We live in an age many Americans like to think of as rid of issues such as race, gender and class. Developing programs, like affirmative action, is meant to act as a complete remedy to discriminatory practices by disabling companies and institutions from judging a candidate based on race, gender, religion, ability, creed, etc.
However, it does not take a genius to recognize both the inability of these to fully eradicate discrimination as well as the flak such programs receive from those they do not directly benefit. Claims of “reverse racism” are often thrown around by people who most likely would not know true discrimination if it stopped and frisked them on the sidewalk.
In this week’s article “Minority admission rates examined” associate news editor Tim Lyman writes about one such person, Abigail Fisher, who has an ongoing lawsuit against the University of Texas at Austin.
After being denied entrance to the college in 2008, Fisher argued her right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment and “asserted her credentials were greater than that of minority students whom the university had already admitted.”
A Huffington Post article said the admission policy was upheld in a district court and appealed to the Supreme Court, then remanded, affirmed again by the Fifth Circuit in 2014 and again appealed by Fisher. Long story short, the case goes before the Supreme Court Dec. 9.
Fisher’s claims, quite frankly, are laughable. Even the fact that she has been able to keep up her fight for several years shows she comes from a societal place of privilege. As Huffington Post Steve Nelson put it: “…only children of color report being followed in stores. Only children of color have been stopped and frisked by New York City’s finest. Only children of color endure white kids adopting their language and music without understanding the experiences that accompany the culture.”
Acknowledging the privileges you have been given in life and trying to understand others’ experiences will be more enriching than burying your head in the sand and expecting the rewards to roll in.