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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jmoval0315
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jmoval0315 06/11/07 - 12:09 pm
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Patricial Thomas you are a

Patricial Thomas you are a racist.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 06/11/07 - 12:18 pm
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jmoval. Do you have any

jmoval. Do you have any examples of a racist comment made by PatriciaThomas? I have yet to see one.

jmoval0315
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jmoval0315 06/11/07 - 12:22 pm
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posted by Pat T republican,

posted by Pat T 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.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 06/11/07 - 12:37 pm
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And how is that a racial

And how is that a racial statement? There was no race mentioned anywhere in there. It looks like you are making assumptions. There are 2 truths spoken in that post. AIDS is a huge problem in South Africa, and there are numerous cases of cannibalism reported. I ask again...where's the racism?

Reality
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Reality 06/11/07 - 12:54 pm
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How can some one in college

How can some one in college have a 97% average, grades aren't averaged like that. (0.00 through 4.0) Maintaining a 3.0 average with a full course load is not an easy task for anyone...

misscj0123
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misscj0123 06/11/07 - 12:55 pm
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Trepublican's statements were

Trepublican's statements were the most ignorant I have heard in a long time.

t of i
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t of i 06/11/07 - 12:57 pm
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I think he meant he had the

I think he meant he had the 97 average in high school, got a scholarship. Frankly I find it difficult to believe.

owensjef
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owensjef 06/11/07 - 01:44 pm
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kpc you can fool some of the

kpc you can fool some of the people some of the time but I will not play this game with you.

alsharptonisthebest
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alsharptonisthebest 06/11/07 - 02:05 pm
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you ppl either have no life

you ppl either have no life or are nerds for real who thinks about correct grammar or punctuation on the computer, we are not getting a grade for this. Get a man, or woman please

t of i
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t of i 06/11/07 - 02:19 pm
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"Republican" has no concept

"Republican" has no concept of the society he lives in or of Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech was an outgrowth of forward thinking leaders trying to build a "New South" and get beyond the "Old South" that had "Gone with the Wind". These leaders knew that the "new South" would need to become more industrial, more urban, and also incorporate the previously under-compensated, forced agricultural (slave) labor, now free, into the economy. True, politics and custom in Georgia had to evolve from the 1880's to the early 1950's to incorporate women into the GT student body, and evolve further into the 1960's to "integrate". Since then GT has become a championship arena for black students. As a graduate myself, I have met and worked with many graduates "of color". All were smart, hard-working, precise in their use of the English language, and fully aware that success was dependent on the multi-racial, multi-cultural, diverse-thinking persons blending together. This bad-grammar, racist spewing, is not GT. Republican doesn't even know that GT is one of only 5 Div IA colleges without "University" in its name. The preceding comments are my husband's.

alsharptonisthebest
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alsharptonisthebest 06/11/07 - 02:20 pm
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wake up to the real world

wake up to the real world dont be fooled by fox news any longer

i am cuban with white & black friends but white ppl are more racist its just a fact jus like most rich black ppl who turned reupblican are more racist towards poor black ppl than they are to poor white.

72% of drug users are white, 15% are black

12.7% is the black population, 48% of black men are in jail

39% of black men are in jail for drug related crimes but black ppl are only 15% of the drug users all black ppl including men & woman yet blacks & browns are in our prison not whites. I went to school in columbia & richmond county. Richmond it was mainly marijuana, but columbia it was coke, meth, exstacy, so just becasue so body parents make more money that always isnt good especially when its more money to by drugs.

South Africa wouldnt have got aids if white gay men didnt start the disease. Africa was name by a white person so what makes u think that white ppl still dont have control in africa. Last time i check if white ppl who wear the diamonds or gold on the neck, or arm from black kids who were slaves in africa.

alsharptonisthebest
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alsharptonisthebest 06/11/07 - 02:26 pm
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i went to ga tech while my

i went to ga tech while my sis attended gerogia state up the street so shut up t of i like nobody has ever called ga tech a university before tell your husband & you that u can kiss you know what

Kaneco
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Kaneco 06/11/07 - 02:33 pm
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wow you really like to hear

wow you really like to hear yourself think

Kaneco
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Kaneco 06/11/07 - 02:40 pm
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why is this turned into a

why is this turned into a drug using debate....The basic premise is the qualification standards change for hope not about whether white kids use coke!

Kaneco
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Kaneco 06/11/07 - 02:46 pm
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That may have possibly have

That may have possibly have been the weirdest comment in the thread. What is a mongol....

Robbie
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Robbie 06/11/07 - 02:48 pm
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I am from a remote part of

I am from a remote part of russia. In the motherland you would be castrated for such ignorant comments. Who cares what has happened in your past. For ounce in your lives focus on the here and now. The only person responsable for you is yourself and not your race. Make the motherland proud!!

Kaneco
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Kaneco 06/11/07 - 02:53 pm
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So what states do we get?

So what states do we get?

Reality
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Reality 06/11/07 - 03:05 pm
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Republican,What happened to

Republican,What happened to the farm land used in Africa that was taken back from the white farmers and given to the black farmers. I think production decreased significantly. I thought AIDS came from men doing it with monkeys in Africa. Where are you getting all of those figures from? Were you born here or in Cuba?

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 06/11/07 - 03:51 pm
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"white ppl are more racist

"white ppl are more racist its just a fact." WOW...republican....I don't suppose you have ANY evidence of that do you? Your first reaction may be to list racist from the past or present. Before you start, that would be a futile effort because I can give you one for one examples all day long. This will prove nothing on either side. I would like for you to think about what you wrote, and see if you can possible defend the statement. Good luck.

mgroothand
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mgroothand 06/11/07 - 03:56 pm
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Honest: You are mainly

Honest: You are mainly referring to Zimbabwe formerly known as the breadbasket of Africa. When Robert Mugabe took over as president he nationalized all the farms that were managed by white farmers and gave the land to his political cronies that had no idea how to farm. Today there is starvation all over Zimbabwe and AIDS is ravaging the rest of the population.
To: republican, you are giving the Republicans a bad name with your less-than-intelligent (I'm being kind) rants.

alsharptonisthebest
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alsharptonisthebest 06/11/07 - 03:58 pm
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Honest plz learn your history

Honest plz learn your history they didnt sell black people to antarctica. HONEST, ADDISIONS65, & TakeAstand are all racist they dont even have any brown or black friends but every comment is lazy this, or low expectations for your children, or you ppl get a job, i just wondering you all must hang around alot of blacks & browns since you know so much about ther culture did you study african american history in college. HAHA! WHITE PPL ARE STILL 72% OF THE U.S. DRUG USERS, METH IS THE #1 DRUG IN AMERICA, THE NEXT SCHOOL SHOOTER WILL BE A 16-17 YR OLD WHITE MALE WHO WILL KILL WHITE KIDS AT SCHOOL. And for HONEST, ADDISONS65, & TakeAstand YOU OLD WHITE PPL ARE TO SCARED TO EVEN COME OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE OR GO TO AUGUSTA MALL WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT YOU ALWAYS IN FEAR AROUND BLACKS & BROWNS, WHILE YOUR WHITE DAUGHTERS ARE GOING WITH & MARRYING BLACK MEN, & GIVING THEM ORAL SEX. This is great 40yr white woman is afraid of black men because she thinks their thugs, 18-21 white woman likes black men because she's been told their thugs

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 06/11/07 - 04:30 pm
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Raindance, it wasn't

Raindance, it wasn't pretty...racing around like a nut trying to find a TV in the house that "worked". Heaven help us all......Anybody else good with the Soprano trivia? I have a question that my son posed to me.....did Adrienna get whacked or not by Sil? For some reason, I had it in my mind he let her go...with a warning shot or two.....

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 06/11/07 - 04:32 pm
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By the way, sorry to see you

By the way, sorry to see you all getting Republican's diatribe of made up facts and insinuation. I have gotten to the point where I see a post by him, I just delete it without reading it. I was disturbing the others in the home with my uproarious laughter.....

t of i
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t of i 06/11/07 - 04:37 pm
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With his attitude, I wonder

With his attitude, I wonder if republican will be able to get a job.

Does_it_really_matter
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Does_it_really_matter 06/11/07 - 04:46 pm
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Yes, he will....for Al

Yes, he will....for Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. He will probably be employed as a speech writer.

t of i
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t of i 06/11/07 - 05:09 pm
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What a waste of a scholarship

What a waste of a scholarship to an engineering school!

Reality
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Reality 06/11/07 - 05:20 pm
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I didn't do any research on

I didn't do any research on AIDS that is why I said I think , I don't try to state thoughts as fact . Thanks to all of the fact checkers out there. I really shouldn't react to ridiculous comments(republican) anyway.

alsharptonisthebest
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alsharptonisthebest 06/11/07 - 05:43 pm
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I WOULD BE HAPPY TO HELP OUT

I WOULD BE HAPPY TO HELP OUT WITH Al sharpton or Jesse Jackson because when my brown or black friends get shot for reaching in their glove box by a white cop who thought they had a gun. Then the police force tries to cover it up, if your a person of color u better get al or jesse because those white cops wont do a investigation until al or jesse comes to town. I noticed white ppl always talk how the 2 never do anything, but as soon as one of them comes to town all the white cops get nervous & try to get the facts together. As soon as don imus said his racist views all the white ppl in the media went right to jesse & al didnt they. If u dont like them stay away from them, i dont remember al sharpton telling fox news to ask him what he thinks of the michael richards statement. T of I, i have a job & guess what when i get off from work my white girl comes & pleases me all night. Oh how i love white woman! they give it up so easy

t of i
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t of i 06/11/07 - 05:45 pm
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Honest, not stating thoughts

Honest, not stating thoughts (opinions) as facts is a very positive trait. Very refreshing.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 06/11/07 - 05:46 pm
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Still no evidence I see

Still no evidence I see "republican". You must be just all talk and no facts.

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