Monday, October 22, 2012

0 Mickey Desruisseaux: On Affirmative Action, African-Americanism, and Anger

Mickey was one of my advisees in high school.  He is at the University of Chicago now and continues to develop into a prolific thinker and excellent writer.  His blog post, linked below, captures many of the emotions that I tried to convey in my earlier post (Justice, not Diversity) but Mickey does so with much more sophisticated flair and rhetorical flourishes.  We are both high-achieving black kids from the South Side of Chicago who graduated from the school of one Greg Wright so, of course, there is a natural affinity between us and a certain tendency to reaffirm one another's thoughts.

Mickey, you just keep making me proud.

Read Mickey's post here

I’ll admit it. I’m a hypocrite when it comes to the subject of affirmative action—but not in the way you might think. Because I believe, flawed as its implementation may be sometimes, it is still a necessary component in modern American society. But in regards to my own life, I want absolutely nothing to do with any of it. At all. In any way, shape, or form. And, after reading the LZ Granderson article I linked in the italicized intro, I suspect that it’s a more widespread attitude among minorities that most would think 
Being a nerd, I spend a lot of time in the realm of the internet, and while that should inoculate me against some of the idiocy that roams there, sometimes it still catches me off guard. Like the people who believe that HBCUs are racist institutions that ban white applicants, as opposed to nondiscriminatory institutions that were formed in response to colleges that that were guilty of the opposite. People who believe that if you’re a white, heterosexual conservative Christian male whose parents were born in America, you somehow have “less rights than everybody else.” People who believe that America is strictly a meritocracy, where everyone starts out at the same place, that if you make it ahead of the rest of the pack, it happened because you worked harder or were simply better than them. People who believe that all the terrible things that happened in our past have little to no bearing on our present or futureHow quickly they forget. How fucking quickly they forget. How lucky they are to have the luxury to forget. Because as a Haitian boy growing up on the shittier side of one of America’s most segregated cities, that is a luxury that I have never had, and that I never will.


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