Scholarship For White Men OnlyMarch 1, 2011 4 Comments
Applicants for a new $500 scholarship must be “Male – No less than 25% Caucasian.”
The Former Majority Association for Equality, the group who launched the scholarship, swears that they are not motivated by racism, but by equality. Their mission statement reads:
- We have a very simple mission: to fill in the gap in the scholarships offered to prospective students. There are scholarships offered for almost any demographic imaginable. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group…
- We do not advocate white supremacy, nor do we enable any individual that does. We do not accept donations from organizations affiliated with any sort of white supremacy or hate group. We have no hidden agenda to promote racial bigotry or segregation. FMAE’s existence is dedicated around one simple principle, to provide monetary aid for education to white males who need it.
Race and gender based scholarships were started primarily as a way to give groups that might face more disadvantage a hand up. At the law school I attended, there was much discussion about how the judiciary should reflect the population it presides over, and how having a diverse group of people graduating from law school is essential to maintain the public trust.
At the time, there were half a dozen scholarships I could apply for based on the fact that I have a uterus. Most of the awards for women began in the 1960s, when the number attending law school was pretty low, but by the time I took advantage of it more than half of my graduating class was female.
Things have changed across the board. Women are earning more doctorates than men and are twice as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree. The number of minorities attending college has also increased, from 15 percent in 1978 to 47 percent in 2008. But this doesn’t mean we can throw out all the equality based scholarships.
Women head only 15 of the Fortune 500 companies, and only 16 organizations have CEOs who are ethnic minorities. The rich and powerful are still old, white men. There are many reasons that the leaps in education and training do not translate into jumps up the career ladder. Studies show that people are more likely to promote people who are like themselves, so when an old white guy does the hiring, he instinctively looks for a slightly younger white guy.
But how does that help Joe Schmo who just wants to pull enough cash together to make his tuition payment? It doesn’t. Most of the men I went to school with were no more well off than I was. While I had tutoring and childcare to supplement my income, the guys had much harder options to choose from — tree planting in the summer or lawn care during the year. These seasonal jobs were back-breaking and didn’t allow for study breaks the way mine did.
This scholarships might seem like a step backwards, but it’s really a step forward into a world where we don’t judge people based on the colour of their skin or the organ between their legs. Let’s stop punishing students who happen to have the same race and gender as successful people and see them for who they really are — struggling scholars surviving on Ramen, just like the rest of us.
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