As a college student, I am often faced with many wonderful opportunities and choices. There are so many organizations that whoever has the right stuff can join, internships you can apply for, and scholarships you can get. Sometimes I feel that there are so many opportunities for us students, the hardest thing is deciding which ones to try.
Of course, that's not to say that there aren't stipulations for getting these opportunities. In order to ensure that you are an ideal candidate, you can attend seminars about success, read self-help books, and try to gain experience to make you a well-rounded and healthy person.
Though we're all far from perfect, personally I try to gain a lot of substance. I've gone to the career center to learn to exploit my strengths, and I've got communication skills coupled with an ability to keep a positive atmosphere when things are tough. I know how to give an interview, with enthusiasm and professionalism. The two most important characteristics an applicant can have to an employer are honesty and leadership skills, and I both value honesty and have experience with leadership classes. Not bad for a sophomore?

However there is one vital element that I lack, an element that cannot be taught in a seminar or learned in a book. This element has barred me from probably a good three-quarters of the scholarships and internships for which I have wished to apply. No, what I (along with so many others) am lacking is much more important than a positive attitude.

What I am talking about of course is the elusive dark skin.

How could I have missed that? I guess I am just not talented enough to apply for the American Academy of Science's Minority Science Writing Internship, nor can I get the Flip Wilson Journalism Scholarship. Sure I'm a journalism major with a passion for science and an ability to write a biography for Flip Wilson, but I just don't have enough of that golden melanin to be deserving.

So I encourage you pasty-faced losers, don't let this happen to you. Don't get so caught up in things like education and experience, because a true test of character is reflected in your complexion. Sure, you might get skin cancer before you're tan enough to be considered a minority, but it's worth the risk. Besides, us white people should be ashamed of the way we were born, anyway.
Christine D.
5/25/2010 09:39:00 am

Nice article Kristin. Well-said and concise. I’m noticing lots of improvement in your writing style!

Although there is definitely something to be said about white privilege/institutional racism/sexism/homophobia/<insert -ism or -ia here>, the longer time marches on, the less impact these unfortunate elements of society will have.

Discrimination will never disappear completely, but obviously we live in a fairer country today in 2010 than we did in the 1950’s-60’s.

A far better method of doling out educational money and opportunities, in my opinion, is to have color-blind scholarships based on students’ socioeconomic status and ACTUAL life circumstances.

The current assumption that our brown buddies MUST be poor/downtrodden/can't make it on their own simply because of their race is quite offensive to the many that are successful on their own merits. (and conversely, I am insulted by the assumption that we white people will always be successful and racist simply because we are white!)

Another issue to keep in mind though is that scholarships are often gifts of money from rich donors and foundations. If they are private donors/not run by the gov’t, they have the right to designate that money to go to whomever they choose, and by basically any criterion. The double-edged sword of a free society, eh?

Christine D.
5/25/2010 09:52:24 am

Oh, and one more thing:

Maybe if the government would fix the shitty-ass, broken public school system, we'd have less inequality in higher education and wouldn't have to turn to ineffective band-aids like AA...

(Shout out to Bill Cosby too, re: the cultural debate)

5/25/2010 10:28:31 am

Have you ever seen the movie Crash? In it, a white man accuses a black nurse of not doing a good job, and he says that she got the job not because of her qualifications, but because of affirmative action. So, either this nurse is hurting families with her lack of quality work, or she is incorrectly considered to have poor skills because of her race. So yeah, I do think that affirmative action based purely on race doesn't just hurt the white people, but also promotes the idea that minorities in good job positions don't deserve it.

Honestly I was okay with it when there were a few positions here and there with that policy, but there are just too many.


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