Thursday, February 15, 2007

1 Step Closer to A Color Blind America

Believe it or not, but here we are in 2007 and the country is still trying to determine whether or not people can be discriminated against based on their skin color.

The good news is that more than 2 dozen public universities (and the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund) will begin treating all college applicants the same, regardless of the color of their skin. The bad news is that this only happened because those schools lost a court case, and it only applies to urban journalism programs, but it is a victory nonetheless.

Emily Smith, a 16 year old high school student, applied to be accepted into Virginia Commonwealth's Urban Journalism Workshop. Emily was accepted. But when the university saw her white skin 1 week later, they rejected her. Apparently, there are more than two dozen universities who reject white student's applications to similar programs based on race. Perhaps the program creators believe that white people only live in the suburbs. Or perhaps they believe whites are somehow genetically incapable of reporting "urban" journalism.

In any event, the Center for Individual Rights filed suit on behalf of Emily, and fortunately more racially sensitive heads prevailed. As part of the settlement, all the schools offering a similar program can no longer reject candidates based on the candidate's race (although none of the parties admitted any wrongdoing).

Story here.

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