So, I’m currently a full time student at TCC (Tarrant County College) in Fort Worth, Texas. Last summer, on June 14th of 2010 I was arrested for DWI and spent two months in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial. In the ensuing time I lost my job, car, was evicted in absentia from my apartment, personal belongings thrown into the street, and other possessions in storage sold at auction.
In August 0f 2010 I was found guilty of misdemeanor DWI and released for time served. 55 years old, no money, no job, no place to live, no family or close friends to call on, and no possessions save the clothes on my back; I wander aimlessly down to East Lancaster Street, Fort Worth’s notorious “Homeless Quarter” and land at the PNS (Presbyterian Night Shelter).
Being an Army veteran who served with the 5th Infantry, 2nd Battalion in Panama during the Independence Movement of 1976-1977, I discover I qualify for supportive housing through the VA’s Homeless Veterans Outreach Program. Most Excellent!
After two months on the waiting list living “on the street” I am finally informed that a bed is available in the building across from the shelter where I have been staying at night. It’s
called “The Liberty House” and quarters 30 homeless veterans with drug and/or alcohol problems in two man rooms up to two years under a Federal program known as “Grant Per Diem”. Drug & Alcohol counseling, PTSD counseling, job search, job therapy programs, educational opportunities, etc…
Educational opportunities, yea, I like the sound of that, and I’ve got 45 credits from LSU from back in the 70′s, but my G.I. Bill expired 25 years ago? How will I pay for it?
So, in October of 2010 after many hours at the Fort Worth library mapping out a 2 year plan for a degree program in IT security, I apply for a Federal College Pell Grant. With no income and an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) rating of $0, I am notified in Nov. that I will receive the Maximum amount, $2700 in January 2011 to attend the Spring semester at our local community college. WOW! That’s great right?
Not so fast. I’ve got two years to go before I finish my AAS in IT Security and it necessitates multiple trips to our financial aid office, re-filing of applications and so on. By March, after spending most of the grant money on tuition, books, laptop pc, internet access, and assorted sundries I began seeking out additional funding sources. In April I filled out the TCC Foundation Scholarship application and applied for over 20 scholarships that may provide additional funding to qualifying students.
On May 12th, 2011 I entered our Financial Aid office and inquired with a Ms. Stephanie Castillo about the State & Federal “supplemental funding” grants TCC processes. I am advised, “Oh no, those are not for you, they are reserved for DIVERSITY applicants”. What??? Since when do I not count as part of diversity? What? Because I’m White? “Oh no”, she repeated, “they are just reserved programs”. Reserved for who?
No room at the Inn for White Guys at Tarrant County College. I seem to be getting that a lot lately. “you don’t count”. What? Why do so many in Fort Worth disgorge such disdain for white guys? I was up at the Veterans Hospital having some tests done a few months ago chatting amicably with the practitioner about Texas history and Sam Houston when suddenly she blurts out, “Yea, but you know you can’t trust anything written in them history books, they’re all written by white guys” What??? What is it about the cultural norms at the VA (and the Fort Worth environs) that this women thinks this is an appropriate and socially acceptable commentary?
What? Am I supposed to be ashamed for being born white? Does the reflection of my skin somehow annoy you? What? Oh, right… collective guilt. Sorry my liberal left-wing comrades, this proletariat is just not into your “white guilt” fixation.
“I do not believe in collective guilt. It is unjust and corrosive for the sins of the past to be transmitted to generations of Americans who were not even born at those times. I cannot be held responsible for the crimes of others simply by virtue of my race.
The destructiveness of forcing this nation to bear a perpetual collective guilt complex, to wallow in the psychosis produced by accusations of complicity is unjust.
The true moral measure of our nation will be found in the resolve towards reconciliation and restoration of our national pride, not in the continued devaluation of others based on obsolete racial hatred’s”.
So, on May 18th I meet with the director of TCC Financial Aid, Bill McMullen, “need, we base our financial aid decisions on need only”, he tells me. Sounds kinda vague to me?
Obfuscation? I write the Texas Higher Education Board, Dan Weaver. I get a letter back explaining the THECB “only distributes aid funds based on need, following lawful guidelines, and are permitted great flexibility in the decision making processes”. I see where the financial aid office learned OBFUSCATION! LOL
Mr. Weavers narrative continues, “we follow standard and accepted practices” , “no oddities in your case”, “defined by Federal guidelines” , “our packaging philosophy”. WOW, this guy is GOOD.
Finally, on June 18th I attend a TCC Board of Trustees meeting and speak directly to the members as a group at the public podium, “I find it debasing, insulting, and demeaning to my person to be told I’m not good enough, do not qualify for, and do not count as much as others simply because of my race”, I told them.
At the end of my address Erma Hadley, TCC’s Chancellor tells me, “we’ll certainly look into this”. I haven’t heard from her since.
Nobody likes a white guy complaining I guess. Now here’s the really scary part. In all this communication and discussion I am directed to the website of the THECB (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board). Remember these are the guys who direct most of the state and federal aid that is disbursed in Texas. Best I can tell they are the ones from whom our own TCC financial aid office takes direction from. Guess what I find out?
The THECB 2011 Almanac. Ok, I know, sounds innocuous enough. Lots of statistics about different educational goals and competitive objectives for Texas. Boring….. Well, not really… After you get into a couple few pages it gets quite disturbing. As in creepy and twisted.
These guys (The Board at the THECB) have this bizarre Orwellian refracted image of a utopian society where all ethnicity’s have EXACTLY the same % of degree’s relative to their populations, mandated by the state. Socially engineering the educational priorities of Texas students based on their (The THECB’s) own warped and myopic vision of a “Racially Hygienic” mis-topia (sic). Creepy, Twisted, Troubling. Vincent Price!
I don’t want to live in that type of dark world, I say make opportunity available and accessible to everyone and let the chips fall where they may. To exclude others; to disenfranchise one group for some misguided aspiration of “Racial Balance” is just wrong. I just wish the THECB would be straight up about their definition of what a NEED is. If it’s based on race and ethnicity just tell us? If one reads over this Almanac they speak of “Closing the Gap – Institutional Targets”. What they really mean is some sick twisted vision of a state controlled collective where all ethnicity’s have EXACTLY the same professions and educations, mandated by the Fountainhead.
Here’s one of their charts where they track different races and plot how many graduate from high school, go on to college, that kinda thing. Funny thing is… they left out the white guys?
Having this state mandated “goal” of degrees manipulated by some government autocrat is just wrong. And how does one manipulate the population to achieve such goals? Money That’s right, some guy (Commissioner Peredes / VC Dan Weaver?) at the THECB is going to decide who he thinks deserves more money over others because of his “philosophy” of who ”needs” to acquire a degree and who does not. This is twisted and unacceptable. Who are the THECB and by what decree do they think they can bribe the “intelligence quotient” for the state of Texas?
Of course that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong? Here’s the THECB 2011 Almanac.
All I ask of the THECB is Equality before the Law.
“History is littered with those of good intentions seeking altruist goals through immoral measures, that somehow the end justifies the means. However, experience hath shown that Equality of Ends is not equality at all, but a policy of picking winners over losers, and thus trading one victim class only to create another.
Equality before the Law permits every man the freedom and opportunity to seek out that which motivates him, in his own best interests, to reap as he sows regardless of race“.
Lets hope this myopic imperative of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to complete a race centered metric based on ethnic modeling is soon terminated. It’s madness, madness I say!
And I thought diversity meant inclusiveness of everyone? Silly me.