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 scam 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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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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