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Monday, December 26, 2016
Dear Michelle: There Most Certainly Is Hope
Eileen F. Toplansky
In her usual crass, coarse, and graceless manner, Michelle Obama epitomized the very worst of the America she so disdains when she opined about "hopelessness" regarding the election. She conveniently forgets about the debt her husband piled up, or the incredible unemployment numbers, or the decrease in Americans' buying power, or the diminution of America's standing in the world, or the worsening race relations – courtesy of her husband.
The Obamas had the means to effect so much positive change. But as dutiful leftists who hate the United States of America, they were intent upon sowing division and destruction. They were never concerned about the people, despite all the hype about hope.
It would shock Mrs. Obama to learn that many young people do not share her dismal view of victimization and do not engage in racism. And despite the anti-Trump hysteria at many colleges, there are those instructors who really do insist upon critical thinking skills. To that end, this semester, I distributed the following prompt:
Is there any reason why you believe that your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity makes you incapable of working hard and achieving success in school? Explain your answer and then read the piece titled "Unbelievable: Students Are Getting Bonus SAT Points For Being Black or Hispanic." Summarize the piece and give your reaction to what you have just learned from the article. Do you feel there should be a different set of standards for different ethnic, racial or religious groups? Explain your answer.
Many of my students hail from predominantly black, white, and Hispanic lower socioeconomic straits. Many hold down two jobs to pay for their education. Their English skills are not commensurate with college-level writing; their vocabulary is limited, and proper grammar and syntax are sorely lacking. Yet they possess an inherent sense of justice and fairness. Here are their responses:
This young white man works two jobs and has a subtle learning disability.
No, I do not believe that race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity can make you incapable of working hard and achieving success in school because it doesn't matter where you come from when it comes to academic success. Academic success can be accomplished by anyone who wants to put in the work and effort to get where they want to be in their studies. After reading this assigned article, I think it is extremely unfair the way we treat minorities with academics because we tend to think that blacks and Hispanics are incapable of achieving academic success.
Also, I learned that most athletes get this type of special treatment. Playing sports in school should be a privilege because your studies is the most important thing in life especially if you want to make yourself into something great.
They are giving us the wrong idea that race, religion, or ethnicity can determine your path in school which is inaccurate.
This young woman is from the Dominican Republic.
I have come from a Hispanic background and when I read this, I felt disappointed. I do not really understand the need for this racial discrimination. Yes, this is racial discrimination from my point of view. This is not logical and should not be happening in America, where we always talk race equality. How can we talk about race equality when we are already supporting one of the biggest inequalities in a sacred field of education? This is doing damage, not only to those students, but also the whole society. Hispanics may start procrastination in their studies because they know that just by being Hispanics, they can have 180 bonus points.
There should not be any surveys asking about race or ethnicities. All the government forms or universities forms shouldn't have any sections asking about race.
Another young woman of Hispanic heritage asserts:
When learning about how African Americans and Hispanics gain SAT points but Asian Americans are penalized, it taught me how test makers do not believe we are intelligent in any aspect. There should never be different standards for different ethnic, racial or religious groups. All because someone checks off their religion, race, and ethnic group on a form does not mean he or she is 'intellectual inferior.'
A perceptive young man writes:
This is done because they believe Black and Hispanic students are not as smart as compared to Asian students[.] In the article it does not mention if the students are even aware to this practice. At the end of the article it says if someone even exposes this type of practice then they are labeled as racist. This all stems from generations of people with power making rules that some have adopted as ideas; hopefully one day this type of thinking could be eliminated and where everyone is judged on their success and what they can academically are able to achieve.
Other comments from students included the following:
There are possibilities that living in poverty and certain environments can cause problems with success in school. Strong religious beliefs could cause problems with learning about evolution because some people would feel like its words against god But just because someone of a different skin color believes in a different god or likes a girl instead of a guy does not mean it's impossible to work just as hard as anyone else. Being successful is determined by how hard one works to achieve their goals.
Penalizing Asian students is racist. These advantages should be done away with. It would bring outrage if more people were aware of it.
With this kind of inequality, students will not feel motivated.
Colleges should spend less time trying to diverse their student population and stereotyping students. They should instead motivate students that success is attained no matter what racial, ethnic or sexual orientation boundaries.
The fact of a student being qualified by their diversity proves that the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution do not guide this country as it once was. Unfortunately, diversity issues and low expectations would enfeeble people to achieve success in school. The soft bigotry of low expectations is wrong.
It is giving handouts to some who may not deserve it and taking it away from those who may have worked hard. No matter your skin color, gender or ethnic background, people need to believe that if they want to achieve something or become successful they need to work hard, study hard and do the right thing. The reason I didn't do well had nothing to do with race, gender or religious beliefs. I just didn't want to try. But now I have changed.
A negative effect of this is that people will take shortcuts in life. I am speechless. There shouldn't be different standards based on ethnicity or race or religion.
I am filled with mixed emotions. The gist of the article is that I am being rewarded for the sake of college diversity and I am being labeled as not as intelligent as an Asian. This is extremely prejudicial.
I am fortunate to have been able to grow up in a place that had a good school district -- the only reason I wouldn't succeed in school is because I chose not to work hard. In some instances people who live in higher income areas may have it easier to be successful in school because they may be given better resources.
One young lady was incensed when she wrote:
NOBODY should have to be separated out of a group for people like this. The little comment at the end stating 'Irony? Those of us who call out this b------- will be the ones to get labeled as racist.' This is ridiculous.
Michelle Obama, of the pouty smirk, will never understand the greatness of this country and its amazing strides. My students, though products of a failed educational system, are still reachable. With the sea change that has occurred in the White House, we will begin to regain the potential of this great land. Let Michelle wallow in disgust for America. Good riddance to her and her husband.