“Are you a POC?”

You know that Pixel Lord song that goes “Warning: Power Engage” and then drops off into mediocre glitch hop? Well, that little sound bit is playing now, and I don’t want to say I’m triggered because of the connotation that has, but I sure am tilted and you better buckle up because I’m about to blast you and your white rear end to the actual moon (note to the rest of Medium: I know OP, know that this isn’t bait, so hold the troll feeding comments)(like anyone else on Medium is going to read this).

Alright, to begin with, it sounds like you aren’t a fan of Affirmative Action. Maybe you think that this is just a dumb system implemented to make the bureaucrats look like do-gooders, and your own sorry butt not get into college. Perhaps, if you were a minority, a different gender, something simple and easy, you could slide into whatever college you want nice and easy. Well, listen up, because the world doesn’t work that way.

(Initiate cool down and logic stage)

I’m going to start with some harder evidence, here. You can insist all you want that we live as a happy homogeneous melting pot, which is easy to do when you’re in the good part of the pot, but really hard to say when you’re looking at the statistics. The hard truth is, after the civil war, and throughout the history of people immigrating here, and throughout the history of women doing work, selected minorities have been actively discriminated against. That leaves us with this weird segregated society, both in regards to race and gender. What does that, in turn, mean? Well, weird things like this, and then, because of that, weird other things like this, this, and this. If you don’t feel like study-raking, and accept the Huffington Post as a news source, there’s a good summary here, or if you don’t feel like clicking on links, you can listen to me explain: minorities, due to past laws, and present prejudice, tend to live together. These neighborhoods are often poor. This non-wealth and a variety of other factors make it 1)so non minorities assume residents (and therefore entire races) are stupid, which makes it so 2)these neighborhoods are often taken advantage of, which in addition to perpetuating the cycle, makes it so 3)it is really hard for kids to get a good education, and even less than that, stay on the good side of the law, so it becomes really difficult for 4) these minorities to get into colleges and 5) make as much money as their white peers and 6)live lives of equal quality and 7)break the cycle. Affirmative action is an attempt to break the cycle. If you like math but still do not believe me, ViHart made this which supports my point.

In order to have made it this far along the evolutionary pathway or what have you, humans have developed the tendency to make generalizations. A funny side effect of this is that people look around and say, if even just subconsciously, people say “huh, there are a lot of ______(type) of people living in ghettos. Therefore most _____ must (have low standards, be poor, be uneducated). This means that even if people break the cycle, and wind up in a happy, predominantly white area with a good schools (where could this be idk huh IDK) people make assumptions, and judge them, and make it harder to become like class president or something like that or have a good time in school. I don’t think you understand what this means or feels like. This isn’t something that happens within the 45 minutes of a single class, this is 24/7. You turn in homework, you walk down the street, you enter your house, this thing is following you. It never leaves, goes away. You don’t have anything except sympathy here; if you’ve been in an analogous situation there’s always been a way out, like after I get through this class, after I leave this area, things will be normal, I will fit in again. Feels good, huh? Funny thing, this sucks a lot. It robs you of your confidence, your will. You feel like something is wrong with you. It becomes so much harder to succeed.

I admit — I am not entirely familiar with feeling this way. For me, as well, there has always been more or less of an out. Still, I can share my experiences as a non-male-by-birth member of the community

Did you know that I was the only female members of my engineering, math, and physics classes last year (barring the godsend that was Alison)? Did you know, that that SUCKED? Not to be one of the “in” people? Need help? Want to be hit on while trying to painfully extract hints from texted conversations with alpha males toying with you? What? You don’t want to say “thanks”, compliment them, beg when they tell you to? Well, best talk to that butt hole who teaches that class. Hm, what? No help there? Better figure it out yourself, then. Want to be the only one who has no idea what the weekend plans were, who never gets invited to the physics-class quad trip, who was never in on the dumb physics group chat, or really any group chat for anything related to any technical class. Hm, seems hard to succeed, to compete. Guess what, bud, the playing field is uphill for women in certain fields and minorities.

Even if you haven’t clicked on any other links, I think you owe this a read. Hey, I saw you just gloss over that. This article is literally so bomb. Read it read it read it. Like it so overshadows this entire response. Go read it.

Oh, and it seems like you think transgender/non-straight people have it easy. How does this sound: you spend your entire life feeling out of place until one day, you work up the courage to tell someone. Then you spend the rest of your life wearing clothes that don’t really fit, or investing in invasive surgery that doesn’t really fix anything, or paying for hormones that make you feel better as a person but like a terrible homo sapiens, and sit through endless ridicule to boot. If you have friends that are like you, there is a high chance at least one of them will wind up killing themselves by the time you graduate from college. There is a high chance more than one of them engage in self-destructive behaviors and then you wind up being the support. Oh, did I mention that your parent may or may not hate you for it? But its okay, because you get a leg up with college admissions (fun fact: not really). In fact, you get a free ride in high school. You can just not try and still get into the college of your dreams (fun fact: NO YOU CANT YOU HUH LETS SEE its really really hard when operating as a non cis person, especially when you are trans, to face all the mental illness, all this stress, and still do as well as your straight friends).

It seems alright then, that 1) universities be aware of this and 2)work to take it into account. If colleges made decisions based on beginning talent, you’d see a lot more of white male tech school, Caucasian University, and good schools, like Harvard, would just be Phillips Exeter 2.0. Instead, they chose to evaluate based on intelligence and what a person has done given the situation they were raised in. By doing this, they improve the quality of their schools WHILE giving people a way to break the cycle.

Sure, affirmative action creates problems for white kids like you. In fact, it doesn’t even go a very long way into fixing the problems that poverty and cancer and discrimination and anything, really create. So even though it looks to you like all these disabled kids, all these minorities get free rides while you have to WORK for your living, you still have the better deal. But, guess what, it’s an important step in the right direction.

Look around you. You go to a good school in a good community. You may joke that its poor, that it has no resources, that it is riddled with drugs. Grow up and drive your sorry butt to Scranton, then come back and tell me that we have the short end of the stick. Believe it or not, we have the privilege of attending one of the top public schools in the state. Kids everywhere are paying thousands of dollars to attend schools of this quality, and you get to go, for free. If that doesn’t give you a leg up over that Hispanic kid who goes to West and who’s parents don’t even speak English (affirmative action or not), tell me what does.

Did you know that your post echoes many of the cries that have resounded in the Trump-elect era. Have you heard of these guys? They don’t like affirmative action either. Have you heard of the guys driving around with their confederate flags lauding the new era of “free speech” Trump brings? They hate affirmative action because they feel it tramples the ability of white men to get into colleges. This sort of opposition is not just ignorance, it’s racism and menism. It’s not right.

Oh, and did you know that white people actually go to Harvard and Yale and stuff? Did you know that a high percentage of people who attend these schools (not at reflecting the racial makeup of this nation) are white. If you’re good, and you deserve it, you and your white butt will get in.

To address your gas station comment: have you noticed that the percentage of white gas station owners/workers is nationally proportionally low? I know you live in white boi country over in the hills there, so it may seem like theres a lack of minorities at gas stations; I assure you that this is just because of a lack of minorities generally. In fact, if you left Scranton, you’d find a good deal of non-European immigrants and their descendant in gas station jobs, not white kids like you. Interestingly, their non-english speaking status and disadvantages did little for them in the way of Stanford admissions, and if it wasn’t for affirmative/really really really really hard work their descendants would be stuck in this cycle.

So, the world isn’t as simple as “lets admit all those inner city African American kiddos, eh?” You’re a smart kid, and your interpretation of the admissions process hurts me. I’m tilted because what you’ve said is a direct attack on my abilities and the hard work I’ve done to get where I am. Can all those all-nighters and leadership positions really be waved away as a result of gender?

Please do not take this disparagement too personally. I am certainly open to discourse, and still respect your personhood. I do not hate or dislike you for anything that either of us has said. However, I am a fighter, and although fire-with-fire is not recommended, it’s something built into me.

Be smart, look around at the people around you, and get woke. There’s a real world out there.