LTE for Portfolio – Lelebxby

Insert Title Here

To the editor:

In Young Jean Lee’s February 9th, 2019 article “I’m Asian-American. Affirmative Action Worked for Me,” Lee opens up about her struggles of dealing with the relentless prejudices thrown her way. Lee explains that, without affirmative action on her side, her successes as a screenwriter and the countless doors that opened for her would never have been within her reach. Though affirmative action worked in Young Jean Lee’s favor and is a good way to reach the ultimate goal of diversity, it is not and should not be treated as the best solution for diversity in schools and the work force.

Affirmative action policies started as long ago as Brown vs. Ed; more recent examples include the Texas University scandals in 2015. These policies work towards setting up diverse communities in the educational and work force, to make up for historical exclusions in the United States’ racist past. As a Hispanic, queer woman I know that regardless of my efforts, I’m forced to accept the fact I’ll be excluded for the color of my skin, loving who I want to love, and simply not being a man. However, unlike Young Jean Lee and letting the world keep me down, I tried my hardest in school and graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA with honor roll. I agree that being a minority definitely played into my college acceptances, but if race, sex and orientation was out of the question, I would have still earned my spot into highly acclaimed art schools and Rowan University because I worked hard to fight for my dreams. Affirmative Action basically allows reverse racism and prevents significantly more qualified applicants from opening the doors Lee (a below average student) talked so highly of. Instead of using affirmative action as an excuse to not be racist, maybe, as shockingly as it may sound, college admissions administrators and bosses should just not be racist in the first place.

The goal for universities and jobs shouldn’t be accepting and hiring these unqualified individuals for the sake of diversity, but rather reaching out and helping those in struggling areas who don’t have the best environments to succeed. There are hundreds upon thousands of students and unemployed individuals under the poverty line, most being minorities. Because of this, these people are missing out on the proper resources, facilities and environments to thrive and excel. We should be donating and raising money and awareness to these areas to help these students reach their utmost potential. The nearly 70-year history of affirmative action shouldn’t be needed anymore. By now, every college applicant and employee should have an equal shot from birth of preparing for college admission and the work force. In order for society to reach true equality and diversity, we must do what we can to help those in need. If we want our future generations to have a life that allows access to these opportunities and successes, regardless of their race or gender, we need to act now.

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3 Responses to LTE for Portfolio – Lelebxby

  1. davidbdale says:

    Just getting started here, Lele. I copied your Letter into the Reply as a first step. Check in once in awhile until I sign off on this Reply.

    In Young Jean Lee’s February 9th, 2019 article “I’m Asian-American. Affirmative Action Worked for Me,” Lee opens up about her struggles of dealing with the relentless prejudices thrown her way. Lee explains that, without affirmative action on her side, her successes as a screenwriter and the countless doors that opened for her would never have been within her reach. Though affirmative action worked in Young Jean Lee’s favor and is a good way to reach the ultimate goal of diversity, it is not and should not be treated as the best solution for diversity in schools and the work force.

    —Most of this is good, Lele. But imagine if, instead of having us think in P1 that your overall thesis was about struggle, you indicated immediately that it was about triumph over struggle.
    —You mix your metaphors in P2. Successes might have been out of reach (we can visualize grabbing them like prize trophies). But you couple those achieved successes with open doors that ARE NOT REACHED. You might want to rephrase to indicate that those doors would have remained closed.
    —In P3, you say AA is “a good way to achieve diversity” and “not the best solution to achieve diversity.” Not clear, that.

    Affirmative action policies started as long ago as Brown vs. Ed; more recent examples include the Texas University scandals in 2015. These policies work towards setting up diverse communities in the educational and work force, to make up for historical exclusions in the United States’ racist past. As a Hispanic, queer woman I know that regardless of my efforts, I’m forced to accept the fact I’ll be excluded for the color of my skin, loving who I want to love, and simply not being a man.

    —You seem to be stepping back from the target here, Lele. You establish the long history of the “making up for historical exclusions” just in time to complain that you know you’ll be excluded. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but what’s the focus of that realistic assessment? Incorporate the value judgment in the claims. Words like “despite” and “nevertheless” will help readers understand it’s a disparity of intention and reality that you want to express.

    However, unlike Young Jean Lee and letting the world keep me down, I tried my hardest in school and graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA with honor roll. I agree that being a minority definitely played into my college acceptances, but if race, sex and orientation was out of the question, I would have still earned my spot into highly acclaimed art schools and Rowan University because I worked hard to fight for my dreams.

    —Do you mean to express resentment here, Lele? I won’t fault you if you do. It would be a natural emotion. [I just heard a radio story about a donor paying a school district for the unpaid school lunches many parents had defaulted on. My first thought was that it failed to honor the parents who accepted the hardship of paying for their kids’ lunches even when they had to forgo other necessities.]
    —But that’s not quite what you say here. You say you acknowledge you received minority preference. And then you say you didn’t.

    Affirmative Action basically allows reverse racism and prevents significantly more qualified applicants from opening the doors Lee (a below average student) talked so highly of. Instead of using affirmative action as an excuse to not be racist, maybe, as shockingly as it may sound, college admissions administrators and bosses should just not be racist in the first place.

    —This is clear, but there might be a more generous way to see the issue. What if admissions departments aren’t racist? What if, instead, they value diversity above proven “academic worthiness”? What if, the same way they admit outstanding athletes, musicians, math whizzes, etc. with OTHER QUALITIES to contribute to the campus culture, they believe with some validity that admissions are almost never ALL ABOUT GPA? And that the schools offer a richer experience as a result?
    —You worked hard and got the grades. All the same, you might have lost your spot to someone who could afford tutors to make sure the LAST time she took the SATs, she finally beat your score.
    —That little difference might have categorized you as an “unqualified individual” compared to her.

    The goal for universities and jobs shouldn’t be accepting and hiring these unqualified individuals for the sake of diversity, but rather reaching out and helping those in struggling areas who don’t have the best environments to succeed. There are hundreds upon thousands of students and unemployed individuals under the poverty line, most being minorities. Because of this, these people are missing out on the proper resources, facilities and environments to thrive and excel.

    —We’re not arguing, and I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. That’s obvious. Maybe somebody, EVERYBODY hoped that 70 years after Brown v. Board of Education we wouldn’t need Affirmative Action to re-balance those scales that tip against the systematically underprivileged. I don’t think you can rightly place the burden on colleges to fix society’s ills. But you can blame our culture’s reluctance to make systemic changes. Until we all start out with equal privilege, it’s impossible to say who DESERVES what, who’s QUALIFIED for what.

    We should be donating and raising money and awareness to these areas to help these students reach their utmost potential. The nearly 70-year history of affirmative action shouldn’t be needed anymore. By now, every college applicant and employee should have an equal shot from birth of preparing for college admission and the work force. In order for society to reach true equality and diversity, we must do what we can to help those in need. If we want our future generations to have a life that allows access to these opportunities and successes, regardless of their race or gender, we need to act now.

    —Yep. Like that. So if we both come to the same conclusion, why does it sound as if you think schools are racist? Or reverse racist? Are you arguing out of frustration?
    —Finally, a thought experiment. We take people out of the process. Admissions packages are digitized and give no indication of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, anything other than whatever criteria YOU, Lelebxby decide are the “worthiness” factors. If the resulting student body is predominantly female, or Asian, or 30-something, or queer, or whatever, is the school racist, genderist, x-ist? And if in reaction they tweaked, would it be because they were Anti-x-ist? It’s hard to know from your letter what you would have them do.

    So, I would say, a mixed bag on the clear/unclear question. I hope you find this interaction helpful. You’re already doing really well here to address a perplexing problem with sincerity. However you decide to argue, you do need to clarify your position on how schools should admit students.

    Like

  2. lelebxby says:

    May I please get feedback on my updated revision? I tried becoming more clear about my points but am still unsure if I’m being vague.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Luckily, I did a survey of everybody’s LTE for Portfolio this evening to see who was requesting and who was not requesting feedback. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known you had left me this request, Lele. Regular comments get buried by the hundred or so that we generate every class day with responses to the Agenda and In Class exercises.

      The better way to get Feedback is to place your post in the Feedback Please category. I’ve done that for you now, and you’ll come up in the queue when I return to the feedback process.

      Like

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