Race In Education Fall of 1999, I applied for the University of Idaho to pursue a bachelor degree. I could be the first in my family to obtain this accomplishment. The issue that always came to mind was will I have enough money? Racial issues in the state of Idaho were a concern of mine also, for I was a member of a minority group. How is it possible for an Asian American, from a low-income family, suppose to fund their education and mentally tolerate racism in Idaho? I felt scared and uncertain of what the future held for me. I he question, “how does other minority groups deal and cope with the issues at hand?” When I graduated high school in 1994, I was uncertain of what I wanted to do.
I failed to get a scholarship in athletics and had no funding to pay for school. So, I thought to myself “What am I to do for myself now?” Like most minorities I went to work for a living and eventually got married. Things got worse and worse as time went on. Things turned for the worst and I got divorced and was working as a furniture salesman. I spoke to my parents and told them that I was going to go to college at the University of Idaho. My father laughed and said, “yea right and pigs fly.” Certainly all the odds are stacked up against minorities in getting a better education.
With all the issues brought up in America about equality in the past decade. We find that minorities do have a lot of lenience in pursuing an education and pursuing professional jobs, “equal opportunity.” A big question is “how much lenience do we give and who do we give it to?” In a recent article that I read in the Idaho Statesman, “Diversity: Idaho and the U.S.” was pretty interesting, but yet still a harsh reality to minorities. It stated that less than 10 percent of Idahos population was minority. Idaho is the rated 42 out of 50 states in the lowest percent of minority residents. With numbers so low, does this impact the lenience of minorities received in colleges and big corporations? Does company like Micron and Hewlett-Packard in Boise have recruiting problems in hiring minorities due to affirmative action? Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides: No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
(American Constitutional Law) With these recruiting problems does this affect the quality of the work? In a interview in The Idaho Statesman, Mehairi stated, “Nothing makes me want to go there,” said Mehairi Kassa, a Drexel University student interviewing at a California job fair where HP (Hewlett Packard) was recruiting.” If corporations cant to hire on the bases of where they cant base their decision on race, religion, sex, and affiliation of any specific group. Then why do we use these things for basing funding for education? With all these questions at hand, I was curious and I started to look into these fascinating things. Among these things I found in Idaho there are four different racist groups residing in Bonners Ferry, Coeur dAlene, Idaho Falls, Nampa, and Sandpoint and others in North Idaho. (Idaho Statesman) “North Idaho College couldnt persuade any person of color to apply for its presidents job. Several black female candidates were contacted but declined when they learned the college was in Coeur dAlene,” stated Ron Bell Interim President.
(Idaho Statesman) This gave me a little insight in how people had perceived the state of Idaho. I think it is perceived this way because of how Idaho is portrayed in the media. With the whole OJ Simpson case and how Mark Fermin lived in Sandpoint. It gives a preconceived idea to minorities considering moving to Idaho. After seeing this insight, I wasnt going to let it deter me from pursuing an education.
I continued to look for all the possible ways to finance my education. I filled out a Financial Aide form and pursued several scholarships. After all this, I received enough funding to attend the University of Idaho. Is this because Im a minority or because I come from a low-income family? I feel that I received this due to the image of how minorities see Idahos image and that I should reflect how Idaho really looks. Looking at the other side of coin, being white Caucasian, is this really fair that minorities receive more funding because they were born into a minority family? In this, does the fact that they get special treatment spark anger among the white community? In light of this, I went next door and interviewed two white females that are attending the university. Both took the side that”minorities shouldnt get more funding than Caucasians, because we are all human and funding should be based on need not race.” How are whites treated in other countries? Are they given the same opportunities as minorities here in America? One of the interviewees even brought up athletes getting more funding upset them as well. Which opens a whole new realm.