Change in HOPE eligibility harms minority students

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(Editor's note: Fewer students are expected to qualify for Georgia HOPE college scholarships because of a change in eligibility requirements. Previously, students could qualify for HOPE if they had either a 3.0 grade-point average or an 80 numerical average. Now, the numerical average requirement has been scrapped, which is expected to reduce the number of eligible students by an estimated 30 percent.)

When I read in The Augusta Chronicle some time ago that the state of Georgia's HOPE scholarship program had been revised to save money, I became irritated and flabbergasted from reading such melancholy news. It was utterly insulting and disgusting for me to have read such nonsense.

THEN-GEORGIA Gov. Zell Miller proposed the HOPE program for the sole purpose of helping many of Georgia's less-fortunate high school students. It was his intention to open doors of educational opportunities. So far, this scholarship program has allowed thousands high school students of color to enter colleges and universities. They likely would never have had this opportunity if it weren't for this program.

I find it reprehensible that Georgia state legislators had succumbed to their political theatrics to put students of color at a disadvantage by revising an extraordinary and productive scholarship program. This just doesn't make sense to me. What were these twisted politicians thinking?

Several years ago, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution conducted an extensive and comprehensive investigation, detailing who spent the most money on the Georgia lottery. It was discovered in this report that the less-fortunate people of color were the backbone for the Georgia lottery being a major, profitable success. It was revealed that if these individuals of color were to stop playing the lottery, this great moneymaking cash cow would collapse.

Individuals of color were spending an average of $8 per person. In comparison, the more affluent who are not people of color spent an average of $2 per person. Obviously, this was a big discrepancy of lottery spending between the haves and have-nots. In essence, this lottery extravaganza has been most beneficial for Georgia's elitists, whose sons and daughters have reaped immense financial benefits from them only investing pennies. What's wrong with this picture?

Also, it was revealed in the news article that many of these elitist parents of color were telling their college-bound sons and daughters to stay in Georgia to attend college and not go out of state. To get many of these students to stay in Georgia, their parents purchased new SUVs and rented luxury off-campus apartments and condominiums to entice their children to attend Georgia schools.

ON THE OTHER hand, the less-fortunate students of color benefited far less from the HOPE scholarship dollars in comparison to the huge amount of dollars their parents were spending in supporting the lottery. Simply speaking, this was economic exploitation of people of color at its best. To paraphrase the late and great Malcolm X, once again Georgians of color had been used, hoodwinked and bamboozled once again.

Is this exploitation of people of color ever going to stop? I don't think so. Therefore, it's time for people of color to start using America's capitalist system to their advantage and stop letting this system use them. I'm highly distressed by the fact that Georgia's men and women of color can fight for our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan, but many of their sons and daughters aren't going to be considered to receive HOPE scholarship dollars to attend Georgia colleges and universities. Is this a conspiracy against people of color?

Georgians of color do have options to remedy this unfair situation. They can stop playing the lottery. Also, if students of color use their God-given academic talents, they can posture themselves to meet and surpass whatever academic challenges that are placed before them to acquire their fair share of these financial scholarship awards.

And it's time for parents of color to stop programming and indoctrinating their sons and daughters to concentrate only on athletics and entertainment, and ignoring academics, because this is just absolutely absurd. Parents must see the big picture of life, whereby they must encourage their children to explore and take full advantage of all of the great opportunities that are available to them - because God didn't discriminate against people of color when he created brilliancy.

Parents of color must get serious about educating their children, because these individuals have a great deal to gain in this great nation of ours. But they must become academically prepared, and this must done by any means necessary.

Editor's note: The writer is a former Richmond County public school teacher with 31 years of teaching service. He lives in Augusta.

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_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 02:22 am
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Could ANYONE explain how this

Could ANYONE explain how this affects "individuals of color" any more than it does anyone else? The logic of this article is completly absurd.

Martinez
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Martinez 06/10/07 - 06:39 am
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The writer of this editorial

The writer of this editorial has absolutely insulted all students of color by essentially saying they can't measure up to the same academic standards as caucasion students. He also assumes that non-color / caucasion equates to wealth which is additionally rediculous and insulting. The lottery is available for sale to all adults over the age of 18, not just people of color. The scholarships are available based on academic performance for all graduates, not just people "lacking" color. To determine eligibility in any other way would be discriminatory. Further, what message would it send to students if there were two different sets of requirements for HOPE?

Khaaaaaan
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Khaaaaaan 06/10/07 - 06:54 am
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Pure crap. This man taught

Pure crap. This man taught young people for 31 years? Just damn.

mgroothand
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mgroothand 06/10/07 - 08:38 am
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This guest column proves that

This guest column proves that discrimination, the entitlement syndrome and being the poor victim is alive and well in the black community.

mharris214
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mharris214 06/10/07 - 08:56 am
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What the comments show is

What the comments show is that as long as the rule changes have a negative effect in someone else's home it is not a problem for me.Hope should be for what the word stands for Hope for a better tomorrow for those in reach of a better day who otherwise would be complained about as lazy and looking for a handout

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 06/10/07 - 09:05 am
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I cannot believe what I have

I cannot believe what I have just read in Mr. Maner's column. How could he possibly believe that sub standard students regardless of color should be given Hope scholarships. Some kids are not college material. They should attend technical schools. This applies to all races.

augmama
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augmama 06/10/07 - 09:09 am
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I read Maner's article

I read Maner's article several times, looking for the words "responsibility" and "accountability." All I found were references to discrimination and handouts and choices to play or not to play the lottery.

intheknow
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intheknow 06/10/07 - 09:48 am
0
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MGROOTHAND, do you speak for

MGROOTHAND, do you speak for everyone in the " White Community?'. What give you the right to say what is a live and well in the ' Black Community?' I do not know this Maner person and do not recall giving him permission to speak for me.

Reality
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Reality 06/10/07 - 10:17 am
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So what I get from this

So what I get from this article is that the people playing the lottery should be saving that money for a college education for their children. It is a fact that people of low income and education are bigger lottery players this is not new news. The HOPE is a scholarship not a cash give away....Isn't an 80% grade average almost failing?

mgroothand
5
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mgroothand 06/10/07 - 11:31 am
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intheknow, I signed my name,

intheknow, I signed my name, not as a representative of the "White Community" thus I spoke for myself. As an individual I commented on my perception of what I read as expressed by a public school teacher of some 31 years in Richmond County. If as an educator he believes all of what he wrote, I'm sure he is not alone. Likely there will be some in the white community that feel the same.

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 06/10/07 - 03:44 pm
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lol I just read an article

lol I just read an article about BSU has now changed to requiring a 3.0 to stay in and graduate and some students who have C averages will be losing thier scholarships and financial aid. The article was about how it will affect the student body as a whole not just minorities. why is it always a bad thing for minorities when its in the south.. but bad for everyone up north? Same situation all of different races, I guess there isn't any way possible for this to affect any white students is there??? Just goes to show you it's both sides that just wont let it go here in the south!!

alsharptonisthebest
0
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alsharptonisthebest 06/10/07 - 03:50 pm
0
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all the white ppl need to go

all the white ppl need to go back to europe oops! im sorry your own country didnt want u. I guess you aren't king & queen material in britain. First take bill oreilly & sean hannity, with rush limbaugh on the first trip, then your meth, alochol, ciggarettes, school shooters, trailer park welfare people, rapist, thugs, & greedy addicted oil companies run by white men & drug companies who make millions why other ppl work hard & still have to pay for gas & healthcare. White men have destroyed america since the world begun they killed black ppl in egypt, killed jesus because of racist white romans, killed native americans & took ther land, gold, & silver now mexicans are trying to come here & work not even kill white ppl & they are calling them illegal aliens if thats not racist i dont know what it is. They sold black ppl to every continent except one, while making their family set for generations after blacks pick all the cotton for the master. U cant walk down the stree if your are a black or brown or have a mercedez you have to be a drug dealer according to white cops who killed black & browns everyday because they thought we had a gun. White ppl will kill the u.s because of greed

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 06/10/07 - 04:02 pm
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I'm thinking, that by his

I'm thinking, that by his poor English, spelling and punctuation...Republican did not qualify for a HOPE scholarship.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/10/07 - 04:18 pm
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Yeah! Does it really matter,

Yeah! Does it really matter, that would [filtered word] me off too.

Reality
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Reality 06/10/07 - 04:29 pm
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When I was in school an 80

When I was in school an 80 was a D. 75-80 "D" 81-87"C" 88-94"B"
95-100"A" I always thought you had to work for a Scholarship not just be given one.

alsharptonisthebest
0
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alsharptonisthebest 06/10/07 - 04:47 pm
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actually republican goes to

actually republican goes to GA tech university i didnt need hope with a 97 avg, but since u figure i was black i guess u think im dumb, poor, from the projects & my mother was on welfare. But since white ppl will be the minority by 2015 because of illegal immigration, i guess when it comes to what u think ppl wont even ask Does it really matter!

Reality
3
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Reality 06/10/07 - 04:53 pm
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What continent didn't they

What continent didn't they sell "brown"people to? The one that sold them to everyone else.

DrGunby68
1
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DrGunby68 06/10/07 - 05:00 pm
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I find a lot to agree with

I find a lot to agree with the writer. I find a lot to disagree. Of those that obviously disagree vehemently, do you know what institutional racism is? Do you know the difference between internalized and personally mediated racism? One of the most significant variables identified in the research literature on American wealth is that of intergenerational wealth transfers. This variable is moderated heavily by race. The hypothesized cause of this moderation: institutional racism. If you understood any of that, then you probably get it and do not blindly support policies or parties that perpetuate this societal ill. If you did not understand this, you might be replying in denial, jealousy and anger like many in the region with "so-called" conservative and southern values.

39BlkMale
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39BlkMale 06/10/07 - 05:45 pm
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Like DrGunby68, I find both

Like DrGunby68, I find both points to support and points I may have stated differently. I think the most important issue is the premise that the lottery was created to support students in Georgia that were considered less fortunate. Assuming this is so, I can understand why the writer was feeling that by changing the criteria, you eliminate a large portion of the underpriviledged. Also, the fact that poor and minority citizens pay most of this voluntary tax called the lottery should not be ignored. Considering that point, again, I can understand why the writer would want policies in place that will help to enrich the lives of those who use the lottery most. It might seem to some that the this 15 year cash cow called the lottery is providing financial support to middle-class families who aren't as needy as others(code word - white families). Lastly, while it's obvious we may disagree about these and other subjects, the posts that appear show that both blacks and whites have a long way to go in starting the dialogue about issues. I would hope that both races have the best for the community in mind and will look to be more tolerent of others views...even those we oppose.

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 07:06 pm
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What is missing here is still

What is missing here is still how this could possible have any affect on any certian race more than any other. Every child has the same opportunity to make good grades. Plain and simple....get a B average, get a Scholorship. I have never seen a public school that gives or takes points based on race. This whole idea that the change somehow is racially unfair is simply absurd, and anyone who claims that it is, is just looking to make a problem where there is none.

Does_it_really_matter
1
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Does_it_really_matter 06/10/07 - 07:20 pm
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Republican, please show me in

Republican, please show me in my post where I said, inferred or even hinted that you were black.......you can't. 97% avg. at Ga. Tech. doesn't look like much in your post.

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 07:28 pm
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Actually with the sentence

Actually with the sentence structure I've seen, it's difficult to believe that "republican" attended ANY college.

DrGunby68
1
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DrGunby68 06/10/07 - 07:45 pm
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KPC, you really don't get it.

KPC, you really don't get it. Anecdotally, The worst teachers (on average) are in the worst neighborhoods with the worst resources and worst adminstrators teaching students of color. Do some make it out? YES !! Is it much more difficult and is there a disproportionate burden on students of color? YES!! To your point about is it racial, you are necessarily making a legitimate argument. A more correct comparison point is socio-economic status. However, even when we control for SES, people of color still have a more difficult time navigating almost every facet of life that members of the majority race take for granted everyday of their lives because most "institutions" in America and their policies and procedures can be circumvented with access, power and nepotism. Access and power in America are primarily derived through $$$. There is no argument that people of color disproportionately have less $$$. So when "Tyrone" from Josey gets a B and "Kaitlyn" from Greenbrier gets a B, one of them probably worked harder for it...guess who?

_kpc_
22
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_kpc_ 06/10/07 - 08:01 pm
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DrGunby...you really don't

DrGunby...you really don't get it. For some reason you are equating money with knowlege. The public school I went to was majority minority (whatever that means). The school was underfunded, and yet the teachers were dedicated and there was real learning going on there. If a minority student gets discriminated against because of power or nepotism, at least they have legal recourse, but if a white student is discriminated against because of a college that still gives more points for admission based on race alone, they have no recourse. All that being said, it has nothing to do with the article. Raising the learning standard of the scholorship is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with weeding out those who aren't willing to work a little harder for their grades. It prepares them well for the real world where people don't care about your dissadvantages, just the results you produce.

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 06/10/07 - 08:03 pm
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DrGunby68, you have written a

DrGunby68, you have written a bunch gooblygunt that ,I am sure, most of us poor souls don't understand. It does not alter the fact, however, that the new rules affect all races equally. If people of color desire special consideration, so be it, but remember that once that the initial scholarship money is awarded the student must maintain a certain grade level to continue to participate.

DrGunby68
1
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DrGunby68 06/10/07 - 08:48 pm
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KPC and Scoobydo, please

KPC and Scoobydo, please remember. I respect you and your opinion. I believe, as brought up by Al Gore, that the internet is one of the last bastions of true discourse that we have. Whether we agree or not, at least we are talking...which is more than I can say for our Congress. My wife, also Dr. Gunby (PhD, UGA), are having an indepth discussion about this issue and she will probably chime in with some more stuff, but I just wanted to say how much and I and I think most people on here, appreciate this forum even though we disagree. I'm doing a little research to have some real stats to add to the forum.

Rozzie2003
5
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Rozzie2003 06/10/07 - 08:59 pm
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An excellent article Maner!

An excellent article Maner! Keep transmitting the truth because so few people do any reading or research for themselves.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/10/07 - 09:59 pm
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This article has 11

This article has 11 paragraphs. The first eight are nothing but racist bovine feces. A repeat of the stupidest left wing crap ever handed out. The last three are dead accurate. Make an effort, use a plan and pursue a goal. Color doesn't enter into the equation unless you believe the first eight paragraphs.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/10/07 - 10:04 pm
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republican, your wonderful

republican, your wonderful plan was used in South Africa, now everyone has aids and gets most of their nutrition from eating their neighbor. Maybe another plan should be tried.

DrGunby68
1
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DrGunby68 06/10/07 - 10:36 pm
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Damn PT, I really did not

Damn PT, I really did not believe that you were that hateful, but that is a very ignorant post; but I stand corrected. I have read your drivel for months now. Please present evidence. When are poor white folk going to stop identifying with what rich white folk (so called conservatives) tell them. They speak and vote against their self-interest in almost every issue. This not only hurts people of color, it hurts poor white folk who don't know any better. So whether PT is rich or poor, she is a perfect example of how to espouse racist rhetoric and encite the masses.

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