Pick a divisive issue currently in the news. Write a two-part post in which you take on two personas and approach the topic from both sides. Bonus points for a creative format (roundtable discussion, debate transcript, etc.). Photographers, artists, poets: show us DIVIDED.
Once again, Eugene and I have had a little debate on a current issue. And once again, we want you guys to be the judge.
A student at Georgia State University started a White Student Union. Six students have complained about the formation of this club, and the school says that it’s not an official group, as in order to become one, a staff member is needed as an advisor. The Vice President of Student Affairs says he doubts the group could find one. In other words, the University is not recognizing the group, so to speak.
I completely, 100% agree with the University’s decision to not formally recognize the White Student Union. Why?
For starters, while Georgia State University is divided nearly equally between black students and white students, we all know that the majority of racist issues in our country target blacks.
For example, if an employer receives a resume from someone by the name of “Catherine,” he is far more likely to hire her over the other resume he received from “Shaniqua,” who everyone automatically assumes is black and uneducated. Who’s to say, however, that Shaniqua is not just as intelligent as Catherine? It’s not her fault that her mother chose a terrible name for her. Don’t even try it… We all know Catherine is more likely to get hired based solely upon her name.
The student who founded the club (Patrick Sharp) has been quoted as saying, “If we are already minorities on campus and are soon to be minorities in this country why wouldn’t we have the right to advocate for ourselves and have a club just like every other minority?”
Here’s why: First of all, whites are not the minority at GSU. In fact, there are three percent more white students there than there are black students. Even if it was a primarily black school, students should know that going in their first semester. There is a certain level of acceptance and understanding when a white person agrees to attend a school that is primarily a minority school. In that acceptance, one loses the right to make race an issue.
Also, what exactly needs to be advocated by these white students? You know as well as I do, that white people in this country are treated significantly better than black people. History also proves this as truth. If you haven’t been wronged, then what is the need for advocating oneself?
Mr. Sharp has also posed the question as to why, when a white person says he is proud to be white, is his statement considered racist. Because all white people are proud to be white, duh. How many white people are out there wishing they were black? I have never seen someone wish to be treated unfairly, and again, we all know that that’s the reality of our society.
White people are already generally treated better and not stereotyped nearly as often, or as negatively, as blacks and other minorities, so what exactly do we need to advocate?
My children are only half black, yet they’ve already been mistreated and shunned in their few years of life. That’s how we do it here. Sure, there’s the whole reverse racism issue, and while it exists, it’s far less common than the usual anti-black racism.
The flier for the White Student Union states, “Every Panther here at GSU comes from a unique heritage. The White Student Union intends to give white students a place to unite and celebrate their own.”
I’m sorry, but last time I checked, black people had no choice but to unite, as they were shunned, rejected, and treated unjustly. Yes, we all come from a unique heritage, so why not celebrate that heritage? There is a difference between heritage and race. Celebrate the fact that you’re Irish or Italian. Not that you’re white. Being white is, in itself, enough of a celebration. Celebrate your culture instead of your race.
I know – Some of you are asking, “Well why is it okay for black students to have Black Student Unions?” It’s okay because black history encompasses a huge history of black culture, as well. While we white folks were doing whatever we wanted, black people were stuck in a hell of segregation. And yes, some still are.
Have you seen the story from a couple months ago wherein that high school in Georgia held a segregated prom? In 2013?! White people don’t have to deal with that ignorant bullcrap. That’s why we don’t need to ban together as whites to celebrate. Sadly, blacks do.
The National Bureau of Economic Research conducted a study and found that for every ten resumes white people sent before getting a callback, blacks had to send fifteen. This difference was based solely on the applicants’ names, as I mentioned earlier. Discrimination and racism are real, people. Why don’t “we,” as whites who wish to ban together for a good reason, ban together to stand up against racism, instead of as a means to celebrate our whiteness?
In short, I agree wholeheartedly with GSU’s decision to not formally recognize the White Students Union on its campus.
I should preface this for those who cannot understand the debate exercise: I am not a racist. I believe in equality for all. I’m more of a Darwinist when it comes to this issue. I believe in the best candidate gets the job. I could care less if names are put on resumes. Let me see your body of work, genetics be damned.
I don’t necessarily believe in the underlying concept of affirmative action. In most cases, it has proven to be a means for reverse discrimination. The cure for all this? Give every applicant a number – NOT A NAME – then the number gets hired or accepted to a university. Fair shake for all!
In some instances affirmative action can be the cause for lower production or output. For example, if you are a manager of a company and you were told by your boss to increase the number of units sold or you’d be fired, and you can hire one person to work under you, what would you do? Wouldn’t you rather hire the best qualified person – NO MATTER THE RACE? I would. I want the best sales person out there to help save my job. If you are a white person, thank you. If you are a black person, thank you. If you are Puerto Rican, gracias. Point is, folks stir the pot and CREATE avenues for race to be and remain a divisive issue in this country. Boil it down to numbers and leave names, race, etc. out of the process, and no one can say that was the decisive mistake.
The idea you celebrate your heritage and not your color seems to be a one-sided and hypocritical argument. I can celebrate that I’m Irish? Wouldn’t that be the same thing? By starting a group of only fellow Irishmen, wouldn’t we be discriminating from the Canadians or South African who may be interested in joining? If I started a group of Christians and said only fellow Christians are allowed and not Jews…well we see what happened there in the 1930 during Adolph’s reign of terror.
To be a united society that says it wants to tear down the walls, we have to take the ALL down or not make it right for some to have them and not others. My debate partner and I have children. She knows all too well what happens when we allow one child a special privilege and not one of the others. Within 10 minutes, those two are fighting. Why? Because one is angry that he has been treated unfairly and has decided to take it out on the other who he feels got an extra benefit.
As for the kid creating this union. SO WHAT? Let’s not be hypocritical. And again, let’s remind those folks that claim racism is an unequal and unfair treatment of others that by disallowing certain rights to individuals based upon their color, origin, or ethnicity is considered racism. Under the same umbrella, why is it fair to have a Ms. Black America beauty pageant? Why is it fair to have colleges and athletic leagues dedicated to one race? Many folks, myself included, would be outraged if the University of Mississippi reverted back to Ross Barnett days and said they were a “Whites Only” school. In the 1960’s, America passed what is known as the Civil Rights Act. This bill gave equal and fair treatment to all citizens of the United States. It specifically said no one can be discriminated against or denied any of the rights afforded to them by the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution.
Instead of throwing fuel on the fire, maybe this Georgia school could have encouraged the Student Union with the condition that it send counsel to a possible Black Student Union and have them work together. That plan won’t sell as many papers, and I doubt we’d see Al Sharpton raising a protest mob, because in the end, talking about the elephant in the room and feeding it a peanut and leading it out the door just doesn’t increase ratings and race related war room chests of money.
Fair is equal for all. Miss Black America = Miss White America. Or just have one damn pageant. If a university is private, it can do as it pleases. If it is public, and therefore supported by tax dollars – what is fair for one should be fair for all.
Food for thought? What if students started a Hispanic Student Union? Or we had a Hispanic-American pageant. For the record, the Hispanic population will be the majority before the century closes.