STORY BY BRIANNA WALKER, FNN REPORTER, ANACOSTIA BUREAU
Have you ever wondered why some schools are majority white? Have you ever though that there might be some unfairness or discrimination in that. Well there is some discrimination in that. So there is a program to balance this inequality and it's called Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action helps minority students access the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts.
In order put pressure on the Supreme Court, a group called "By All Means Necessary" (BAMN) gathered to march and protest for the continuation of Affirmative Action. Youths from various high schools in DC, Maryland, Virginia and BAMN supporters from all over the U.S. joined to protest. On October 15, 2013 they gathered at the Supreme Court in Washington DC. They came to fight for Affirmative Action because it helps minority students and they want the law to continue to benefit minorities in their quest for equal education.
The term "Affirmative Action" was first used in 1961 by President Kennedy. It was a way to help black and minority students gain equal jobs, promotion possibilities, financial aid, and education equal to whites. But the program is mainly based on education and jobs. It helped a lot of minority students until the Allan Bakke came along. In 1978 Bakke (who was white) applied for a spot at the University of California Davis medical school and was declined three times. Later on he discovered that the university was reserving spots for minority students. Bakke then filed a lawsuit against Affirmative Action claiming that the whole program was reverse discrimination. From then on, white students have been fighting to ban Affirmative Action.
Affirmative Action is a necessary program because it is proven that minority students don’t get the same educational privileges as white students. One way this is evident is through a standardized test that heavily impacts a student’s acceptance to college—the SAT. According to washingtonpost.com in an article called "Class Struggle" by Roy Freedle, research psychologists have studied SAT’s for 23 years and found a major flaw in the test. Freedle discovered that blacks score higher on harder questions than whites and whites score higher than blacks on easier questions—but whites do better overall. This is because the easier questions have more meanings—and in some cases different meanings in white neighborhoods. So black and minority students don’t have access to all the words on the test. Therefore they "don’t know as much as white students".
There are lots of people who feel that Affirmative Action will put a stop to inequalities in education. Amongst the people in the march, Paul Graham, a retired school teacher, really stood out to me the most. He was a BAMN supporter and he felt that Affirmative Action is needed to support the educational advances of minorities. He agrees that “Affirmative Action is a good thing and needs to continue. According to Graham, "In my many years of teaching, I have seen it help lots of my students.” Graham, along with other supporters and students stood together to see that the law doesn’t change.
Considering educational disparities, one may feel that the inequalities toward blacks and minority schools are unfair. There are various things you can do. You can log on to www.bamn.com and join BAMN. If you have any questions contact BAMN at 855-ASK-BAMN (855-275-22660). Aspiring supporters can also fund BAMN organizations by donating money to BAMN, P.O. box 7322 Detroit,MI 48207.
Now that the unfairness of black and minority students is out in the open for all to see, I would encourage all minorities to please stand up and fight to stop the racial divide. If we don’t take action, America will stay quietly segregated—probably to the end of time. Don’t let educational unfairness get pushed to the end of time. Let’s actually live out America’s motto that all men were created equal.
Briana Walker is a junior at Anacostia Senior High School.