Personal Column: Reward me for more than just my skin color


Ariel Benson, Staff Writer

By Ariel Benson, Staff Writer

When you’re ranked in the top 1% of your class, it’s expected you will receive money for college. When you’re ranked in the top 1% of your class and you are black, you are expected to receive double the normal amount. This is my situation… and it is not favorable.

African Americans and Hispanics are praised for being even somewhat intelligent because we are expected to fail. If this weren’t true, I wouldn’t receive letters in the mail exclaiming how great I’m doing, when our current valedictorian doesn’t receive the same attention, though she is performing better than I. Did I mention that she is white? It is terribly ironic that the United States of America is trying to seek “equality” but in doing so, are only disrupting the already corrected portions.

Instead of scholarships asking me what my family’s income is, they are asking me what the color of my skin is. Because this matters right? While I indeed need money, and will never reject it, there are others who are missing out on the chance of gaining financial assistance because of the lack of melanin in their skin. This is a new form of discrimination

Looking solely at college admission tactics, it is as if the year of 2015 is mirroring the years that fall under the first half of the 20th century. The only difference is who is being targeted. African Americans constantly complain about the current racial conflicts, which they can do justifiably, but never have a word to say about the advances that have risen in the field of college finances.

Many people claim that I deserve the money because my ancestors went through American slavery. Honestly, I don’t even know who my ancestors are, what they did, or where they were during the 19th century. What blacks endured up to the mid-1900s, and what hispanics experienced during the beginning of the 20th century does not parallel our generation. Is there still racism? Yes. Is there still prejudice? Yes. But instead of asking what the color of my skin is, instead ask if I have ever been hurt by others judging the color of it. I can promise you that I have not.

Students should earn scholarships through their academics and activities. The tone of my skin does not fall in either of these categories.

I am a kid who has succeeded in school and outside activities. Give me money for this, and only this. But perhaps because there are so many different beliefs as to what the definition of equality is, that we will never achieve what I believe to be correct.