Saturday, May 31, 2008

Education for Everyone? Not so Fast...

It's hard to make a case today, in 2008, that it's okay to discriminate based on race and ethnicity when it comes to access to education.

I'm not talking about money, the old: it-would-be-nice-if-everyone-who-wanted-to-could-go-to-Harvard-but-let's-be-realistic-here argument - I'm talking about turning down someone who'd qualified for a scholarship on the basis of his or her race.

No, this is not happening in Somalia, Iran, or North Vietnam.

It's happening in America, sort of. Under America's nose, even though America issued the scholarship.

If there's anyone out there who doesn't think Gaza is effectively (and not metaphorically) an open-air prison, here's some food for thought: 7 Palestinian students who had qualified for and been granted Fulbright scholarships have had their scholarships revoked. Why? Did they have suspicious records? Nope. Had someone, somewhere thought they may have ties to terrorism? Guess again.

Israel will not let them out of Gaza, so they can take up the studies they earned the privilege to undertake, because Gaza - the whole city, and everyone in it, is under siege. And what does America, whose tax dollars flow like wine at an ancient Roman orgy to Israel's treasury, have to say to its favorite ally in the Middle East? Right then, we'll just go ahead and cancel the scholarships, no worries... would you like us to get that bar of soap you dropped while we're at it?

Here is the New York Times article - feel free to read it for yourselves and enlighten me in case you come upon a "oh, right, that makes TOTAL sense!" moment I might have missed.

3 comments:

Rachel said...

that is so cool you are an author!! good luck in your career and future writings!!

Bride-to-Be said...

did you hear!? condi rice put a word in and all 7 are getting their scholarships honored!

Nadine said...

Thanks for your comment Paris... I checked it out and you are absolutely right... following the media circus caused by this story, the students will in fact have their scholarships honored. And all it took was some warranted, well-placed outrage...

Imagine if people were more outraged over serious issues more often?...