Race and success in America Academically
For the most part, in the United States at the age of 5 years old children are entitled to a
“Free” public education. The level of expectations for this education varies from state to state but
are mostly based on the amount of tax revenue generated in your general area. Through Socio-
economic status grouping it is found that race plays an important role in trends of economic
placement. In their essays “The Color of Success” (185) and “None of this is fair” (81), Eric A.
Watts and Richard Rodriguez discuss how being a minority affected them in life from early age,
well through their professional careers. Both author’s lives were impacted by Affirmative
Action, but in two completely different ways.
As a young African American, Watts was often targeted by his peers of his own race and
taunted for engaging in “acting white” (2) activities. It is safe to assume his young peers frowned
upon ambitious and determined behaviors. Such negative behaviors still occur today. Peer
Pressure pushes these students to lower their standards causing “horrendous effects on the black
community” (7). Today Watts is a professor at a majority black university. Watts used the
advantages of Affirmative Action to better himself individually and integrated with the
empowered white students doing the same. By acting contrarily Watts proves that victimization
leads to self-destruction as he explains “So blackness became virtually synonymous with
victimization and the characteristics associated with it: lack of education and poverty” (187).
Richard Rodriguez, on the other hand, is a Mexican American. He is considered
a minority and therefore feels victimized by the Affirmative Action Advantage. He feels it
disadvantages white students by giving minority students the opportunity for “inevitable
success” (4). His dream which he mentions in his...