Presidential candidates George Bush and John Kerry will gohead-to-head on issues concerning minority college students andyoung black voters in a debate-style article for The BlackCollegian magazine this month.
Topics up for discussion are AffirmativeAction, federal financial support of HBCUs, salary disparitiesbetween black and white college graduates, ethnic studiescurricula, and improving graduate-level education rates amongminorities. The debate couples two unedited interviews, onefrom each candidate, into a feature for the magazine.
The purpose of the article is to drawattention to rarely discussed issues. The debate serves togive young minorities some insight into where candidates stand onmatters that pertain to them.
“Minorities must vote wisely andcarefully to protect their interests,” says The BlackCollegian Editor James Perry. “For that, we need toknow the candidates’ opinions on issues that especially affect ourreaders, many of whom may be voting for the first time thisyear.”
The full story will appear later this month inthe
First Semester Super Issues of The BlackCollegian, a free career-oriented magazine for minority collegestudents distributed at schools across the country.
Versions of the debate will also be releasedonline by IMDiversity.com, a multicultural media company. Toencourage readership, IMDiversity.com has waived its permissionsprocesses and reprint fees to enable organizations and media todownload and reprint the debate in its entirety.
“Whether you’re Asian or Hispanicor Native-American or European-American, woman or man, collegian orprofessional, it raises issues any voter should have in mindwatching the debates, hearing stump speeches, and at the ballotbox,” says Stewart Ikeda, IMDiversity’s Vice Presidentof Marketing, and Community Outreach.
On Affirmative Action, an issue of majorconcern to African-American college students, the candidates holddiffering views. Bush has always been verbal in hisopposition to race-based allocation of admission to colleges. Just last year he attempted to dismantle the Affirmative Actionprogram at the University of Michigan, citing that theschool’s system of awarding points to students based on theirraces was “unconstitutional.”
“Quota systems that use race to includeor exclude people from higher education and the opportunities itoffers are divisive, unfair and impossible to square with theConstitution,” said Bush in his discussion about the MichiganAffirmative Action case in January 2003.
Kerry, on the other hand, stands firmly on theother side of the issue.
“We deserve a president whodoesn’t call fairness a special preference,” he said ina July questionnaire on Affirmative Action for the NAACP. “The Bush administration is wrong to dismantle importantavenues of opportunity for Americans. I have opposed rightwing efforts to undermine or eliminate affirmative action programsand have supported programs that seek to enhancediversity.”
This issue of equality, as well as others,will be discussed at length in the article.
The Black Collegian magazine features articleson careers, internships, campus life, graduate schools, and studyabroad programs.
IMDiversity.com provides free career advice,job-search, daily news and in-culture feature content toAfrican-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and otherdiverse professionals.