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Guest Column: Editorial missed point of white scholarship

April 27, 2004

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Congratulations, Maneater staff. You're right. Scholarships for whites are a bad idea. In fact, race-based scholarships are wrong in more ways than one. And that, my esteemed destroyers of journalistic integrity, is what KOPSES has been trying to say all along. We find it a little more than suspicious that despite a fairly accurate and in-depth interview by your reporting staff, your editorial (I'm white" now gimme some cash," April 16) managed to miss the satirical message of the white scholarship. So allow us set the record straight. We are not advocating white scholarships. We are using the white scholarship to highlight the problems of offering scholarships on the basis of race. We are not offering the scholarships to whites only. We are also offering it to any biracial student to demonstrate the problems with racial classifications in a diverse society. We are not out to hurt minority progress. Our goal with socioeconomic scholarships is to be simultaneously more effective in assisting disadvantaged minorities and the majority.

The purpose of a satirical white scholarship is to expose those who think it is a great idea to divide scholarship money by race ' until you give it to white students. Most people have the perception that those with "European" heritage are inherently privileged. Is this assumption not equally as racist as the notion that certain ethnicities are inherently disadvantaged and need help? We are simply attempting to knock down the myth that race is always the cause of being disadvantaged or privileged, for it only perpetuates racist stereotypes and mocks diversity.

We find it very disappointing that The Maneater editorial board clearly had access to all this information" yet choose to deliberately (or ignorantly) distort our position. Not only to distort, but to then label us as "dipshits." As usual, The Maneater shows contempt for ethical journalism when it makes ad hominem attacks instead of real arguments.

Our proposal is hardly radical. The idea that a student's need can be assessed by his or her environment and economic factors instead of a segregated system is a concept all students should find agreement in. Liberal or conservative, black or white, any open-minded investigator can see that socioeconomic scholarships can work to the benefit and progress of all. Let students form their own conclusions by going to our Web site at www.KOPSES.net. We are not asking The Maneater to give its endorsement, only the truth.

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