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The University Of Texas At Austin Has Race Problems, But Affirmative Action Ain’t One

October 11th, 2012 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

Two big stories involving the University of Texas at Austin emerged in the past week, and both of them center around race. The first is about a series of incidents that happened between June and September, in which black and Asian students at UT were “bleach-bombed,” i.e. hit with bleach-filled balloons, near campus. The attacks sparked a protest march last Tuesday, and both the campus and Austin police are currently investigating. The second is about a case that was brought before the Supreme Court Wednesday by Abigail Fisher, a 22 year-old recent graduate of LSU, who’s suing UT because she believes she was denied admission four years ago due to the school’s affirmative-action admissions policy, and because she is white.

Abigail Fisher, Reject

Texas state law requires its public colleges and universities to automatically admit Texas applicants if they’ve graduated in the top ten percent of their class, which Fisher did not. Roughly three-quarters of Texas applicants are admitted under this Top Ten program. In 2008, the year Fisher would have matriculated if she had been accepted, 81 percent of all incoming freshmen enrolled under it. The remaining in-state and out-of-state applicants who do not get in under this program are, according to the NY Times, “considered under standards that take account of academic achievement and other factors, including race and ethnicity.”

Fisher’s lawyers are arguing that the race-neutral Top Ten program at UT creates enough ethnic and racial diversity alone.  According to the AP, however, during a period in the 90′s when UT wasn’t practicing affirmative action, “diversity numbers plummeted.” The university is arguing that it needs to maintain its affirmative action program in order to achieve a “critical mass” of diversity. UT’s director of admissions, Dr. Kedra Ishop, told the Times that diversity “helps students overcome biases and make contributions to a diverse society,” adding, “The role of U.T. Austin is to provide leadership to the state.”

In comments following arguments Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia sounded skeptical of the university’s diversity goals. Roberts wondered Continue reading The University Of Texas At Austin Has Race Problems, But Affirmative Action Ain’t One

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All Is Quiet On A Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Without question, MLK Day should be observed as day of remembrance and celebration–Dr. King’s peaceful, powerful activism for civil liberties and justice during the 1960s is one of the proudest memories in this country’s history.

Remembering Dr. King, it is hard to forget the pained words of friend Bobby Kennedy as he delivered the April 4, 1968 statement on King’s death to a crowd of confused, angry, hurt, lost Americans.

Continue reading All Is Quiet On A Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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On Race Relasians

May 7th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Two-thirds of Americans think race relations are good post-election, according to a recent NY Times/CBS News survey. The Times followed up over the weekend with a story that corroborated those findings, interviewing dozens of people in seven states on the subject. As usual, the interviewees on the vast subject of race relations were limited to either black or white, although Asians were brought into the dialogue by this one fellow:

“I didn’t vote for Obama,” said Chris Miller, 46, a boat builder in Johnstown, N.Y., who is white. “But just what I saw during the campaign — you had people, white, black, yellow, green, gray, every race and nationality out there together supporting that man. That right there showed me, hey, things are changing, things are better here. I had never seen anything to that extent.”


But is it too much inclusiveness? What I mean specifically is…who the hell are these green people? (Don’t even get me started on “grays,” I think they’re about as real as centaurs.) What contributions have greens made to this country that suddenly they get to be in discussions about race, too? Our people have been here for over 150 years…can greens say the same? Did they build our railroads and do our laundry? Did they perfect take-out cuisine? Did they set new standards of excellence in science and academia and figure skating? People, you know, accuse Asians of “keeping to themselves,” but have you ever seen a green person do anything positive in your community? For that matter, have you ever even seen a green person?!

Okay, I guess some do exist, but I’ve still never seen them at church or a Little League game

Y’all, this is some bullshit. I’m glad Asians are beginning to be included in the dialogue–and I credit Obama for that–but we have waited and worked and protested and agitated to be here. I don’t think you can say the same for green people. If you ask me, they’ve been a little bit apathetic and, frankly, lazy about their place in this society. I know that sounds racist. Maybe it is. In which case, race relations probably aren’t so swell after all. Harumph.


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