Affirmative Action aftermath…

In the aftermath of Proposal 2, (Michigan voters recently voted to ban affirmative action programs in higher education admissions, public employment, and contracting) the universities were in the middle of an admissions cycle and opponents of affirmative action wanted the admissions standards to change immediately upon passage of the proposal. This was profoundly absurd and should show how you much good would be achieved if the energy used to keep Black kids out of college were used to improve public K-12 education..

Fortunately however, “U.S. District Judge David Lawson…said it would be too disruptive to do away with affirmative action immediately because they have already begun accepting students for next fall.” The judge went on to say that the schools have until July 1st to come up with new admissions policies for the next round of admissions. That’s great, but here’s the thing, too many people sat on the sidelines waiting for Proposal 2 to pass and then say “I told you so.”

Therefore, if you are in school right now or know people that are, this is a critical time in our history for students to help formulate policies that can do effective and meaningful outreach while surviving the legal rigor of a political climate affirmative action as a free pass for Black folks. So for all my people who were involved in this fight in Michigan and across the nation, the true ugliness of this fight is after affirmative action is banned. Now is the time to make sure mechanisms and programs are in place to make sure that universities can to the best of their ability still reach out to students that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

So now you have two choices, you can 1) talk about how screwed up this country is and refrain from getting involved or you can 2) stand up and fight for justice while pulling up kids behind you that need an example of success and hope. So whether it is tutoring, mentoring, or doing recreational programs, get in the game. The other side wants us to waste all of our efforts on the nuances of policy but our kids futures are in the balance. This fight isn’t really about race; it is about who can and who cannot get access to quality education. And Black people as a whole are on the outside looking in. So stop staring at your degree and provide the spark that kids need to believe in their potential and seize the power of education by the bullhorns!

Stay up fam,



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2 responses to “Affirmative Action aftermath…”

  1. Anonymous says :

    While I agree that something has to be done, I question whether outreach/tutoring/mentoring are the right answers. We tried that in California and Washington, and both seemed to work pathetically well until the white guilt that funded them passed onto the next big issue, and then, without funding, the outreach programs were slowly cut.

    Outreach is a temporary fix and does not address the structural reasons why black and latino students might need outreach efforts in the first place. We need to get up offa the e-couch. But we also need to be more creative then address the symptoms of structural racism.

    So what does seizing the power of education by the bullhorns mean?? What creative way of seizing allows those who need to shape education the power and right to do such?

  2. Brandon Q. says :


    Thanks for the comment man. I agree with you that more needs to be done but I think the source of your frustration is somewhat misguided. For example, Brown v Board was less about making sure diversity reigned supreme, but making sure that Black kids had access to quality education. I am sure that many of the lawyers would have wanted to compose a legal strategy that ensured funding for schools was uniform and equitable. But then, (much like now unfortunately) that is a long shot strategy.

    Having said that, outreach, tutoring, and mentoring are not addressing the root of the problem in terms of making sure that students should receive a quality public education regardless of where they live. We can do the outreach, tutoring, and mentoring while still attacking the root of the problem. (I am just going to write OTM for outreach, tutoring, and mentoring). Would you suggest that we just stop OTM and just pool all our resources towards tackling the “structural relationships that Black and Latino students might need outreach efforts in the first place?” We just can’t sacrifice a generation. And I don’t care how bad or good the schools are, OTM should be a staple of any public educational system.

    As for the e-couch, you already know that real Superspades don’t even play that. OTM is what we do, period.

    As for your last question about seizing the power of education, I think that means we stop telling kids that the only reason why they need to go to school is so they can get a good job. It also means that we as a community do not outsource academic and social upbringing to the schools. It means teaching our kids that being engrossed in a book can take you places you never dreamed of. It means we as a community let it be known that we will vote politicians out of office that do not have fresh ideas on how to make public education funding more adequate and more equitable. I could go and on but there is no one specific answer. I just think whatever your expertise is in, play your position and don’t wait for people to join you.


    Stay up fam,

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