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I came across an interesting article today while scanning my hometown paper, the Houston Chronicle. The article highlights the creation of a new non-profit group with a focus on giving financial assistance to, wait for it: white males.
Yep, you heard it right, the Former Majority Association for Equality, founded by Texas State University Mass Communications major Colby Bohannon is seeking to offer aid to this oft-derided combination of gender and race. Bohannon has drawn criticism from many groups alleging that he is a racist and decrying his intent to lend a hand to a demographic that is already perceived as privileged.
But, Bohannon and the F.M.A.F.E. go to great lengths to make it clear that they do not subscribe to any white supremacist beliefs or take money from those who do. Underscoring their stated acceptance and diversity, the group’s vice president is black.
The idea for the foundation began when Bohannon’s search for scholarships led him to many foundations that required applicants to be women or members of a racial or ethnic minority. Identifying what he saw as an un-met need -- the lack of scholarships specifically available to white males -- he established his foundation.
On the surface one might quickly dismiss Bohannon and his group, given the typical portrayal of white males in American society. Full disclosure, I am white and male. And while I understand that there may have been a day when the color of one’s skin was unfortunately all it took to receive an employment opportunity or a raise, those days are long gone. Judging by Bohannon’s experience searching for scholarships, it’s possible that it’s quite the contrary.
I’m hoping that Bohannon’s scholarship will have a tangible benefit for its recipients. Or, will have a more overarching effect by somewhat ironically pointing out that racial preference, no matter in what form, has no place in our society.
I’ll leave you with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commonly referenced statement about equality: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Let us hope that we as a country can live today and every day with character, and honor Dr. King’s legacy, by ending benefits based on racial preferences. Without Dr. King’s bravery and that of countless others, both black and white, we would not be the great nation that we are today.