Skip to comments.The Unfinished Work of Affirmative Action
Posted on 10/12/2012 10:06:37 AM PDT by reaganaut1
For Jarius Sowells, an African-American student from Dallas, the transition to academic life at UT-Austin was much more difficult than it was for Tedra Jacobs. Sowells, like many black and Hispanic students in the country, attended a high school that was made up mostly of minority and low-income students. "More than half dropped out," Sowells says of his classmates. "Overall, the teachers had apathetic attitudes."
Sowells graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and was automatically admitted to UT-Austin, his top choice. He planned to major in business. But Sowells didn't know what to expect on his first day of college classes. His older brothers, who are twins, had enrolled in much less selective colleges, and neither of his parents had earned more than a high school diploma. "I don't think my high school prepared me very well to begin learning at this institution," Sowells says. "It was a culture shock. I was around people who didn't look like me, didn't talk like me."
He signed up for several tough classes his first semester -- microeconomics, business foundations, introduction to psychology, and rhetoric. Within weeks he was failing. "I psychologically broke down," he says. "I felt I couldn't handle it." The following semester he dropped out and returned home.
He didn't give up completely, however. The following fall he was readmitted on probation. He began to build up his GPA, which is now a 2.7. He dropped his aspirations of majoring in business and switched to African-American studies. His plan is to become a lawyer; he's counting on getting a high LSAT score to make up for his low grades. He thinks his persistence in the face of obstacles proves he has what it takes to go far.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
"Groan. Where to start. This may be the single best case against affirmative action I've seen. Business foundations, Intro to Psychology and Rhetoric are not hard classes. Even Microeconomics is at best usually a moderately difficult class. If the class list had included Precalculus, Physics, or even Algebra in the first semester I'd say that could be a hard schedule.
So by transferring to the African American Studies class he's succeeding in a field with less academic rigor than business. And that's a success of affirmative action? Next stop -- Law school. The one field that today combines both a high degree of academic rigor and few job prospects.
I just hope he's not compounding the destruction of his future by doing this via student loans. Ouch.
A much better tack would have been to go to a community college -- Austin Community college is nearby. Catch up to where he should be academically AND THEN transfer to UT for the last few years. Good grades at the community college would have been a ticket in the the diploma he wanted."
I am so confused. He couldn’t handle real academics so he shunted himself off into African American studies and he plans to attend law school!?!?!
He's from Dallas. He could live at home and go to Dallas County Community College schools, where he could work his way up to working at the University level. Texas has a very good system that allows for course credit to transfer between in-state schools. UT is a top-notch school and the coursework can be challenging, even for top students from top high schools.
Hook 'em Horns!
Such sound career advice would soon get a counselor in trouble for steering minority students away from top tier four year state universities. The best evidence though is strongly to the effect that, in practice, affirmative action commonly causes minorities to fail due to placement in academic institutions that they are not prepared to compete in.
African-American studies has got to be a joke unless it’s literature, which is still a joke on the job market. It makes sense that he chose it, though.
Here’s a secret: In the arts, you cannot be wrong.
Physics, calculus, engineering, etc. etc. etc. all require you to be either right or wrong. In the arts, though—English, history, philosophy etc.—you can’t be wrong if you support your position. This is why it’s an easier path. You can spend your entire career writing and “researching” an absurd theory—that Pip from Great Expectations was actually a homosexual cross-dressing woman from the monarchy, for example—and as long as you support your argument, no one can tell you you’re absolutely wrong, because there aren’t any right answers when you’re trading in original ideas.
You all know what EEOC stands for, right?
Eventual Elimination Of Caucasians
“I don’t think my high school prepared me very well to begin learning at this institution...”
This could be said about the majority of public high schools in this country.
Back in the day, circa the 1950s, the U of Texas admitted any student who wanted to go there—but they weeded out students who couldn’t hack it by the process of making students pass courses of flunk out. Now this was back in the day when Texas and most universities were either all white or all black.
This simple system wouldn’t work today because there would be a hue and cry that the pass/flunk system would work against black students. Actually, the system works against smart kids today, because grades are artificially inflated so that it is almost impossible to flunk out.
Ok - your 6 year old daughter is very sick and may die.
You have a choice of 2 doctors.
One got into college through affirmative action, a plethora of scholarships just for the asking, got his job through affirmative action and has been easily promoted through affirmative action.
The other had roadblocks put in front of them all their life. They had to perform spectacularly to even to be considered for medical school. Got no scholarships. Had to work extremely hard in their first job just to be noticed. Fought and clawed their way to their current position.
OK - Which do you choose to SAVE your daughter?
No dude who has to retreat to the African American studies major as an undergrad should be counting on a good LSAT score.
No kidding. And he certainly shouldn't be spending four years pursuing a worthless degree and racking up thousands in student loan debt to then take the LSAT and find out he's at a dead end.
Oh, but its a good line to pass on to his bro’s back home, yeh maaan. He’ll be back on the streets in less than two years.
It doesn't help anyone to pass people off to colleges and universities for which they are not prepared based just because they have the right skin color. (Although the libs probably pat themselves on the back and pretend they are doing just SO much for the underpriviledged.)
Good point. A lot of people enter liberal arts fields because they cannot handle right/wrong, yes/no, it’s 2.0 and nothing else is correct.