A Mind in Disarray

Its amazing how quickly my heart can flutter in a single day. Today alone, I went from spiritually high, to struggling to obey God, to depression and anger, to collected yet in pain and now to pensive and restless.

When we think of a Sufi, we imagine a romantic scene of a man whirling in circles, utterly engulfed in the presence of God. Perhaps that’s ideal. Perhaps that’s where I should be. But in reality, my life is anything but that. I don’t understand how anyone could not be so distracted by the happenings of life that he sees nothing but God, save the Prophets عليهم السلام.

I swear, literally every day is like a battle. I try hard to obey the commands of God, but I fall short time and time again. As I go into the world, I do nothing but corrupt my heart.

I know that I’m supposed to believe that God has taken me through this path to make me stronger, that he has a plan for me, etc. But, that’s not how I feel. I feel that its breaking me down, and causing me to go astray and sin. I question the wisdom behind these life experiences, can’t the wisdom behind it be achieved through other means?

One thing I admire about Islam is that everyone lives in the same world – by that, I mean Orthodox and Catholic priests are supposed to live lives of complete devotion to God, away in a monestary. As a result, they are not familiar with the daily problems and struggles of their flock. Catholic priests cannot even marry, so what business do they have speaking about marriage? This gives credibility to the notion of a spiritual guide. In Islam, monasticism is discouraged. You do not run away from the problems of life and pray them away, you face them head on. That makes more sense. So, the spiritual guide knows the world, its pains and pleasures, and has mastered how to deal with it.

I’m confused and lost.

Race-Based Affirmative Action is Racism

Why do people support Affirmative Action? In short, because of the still-lasting legacy of slavery and institutionalized racism, minority groups, in particular African-Americans, are severely disadvantaged. Their schools, families, educational systems, etc have been poorer than Whites. Collectively, this leads to lower GPAs and scores on standardized tests. Therefore, to “level the playing field” (pardon the euphemism), minorities should be given preferential treatment when applying for institutions of higher education.

That should be a pretty fair and neutral presentation. Now lets tear it apart.

The stated reason is because Blacks have been given a bad deal. That’s undeniably true. But, what there was a white student who went to just as poor schools, had the same social problems, and had every misdealing that blacks are dealt? Should he also be a candidate for affirmative action?

You have two answers: Yes or No.

If Yes, then you acknowledge that because of the white student’s disadvantage, he should be given affirmative action. So, whether the student is white or black, that is not the ultimate factor. In reality, the factor is who is disadvantaged. Those people should be given preferential treatment. Race has nothing to do with the equation and should be taken out.

If No, then you are implying that disadvantages have nothing to do with affirmative action. In reality, the only relevant factor is race. This is racism.

Here’s a wrench in the equation: What if the student came from a rich family with high social connections and great access to education, but happens to be black? No factor that warrants affirmative action exists in this student.

If you still say this student should receive affirmative action, again, you are implying that disadvantages have no relevances and only race matters.

If you say no, then you are implying that race is an irrelevant factor

Here’s my take on the matter: Race is an irrelevant factor. What should matter is the students disadvantages measured by his economic status, school districts ranking and other relevant factors. Race should be stricken from the equation. If blacks are truly an under-class (which is largely true) then they would receive affirmative action under this system. But so would a poor Moroccan, Malian, or Mongolian…or even a White student. If these factors are truly relevant, lets make them the relevant factor and stop hiding behind race. Class-Based Affirmative action satisfies the stated objectives of Affirmative Action. Race-Based Affirmative Action is racism.

Thoughts? Comments?