The debate over Wal-Mart and what black folks read is, well, sort of "academic," pardon the joke, when laid against more important matters. Now, while many of us find happiness in spinning rims and wanting to be the next Beyonce, others yearn for a college degree and here, Peter Schmidt's new book , Color and Money: How Rich White Kids are Winning the War over College Affirmative Action should be instructive.
Watch for my interview as the school year begins; hopefully we can arrange it for you folk with teens or anyone considering law or med school. He even touches on this fiasco at Duke re: the Lacrosse Team.
Check out testimonials like this: "Books on the highly-charged issue of affirmative action are usually one-sided and inflammatory. Peter Schmidt’s Color and Money is a wonderful exception. It provides an honest and fair examination that is also passionate and illuminating. Schmidt carefully weighs the arguments for and against affirmative action and then lays bare higher education’s naughty secret--that for all its self-congratulatory embrace of diversity, poor and working-class students of all colors remain largely shut out.”--Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action
Schimdt doesn't pull any punches. He does indeed warn that this is a two-way street. So instead of buying cheesy romances or thug novels at Wal-mart or Madden Football or them new rims, black parents should be using what resources they have to enrich and prepare children to enter this battle--and win it. Too much of "winning" seems to be tied to getting a record contract with a Hip Hop label, and indeed the elites at these schools reinforce this by the implicit and even explicit notion that we CANNOT compete with them and win on that level. This irony of entitlement (ironic because it is usally they, either in school or the workplace, who claim WE consider ourselves entitled to X, Y and Z because of color and slavery) means they say "stick to crime, rap and stripping, and bein' sassy like Mo'Nique and Queen Latifah, or cooning like Flavor Flav." And damned if too many of us kinda-sorta do. Schimdt, a senior editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shows us just how insidious this is.
And of course he's white. What? Well, is a publisher going to take a black academic author seriously--unless its a treatise on "Tupac and Fiddy as Revolutionaries?" Hence we come full circle--and you fanboys and girls of mine know what I mean. Buy the book. Read it. Stop buying crap. There's too much at stake now. Seriously...