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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Closing Thought For the Night: Affirmative Action and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Originally To Have Been a Facebook Page Post)

Think about this: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an African-American man of Puerto Rican descent, had to overcome ethnic discrimination (including ethnic stereoptying), for example. Nobody just gave his Ph.D. to him because he was a Black man who'd been presumptuously asked if he wanted to be an athlete.

Why, then, should other Blacks and Hispanics be unfairly favored or unfavored? Dr. Tyson had to work to get where he is today, even though Affirmative Action became part of the law when he was 14 years old. He stated:

"Interestingly, when I applied to Cornell, my application dripped of my passion for the study and research of the Universe. Somehow the admissions office brought my application to the attention of the late Dr. Sagan, and he actually took the initiative and care to contact me. He was very inspirational and a most powerful influence. Dr. Sagan was as great as the universe, an effective mentor." (PBS NOVA, "A Conversation With Neil Tyson")

Before that, "Neil attended the Bronx High School of Science and passionately studied astronomy.  He made a name for himself in the astronomy community by giving lectures at the age of 15." (Parle Magazine, "Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson – The Prodigy Astronomer")

Dr. Sagan didn't look at Neil Tyson because he was Black. He looked at him because he was intelligent, studious, and driven to work hard.

As someone quoted Dr. Martin Luther King here, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." And that's what the to-be Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was judged by.
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