Race-Based Affirmative Action Sends Wrong Message
Last week the Supreme Court heard the affirmative action case Fisher v. Texas. It is the case in which Abigail Fisher alleges she was denied admission to the University of Texas because she is white. Just this week there was an uproar over a controversial academic initiative in which Florida passed a plan for race-based academic goals.
The University of Texas is arguing the need for equity, based on what amounts to reverse discrimination, while Florida argues their race-based educational plan will improve the test scores of children whose parents and teachers have failed them.[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Learning is not intended to be a color-coded industry; it is intended to be a goal oriented-industry.[/quote]Not only do I find neither argument persuasive–I find both arguments insulting, dehumanizing and taxpayer-funded portals to continued failure, seasoned with a perpetuated lack of personal responsibility and accountability.
Even more egregious, I find it an indictment of the education system and those responsible for the academic attainment of those they are charged with educating.
Learning is not intended to be a color-coded industry; it is intended to be a goal oriented-industry. The goal of said industry is to ensure that children learn commensurate with their ability through the combined efforts of parents and teachers.
It is unforgivable in the year 2012 that a University would bend the bar to the breaking point to accept Miss Fisher if she were a male capable of scoring touchdowns, hitting home runs, making lay-ups and/or shooting three-pointers from 20 feet. But because she is a female academician she was denied admission based on the institution’s failed belief that the University will benefit from students of color academically unprepared to excel. While Florida believes they can mask the failure of parents and their public schools by setting test scores based on color of skin and ethnicity.
America has had the good sense and moral decency to overcome the most heinous of civic injustices, and yet after those things the very institutions our future is most dependent on go out of their way to retard growth and undermine achievement.
Nothing is achieved by lowering standards and punishing success predicated on race-based antediluvian mores. It is morally opprobrious that the system intended for all to use as the tool for success is being used to perpetuate the racist myth of a past zeitgeist that contended blacks did not have the intellectual capacity to achieve academically.
It is even more of an injustice that those race-mongers who are quick to blame the white man for the failure of blacks refuse to recognize academic bigotry when it stares them in the face.
It takes less to study and learn math, reading and science than it takes to train and memorize a football playbook. Yet blacks who can excel at learning complex football playbooks are told they are not capable of learning on a level that prepares them to do more than finish at the bottom of their class or drop out of school.
I grew up poor. My mother scrubbed floors, but my not doing well in school was not an option. She concentrated her energies on sitting with me every night after school teaching me arithmetic, reading and spelling. My cousins and I challenged one another with word games and the books we read. I grew up with a thirst for knowledge instilled by a mother who had only an eighth-grade education.
Neither I nor my son’s mother were too busy to invest our time in his learning. We took day trips to historical sites; we visited museums and read books to him and with him. He and I still reminisce about my reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” to him when he was three-years old. When he was nine-years old he read Tolkien’s Trilogy. He, like his mother and I, grew up in a home where the pursuit of learning was paramount. Our discussions with him focused on things that would prepare him for the future and inspire his intellectual curiosity.
But today there is an acceptance, indeed, there is a rebellion against the demand for high expectations and a willful capitulation to lowering same. I receive mail from people who are annoyed that I use words like “invidious” and “specious.” Last week Charles Butler, a black talk-show host, became so incensed with my objections to race-based affirmative action that, after shouting at the top of his voice during my on-air appearance on his show, he hung up on me.
I ask you–who is it that suffers the most from the aforementioned mentality? How am I harmed by those who ridicule me because I have grammatical skills that are also readily available to them? What did Butler’s vitriol tell those he supposedly was trying to enlighten?
It is criminally unjust to send an unambiguous message to children, black children specifically, that they are being advanced and that they are gaining admission to universities not based on meritocracy, but based on the color of their skin. What does it do to a people to tell them that the color of their skin renders them incapable of achieving, based on their applying the discipline necessary to do same? It sends the message that they do not need to work hard or apply themselves to achieve, and it ingrains the mentality that anything they are not given is because someone else (read white man) is holding them back. And sadly, in a perverse way, they are right. They are being held back. They are being held back by a system designed to foster said mindset.
This is the most grievous form of racism. It is a form of racism that America should have the good sense and decency to realize is responsible for making a large segment of the populace underachievers and wards of the government. But, then again, maybe that’s their goal.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here