This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Fisher v. University of Texas case again and… Wait. Hold on. I thought this was settled already — over and done with. Seriously, though. Abigail Fisher, the original petitioner in this case, ended up graduating from LSU and is working as a financial analyst in Austin, Texas.
Not only this, but it’s especially mystifying that the Supreme Court would once again take this case when the original claims of discrimination by Ms. Fisher herself have proven to be flat out wrong. It’s been widely reported that literally only one black person who was outside of UT-Austin’s Top Ten Percent program requirements got in with lower grades and test scores than Fisher. When you combine that with the 168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher’s who were also denied entry into the university the year she applied, it really throws logic for a loop.
This is the classic case of a girl who thought she could use her whiteness to overcome her inordinately aggressive mediocrity, and who even after seemingly getting on with her life has ceased to continue to do so. No one really wants to say it, but it is very clear why this case is still a thing.
We’re in the last throes of American universities being a bastion of white supremacy. That’s the only way to explain the comments from conservative supreme court justices and others this week regarding affirmative action that I’m just gonna go ahead and classify as too stupid to actually reprint and directly address.
Don’t think you’re espousing an ideology of white supremacy when you oppose affirmative action? Think of it this way. When people say that affirmative action lets in unqualified people where qualified people are supposed to be, they are inherently equating whiteness with the word ‘qualified.’ They contend that a white person is automatically more qualified than any black person that they compete with. This is because if that black person got that job, they must have been helped by affirmative action. Otherwise, there’s no way they could have gotten that job over that qualified white person. How does that not sound like white supremacy to you all?
These supposedly unqualified students in urban public schools have to deal with a lot. I know because I was one of those kids, and I somehow ascended to one of the best universities in the world (#OnWisconsin!). These students have to deal with class sizes that in some cases average in the 40s, classes that still use civics books from damn near three presidents ago, and still not having enough of those books for each student. For people to sit up here and say that we should be judging these students on the same plane as we judge students with infinitely more resources and opportunities is more than insulting or tone deaf. It’s dangerous. It’s malicious. It’s white supremacy at its most insecure and irrational. There’s no reason why someone’s story and how they grew up should not be taken into account when colleges decide who they want representing their university. Especially, if both the story is compelling and the student has shown they have what it takes to succeed at the university level.
What opponents of affirmative action really say is that these students’ various battles for even a halfway decent education should mean absolutely nothing. They write off entire school districts based on the racial make-up of said districts and a minute-and-a-half story they saw on the nightly local news. They hate it when someone has shown the resiliency to survive 12 years in urban public education to take a spot they thought was meant for them.
They especially hate it when that person is black. This isn’t in and of itself borne out of racism. Deep down, it’s kind of embarrassing for some of these people to have a black public school kid beat them out for a spot at a prestigious university. These schools are supposed to be filled with dumbass drug addicts, drug dealers and pregnant girls all running around wasting the golden opportunities that an understaffed, underfunded inner-city public school can provide them.
We as a society should be euphorically jubilant about these kids beating the odds and being able to potentially receive what they’ve been lacking for most of their lives; an equal shot at a world-class education. The thought that these kids aren’t smart enough just because of the area in which they went to school is a thought seeped in white supremacy. It doesn’t make you smarter or better if you just so happen to be white and go to a good high school. Intellect isn’t doled out racially. Hard work isn’t some special gene embedded within whites and somehow missing from inner-city blacks.
The stories that mirror a lot of these supposedly unqualified minorities: dodging fights, gang life and a sub-par educational curriculum with their sanity and determination intact, sound a hell of a lot more compelling than little Abigail’s mediocre-ass 3.5 GPA and three years as a junior varsity bowler. Affirmative action allows for those stories to be told and illuminated, showcasing the grave injustice that is our country’s elementary and secondary educational systems. We need to stop the bullsh*t, stop the white supremacy and let these injustices see the light of day.