Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Diversity without diversity

Diversity, preferences and the race/class debate

Here in Washington, we had an initiative back in '98 that banned the use of "race" in selecting students for state colleges. So the colleges switched to using other factors, such as family income and whether anyone in the family has gone to college before. Interestingly enough, the colleges managed to keep almost the exact same balance between the "races" as before the initiative. But what has changed is that middle-class minority students are going out-of-state for school and they have been replaced by poor minority students.

But now, the colleges are trying to get a bill passed that would let them consider "race" when selecting students after all.

So basically, the colleges want to keep the same balance between the "races," but not necessarily help the poor, which is what affirmative action should really be about, don't you think? The way the colleges want it, they'll be able to accept a whole bunch of middle-class, well-studied "blacks" and "hispanics" instead of poor, underprivlidged "blacks" and "hispanics." If the colleges have their way, every student will be rich or middle-class, no matter their "race."

Because, after all, the poor can't give them any money. And plus, it looks bad to have your good students leaving the state to go to college.

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