Let me just say, every time I am having a writer’s block, Black Twitter swoops in like the OG Superhero it is and gives me something intriguing to talk about. Shout out one time to the #StayMadAbby hashtag. Reading these stories and scrolling through your pictures have been absolutely amazing. Now, let’s get into Ms.Abigail Fisher, Supreme Court Justice Scalia and the beloved affirmative action debate. If you’re not familiar with this case, here are some awesome links to catch you up in detail:
To oversimplify the story, Ms. Abby applied for UT Austin. She didn’t get in. She blamed her rejection on affirmative action and implied that students of color who were less qualified to attend UT took her spot. Abby explained, ” There were people in my class with lower grades who weren’t in all the activities I was in, who were being accepted into UT, and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin.”
Since 2008, Abigail has filed a lawsuit against UT multiple times. Since 2009, the federal district court and 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected her suit, and each time she appealed. The court continually decided the university hadn’t proved “its admissions program [was] narrowly tailored to obtain the educational benefits of diversity.” It’s no surprise that Abigail’s team appealed again, and here we are in 2015 revisiting the same case.
My initial thoughts when I first heard this case was being re-opened:
- OMGAAAH Get over it! Do you know how many people get rejected from their top choice schools? Girl…it’s going on 8 years. Let it go! LET IT GOOOOO!!!! (insert Frozen song).
- If you really wanted to get into UT, you could have just transferred. I’m just saying.
- AND, there WAS the possibility of grad school, but you’re acting out. Soooo…
THEN, to add injury to insult, Justice Scalia dropped his two cents in the Bigot Bucket by stating:
“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school, where they do well,” Scalia said.
My face y’all. My face!
Immediately, I thought of a PLETHORA of black students who excelled above and beyond AT their school AND are doing just as well in their industry/field. My sisters, my LSs, my Frat brothers, other fellow Greeks, my family, collegiate friends, colleagues – all of them worked extremely hard, in high school, in college and in their respective fields to get where they are today.
There were SO many times when I sat next to or had group projects with the most lackadaisical students who lacked ambition that were not students of color. Not only did they suck up all of my valuable air, but there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t think of people I knew who could have used that seat. If they just had one more network, one more resource, or one more scholarship or loan to fund their education, they could have been here. While this lazy-behind person is squandering his/her opportunity all willy nilly, I wonder who they prevented from having this reaction:
Scalia doesn’t want to acknowledge the fact that high achieving Barack Obamas are being pumped out by the same prestigious institutions that are birthing George Bush Jrs into the work force. Mediocrity and academic excellence are not monopolized or defined by a race. Matriculating into less-advanced school, a slower-track schools isn’t the solution. Whether we’re at an IVY League, HBCU or regular PWI, ALL student’s success is determined by the access to a diverse array of high quality support systems that allow students to proactively utilize their resources and help them elevate socially, mentally and academically. Affirmative Action is just a tool that grants us ACCESS to resources, opportunities and networks that offer us a greater chance to succeed. Despite the academic level students start at when they matriculated into a school, ACCESS to resources is the key factor that helps students persist and graduate.
Attending NPCH events and/or joining a NPHC organization is a great way to establish a scholastic and social support system that encourages students of color to persist and excel collegiality. (I had to since it’s a Greek Life blog yall. lol)
In every circle, you need your friends to be tight, right and insightful. In past blogs, LINK UP, Real Sisterhood, and Dear SMU Black Greek Aspirants, I emphasized how important it is was surrounded myself with NPHC members that uplifted me mentally, academically, and spiritually during and post collegiate years. We kept each other in check with our grades. We made sure there was time for “work-life” balance. We held each other accountable for our actions (or lack there of) when necessary. Having a solid support system within a collective council that stands on a profound mountain of legacy prepares you to properly debunk negative stereotypes. Being in NPHC also greatly expands your network to professionals, educators, community stakeholders, etc. who are willing to help you along your journey. The wisdom, the resources and know-how our members provided to seasoned members and Neos alike are pricessless. Not only that, many of the African American childhood mentors, university staff members, and community leaders of influence that I confide in and look up to all HAPPEN to be members of NPHC.
NPHC members continue to negate the nay-sayers and doubters through our collegiate and community programs, our national philanthropies and most importantly, our never ceasing push to make our organizations and members as relevant , prevalent and prepared to take on the world at a time STILL where our efforts are deemed less than. We won’t let anyone steal our shine because we don’t have time. With that being said, to ALL of our current students and graduates of color (high school and collegiate) I salute you for your perseverance, your dedication, the willingness to achieve impossible and the consistent urge to display #BlackExcellence in the face of adversity.
Oh yeah…and #STAYMADABBY.