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Reverse Discrimination This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   College- the word rings in the ears of seniors and juniors. Only recently have I begunto look at colleges, which, of course, also means trying to find funding. As Isearched websites for information about scholarships, my mom told me I didn'thave to look because I already had one. I gave her a puzzled look, and she toldme that all I needed to do was prove to a certain government agency that I ampart Native American, and I would get a good-sized scholarship.

At first Iwas overjoyed, but then I thought this didn't seem right. My great-grandmotherwas Native Ameri-can, so I'm one-eighth Native American. You can't even tell I'mpart Native American. My skin is only a little dark, and if I win a scholarship,I want to earn it, not have it given to me because of my heritage. This got methinking how many scholarships are awarded only based on race.

A few dayslater, I heard classmates talking about how three of my friends had applied forthe same scholarship. It turned out that the two who are white didn't get it, butmy African-American friend did. Now don't get me wrong, my friend who receivedthe scholarship has a 3.1 GPA, so she is smart, but the other two have muchhigher GPAs. I was happy for my friend, but also upset. I also found out that atanother high school, several minority students with GPAs between 1.5 and 1.9received scholarships. I didn't think those were the kinds of grades collegeslook for.

I decided to research scholarships, and I found the resultsfrightening. After checking with my counselor and many websites, I discoveredthat almost half the scholarships are based on race or ethnicity. I even foundcompanies that give scholarships to illegal aliens! I'm sure some are saying,"Well, they need the money more," and that may be true, but have theyworked for it? Do people deserve scholarships just because of their skin color orreligion?

There's a word for this, people. It's called discrimination, andit's not against African Americans, or Hispanics or Arabs, but against hardworking, smart kids who might not go to college because scholarship money went tosomeone who didn't deserve it.

Some might say I'm racist, but that is nottrue. What I want to see is scholarships based on academic achievement and hardwork, not race.

When I told my mom I wasn't going to apply for the NativeAmerican scholarship, she almost flipped her lid and asked me why not."Mom," I told her, "I know I'm smart, and I know I can get into agood college, but I don't want to go there by abusing the system."

I hope that when the time comes, I get a scholarship because of mybrains, not my heritage.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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PolartheBard said...
Dec. 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm
What you have said here is true. For instance, in reference to athletic scholarships in particular, black athletes are shown preferential treatment over white athletes, a fact which has been shown by a nationwide study.
 
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