The ‘former majority’ wants a break

by David Alm on March 2, 2011

Photo by Kelly West for The Statesman

A student at Texa s State University has a bone to pick with higher education: white men, he says, are under-represented on today’s campuses. The Iraq War veteran returned home and enrolled in school only to find that scholarships existed aplenty for minority students, but none for guys like him. So he decided to do something about it. As an earlier trailblazer of racial justice, Rosa Parks, showed us, change starts with just one person… right?

The Former Majority Association for Equality, a Texas-based nonprofit, is behind the $500 (!) scholarships, which will be awarded this summer to white males with at least a 3.0 GPA.

“I felt excluded,” the student, Coby Bohannan, told the Statesman. “If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?”

While Bohannan, who is president of the FMAE, is actually right about whites being a minority in Texas — recent census data shows Hispanics accounting for 2/3 of the state’s population — does that mean white men are disadvantaged? As a group, I doubt it, but Bohannan says that his family didn’t have the resources to send him to college. Very well.

But it’s simply not true that scholarships for white men do not exist elsewhere. About 38 seconds into an Internet search, I found this list of scholarships available exclusively to white men. Of course, most of them are for HBCUs, or “Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” like Alcorn State University in Mississippi and Alabama A&M.

Somehow I suspect that Bohannan wouldn’ t wan t to enroll in one of those schools.

Ryan Z March 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

First a minor point, as of the last American Community Survey (2008), non-Hispanic whites in Texas (as they are in California) are a minority-majority with around 48% of the population.

Second, this is not new news. This issue of whites as a minority in colleges came up the Supreme Court in the twin Bollinger cases of 2003 (see http://www.npr.org/news/specials/michigan/index.html for details). If you really want to give this topic its due diligence, you need to take this story in the larger fights going on in the courts over affirmative action.

David Alm March 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Thanks for the comment, Ryan, and for the additional info you provided. I’ll add that the blog post wasn’t really meant to be exhaustive, so the “due diligence” aspect wasn’t something I was all that concerned about. It was meant more to just make people aware of this singular initiative.

But that’s the beauty of blogs: readers weigh in, and we collectively learn more through debate and general input than we would otherwise. In that sense, I think of blogs as little more than launching-off points, not thorough pieces that can or should stand alone.

Diana March 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

This reminds me of the fabulous Sam Bee Daily Show segment on male inequality. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-february-3-2010/male-inequality

Also, if I remember correctly from research into grad schools, there are a fair number of scholarships for veterans.

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