I landed my first job in the newspaper business during the deep recession of the early 1990s.
The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader had a hiring freeze. But I’d been a cracker-jack summer intern and the paper had never — never — had an African American on its editorial board. The paper’s parent company waived the freeze and helped pay my salary as part of a program aimed at increasing minority presence in newsrooms.
More than 20 years later, a writing and editing career that has spanned five cities and been recognized with more than a dozen national awards culminated in last Monday’s announcement that I had won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Opportunity, based at least in part on race, opened the door to that career.
That is what affirmative action means.
I wasn’t surprised Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s constitutional ban on affirmative action; in fact, I predicted as much in a column last fall. I spent four years covering the justices in Washington (I was the first African American assigned to do that, in 2003), and I have seen their tolerance for, and protection of, race-based preferences waning with each passing term. The challenge to the Michigan ban was far-flung and constitutionally flimsy, at least based on the court’s recent rulings.
But there’s also no question that Michigan’s ban on race-conscious policies at public institutions is awful policy, shutting doors that were beginning to open for people like me, in a country whose history is defined by efforts to keep blacks out — of colleges, of jobs, of neighborhoods and of restaurants.
There’s a compelling desire in our culture to pretend that history doesn’t matter anymore, to say opportunity is now equal in America.
But how absurd is that? Look at the profound gaps in building-block indicators such as school funding, health stats like infant mortality and child nutrition, or even the rate at which minority kids are lead-poisoned, and tell me that black people are born with the same chance at success as everyone else.
They aren’t. — Part of a very good column by Stephen Henderson: I Am Affirmative Action. (via bricksandmortarandchewinggum)
McDonald's and me: My fight to end gendered Happy Meal toys. - By Antonia Ayres-Brown -
I wasn’t sure what to excerpt (because it was all good).
mantra: don’t say anything to yourself that Bob Ross wouldn’t say to you
(Source: acidhorse, via msenjoli)
Sleep cycles: Why do some people stay up late and others get up early? -
This is a neat read.
They played a Zombies song on Mad Men last night - I listened to them today at work!
I don’t watch Mad Men but they had an article at Slate about how good the Zombies were (which was inspired by a Zombies song being on Mad Men).