I The Help Necessary

January 13, 2010
January 20th, 2009 is a day that Americans will remember forever. Why is that? On that day, Barack Obama was inaugurated into office as the 44th President of the United States. This information may seem quite basic and therefore may not be of any interest to you, the reader. However, this is a significant example of how far America has come over the last 50 years when a black man could have never become president. This is certainly not the case in 2009. Blacks and minorities now possess a lot of power with thanks to something called Affirmative Action. The question now looming among American citizens is this: Is Affirmative Action still necessary? With minorities and blacks such as President Obama leading our nation, it seems to me that affirmative action is not necessary when it comes to the matter of race, just in some cases for the underprivileged. Allow me to explain.

In many places all across the country, schools are too destitute to afford the appropriate materials needed to effectively prepare the students for college.
Think about this- how can someone learn something useful if “…Some of the books are missing the first hundred pages” (Kozol 7). How would it feel to you if you were a hard-working child living in poverty while trying to get an education, like some of the students at a school in East St. Louis, better known to a few as Martin Luther

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King Junior High. As we speak, families in East St. Louis are going hungry, and hoping that they’re teachers will still be in school tomorrow. Why wouldn’t the teachers be in school? Because of the threatened teacher layoffs that “are mandated by the Illinois Board of Education, which, because of the city’s fiscal crisis, has been given supervisory control of the school budget” (Kozol 3). Do you see what I mean? Learning must be excruciatingly difficult in circumstances when not even a teacher is available. My heart reaches out to those especially that have the courage and perseverance to stay at school all the way through high school. According to teachers like Mr. Solomon of East St. Louis, it is not uncommon to hear that “Of 3 children who begin the history classes in the standard track, more than a quarter have dropped out by spring semester” (Kozol 3). This information is heartbreaking. Don’t you think that giving the students that have tried their absolute hardest and stuck with it all the way should be given a little help? It’s not their fault that they were born in sickening circumstances! It is really easy to say that these children’s futures aren’t as important as the wealthier children across town and that they are lucky even to get a middle school education, but isn’t America supposed to be about equality no matter where you come from? Further more, this kind of Affirmative Action won’t allow just anybody to go to college, just the ones with a GPA above a certain standard. So don’t say that affirmative action is just an excuse for the dumb kids to get into the college of their choice, it’s a chance to see what extraordinary

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things come of kids who would otherwise be ignored all of their life, and would have had to live a life of poverty and destitution with no way out.

My thought of this situation is simple. Give those a chance that truly care with all of their heart and can prove it with grades and a good dose of perseverance. Many people in history such as Abraham Lincoln, whose family was lacking financially, have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, even becoming President of the United States! Lincoln succeeded because he did care and he did try. In my mind, people like him are an inspiration to everyone, even to those that can afford a good education.

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