I didn't even want to write about this. But the more news alerts I get. The more I view my social media news feed. The more I think about the opportunities I want to give my own son. I just had this nagging feeling that wouldn't go away. So now, I'm just going to say something.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, let me fill you in. Apparently, while black and brown people have endured ridicule and humiliation by way of their children being kicked out of school or, in extreme cases, being arrested for using family members' and friends' addresses to send their kids to schools in better districts, wealthy Caucasian people have been paying bribes to get their kids admittance into prestigious colleges and universities. Black and brown parents have been arrested for "stealing" an education that is, in fact, free to the public. While rich white parents have paid for their undeserving children to go to schools that they would not have otherwise been accepted had it not been for the almighty dollar.
This is a problem. Let me explain why. For many years, affirmative action was used to "diversify" schools. Students who were allowed into institutions of higher learning under these pretenses were looked down on as being beneath students who gained admittance in other ways. Even though these same students worked hard, met academic criteria, and, in many cases, outperformed their white counterparts, they were viewed as charity cases who would not have otherwise gained admittance were it not for the color of their skin.
Now, looking at the stories that have been brought to the forefront of the media dealing with education these past few days, I wonder whether green is the new color of affirmative action. I mean, these kids would not have gained access to these prestigious institutions were it not for money. Is that what it now looks likes?
Growing up, I was always taught that I would have to outperform my white peers in order to be seen as equal to them. I was often praised for my intelligence and propriety because I sounded "white." But when did that become the measure of my abilities? When did that become the measure of any of my black and brown colleagues and peers intellectual capabilities?
I always thought that my work ethic would set me apart. My ability to remember facts, critically think to form opinions and judgments, would provide proof of my intellect, But all the time, if my family had just had enough money to buy my way into schools so that I could get degrees, that would be just as acceptable.
It blows my mind that those who are less fortunate suffer the most in situations such as these. But I guess the more money you have, the more reputable you are. Who cares about the woman living in poverty with her kids who has no address so she uses that of a family member to ensure that her child gets the best FREE education he can get. It's wrong and she should be punished for stealing education from a student who was more deserving. But I thought the entire premise of free public education meant that we all have the right to access it. Maybe I'm just reading too much into this. I don't think the mother using an address to get her child into a better FREE school should be subjected to harsh punishment. After all, isn't the right to education part of the "American Dream?" I do, however, feel that the persons who bribed people at the collegiate level to admit her child(ren) should be punished. These are the people who prevented more deserving candidates from having access to education.
Grandma always said, "What don't come out in the wash will get got in the rinse." I wonder how many more cases of educational thievery will be revealed. I wonder if they will be treated with impunity. I wonder if they know how wrong they are. I wonder if they realize their privilege is showing...
What are your thoughts?