning percussion that will mute out even the most hearty of visionaries. It is therefore vital to first listen, listen very closely to what your heart and soul are telling you is right way to be in every situation. Prejudice and racism are more than color bias, they are manifestations of personal weakness. And if you don’t know who and what you really are in the abscence of others opinions then you are without a foundation to stand upon and subject to influence by even the most well wishing and good intentioned mother fucker that will eat you up and spit you out in the name of emancipation.

I once was debating someone on AA (Affirmative Action, not Alcoholics Anonymous,) and asked him to just tell me the absolute reason he believed that blacks need Affirmative Action. I was shocked at what he told me.

“They are not as smart as we are, so they need the help to compete.”

Taking this in another direction, would you want your team (any sport you like) to be forced to take players who are less capable just because of their race? (Regardless of that race.) And if a person does not have to do as well to get the same benefits as another person, why should he work as hard?

I don’t care about the excuses of the past. What happened to my Mommy or Daddy. (Sorry Prof. X) There was a black man working as a lawyer, making about $100,000 a year in the 1800’s, while slavery was still legal. (That was in that times money too. Damn I wish I could remember his name.) Now if a person can overcome that, why all the excuses today?

If Stephen Hawking can overcome his disability and become the foremost physicist of our time, (he has to have help wiping his own ass after all,) I cannot accept any arguments. To do otherwise is to say that the National Association of Fat Acceptance is right.

Have you seen the difference between a teenager given his first car, and the teen who has to work for it? Big difference there.

The same reason if a millionaire looses his fortune, he has a greater chance of rebuilding that fortune, but the person who wins it in a lottery has a great chance (over 50%) of loosing it forever.

People think this is bad for white people. I say it’s bad for black people. (And any other “oppressed” minority.) If you know you can get into a good college with less work then another person, do you learn to slack while the other person learns to work hard?

I think Affirmative Action is not only the biggest form of subtle bigotry there is, but it causes people to actually oppress themselves.

The mistake is made when people think that opportunity is given. Bullshit. Opportunity has to be taken. Otherwise you are no different then the fat guy on the couch watching TV all day, downing Twinkies, wondering why he is fat. (Damn I want a Twinkie. Oh wait, I can?t, I?m doin the T-Dawg diet.)

People keep thinking that success is given, not taken, but just look at history. How many people waited to be able to sit in the front of the bus, or even just the right to keep their seat? Rosa Parks didn’t wait did she? No, she took her rights, her opportunity. Nobody else changed things for her so she did it herself.

Affirmative action won’t make a person a better ball player, and it won’t make a person more skilled or intelligent. But hard work will. And that is what we need to instill in everyone, that if you want anything, you are going to have to work for it. It isn’t just going to be given to you. And if you expect it to be given to you, then you are spoiled. (Just look at Paris Hilton to see what being given everything does to a person.)

I once read that when a person starts a business, a lot of money or credit can actually hurt the chances of success for the business. The reason is that if you have the money or credit, you can finance your problems away, which just delays the problem. But the cash strapped business has to come up with creative ways around those problems, and that creativity is the fuel of success.

Just ask yourself who has made it big because of Affirmative Action? Probably the same number of people who became rich by getting welfare. Now if you see one of those people, realize they would have been just as successful, if not more so without Affirmative Action. (And I won’t capitalize the term affirmative action ever again.)

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself about AA.

Is it about equality or superiority?

Does the protected group want to be equal or have an advantage?

How long should it last? Forever? If so will it ever work as intended?

Why do some groups demand it with passion and others reject it with a sense of pride?

I don’t have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. I think if you took away the cultural differences and compared each protected group blindly it seems ludicrous and discrimatory. That is sadly not the case or even possible.

I am a little over 40. Grew up in Philly. Very racist town. My son grew up in the burbs and the city. Not a racist bone in his body. Lots of friends of every race. It is a lot better then it was in the 60’s. Will most likely be a lot better in another
40 years. It takes time.

Pro X,

“If you want to truly know what goes on in a black neighborhood…speak to BLACK YOUTH or at least someone who deals with them on a regular basis.”

I got an idea - maybe I should tutor inner city Blacks, and then I would have a decent view of what kind of priorities and influences affect their lives, especially as it come down on their choice to get educated or not.

How about that? I already do. I also write letters of recommendation for minorities for their college applications.

I wouldn’t claim I am an expert, but I am speaking from experience.

So let’s talk about some of my experiences. I’m lucky if I get a kid that has both parents in the home - an obvious disadvantage to begin with. Out-of-wedlock children are not the result of white racism. The first section of kids I have worked with in the past had education as a lesser priority, the higher one being finding a crap part-time job so they can help their single mom put food on the table. Studying takes a backseat to kids trying to be their own parents.

The other group of kids I have seen often lament the fact that because they are taking school seriously and trying to get tutored, they invite ridicule by the majority of their peers for ‘selling out’ and ‘trying to act White’. They are, in fact, often shamed into performing poorly, regardless of personal intelligence, talent, and natural gifts. I’ve even had some youths admit to me they ‘threw’ tests just like you would throw a boxing match because they didn’t want to get a label of sellout.

So I can’t figure out which is worse - the fact that these kids have a culture that wants to punish them for academic success, or the fact that these kids have no homegrown self-esteem and confidence to resist the shame and stay focused on their education?

Do tell, Pro X, and spare me your mediocre lecturing about not knowing what Black youths feel and don’t feel. I’ve got sweat equity invested in this project, so your trite racialism doesn’t buy you much here.

“My guess is you haven’t a clue what the average black kid under the age of 20-25 thinks”

That’s what you get for guessing.

“The truth is, along with the rising degree of gang activity again, there is also a much greater push towards education.”

There is a huge push for education - it’s been in effect for a long time now. One of the prongs of that push has been Affirmative Action. My contention remains - the ‘push’ won’t matter as long as young Blacks turn their backs on the opportunities the ‘push’ has created for them. And I want to try and discover why so many young Blacks turn away from those opportunities.

“The stereotypes you choose to believe are there only because you choose to believe them. Thanks for playing.”

I don’t believe in the crude stereotypes you hope I do - if I did, I wouldn’t volunteer my time to try and help. I don’t believe people have disadvantages because of their biological skin color - that’s racism. What I do believe in is that people inherit their disadvantages from their community.

My criticism is the young Black’s community. You say that gang activity is increasing. Why?

“Cosby is an entertainer.”

Cosby also has a PhD in education. He was also front and center at the Civil Rights Movement.

“When all the other entertainers had something to say about the war they were labeled as idiots.”

If Sean Penn had a PhD in international relations, I’d be little more apt to hear him out. Moreover, arguments can be debated or proven wrong. Most of the silliness that comes out of Hollywood can be refuted intelligently. Can you refute Cosby’s claims? Is he wrong?

I don’t necessarily what kind of letters are beside your name, I’m only interested in the strength of the arguments.

“No difference here. Just 1 rich black man’s opinion and nothing more.”

Nonsense. Cosby’s statements have opened up a healthy dialogue by stripping away the political correctness that infests the conversation. Whether you agree with Cosby or not, he’s got the issue on the table in plain terms, and that has been needed for years.

Anyone who has grown up multi-generation poor is going to have a big psychological roadblock to trying something like college. Throw in the belief (true or not in the particular case) that your not going to be given a fair chance and the odds go down even more. This is the social-psychological handicap of racism and it is real. Black kids are much more likely to be growing up in multi-generation poor families than white kids and they also have the race roadblock (psychologically and in many cases really).

If colleges discriminate on race they need to have severe sanctions. Try proving racial discrimination outside of quotas and I think you have a problem, but I think most state universities prefer (based of their social and philisophical agenda) to have more minorities (Of many diverse kinds). They also want kids who are statistically likely to succeed and they want dollars. Colleges should have no clue what race a person is who is applying there. As far as buisinesses, we are coming to the point where a company would kill themselves in MOST parts of the country to have racist hiring practices.

ANYWAY! If the pragmatic goal is to get more minority kids into higher education, we can make 10 times more difference by dealing with the psychological issue than the numbers issue. I could go back to my old neighborhood for 1 day and probably inspire a kid to give college a second thought. I think I should do that.