Penalized for My Southern Past

Guest Post by my son, Drew Mixson

On a college application, my son was instructed:

Write a 300-400 word essay describing your thoughts on one of the following topics: (1) The importance of having a diverse student body at a university; or (2) What you will do at Auburn University to promote and enhance diversity.

His response…

Coming from Alabama, I am constantly hit in the face with the dirty memories of past sins – the Birmingham Bus Boycotts, the Selma Marches, Bull Connor and fire hoses, Governor Wallace on the Alabama steps, and so much more.

Born out of the South, I can not deny the seething racism of my forefathers, nor the despicable acts they committed. Rather, I must live on, conscious of their deeds and cautious not to repeat them.

I would never want anyone to associate me with the vile prejudice of yesteryear. The integration of races, religions, and customs has benefited not only the pursuit of equal civil rights, but also the college experience as a whole – in and outside the classroom.

I firmly believe everyone should be on a level playing field when it comes to college. No one should ever be given an unequal chance to get into college, make good grades in college, and enjoy college, just because of the color of their skin or the God they worship.

However, I think that in the pursuit of diversity, Universities across the nation have actually taken steps backwards. Instead of not letting intelligent students in because of their race, now sub-par students are let in because of their race.

Do you see how backwards that is?

Let me give an illustration. Lets say a white man and a black man are both applying for a scholarship. They have the same scores, same resume, except, the white man has a 2 point higher ACT. Well, the choice should be clear. Give it to the superior student right? Wrong. 9 out of 10 times, the black guy will be rewarded the scholarship *because” he is black.

That is reverse racism, and it is absolutely unacceptable. In our strides to increase diversity, we have sadly overshot and missed the mark.

Treat people equally, ignore race and gender, and let the best person win. Anything less is wrong.

Drew Mixson