Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Debate on Affirmative Action

The ongoing debate of affirmative action in higher education is a very tricky subject, because both sides are greatly affected whether it's taken away or not. There needs to be a way to find a "happier" medium and find a better solution than discrimination.

One major issue that have people against affirmative action is that colleges are required to have a certain amount of minorities enrolled at their college in order to maintain a more diversified campus. In other words, they must fill quotas for students who may not necessarily be qualified the most qualified, which takes away the opportunity from students who most likely a better candidate for that particular school. A student should not get accepted into college simply because of their skin color; there are many more important qualities in a person that should be considered rather than whether that person is minority or not. An issue with this though is that "affirmative action is seen by many whites as nothing but a fancy term for racial quotas designed to give minorities an unfair break." (This was said by Peter Katel, author of an in-depth report on affirmative action.)

While some people feel that it allows for minorities to have an "unfair break" getting into college, when non-minorities have to work twice as hard, it makes me think: would minorities get accepted into college nearly as much with out affirmative action? With out the law to push colleges to achieve a more diverse school, who knows who they would actually accept. Some schools currently don't have affirmative action, and some do, so thats why I look forward to continuing my research on why this happens.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chocolate Core

Coming from a predominantly white neighborhood and highschool, I have been very interested with the idea that upperclass white people tend to stray from poorer, more diverse neighborhoods, to escape from possibility of living amongst black, Latino, and other ethnicities. (I say this sarcastically, but there is proof to back this idea.)

I was reading the book, "The Coming White Minority", written by Dale Maharidge, where he provides interesting statistics that explain, one of many theories discussed in the book, why white people, specifically in California, had moved away from diverse neighborhoods into more upper class gated communities. 

Maharidge offers a good example to explain what white flight is. He says that, "in the East and Great Lakes region, whites do not like living near blacks. Detroit is the epitome of this detatchment: it has a central urban black community living in wretched poverty surrounded by suburbs filled with whites who have fled." The best image he offers is: "it (Detroit) has a chocolate core surrounded by vanilla, as one study described it." 

It's interesting phenomenon that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It may be naive to hope one day everyone will live together and not care who their neighbor is, but it doesn't stop me from wishing for it. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rise in college tuition...why?

When I say college tuition, you say insanely expensive! Yes, I know this is not exactly new news, although recently I've been questioning why a college tuitions cost so much. I believe that everyone deserves an education, and the fact that money is the main reason why some students can't go to college makes me feel sick.

From the NPR segment, How the Cost of College went from Affordable to Sky-high, Sandy Baum, a woman who spent most of her career studying trends of college tuition, said: "It's not that colleges are spending more money to educate students, it's that they have to get that money from someplace to replace their lost state funding — and that's from tuition and fees from students and families." When we pay for college, we're not only paying for the actual education, but the experience at that college as well. (Don't forget housing, and books, and meal plans).

"If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000." This was said by Paul Campos, writer for the Ny times, and his statement seems to make quite a...statement. Campos believes that increase in college spending is correlated to the rise of the "percentage of the population enrolled in college" as well as the "constant expansion of university administration." 

Overall, the cost of college has become increasingly expensive over the past 20 years, and shows no sign of stopping. It's even changed in the gap between my brother going to college, and me going to college, (3 years). At this rate, there's no way our society will be able to thrive in the future, when a majority of America won't be able to afford a college education

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Feminist Approach to Basketball

It's the big final four this weekend: arguably one the most exciting time of the most exciting sporting event of the year. More people watch the NCAA tournament than they do the Super Bowl, but did you know that, at the same time, there's also a women's final four tournament? Probably not, considering that the only people who watch it are the players' mothers and fathers.

My question though is why? Why is that people find woman's basketball a joke? What makes watching woman's basketball so undesirable? The other day I was watching tv with my dad and he was scrolling through channels on the guide menu, until he passed the channel that shows women's basketball. I merely suggested we put it on and my dad laughed in my face. When I asked him why, he simply said, "because no one really wants to watch women play basketball." My dad wasn't purposefully going against women playing basketball, (he has nothing wrong with women who play), he just has no desire to watch them play.

A lot of it has to do with the under-publicized players, unlike the NCAA where each team has players with personalities. You can get to know the players and feel like you have a sense of what kind of person they are not just on, but also off the court. You won't find that at all with women's basketball.

So tell me, what is so wrong with watching women play basketball?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Blank Box

I'd like to start this blog off with a question: What does "political correctness" mean to you? (Don't worry, there's no correct answer here.) In terms of the "wake of Charlie Hebdo", it's important to never forget the atrocities that occurred several months ago in France, but I want to focus on the why more than the what.

In this society, its hard to ever say something without offending at least one person's values or opinions, but that shouldn't mean that we lash out with accusations and aggressions...right? 
This cartoon above was printed years ago by Charlie Hebdo, although I find it incredibly accurate. Of course, the cartoonist (Shaw) intended for the cartoon to be highly sarcastic and leaning towards offensive, yet I still find it blindingly true. It has become so difficult in this day and age to say your opinion with out someone finding you wrong or at fault, therefore the only thing left in this world that can't offend someone is a blank box.