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September 14, 2019

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March 15, 2019

 

The Electronic, Print and Social media dominated by White males young and old are not calling a "spade a spade."  White privilege and the legacy of white theft with regard to inventions, institutions like the legal system, every so called election, invention, and amassing of American wealth was made on the backs of African slaves, First Nations and poor European immigrants.  

 

Whether it be the scandalous meddling and altering the results of  presidential elections, rich white people buying their children a seat at some of America's so called elitist institutions of Higher learning, the playing field has always been altered to favor white people.  

 

Whether the American Revolution, Spanish American War, The Civil War, World Wars, and Viet Nam Black soldiers were used and exploited as fodder while many rich white men found loopholes not to serve. Blacks returned from these wars broken with no possibility of a future and White men stepped into a world waiting to give them the keys to the City.  Black, Asian, Latino and Native peoples have served and bore the brunt of underdevelopment white whites have engaged in environmental racism, sucked dry the Saving and Loan industry stealing the retirement funds of hard working blue collar Americans- all the time reinforcing the most racist social, economic and political laws and practices that built the greatest American economic system of wealth with a trail of blood from the veins of my ancestors. 

 

In spite of it all we persevered and made it from the ghettos of America to some of the highest levels of American education. Each step of the way our competence was questioned and we had to defend our right to attend the Ivy League and serve at the highest levels of administration and faculty appointments at these institutions. There were legal cases challenging our right to attend these institutions. 

Now we are nauseated by these news reports suggesting the current scam of rich white people purchasing seats for their children at some of the most competitive colleges in America is a new phenomena in new to Higher Education.

 

Those who control the media have chosen to ignore institutional racism that excluded Black people from attending in mass predominantly White educational institutions until the middle seventies. And our sojourn at those institutions was marked by daily confrontations from white faculty and students doing all they could to force us to leave without completing our degrees.  I visited one of my professor's office hour to seek help with understanding my statistics assignment. As I proceeded to ask the professor to explain "standard deviation" he interrupted me and said "larry I believe that Black people are genetically inferior. I believe in the theories of Professor Shockley from Stanford and if you do not get the mean on my exam I am going to fail you."  None of my white counterparts ever had to endure this level of abuse.

 

Years later I would serve on Admissions and other selection Committees at Cornell and Harvard. I would see the inside process. It would become evident that there was always an inside track for the rich, the legacies and those who were promised a free ride or free access.  Whether faculty appointments, admissions, or employment, there was an affirmative action structure in place solely for white folks access dating back to the ratification of the American Constitution. 

 

I remember I white female with a doctorate in the Classics,  no administrative experience appointed as the Associate Dean, allowed to eliminate anyone who have not attained a degree she felt was legitimate.   I remember her sitting by the garbage can and discarding all applicants who were Black and graduates from one of the Historically black colleges or universities or anyone who held a terminal degree in Education. I remember participating in search processes where White male candidates received the lowest scores of any of the applying candidates but they were placed at the top of the pile because they played poker every Thursday night with the White males who ran the institution. I watched White women with little to no higher educational credentials rise to the highest levels of administrations,over hard working Black and brown candidates without a network of white people working on their behalf. Later I would be forced to occupy the second tier and seat to whites.  Their only qualifying character was their wealth.  

 

This latest story on White parents buying spots for their children in major colleges is not new. White men were accompanied to many Universities and Colleges in this country by their Black slaves who completed their homework, cleaned their clothes and provided services only hinted at in slave narratives. 

 

This is another example of how the current scandals in Washington welcome these kind of distractions   so gullible Americans are not paying attention to the challenges to our democracy.  All of us who endured the unrelenting attacks on our intellect and the constant questioning of our academic abilities are owed at a minimum an apology.

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