In Karachi, Pakistan, this week, a fourteen year old girl named Malala Yousafzai, was on a bus on her way home from school when a gunman of the Taliban party boarded the bus, asked for her and shot her in the head. Her crime was advocating for education for girls in Pakistan, in violation of Taliban rules against girls getting an education. Priority for educational opportunities only go to males.
In Austin, Texas, a white female named Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas. She decided that too many blacks were admitted in front of her and she should be admitted instead of the blacks. She sued for discrimination and last week her case was heard by the United States Supreme Court. The question basically was, and remains, should America still seek diversity and/or Affirmative Action to provide opportunities for admission to professional schools or simply maintain the status quo and keep professional schools mostly white?
In the past, Affirmative Action programs were designed to cure the lingering results of past discrimination based on race which kept all professional schools literally all white. Now the rules include a desire for diversity. There is a difference in a diversity goal and an Affirmative Action goal. Diversity speaks to a desire to avoid all-white institutions because they do not reflect the real world which is made up of people of all races. Affirmative Action speaks to remedying the discriminatory policies of the past that left blacks out of certain opportunities. Affirmative Action rules are not rules setting up illegal quotas. They provide opportunities for admission to previously all-white institutions like medical schools and law schools which previously closed their doors to African Americans, simply because they were black.
The Affirmative Action rule says, in effect, where there are two individuals equally qualified for an opportunity and one is descended from the historical victims of discrimination, pick the one who is the historical victim of discrimination. The theory of Affirmative Action is to remedy or make up for past discrimination by giving an advantage to the victims of past discrimination. To use Vice President Biden's words, "The problem is, the privileged group won't get out of the way long enough to let the program work."
Whether we are talking about little Malala Yousafzai and girls like her in Pakistan or African Americans trying to enter professional schools in Texas or other American states, around the world we would all be pleasantly surprised and rewarded if the rich, spoiled and privileged would just get out of the way and let the remedies work. The Taliban has some twisted notion about men being superior to women and, therefore, they must kill little girls to stop them from being educated.
White racism in America has some twisted notion that tax dollars paid into the U.S. Treasury is best spent on opening doors of opportunity to the already privileged Whites while keeping the rest of us out. It may appear to work for a while wherever violence is used to enforce the twisted notions, but it doesn't work for long. The poet William Cullen Bryant says, "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." Blues singers, Mose Allison and Jesse Johnson, say it simpler with the lyrics: "You're just living in a fool's paradise." Historical evidence abounds. It didn't work in South Africa, and it didn't work in the American South, either. No lie can live forever.
Even with remedies like black colleges, I recently discovered that if those in charge would drop the narcissism and jealousy and just get out of the way and let the plan work, the result could be amazing. These colleges and universities won't grow because they won't expand. Where is the western extension of a Howard University or Clark, Morehouse? If the Presidents of these institutions would lay down their egos and get out of the way, the educational opportunities would be greatly expanded.
For my part I still dream a black college here in the West. I note that the Late great Congressman Mervyn Dymally worked with a group in the 70s trying to create a black Windsor University but the accreditation American–type Talibans got in the way.
When the Southern-type Taliban (called-Segregationists/Jim Crow of the American South) were pushed out of the way of black opportunity, America's black middle class expanded greatly. When the world's Talibans, real or symbolic, get out of the way, their female talent can grow and their countries can and will prosper. In the area of education, today's Western-type Taliban want to destroy the public schools in America and replace them with vouchers for a few children into privatized money making charter schools. It's still all about the money. Why not reform the education process to better educate more children where they are. The results would be amazing.
Today's American-style Taliban could be called the Tea Party. They are busy trying to maintain control of the American political power by stopping people from exercising their right to vote. They just need to get out of the way and allow progress to happen.