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Author Topic: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?  (Read 13489 times)

SillyMia

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #110 on: March 16, 2005, 05:58:43 PM »
I have to agree and disagree with you Ryan.  I mentioned earlier that parents are not very supportive - especially in high school when you are dependent on them.  My mom would get me to school two hours late and say I was "sick".  She'd pick me up early so I could help her at work and called them "dr.'s appointments".  I transferred high schools four times because my mom moved from place to place (including shared housing) because we couldn't afford it.  Working with her about thirty hours a week while in school b/c I had to didn't give enough time to "go to the library and pick up a pencil".  Moving from school to school and testing into the same level of english or math everytime when it turns out I had the same math course three years (each school had its own name for it).  Counselors never got to know me and never gave me advice as to what college even was.  Yeah, my friends got pregnant.  That wasn't smart because I know for a fact they knew where to get the free birth control.  But perhaps, they were crying for help or attention, though not a justification for their mistake.

I had friends that dropped out.  My best friend still gives me excuses as to why he can't get his ged.  Now THAT is unexusable.  That is when I draw the line and say, "yeah, grab a pencil and paper and get your a#@ to the library".  But, it's not just playing nintendo and hoops in high school.  That's when the student doesn't have many choices.  The key is getting that student to break the cycle. 

ImVinny!

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #111 on: March 16, 2005, 07:57:04 PM »
Where there is a will, there is a way.
If someone REALLY wants to get somewhere in life they will try. Someone upper class can end up in the ghetto just as fast for crying out loud.
My mom decided to tell me as a sophomore in high school that she no longer needed to do anything for me, but I still go to tschool on time, in fact I took EXTRA classes. I had to take the city bus, which was terrible but I made it. My mom refused to help me fill out any forms or anything since eighth grade. I am in college now, my MOM didn't want me to go she was vehemently opposed to it in fact. But I AM nonetheless here.
How is that explained, except that I wanted something and worked hard for it. I got where I am and no one should be able to take that away from me, because of my skin color. In fact I am called things I am NOT all the time, things that it is REALLY uncalled for to say at the time it is said.

CheezWiz

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #112 on: March 16, 2005, 08:54:00 PM »
Almass said:
“What you achieve does not have at all much to do with racial affiliation but rather it is CULTURE that seperates the major achievers, achievers, slight achievers, and not so high achievers.”
CheezWiz said:
“I believe that historic social factors like slavery, Apartheid, or winning/loseing a war effect a culture.  Do you agree?”
Almass said:
“Yes I believe those event affect culture”


So, if culture is the mitigating factor in whether or not a person is successful or not.  And social factors have an effect on a culture.  Then isn’t it unfair to say that a person who is born into a culture that does not support achievement is just lazy and unmotivated?  Isn’t it also unfair to blame the characteristics within that culture that bring about that unsupportive environment – like gangsta rap – without addressing the social factors that aided the occurrence of those characteristics?  Can’t we say that those of us who were born into cultures that support achievement have a leg up on those who were not?

ImVinny!

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #113 on: March 16, 2005, 08:58:46 PM »
"Can’t we say that those of us who were born into cultures that support achievement have a leg up on those who were not?"

I don't think so at all really.

CheezWiz

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #114 on: March 16, 2005, 09:08:39 PM »
ryanjm said:
“Personally, I believe it doesn't take much more than a few pencils, a teacher, and a library card to become educated enough to succeed at the average college.”


But isn’t a child given those tools at a disadvantage when compared to the child with a iMac, a team of highly qualified educators, and access to numerous resources (including tutors or SAT/LSAT prep)?  I would posit that you need a lot more than a pencil and a library card to get into and succeed at an elite or good university.  And if you do, that path was a lot harder than the average or advantaged student.  I don’t think that the disadvantaged should be limited to the average.  AA helps equalize that inequality.

AND… to angmill08 and SillyMia… AMEN.  Although ryanjm is right, it is easier to blame the poor for being poor isn't it.

Alamss

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #115 on: March 16, 2005, 10:07:37 PM »
We here seem to be addressing aggregates, not individuals. Now talking about persons, whether it is unfair to put the blame on them in particular for a lacking part of their culture (priority and emphasis on education), I am not sure if they are to be blamed but I am not addressing whether they themselves should be blamed. I am instead addressing that blaming externality for matters in which internality is the overriding and deciding factor, is innacurate. Gangsta rap, that might have gained vigor and strength of influence because of injustices, is not really a factor of that culture that in itself de-establishes the importance of education in that culture. Extarnalities(social injustices) seem to effect for the most part such cultural aspects as harsh feelings, expressed through music, other on the surface charectaristics and external consequences, they hardly penetrate internal core charectaristics of cultures that are already there. 

Externalities, if a certain core charecteristic in the culture is there, cannot change that. Meaning that if the importance of education is already there then social injustices will not make those factors of a culture dissipate. There hasn't been relatively as much prioritization on education within the African American, Hispanic, and Native American cultures. That is what we need to change, in conjunction with helping persons from those cultural backgrounds with programs such as AA for the meantime. But those accomodations should in no doubt be the sole means of solution. These programs do not address the core problems, that is, lack of significance on education, they only make a way to go around that problem. We can help to accomodate by these programs but most importantly we need to address the core cultural issues.

If we move from aggregates to talk about individuals then it shouldn't be the assumption that as soon as we say African American and African American culture we are immediately talking about a person in the ghetto who is downtrodden and that that culture is actually relevant in any significant way to that African American person. African Americans as an aggregate are poorer than whites but that does not mean Africans Americans individually are poorer than others. By applying an aggregate classification to individuals a distorted picture is painted. Many African Americans are descendents of slaves and former salves, but many also immigrated thereafter and had no affiliation to slavery, at least not to American slavery.   

ryanjm

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #116 on: March 16, 2005, 11:18:26 PM »
Easier to blame the poor for being poor? I just think it's "correct" to blame people's problems on *gasp* themselves. If I flunk out of college, I don't blame my parents' lack of support, or my teacher that yelled at me, or my roommate partying all night. No. I blame myself because no matter what factors influence me, I have control of my own destiny. Me. If I screw up, it's because _I_ screwed up. Blaming environmental factors my problems is the easy way out. It takes the blame off of anything I could have done, and places it with what everyone else did, as though I have no control over myself and my actions.

As for comparing advantages afforded rich kids in private schools:
I went to a great public school. It was ranked in the top 3 in the state. Everything I learned there could have been taught using a few books, a few pencils, a teacher, and a library card. Nothing more. All of the extra things; sports, clubs, computers, etc... were peripheral. If you want to learn how to read and write, read and write. Doesn't take anything fancy. You want to learn math? Get a math book and work with a teacher. Science? Read books at the library. History? Library. Teacher unncessary but could be helpful.
Do rich kids have an advantage at nice schools? Sure. Is it a big one? No. Not for someone motivated to learn. And it sure doesn't prevent them from getting into a good college and attending law school if they really want to, with scores good enough to get in without help.

CheezWiz

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #117 on: March 16, 2005, 11:29:22 PM »
Alamss,

I love what you had to say and agree with most of it.  Let me ask you this.  Do you think that the aggregate has internalized, what you interpret to be, a lack of value place on education by choice or do you think that the external factors have effected the culture in a way that caused that type of thinking?  By this I mean that if Blacks, speaking of the underprivileged section, were exposed to the type of schooling that their privileged non-Black counterparts have (hi quality teachers, funding for technology and supplies, and the like) would that change the attitude towards education?  Also on the reservation and plantation there was not a need for the type of education that makes one competitive for today’s work/school environment.  For a long time Blacks (as close as our parents generation) were no given full access to the job market.  Do you think that these could have anything to do with the views towards education?  Or, do you really see it as a choice that is knowingly made?

ryanjm,
I think that’s really crappy to tell a little kid that because they were born poor that they have to buck up and go to the library to learn it themselves while the privileged kids are taught in the third best school in the State.  I bet your view would change if those computers and teachers were taking away and you were given a calculus book, a pencil, and told to “learn it”.

ryanjm

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #118 on: March 16, 2005, 11:44:46 PM »
Yes, alamss and cheezwiz, a good question about culture. I'm not sure myself. A lack of value on education is always a choice. In life you're almost always faced with a choice.
It would seem obvious to anyone that education "should" be valued because that's almost the only way to get a decent job and be paid well. Not valuing education is like not valuing your health--it's stupid. Whether your culture dictates you should or should not value education should be irrelevant if you, as an individual, are smart enough to realize what is or isn't valuable in the world as we know it.

Ninja

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #119 on: March 17, 2005, 01:34:13 AM »
I've seen several arguments on this board that seem to exaggerate the privilege of not being poor.  Tutors, private schools, prep classes are just some examples.  I always thought my family was fairly well off, so I'm surprised I didn't receive all these bonuses.  I'm wondering how many people out there actually led this life of privilege.