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The Desire for Racial Equality and the Impossibility of Hope - The Gap

How come the only time White people have an issue with the way African-American’s are treated in America is, when African-Americans want to be treated like White people?  Think about it. Check the message boards when someone says “Black Lives Matter”; the backlash is laughable.  The immediate response of detractors normally is “All lives matter”, as if Black lives are not included in all lives.

Follow me.

If ALL lives matter and BLACK lives are a part of ALL lives, why is there an issue?  African-Americans are literally asking not to be killed unjustly by Police, and there are people in this society that are still placing blame on the victims. Black people just want the opportunity, IF ARRESTED or otherwise, to have the same opportunity to make it out of the situation alive, as our White counterparts.  How is that too much to ask?

Protestors carrying posters at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in New York City 
Photo: The All-Nite Images

Most recently the court case surrounding the “fairness” of affirmative action has reached the Supreme Court when Abigail Fisher, a white student who was rejected from the University of Texas, sued the school for violating the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Never mind the fact she did not have the grades or scores to get in to the University of Texas. Forget the fact that while there were five African-Americans who were admitted with grades that were worse than hers, there were also 42 White people with grades worse that were accepted.  Let’s also ignore the 168 African-American and Latino students that had grades better than hers that were denied admission as well. Let’s just look at what exactly is Affirmative Action.

Affirmative action policies were developed in order to correct decades of discrimination stemming from the Reconstruction Era by granting disadvantaged minorities opportunities.  Long story short, it was a policy that was enacted because the policymakers of those times recognized White people in leadership had their own form of Affirmative Action by only hiring people that were White though there may have been better applicants that were of a different race or gender.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2012, file photo, Abigail Fisher, the Texan involved in 
the University of Texas affirmative action case. 
AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(Credit: AP)
In addition to Abigail Fisher, Justice Antonin Scalia argued in court, “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less — a slower-track school where they do well.”

This statement coming from a man that was appointed to his position by a President of the United States. The same position that is currently held by an African-American that is Harvard Educated. The audacity to imply that African-American people are not mentally capable of learning at the pace of their White colleagues is not only sad and infuriating.  It is also a page taken from the thoughts of Booker T. Washington when he pinned his essay, “Industrial Education for the Negro."  Booker T. Washington stated, “I plead for industrial education and development for the Negro not because I want to cramp him, but because I want to free him. I want to see him enter the all-powerful business and commercial world.”  Thus the Historically Black Colleges and Universities with A&M and A&T in their title were born.  

Twitter user Peaches (@i_love_erica) posted this picture with the following caption: 
"Simply amazing, ,beautiful, intelligent BLACK WOMEN. #StayMadAbby"
Photo: @i_love_erica, via Twitter
But this isn’t 1903, and the “American Negro” has proven time and time again that they are more than capable of learning on whatever educational scale they are afforded the opportunity.  That is where I personally find the humor in the hashtag #StayMadAbby.  This hashtag is in response to Abigail Fisher, Antonin Scalia, and any other person that feels that Blacks are not capable of succeeding when given the chance.

This leads me back to my original point.  From slavery, to Jim Crow, to the inception of the Civil Rights movement until today, minorities in this country have constantly been fighting to be treated equally.  Equal to who?

White people.

And every time minorities fight for equality, they are met with opposition as if equality is wrong.  So, if you are White and reading this, and you are in the group that gets mad at the notion that African-American people and other people of color want to be treated fairly, please understand that we are not stating we want to be treated as special cases, we just want to be treated with the respect and dignity and as equals to White people.  If that offends you; good.

Written by Andre Collins
Staff Writer

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