Rich People Bribing Colleges Is A Problem, Affirmative Action Isn't

Rich White Parents Can Bribe Their Kids' Ways Into College But People Are Still Mad About Affirmative Action

For years, the rich have been using their personal connections and vast wealth to continue bringing in opportunities for their lackluster children, yet for some reason, no one seems to bat an eye.

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Wealthy people are paying for their kids to get into college?

*Gasp*

Honestly, tell me something I don't know.

On Tuesday, the FBI exposed a multimillion-dollar college admissions scandal executed by some of the most wealthy and prominent families in the U.S., two of which happen to be Hollywood household names. These overzealous and exceedingly wealthy parents participated in scandalous and unethical behavior, such as paying others to take their teen's admissions exams, as well as bribing college officials to say that their children were athletic recruits when they weren't athletes at all.

The most notable names from the list of 50 individuals charged are Lori Laughlin, former cast member of TV's "Full House," and Felicity Huffman, known for her role in "Desperate Housewives" as Lynette Scavo. These women appeared innocent on TV, but it's clear that the cookie-cutter demeanor their characters displayed couldn't be further from their true colors.

If we're being honest here, the only reason this is newsworthy is that the wealthy people being indicted are celebrities — not because college admissions scams are a new occurrence.

It's no surprise that the colleges where these scams have taken place have all been prestigious universities like Yale, Stanford, and UCLA. These institutions have a history of being exclusive, as well as placing money above intellect and ability. As the saying goes, "It's not about what you know, but who you know."

For years, people have been using their personal connections and vast wealth to continue bringing in opportunities for their lackluster children, yet for some reason, no one seems to bat an eye.

We all know it's going on, but no one is complaining and no one tries to stop it. It's almost as if we've just accepted that that's the way things are. Meanwhile, I hear at least one ignorant comment about affirmative action a year.

I'm being serious. It's like clockwork.

As a minority, you constantly feel as though you have to "prove" that you belong in certain spaces, especially those that are typically seen as reserved for the white, wealthy majority. With this country's history of limiting minorities' access to education, colleges and universities are definitely included in the list of those spaces. The idea that we don't belong in these spaces, nor are we good enough for them, is still highly prominent in our society, even though there have been vast increases in the percentage of minorities enrolled in postsecondary education.

As a minority student, your talents and abilities are constantly undermined, while your success is seen as the result of some type of "help."

Even though the majority of minority students busted their asses to get into college (and bust our asses every day to stay there), we are always verbally assaulted with the "affirmative action" slander. I once went to see a lecture by a distinguished marine biologist. He told us a story about someone harassing him during the early days of his career, telling him "it's because of affirmative action and people like you that I didn't get into [Harvard]." In 2008, a clueless and grossly privileged young white woman tried to sue the University of Texas for using affirmative action to discriminate against her (but the truth is that she was just a mediocre student). And for a personal example, I once sat across from one of my peers at the Honors College and heard him say "I have to look super good on my med school application or else I won't get in... Because, ya know, I'm white."

The idea that the only reason Blacks and other minorities receive opportunities is because of affirmative action needs to die.

Not only is it the furthest thing from the truth, but it is just another way to denigrate an entire group of people and diminish their accomplishments. Why are minorities always blamed when a white person doesn't receive the opportunity they think they deserve? The same people who think it's preposterous to say that white privilege exists are the same people claiming how "unfair" affirmative action is.

The truth of the matter is that affirmative action is not some sort of privilege to minorities (Blacks are still the smallest population of those currently attending college), and minorities aren't "stealing" opportunities from anyone. Perhaps if we acknowledged that the biggest threat to integrity in college admissions are wealthy and elite, we could end this tired debate around affirmative action and stop the actually mediocre kids from getting into colleges they don't deserve to attend.

Clint Smith / Twitter

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Everyone Should Be Welcome At Pride, But There Are Some Things To Consider Before Coming

Pride month is so much more than a gay party.

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On October 11, 2018, I posted my coming out story to Odyssey. It had been for four years since I had initially said the two most terrifying words to my cousin, I'm bi. For a while, I was flying under the radar a bit. I still in the conservative parts of Georgia, and even though I wanted to be as open as possible, I was still scared for my safety.

Atlanta has its pride parade during pride week in October, probably because we would all melt in June. I went to my first ever pride event this past October, and I was so moved. The moment I walked past all of the protesters and onto the streets of midtown Atlanta, I could instantly feel all of the love and support in the air.

No one cared why we were at pride. All anyone knew is that we were either apart of the community, or that we were an ally. Everyone there celebrated and wanted to make a difference in the LGBTQ+ community. Since I live in such a conservative state, and I know what it's like to not have the people you love accept every part of you, and it's comforting to see how many people will genuinely support me for me.

If you aren't apart of the LGBTQ+ community, you are welcome at these events, but whatever you do, don't make this about you. If you're straight and at a pride event with your LGBTQ+ friend and decide to post on social media about make sure to include your friend if they're out, or post about how important it is that we fight for the right to have equal rights for everyone. Pride events and parades are more than just excuses to post on social media.

Pride is a protest. It started as a protest after the Stonewall riots, and it has continued every year since. It used to be illegal for gays and lesbians to congregate together, and now we're allowed to get married and have events like this in America without the fear of being prosecuted. There is still so much that this community needs to fight for though. Some same-sex couples aren't allowed to adopt, businesses can refuse to serve us because of their religious beliefs, and teens are still ending homeless because their families don't support them. Also, being gay is still illegal in a lot of countries. You could be prosecuted or put to death for liking someone of the same sex.

Everyone is always welcome at pride, but before you decide to come, think about this: Are you showing up to Pride for the right reason?

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