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University Exclusivity

Powerful Essays
University Exclusivity

This country that we live in, the United States of America, has a reputation as being the "land of opportunity." Foreigners and native-born citizens regard this land as the pot of gold at the rainbow's end for those individuals who wish to make a life for themselves through hard work and perseverance. Yet for many minorities and economically disadvantaged people, the dream is unfulfilled because the educational opportunities that they need are unavailable. The universities are as unreachable as top- shelf merchandise in a warehouse without ladders or lifts. They are no less unwelcoming than heavy steel doors slamming shut in the face of a visitor. The selections from The Presence of Others: Voices that Call for Response collectively give the reader a snapshot of which individuals are being excluded, and why. The role and responsibility of the university must be established, and areas in need of change should be explored.

Historically, racism has prevented many from ever having the opportunity to move a tassel across their forehead. To rectify this situation, minority based schools were established. Affirmative action policies made their way into colleges all over the country and quickly became policy in many states. However, Shelby Steele pointed out that these policies may actually hinder more than they help. He believed that policies giving preference to anyone based on race alone actually increase the racial tension between minority and non-minority groups (75). He also wrote that such policies are only part of the problem. The fear of racial hatred may prevent prospective students from even attempting to attend college. He cites instances of blatant racial harassment even on campuses in which "b...

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...ryone must be assigned an equal designation of worth. No one person is more deserving of an education than another. To deny the opportunity to anyone based on such criteria as class, race, gender or ability is to tip the scales and make some people less deserving than others. Universities cannot have license to do this. To all who would listen, let them learn.

Works Cited

Lunsford, Andrea A. and Ruszkiewicz, John. The Presence of

Others: Voices that Call for Response. New York: St.

Martin's Press, 1997.

Brooks, Gwendolyn. "We Real Cool." Lunsford 147.

Hooks, Bell. "Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education."

Lunsford 85-96.

Rich, Adrienne. "What Does a Woman Need to Know?" Lunsford 44-51.

Rose, Mike. "Lives on the Boundary." Lunsford 97-111.

Steele, Shelby. "The Recoloring of Campus Life." Lunsford 63-84.
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