The Glaring Issue
On yesterday, a relatively controversy piece made its way to CBS News (watch the video here). In a piece titled, “Study: Celebrity trumps news for women,” reporter Taryn Winter-Bill took to the streets to engage young college-aged woman and found them to be more knowledgeable about celebrity gossip than current events. After, CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom spoke to Erica Hill about the study.
Before I go any further, I’ll mention that this “study” was done after daring claims were made in Lisa Blooms’ new book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. She found:
- Women could not name the three branches of government, wars we are currently involved in, and one major international news headline
- More wanted to be famous over winning the Nobel Peace Prize
- More wanted to be hit by a bus than to be fat
- Many believed we’ve made significant advances in women’s rights YET few knew that we are one a few “Western” nations that has never had a female head of state
What’s sad is that NONE of this surprises me. While an undergraduate and graduate TA in very different university settings, I found students in BOTH places to be relatively unaware of what was going on around them. Largely, their interest was only ground in events they could directly relate from. Sure, they knew all about a crisis overseas BUT it was only to advance a personal agenda.
And that’s fine. That’s what the United States of America has come to stand for. If it’s international and doesn’t relate directly to me, then I’m just going to watch the latest reality show until I find something (read: the news highlights something) that does.
Who Suffers The Most?
But the question is now: WHO SUFFERS FROM THIS? Well folks…it isn’t the poor Black people in urban centers that everyone wants to save.
It’s young, White women.
That’s right folks. It’s those young white women that have the most to lose from this. Let’s look at a few facts shall we.
- In 2007, White college enrollment constituted 64% of total college enrollment. Source
- Approximately 60% of Whites graduated with a bachelor’s degree or it’s equivalent within 6 years (the only group to outperform Whites in this area was Asians/Pacific Islanders). Source
- In both public and private not-for-profit 4-year institutions, the 6-year graduation rates for females were higher than the rates for males. Source
- In public institutions, approximately 58% of females graduated within 6 years versus 52% of males.
- The percentage of females graduating within 6 years at private not-for-profit institutions was 67% versus 61% of males.
- While examining race and sex, the NCES found that in 2007-08, 62% of Associate’s, 56% of Bachelor’s, 62% of Master’s, & 55% of Doctoral degrees were awarded to white women. Source
But Why Blame De-Segregation?
Well, folks, it’s simple. That’s when our education system as a whole went to hell.
Of course, the legislation brought about in Brown v. Board of Education (and other similar cases) were to ensure that people of color finally had the chance to receive an equal opportunity at a well-rounded education. No longer would racial and ethnic minorities be relegated to attending struggling and dilapidated schools on the outskirts of town where books were outdated and the building was falling apart. No! They would have the chance to attend the schools that had come to represent the beacon of beaming light upon a hill.
Except…over time, White people left. And with them, money.
Now with my background in education, I was also surprised to learn the other part of desegregation — the moving of teachers of color into white schools and vice versa. But with the money and the apathetic attitudes, white parents moved their white children to white suburbs where they could ensure that white teachers would teach in white schools. They built up schoolhouses whose “Keep Out If You Aren’t Like Us” rule has trickled down to even today. These schools, while better than urban schools aren’t all that great. It’s true, they look awesome when compared to urban schools where less than 50% of any given freshman class makes it to graduation and successfully matriculates into college. HOWEVER, these schools look like the runt of a puppy litter when compared to our global competition. Those AP courses your child takes as a Senior, I’m pretty sure a Chinese kid whose about 12 could pass…or at least carry their weight.
What ultimately has happened is that America has NOT stayed a force in education. We continue to fall in the educational ranks of developed nations and our students as a whole continue to struggle on standardized tests. Gone are the days of challenging curriculum and parents siding with the teacher. No, we’ve hurriedly ushered in an era where children are doted on and our challenging curriculum isn’t all that challenging. Our standards are low and our children are apathetic, spoiled brats…
All because someone in your family a while back didn’t want their child to be a kindergarten desk buddy with a Black kid and our government did nothing about it.
So to all of my White Ladies, Women, Chicks, Feminist Friends (whatever), you’re getting dumber….and it’s your grandparents (or great-grandparents) fault.