Awaiting '40 Acres'

Affirmative action is raising tensions between minorities and whites at many US college campuses. Part 2 of 2.

I BELIEVE the law is taught from a very conservative white male's perspective. We often talk about the original intent behind the Constitution. Well, the Constitution was written by white men. It's tough teaching high school students [in a street-law clinic taught at inner-city schools] about Fourth Amendment standards for search and seizure.

They ask me: "Miss Goodson, what do you mean they have to have a warrant? They came and knocked on my door and ransacked the place."

Everything is taught from the perspective of the owner. When a person of color thinks about property, they might first think like a tenant. I believe a white male probably first thinks like an owner. It's a shock ... watching people pull out a pen and write tuition checks for $15,000 when I know the loan checks are not in yet. To have that much money just right there in your checking account!

I've heard a lot of African-American students say, "I don't want to get in through affirmative action. I don't want people to think I got a break." I say, "Why not?" I'm still waiting for my 40 acres and a mule.

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