Socioeconomic affirmative action over racial affirmative action is something more of us should consider. After all, race doesn't make someone smarter or dumber. It is opportunity and financial circumstance that determines opportunity more.
For example, all the rich kids get to pay for after school tutors and SAT tutors for $3,000 – $5,000 a pop. That puts them at big time advantage over poor kids. And yes, there are poor kids of all races. Which is on of the reasons why the abolishment of entrance exams for Lowell High School and TJ High School during the pandemic were disappoint to so many.
Socioeconomic Affirmative Action Over Racial Affirmative Action Please
At first, I was pissed at the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR). The BCR hosted a pastry sale to promote racial awareness. The University of California is considering implementing “SB185”, a law that would allow the school to use race and gender in the admissions process.
The article was poorly written. It made it at first sound like the “White Pastries” for $2 and the “Black Pastries” for 75 cents are indeed white colored pastries and black colored pastries that reflect the respective races. The author made it seem like White people are superior over Black people. Therefore, White colored pastries should sell for a 130% premium.
What the author N. Asimov should have made clear is that all pastries are the same. And that if you are White, you have to pay $2. But if you are Black, you only have to pay 75 cents for the same pastry.
The pastry sale is trying to demonstrate that Caucasians and Asians need to score much better on your SAT's and get higher GPA's than other races (ie pay more) in order to get into UC Berkeley. With this realization, my anger subsided to heavy disappointment.
Tough Being Asian To Get Into School
Yet, I wonder. If Asians make up 46% of UC Berkeley's student population, yet only represent 14% of the California population, shouldn't the price of pastries for Asians cost $5, since it's that much tougher to get into given the 3.5X over-representation? You have to wonder what the group of students were thinking. You might already know.
If the UC school system did discriminate based on race, the racial make-up of UC Berkeley's student body would limit the percentage of Asians to 14% instead of currently 46%, and increase the percentage of Caucasians to 40% from 30% to mirror California's overall racial distribution.
The whole problem with this entire pastry sale is that offends, discredits, and hurts minorities because it makes fun of their achievements. That's not right.
Here are more thoughts about affirmative action as an Asian-American father.
We Live In A Free World With Unequal Opportunity
I'm assuming most would agree that having different admission standards for students based on race or gender is wrong and discriminatory. You guys know that I believe in equality so much so that a flat tax above a certain income level is the most equitable way to go. Regressive and progressive taxes are plain wrong.
None of my Black and Latino friends feel that race should have any part in the college admissions process. They resent the fact that some people assume the only reason why they got into their colleges is due to their race.
Instead of race as a determining factor for admissions, why don't we simply implement a socioeconomic affirmative action policy to help people improve their standard of living? There are poor Caucasians and rich African-Americans after all.
A kid who grows up in a household that makes $300,000 a year is going to have massive advantages over a kid who grows up with a single mother who makes just $28,000 a year. The $300,000 a year parents can afford SAT tutoring, math lessons, violin lessons, horse-back riding lessons, summer education trips abroad, and so forth. How the hell does a single mother making $28,000 afford any of these things for a sustainable period of time? She can't.
I am absolutely perplexed why any public or private school administrator would not want to use socioeconomic criteria over racial criteria in 2011. Yes, it made more sense one or two generations ago, but much less so now. I've heard excuses such as, “It's much easier to generalize among race than by income.”
Well that's just lazy and stupid. The reasons are: 1) you shouldn't have a carte blanche generalization first of all, and 2) it's easy to do an income and asset check. Banks and landlords ascertain such information all the time.
Thoughts From A Berkeley Alum
The Berkeley College Republicans have raised awareness that racial discrimination is wrong. But they are doing a disservice to their school, the community, political party and to themselves. Their satire will get completely lost to the minorities they are digging. I understand what they are saying, and they have successfully made their point. I get it, trust me I get it. They are going about it in a tasteless way that is hurtful.
Unfortunately, the BCR students will probably be targets on campus. Just like Alexandra Wallace quit UCLA after making a video rant against Asian people. There is little place for politics in the workplace or when you are looking for a job.
Most companies must come to a consensus when hiring candidates. Given the nation is split down the middle between Republican and Democrats, no consensus will ever be made by the interviewers. Therefore, the chances of these kids getting jobs other than running for political office is slim-to-none. Finally, the group just provides more stereotype fodder that Republicans are insensitive tools who aren't inclusive of of all races.
Readers, what are your thoughts about allowing universities to use race and gender as part of the admission criteria? Do you think the Berkeley College Republicans helps or hurts the Republican image? Is socioeconomic affirmative action right o wrong? Do you think the College Republican kids are set for life and don't need jobs and money, since if they did, why would they want to piss half the population off?