Affirmative Action Bake Sale
If you missed the LIVE discussion, please go to RonP01's blog to read it.
Recently on several college campuses, student political groups have been holding “affirmative-action bake sales.” At these sales, cakes and goodies are sold, but the same cake has a different price depending on the customer’s race.
According to Wikipedia:
These bake sales have been initiated by University Conservative groups to demonstrate the unfairness they see in university affirmative-action policies. They feel it shows the concept of “colorblindness.”
“Colorblindness” is a term often used to mean that in university admissions, employment and other areas, the applicant’s race or cultural background is not a consideration. People often quote MLK, saying applicants should be judged by the “content of their character.”
It sounds so simple, so fair on the face of it -- that the most qualified candidate gets the job or the college admission, no matter their color, religion, gender or background. And many people – not just conservatives -- buy into this idea.
But college applications are not dollar bills. They are not mass-produced, they don’t all look alike, and the value of each student as a member of a university community is not so easily quantifiable. Dollar bills don’t have a point of view, they don't participate in classroom and campus discussions.
Nor is an education like a cupcake. It is not simply a commodity. You can’t (or at least you're not supposed to) auction it off to the highest bidder. You don’t just buy it and eat it, it is a participatory process.
In a bake sale, dollar bills and cupcakes don’t interact. They don’t learn from each other.
But in a university (or a business, or a board of directors, or a Congress, or a Supreme Court), the diversity of the community adds perspective to its culture and its decisions. Applicants come from different high schools in different cities and internationally, rich and poor and in-between, male and female, some native English speakers, etc. Once on the campus, the hope at least is that they will interact, learn from each other, see beyond their own narrow point of view.
In my contribution to the Open Dialogue, I referred to the person who lives near the railroad tracks and no longer hears the loud noise of the train racing by, right outside their window.
Ideally, education is about learning to tune our ears more clearly, to the train in our own backyard, and to the sounds in other people's yards. We need different perspectives to clearly see the limitation of our own point of view.
All of which brings me to my discussion question:
1. ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL ATTACKS
2. NAME-CALLING OR FINGER-POINTING ARE PROHIBITED
3. READ COMMENT(S) THOROUGHLY BEFORE RESPONDING
4. STANDARD OPEN SALON RULES APPLY
5. VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED