Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Thu, April 25

Marvin's Window: Supreme Court needs to realize "hard work" key to success in America

I gazed out my window this weekend wondering how long it will take to get the colorblind portion of the U.S.

Constitution and civil rights legislation to work as written.

They clearly indicate that all should be given equal treatment under the law irrespective of race or color.

Yet, the U.S.

Supreme Court is again trying to decide, irrespective of the clear language in both, if some can have "special consideration" to enter the University of Michigan.

As a public institution, the U of M has a more public mission than private colleges and universities and says minorities should be given extra points to assure a "diverse" student body.

With the integration of grades 1 to 12 in schools across the country, most all students who would apply to the school would already have experienced diversity long before coming to the campus.

We began this series of special programs after a 1954 Supreme Court decision that legally ended school segregation in all states and put states across the South, including Arizona, under a special set of rules.

The white students who filed the U of M case because they were left out to make room for less qualified minority students were born in 1978.

Will babies born in 2003 face the same rules in another 18 or more years when they apply to the U of M?

Is there an end in sight somewhere? Or, will being black, Native American or Hispanic always rate "extra points" to attain racial diversity in America's colleges?

Have you ever noticed the contrived and changing definition of a minority?

The definition often includes women, but in this case, a white woman was not a minority.

Note that "minority" virtually never includes any Asian students.

In California it was Asian students who were kept out of California colleges to make room for Afro-Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics.

Hispanics is a tough group to define.

They have been in the Southwest since the1500s and would have been considered Europeans at that time.

Living in Georgia gave me a very different understanding of minority educational needs and solutions.

I became quite concerned about the quality of education received by many Afro-American students in the elementary and high schools of the area.

I kept asking why the system did not improve.

I kept asking why no one seemed to care.

Many of the teachers were educated at a historically black college in Albany.

The teacher educators seemed to care little about the quality of teacher education at the college.

A high percentage of the graduates failed the state teacher test in their teaching area and could not teach after graduating.

One department achieved a 100 percent pass rate by caring and competent instruction.

Other departments achieved a zero pass rate with little concern.

Afro-American students who wanted to pass the exams and get a teaching certificate were smart enough to enroll at another state college (historically white) a few miles away and get the education they desired.

The local college played football in a historically black college athletic league.

I heard a lot of complaints because one of those schools had a 90 percent white student body and athletic team.

That occurred because the area of West Virginia the college served no longer had any significant Afro-American population.

When historically black Mississippi State University lost so much enrollment that the school was no longer viable, Mississippi tried to close the school and put the money to use improving better-attended universities in the state.

Enrollment had dropped because all students had an opportunity to attend the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, formerly all-white schools.

The U.S.

Supreme Court said Mississippi could not close any historically black college for any reason.

We need some common sense in this entire situation.

It makes no sense to punish one group of students to help another group at the point of selecting students at a law school or a selective university.

All colors and races can compete and should compete on the merits.

Do you think the U of M basketball team should hold some spots for white students who cannot compete?

This is the land of opportunity based on a willingness to work, compete and find a way to meet personal goals.

Some people get lost in the process, but that is the price of a competitive system.

I hope the Supreme Court will look at Clarence Thomas and realize that hard work is still the road to success in America.

He did not need a law degree from the U of M to become successful in law and earn a seat on the Supreme Court.

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