Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why Are There No Second Chances For People Of Color?


Criminal background checks in the admission process are becoming a trend in colleges across the country in America .  Will these background checks lead to another form of racial profiling and discrimination against black and brown people?

“There are important public policy reasons for colleges to reject this practice,” said Dr. Weissman.  “This is a civil rights issue.  Racial profiling and the heavy concentration of police in low-income, urban neighborhoods have led to extraordinarily high rates of arrest and conviction among young African Americans and Latinos...Based  on these facts,” she continued, “screening for criminal records cannot be a race-neutral practice.” ~~Dr. Marsha Weissman, CCA~~

"The report, The Use of Criminal History Records in College Admissions Reconsidered,” argues that colleges and universities can responsibly refrain from collecting criminal background information because there is no empirical evidence that students with criminal records present a threat to campus safety."~~Center for Community Alternatives~~

The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) released a reportRead more here

"The problem is this: How do you distinguish between students whose behaviors present a current threat from students who have merely done something stupid in their teenage lives that they now regret? How serious was the crime? How long ago did it happen? Are we talking about a single offense or something that is part of a recurrent pattern?"~~Louis Hirsch, director of admissions at the University of Delaware/Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY~~

News flash!  Does it ever occur to those in authority that when a person of color with a criminal record puts in an application to go to college, it might be because they are trying to turn their life around?  Like any other human being sometimes they too mature and come to the realization that they did stupid things when they were young and dumb.  I mean it's not like they have to put in an application for college just to commit a crime.  If they intended to commit a crime, they wouldn't be or have the time to be putting in an application for college.

How can they change their life around if the door is constantly shut in their face for trying?  Is our society instrumental in singling out and blocking second chances to people of color who want to do a 360 degree turn around and become productive members of our society?  Our world is full of those who want to do just that, but they need to be given a chance to do so. 

10 comments:

RiPPa said...

Thanks for putting this info out, Granny. I've been communicating with this org for a few weeks now securing an interview with the program director on the results of this study.

They truly don't want us to get ahead is what I summize. But hey, this isn't anything new in America, is it?

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

@Rippa:

"They truly don't want us to get ahead is what I summize."

Well, they've been throwing up roadblocks since our ancestors got off the boats in this country. Old habits don't always die when people cling to them. And yet we still rise!

Anonymous said...

Once again great topic Granny..........

"Does it ever occur to those in authority that when a person of color with a criminal record puts in an application to go to college, it might be because they are trying to turn their life around? "

"the heavy concentration of police in low-income, urban neighborhoods have led to extraordinarily high rates of arrest and conviction among young African Americans "

BOOYAH!

Hathor said...

I think this is also a way to tell the well to do parents think it's OK to send their child to that school. (this include the HBCU's) Crime is usually under reported to the parents and unless there is a serial rapist there is hardly any safety behaviors stressed to the students. I live very near an university who sends out brochures that imply that they are not located in the city. I actually saw one out of state student's blog who thought they were in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The campus lighting is poor because some of the upper middle class neighbors complained. They whole atmosphere is to give the impression that the school is not in an urban environment.

Most times the crime that does happen is from outsiders and students do things that make them easily victims. Such as jogging alone in isolated places, leaving the dorms doors open, bringing relative strangers into the dorm or using an off campus ATM at night. Even in Philadelphia there is a lot of greenery and isolation in the park systems.

Anonymous said...

Granny, how many chances should they have? I mean, for decades Blacks have been given many chances in this country to turn their lives around. Bill Cosby and Obama are right. There have been many opportunities but you can no longer blame the white man for not taking advantage of it.

Francis L. Holland said...

Granny, you asked, "Does it ever occur to those in authority that when a person of color with a criminal record puts in an application to go to college, it might be because they are trying to turn their life around?"

Of course it occurs to them, but just as having been convicted of committed felonies keeps many Blacks (particularly Black men) from voting, so this this trend , if it is one, will deepen the horrifying statistics comparing Blacks in jail or under supervision to those in college.

I think it would be far more useful to look for violations of restraining orders and gun ownership. Try getting white men to agree to that!

Redeye said...

Anonymous, Granny's question was why are there no second chances for people of color and has nothing to do with Bill Cosby or President Obama. Explain your assertion "Blacks have been given many second chances in this country to turn their lives around". What "opportunities have they failed to take advantage of"?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Education is an elitist endeavor in this country to a large degree.
You almost have to be of a certain class to get into a top rated school. If you are working class or average, you've got to settle for someplace where you may get a really good education and learn just as much or more (in the case people like George Bush) than the ivy leaguer, but by reputation alone, your opportunity will be limited.
It's very difficult for many college students who come from families where education was not part of the family tree. Add to that a few other road blocks and I suspect it becomes almost impossible.
Oh yea, there are those who can rise above anything and make it through tenacity, gumption, etc., but they are the exception. They can not be held as examples of the norm.
If education was fair in this country, they'd be making it easier for 1st generation students, working class and people of color to enter the halls of academia, not more difficult.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Anonymous 9:07:

Where in this topic did I blame the white man?

BTW, could you answer Redeye's question.

Blinders Off said...

Hmmm, the Virginia Tech massacre came to mind when I read this post...if they want to start a criminal background check then they need to consider a psychological check also.