“Race neutrality is much more conducive to targeting truly underprivileged students”
as this morning’s WSJ states. As an Hispanic, I heartily applaud treating college applicants as individuals. In the long run, this policy supports the achievements of the person. Nothing diminishes me more than being regarded as part of an anonymous, “underpriviledged”, “uneducated”, “minority”.
Hispanics in particular, as a group, essentially have only their language in common — and sometimes not even that, since there are people in Latin America that don’t speak Spanish, for example, some Quechuas in Peru. There are Hispanics in the USA who also don’t speak Spanish (Remember Eric Estrada of CHIPS, the 1970s TV program? He had to learn Spanish when he took a part in a Mexican TV soap. Since the program started filming before he was fully fluent, he learned the lines phonetically at first).
Race, ethnic background, religion, economic and social status, educational level, work experience, family size and dynamics, financial situation, country of origin, current nationality, physical build and height, and nearly everything else you can think of, are as different and varied among hispanics as can possibly be among peoples of over a dozen different countries. Hispanics don’t even come from the same continent, since Spain’s in Europe. Then add those differences to people who live here who would be regarded as Hispanic, and whose background is purely American: Hispanics who were in this part of the world before the USA was a country. There are Hispanics in the Forbes 400 list of richest people in America, and in the Forbes List of Most Powerful Women, and in the Forbes list of World’s Richest People. There are Hispanics in every profession, occupation, branch of the military, major educational institution, and city in the USA.
It’s time to look at the individual.