Archive for the ‘Affirmative Action’ Category

I appreciated reading this article about the 1 million+ scholarships available for white ethnic groups, providing clear perspective of how much money exists to support white privilege. I am not necessarily advocating that these scholarships be eliminated because they do serve a purpose for some communities, and certainly there are many white folks living in poverty that could use this kind of monetary support (side note: I wonder how many people from those communities actually receive anything like this). However, there should be nothing wrong with scholarships made available for people of color, women, differently-abled, queer folks, single mothers, etc.

Here’s a highlight from the artlce:

To expose the glaring hypocrisy and double standards that the group is self-righteously engaging in I did a quick Internet search on various “white” ethnic scholarship search terms and got large number of hits. If Joe is so opposed to scholarships that have an ethnic focus, I would suggest he include in his noble crusade ethnic scholarships for students from the following ethnicities as well:

Number of returned results on Google for the following searches:
Polish-American scholarships ~ 57,100
Irish American scholarships ~ 131,000
Italian American scholarships ~ 223,000
Jewish scholarships ~ 808,000
German American scholarships ~ 142,000

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In the wake of Proposition 2, Michigan’s anti-affirmative action amendment to the state constitution, I’m happy to see that there are some places where folks have the ability to express their reactions, emotions and fears about the situation. I encourage groups and communities to continue offering more spaces for this to happen.

I give props to the individuals, organizations and donors who contributed sweat and tears to fighting Prop 2, especially because I deliberately chose not to get involved with the organizing efforts. I understand the sacrifices that have to happen for this type of campaign, and I commend your commitment to preserving affirmative action.

Thus, it’s encouraging to learn that some circles are already beginning to brainstorm new visions for the future, despite losing affirmative action at the state level. I hope legal experts are taking up the hard task of challenging the constitutionality of Prop 2’s consequences. I also hope that there have been spaces to openly evaluate and critique the anti-Prop 2 organizing efforts. Perhaps this is happening behind closed doors, perhaps people are still dealing, or even still perhaps these conversations are just taking place informally. Whatever the case, I haven’t really come across a full analysis or critique of the organizing strategy against Prop 2. We certainly need to understand how to strengthen the way we organize before moving on to the next issue, campaign, or initiative.

So, I humbly offer my armchair analysis of why we failed to stop Proposal 2. By no means do I claim to have full understanding of what took place, and I definitely do not claim to be an expert organizer. I only offer some reflections based on a set of previous experiences with affirmative action and organizing in Michigan.

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I think it’s going to take a long time for me to finally accept that Prop 2 passed in Michigan last night. Generally, I share Blackatmichigan’s sentiments about whole thing, and I invite folks to read his post.

As an Asian American voter, I can only imagine how the usual rhetoric used in affirmative action debates about Asian folks influenced our understanding of the issue. I imagine that many of us, despite the efforts of Frank Wu and the APA Caucus of One United Michigan, were duped into thinking that getting rid of affirmative action was in our best interest. That Asian Americans don’t need affirmative action because we’re “over-represented” on university campuses. And that each of us are the smart and economically well-off “model minorities” everyone should aspire to.

Last night on TV, there was an Asian male standing behind Jennifer Gratz, and together they celebrated the passage of Prop 2. What are you applauding about, guy? Didn’t you know that they used you to validate policies that, in the end, will exclude you too? It seems to me that it was their own version of affirmative action that got you on the stage and on camera, along with our man Ward Connerly.

Three years ago when we started Students Supporting Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan, we were very deliberate about the language and strategy we used in order to gain support for affirmative action. It’s more than just about diversity, it’s about the original purpose of implementing affirmative action as a policy tool, “Race must be a factor because Racism is a factor.”

This voter guide is based on my personal research and conversations, and is not a complete reflection of all the positions that are up for election this year. Some positions, such as Member of the State Board of Education and several judicial positions, are not included, not because they are unimportant races, but rather I was unable to develop an informed choice by the time of this posting (and will probably just decide on the day I vote). Every voter should do their own research, but if this voter guide helps, please feel free to print it out and take it with you to the polls!

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