Students don’t need this new union

Students don’t need this new union

April 08
22:34 2013

So, a Tarrant County College student is trying to form a white student union. And yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. Let’s take a look.

Richard Railey is a 56-year-old student studying IT security. He blogs about his experiences, sometimes in the third person to seem more authoritative. According to the background given on his site, he was denied funding for his education on the basis of being white. He has also written strongly against TCC’s persons of color mentorship program.

He received a $2,700 Pell Grant to go to a school that charges $52 per hour and has allegedly refused offers to take part in mentorship programs. But let’s not get into the plot holes in this story just yet.

Railey’s group is not sanctioned by TCC and is not officially affiliated with the college.

The scary part, for me, isn’t that there’s a guy at my old school trying to form a white student union. The scary part is I’ve heard his arguments before—from rational people:

“Affirmative Action is racist against white people, and diversity in employment acts give jobs to less qualified minorities.”

These are things that white men say and believe. Now that it’s publicly spread to a local college, I’d like to establish some ground rules for the people who think about how hard it is to be a white man. Sort of a White Bro Code, if you will.

Rule 1: It’s OK to recognize that Affirmative Action is, without any other context, unfair. If I were born yesterday and heard that I had fewer scholarship opportunities because I was a white man, yes, I’d be upset.

It’s not OK to completely disregard the context. The context is this: most minorities simply have less money.

Even now, 150 years removed from slavery, a black man and a white man can make the same amount of money and have completely different levels of financial security. Making the same amount of present-day money, a white guy could be fine because of his inheritance. His family has been making money since the beginning of money, so he has a safety net.

The black guy in this example, if his ancestors were plucked from Africa and enslaved, does not. His family has only been making money for 150 years. And also less money, because it wasn’t OK for his family to go to good schools for most of that time.
That’s not even touching on the modern slavery Mexicans find themselves forced into.

Rule 2: It’s OK to be mad that you didn’t get the job. It’s even OK to notice that it went to a minority.
It’s not OK to tell yourself you would have gotten the job if not for those damn equality laws.

The mentality that because a minority got the job you were up for is dependent on two assumptions. First, you’re assuming that, because you’re talking about a minority, the person is less qualified. This is flatly racist. Second, you’re assuming that you didn’t blow the interview.

You will experience rejection in the job market, and throwing a pity party over employment equality isn’t the way to deal with it. Get over yourself.
Rule 3: It’s OK to be proud of being a white man. Really, it is.

I’m extremely happy being a white man. I get pulled over less. People assume I’m an American citizen. Racist grandpas let me step on their lawn. I can walk around at night because, if I encounter a cop, they probably won’t beat me, and if I encounter a mugger, they’ll probably just take my money and not my body.
There’s no part about that rule that’s not OK, that’s a freebie.

Look, racial inequality is still around, and there are valid disadvantages on the white side of the issue. But the way to get rid of them is to get rid of offsetting, long-standing disadvantages on the other side.

Not moaning about how hard it is to be white.

Joshua Knopp is a pre-journalism sophomore. He can be reached at hillbutton@gmail.com.

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