Saturday Open Thread

Enjoy your weekend with family and friends!


I will not let your affirmative action ignorance belittle my daughter’s achievements

“Let me set the record straight … ” is how I began a Facebook post on the day after President Trump announced that he would investigate colleges for discrimination against white applicants. Using the term “white rights,” the announcement was a thinly veiled promise to go after Affirmative Action. That policy, which stems from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is a remedy to discrimination by increasing the underrepresented classes on a campus.

This administration’s statement on discrimination against white applicants is yet another illustration of the myth of affirmative action: that white applicants are rejected and their spots are given to less qualified women and people of color. The move was also another presidential green light for racists to once again start attacking black culture.

This time, the attacks are on all the hard-working kids entering college for the first time in a few weeks. That includes my kid, Cate. Cate, who wrote a moving college essay about the struggles of her parents. That essay, her stellar GPA, her strong SAT scores got her into her dream college on a full scholarship.

Instead of spending my time getting her packed for college, I was on social media speaking out on behalf of my kid and other kids of color who worked hard and won spots in the top colleges across the country.


Because conservatives, ignorant white supremacists and a surprising number of parents of white males went on the attack bemoaning their losses at the hands of the alleged Affirmative Action “liberals” in college admissions. Since the administration’s announcement, social media has been inundated by voices of parents whose kids didn’t get into their desired school, or who got in but couldn’t get financial aid. To these people, Affirmative Action has slapped them down because of their whiteness, only to elevate a kid of color who is allegedly less qualified.

Let me tell you: My kid stole no one’s spot. She worked from the first day of kindergarten until the day she walked down the aisle to pick up her diploma. She and I scoured the Internet for information on scholarships. She wrote and rewrote her college essay too many times to count. She studied for weeks for the SAT. She was a distinguished graduate who earned every dime of the scholarship she received. She did not take anyone’s spot. She earned her own.

Something else the president doesn’t know: He just reaffirmed decades of black mom wisdom.

I remember the first time I had to give what I call “The Black Hard Work” speech to my kids. This is a speech that every black mother has to give her kids, and it comes at different ages, usually after the first academic disappointment. Mine was when Cate was in the second grade and really wanted to win “Student of the Month” in her class. Even at that age, she was always driven to be the best. She didn’t win in September and October. By November, she was devastated. My shy Cate had done everything she could to get the “Student of the Month” distinction. She had gotten high grades on all her assignments, aced her spelling tests. She was helpful to the teacher and tried helping her fellow students. She cried to me that she had done everything to win and hadn’t yet. Why?

So I sat her and her sisters down and told them that as black women, we are often-times overlooked. Throughout history, people have been used to us being a part of the scenery. You have to do something to stand out, always, I told her. You have to work twice as hard, be twice as creative, and do something good that your teacher remembers. Cate ended up winning her cherished title that spring. I never found out what she did to stand out.

Black parents know that above-average achievement is what we must put forth to get the minimum attention from our white supervisors, teachers, admissions committee members.

My daughter is more than her skin color and thankfully, the colleges that accepted her (yes, she was accepted at more than one college) saw her greatness.

Whenever any of you — this includes family, friends, and colleagues — post an affirmation of Trump’s new policy, which questions all colleges and their ability to admit students of color based on merit, then you are questioning my daughter’s achievement and that of any successful student who is a minority. By perpetuating the myths of “white rights” in college admissions, you are saying that the only reason Cate got into her college and received her scholarship was because of her blackness. You are also questioning her legitimacy in an institution of higher learning.

You are erasing that achievement.

You are wiping away all those nights she stayed up writing notes until her fingers cramped and falling asleep covered in ink and highlighter from the open pages of her textbooks.

You are throwing away all those hours spent memorizing Japanese characters and conjugating French verbs so that she could enter college as a freshman who can write and read fluently in both languages.

You are deleting all the Popsicle-stick projects, the posters, the reports, and the millions of hours of reading that this kid pulled off to get the grades.

You are expunging her record of an entire year of anxiety spent writing and rewriting essays, and waiting to hear if she would get into a college, let alone get a scholarship.

From the clunky strokes of her kindergarten crayons to the last mark on her senior exams, my daughter put every part of herself into getting the best grades she could to earn the seat she will occupy in a week-and-a-half.

I remember being in college, hearing people talking openly about black students taking spots that should have gone to more qualified students. I sat quietly during those talks, knowing I had high ACT scores and a flawless GPA. But I still felt like it all meant nothing to the country. I was another black face taking up what they saw as a reserved seat.

But this time, as a mother, I’m speaking up: We will not be the scapegoats for your rejection.

I spent my morning reading remarks of parents whose kids were turned down for their top colleges. Those parents turned around and started spouting the myths of Affirmative Action in an attempt to excuse their child’s failure. Stories like “my friend of a friend’s white son lost a scholarship to a Latina girl whose scores were worse than his” and “the schools have diversity quotas to fill” as reasons their kids were pushed aside.  These stories will continue to run rampant now that Trump has begun an investigation that is emboldening white supremacists even further.

I know that black children will forever be, in the eyes of the white conservative, the person who took some white male’s spot. Even when our kids work themselves to a nub to get into a great school. Even when they put in the extra sleepless nights, aching muscles from extracurricular activities and finger cramps to pen fabulous essays that have the colleges throwing scholarship dollars their way.

But guess what, America? That black child has a mother. And she was there every tedious step of the way, watching and protecting and nurturing that black kid as she set out to achieve her dream. That mother is not going to stand silent while you try to shuffle her kid’s hard work under the rug of generalizations.

So let me set the record straight.

I am one of those mothers, and I will not let you erase my kid’s achievements to assuage white failure.


This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Current Events, Education, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, Media, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters has been added to the list of honorees at BET’s 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards.

    BET said the congresswoman will earn the Social Humanitarian Award for “being a fearless and outspoken advocate for under-served population.” The event, hosted by Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson, takes place Saturday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.

    Videos of Waters have gone viral on social media, including her insisting that she was “reclaiming my time” at a recent congressional hearing.'s-Black-Girls-Rock

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Since May, people who have been convicted of a crime in Sparta, Tennessee, can reduce the length of their sentence on one condition: They must agree to be sterilized.”

  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:
  4. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “A simple makeover changes how people view and treat Pops, a 70-year-old homeless man”
    “HomeBless Life” is an inspirational web-series, hosted by national playwright and director Laterras R. Whitfield, that displays acts of kindness to bless the homeless. Whitfield and his team dedicates each episode to converge on a homeless individual or group of the displaced and blesses them beyond their wildest dreams. This series motivates viewers to, “b” the blessing for the homeless.

  5. rikyrah says:

    About Why “The Talk” is Necessary and Affirming Black Girlhood
    Awesomely Luvvie — August 4, 2017

    In a world where simply being born with Black and brown skin puts you behind in the starting race of life, it’s important that we equip our children with what they need to handle it. We’ve had a Black president, yet we still have to deal with people calling us derogatory words, or telling us we are ugly simply for having melanin. We still need to work twice as hard to get half as far. And we need to be cognizant of how we walk through the world because it’s a life and death situation. Our survival depends on it.

    These are things that we don’t have the privilege to ignore or act like they aren’t facts. This is why when Proctor & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful The Talk video dropped, I was in my feelings. My eyes were sweating before I could even realize it, because there is this visceral recognition of how unfair it is for Black children, and the parents who have to make them grow up faster than they wish.

    When white parents have “The Talk” with their kids, it’s the birds and the bees talk they refer to. The one where they weave tales about where kids come from. However, Black parents have to have that talk AND another with our children, for survival. And the affirmation that their Black is valuable. It’s heavy.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Twitter thread:

    Krk‏ @RKirkRow

    Democrats listen up – we will never and I do mean ever win at the national level again if we do not face the truth about what divides us.

    10:30 AM – 5 Aug 2017

    Notice how “Our Revolution” is the left’s version of the right’s Tea
    Party movement and how they’ve used the same tactics – wake tf up.

    Bernie sanders set out to replicate the Tea Party movement as early as 2010 when he was actively searching for someone to primary PBO.

    Being pretty much a no name in politics for 30+ years he began to notice the attention he was receiving by those with the same mindset

    A mindset centered around white lives mattering more than anything else regardless the struggles of others. An “identity free politics”

    The best way to silence those seeking liberation and equality for all
    was to dismiss their arguments as “identity politics” and claim…

    …that if we just concentrate on healthcare and Wall Street we can make this message about impacting “everyone” rather than working

    to bring awareness to the issue that got Donald Trump elected – white supremacist culture and the effects it has across the board.


    It means that instead of truly reflecting and LISTENING to other
    perspectives white WP in the majority said it’s too dividing to talk

    White people today dont feel they have to address the problems regarding race bc they’ve been conditioned to believe the system is fair.
    The. System. Is. Not. Fair. The system was specifically designed to elevate whites above all others. Our education, our media, our politics

    Bernie and his revolutionary guard want you as a WP to continue believing this mess. It is the ONLY way their message continues to resonate.

    We see it play out daily in the way his supporters dismiss democrats Harris, Booker, and Waters. It’s never about race they say… 🤔

    You as a white person probably don’t realize how offensive the term liberal elite is when describing politicians. Bernie uses this tactic


    Just this week @samswey was attacked by a brogressive after he pointed out Bernie lacked the knowledge to adequately address race.

    Sam was literally explaining THE issue and some white dude comes along with the but but Nina Turner argument.

  7. rikyrah says:

    I’ll say it again:
    1. Pence is up to his eyeballs in the Flynn mess…
    2. If you think that Dolt45 is going down WITHOUT taking Pence with him – you’re as delusional as Pence.

  8. rikyrah says:

    I always believed that this was THE picture of the Obama Presidency.

  9. Liza says:

    Fox News ISN'T right-wing anymore—it's state propaganda. Its daily assault on truth and rule of law is DANGEROUS. Please share if you agree.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) August 4, 2017


  10. Liza says:

    Understatement of the century…

    Happy birthday to the 44th POTUS. You're – to say the least – missed.— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) August 4, 2017


  11. Liza says:

    OMG. What a randomly lucky young girl.

    imagine being randomly assigned as Malia Obama's roommate & you walk in your room at move-in and Barack Obama is settin up your mini fridge— Erin Hernon (@Erin_Hisnon) August 1, 2017


  12. Sounds of Blackness-Optimistic

  13. Liza says:

    Excellent article by Jonita Davis. I’m glad it was published by WaPo.

  14. Ametia says:

    Black people aren’t keeping white Americans out of college. Rich people are.

    The 200th day of Donald Trump’s presidency draws near, and his legislative failures have become all too apparent. What better time to change the conversation and re-energize the base? And what better way than by raising the lightning rod that is affirmative action?

    According to a memo leaked to the New York Times, the Trump administration is planning to redirect Justice Department resources to investigate and potentially sue colleges that use “intentional race-based discrimination” in admissions. The project was quickly understood to be targeting affirmative action policies that many on the right see as “discriminating” against white applicants — in particular, ones that might give black and Latino students an edge. This move comes despite the Supreme Court upholding the use of affirmative action to diversify campuses just last year.

    Read on

  15. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    The college sorority and fraternity exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

  16. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Physicist Shirley Ann Jackson was born on this day, August 5, in 1946.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Jackson was born in Washington D.C. Her parents, Beatrice and George Jackson, strongly valued education and encouraged her in school. Her father spurred on her interest in science by helping her with projects for her science classes. At Roosevelt High School, Jackson attended accelerated programs in both math and science, and graduated in 1964 as valedictorian.

    “Jackson began classes at MIT in 1964, one of fewer than twenty African American students and the only one studying theoretical physics. While a student, she did volunteer work at Boston City Hospital and tutored students at the Roxbury YMCA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1968, writing her thesis on solid-state physics.

    “Jackson elected to stay at MIT for her doctoral work, in part to encourage more African American students to attend the institution. She worked on elementary particle theory for her Ph.D., which she completed in 1973, the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate degree from MIT.”
    Published on Sep 25, 2012
    “Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson tells us how engineering is fun and can change the world. Dr. Jackson, an accomplished nuclear physicist and engineer, is President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, the oldest technological research university in the U.S. Prior to Rensselaer, she served as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1995-1999), and conducted research at AT&T-Bell Labs for more than 12 years.”

    This video, “Shirley Ann Jackson – 2014 National Medal of Science” gives biographical information on Shirley Jackson:

  17. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Good Morning!

    Thanks for posting Juanita Davis’ article, Ametia. It is outstanding!

  18. rikyrah says:

    Found at BJ.
    This was hilarious to me…
    And we worry about squirrels dashing out in the street 😄😄😄

  19. rikyrah says:

    DL Hughley commenting on the conservative response to the P&G ad about “The Talk”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Bravo 👏👏 for this article

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

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