We have all heard about scholarship programs for minority or underprivileged students, so why does this story from Texas make us feel uncomfortable?
After all, technically whites are a minority in Texas.
Brendan Baird is studying to become a physician’s assistant; a $500 academic scholarship will help pay the way. He had to demonstrate things like a high GPA, community service, and financial need. But what sealed the deal is the fact that that he’s a white man.
Says Baird, “If anyone wants to say it’s an issue of color, it’s the color of green. And we all need it.”
The award was presented by a nonprofit called the Former Majority Association for Equality. Its president, Colby Bohannon, says he’s been called a racist, akin to the KKK.
Says Bohannon, “We’re not racists. We have no agenda for bigotry. We’re not trying to take away anything from any other group. We’re just trying to help poor, Caucasian males afford college.”
The group’s vice-president [Marcus Carter] is black. There are also two women, and an Hispanic man on the board. Says Carter, “Right now everybody else has their own specific scholarship — for minorities, left-handed people, people who like the color green, or people who like Star Wars. I don’t feel that animosity toward helping this group, in with everyone else.”
But is a white-male scholarship necessary? Skeptics say while there are funding programs geared toward specific races or genders, many others are need-based and color-blind. One of the state’s biggest, the Texas Grant Program, has no gender nor race factor, and it’s geared toward low-income students. Over the past decade, the program has spent about $2 billion on 310,000 students.
Bohannan, meanwhile, says he plans to expand his scholarship program to $25,000 for another 5,000 while males who may need them.
What makes this story even more ironic are some of the comments on MyFox.