Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Obama Downplays Campaign's Racial Factor - AP
A Question Of Race Vs. Class - Washington Post
Barack Obama can soft-shoe around the issue of affirmative action for his two daughters if he wants, and this might be well and good for this stage of his candidacy. However, his words do not mitigate the fact that at least two ‘little’ issues in this scenario remain unaddressed.
The first issue is that affirmative action is arbitrary in applying to his rich kids and to poor black kids as well, while ignoring poor and deserving non-blacks. In this way, AA does more damage than good because many more blacks are injured by a resentful society of whites, still largely in control. Their bad attitudes prevail after more than a generation of getting short-changed, amidst black malaise.
The second issue is that regardless of rich or poor, the ‘plus-factor’ points handed out by admissions committees cannot translate into academic performance on par with kids who earned their place, via the textbook trenches. Whether as legacies or AA admits, mediocre grades follow arbitrarily placement in classrooms over their academic heads.
So, in the end, America is left to guess at what Mom and Pop Obama really believe about themselves and all the folks who either want to keep or jettison affirmative action. The soft-shoe may work for now, but dancing in the middle of the road ultimately sets up two-way road kill.
James C. Collier
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