Recently there has been a lot of uproar over a scholarship received by young Justin Combs. So much so that national media giant CNN actually devoted a whole segment to it on their national news show. You might ask yourself why in the world would a national news network devote attention to a single athletic scholarship to UCLA? The only answer is that Justin is the son of multi-millionaire rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.
With this little bit of extra information you still might be saying loudly, SO WHAT!! I know that's what I'm saying.
Justin Combs is an excellent student at a prestigious and highly competitive private institution where he has a 3.75 GPA. In addition he is an outstanding football player who was recruited by several major colleges.
UCLA (which costs $50,000 a year) gave him a $54,000 athletic scholarship based on his outstanding athletic and academic skills. The scholarship is merit-based NOT need-based so it is irrelevant that his father makes a boat load of money (45 million in 2012 alone)
Now that you have all of the relevant facts, let’s return to the question: why should anybody care?
Thousands of "county club kids" of rich parents have gotten scholarships in tennis, lacrosse, and golf as well as “major” sports like baseball, football and basketball. Nobody has said a peep about that and it certainly has not made national news on CNN. In the past there has been no national hoopla about a rich kid giving a scholarship back as some have suggested that Combs do. For all of the country club elite who have been blessed with physically gifted children, a scholarship has just been a fortunate coincidence and an example of how the rich get richer.
If you receive a merit based scholarship of any kind you should keep it. You EARNED it.
The only logical conclusion is that this is the typical race baiting that the media engages in to divide and distract the good people of America. By even asking the question of whether he should return his scholarship they are suggesting that somehow he doesn’t deserve it. They highlight the son of a black rapper as not being worthy of a scholarship that thousands of other non-brown kids have gotten for generations. If anything they should celebrate the young man for not living off his father’s money like so many “entitlement brats” do way too often (think Paris Hilton).
If CNN wanted to do some actual WORK they should have researched all the children of actors, entertainers, and CEOs and reported on how many of those youngsters got scholarships. MAYBE that would have been an interesting piece. This story however is just pandering to a public hungry for controversy and looking for a reason to marginalize one group from another.
The media has a lot invested in perpetuating stereotypes of minorities; pitting one group against another in order to distract us from the real issues of the day. We cannot let them continue to drive a wedge between white, black and brown as the rich corporate moguls continue to make money from media-created conflicts.
Reality shows where people fight one another constantly (think Basketball
Wives Savages) are a major source of revenue for the TV and print media. Competition shows where millions compete for a SINGLE prize (think American Idol, Survivor) are one step away from the grizzly future shown in the Hunger Games. While millions fight over scraps the media corporations laugh all the way to the bank and we ignore the fact that they are simply exploiting our society and its citizens.
Shame on you CNN for stirring up this unnecessary controversy. For you and the rest of the media mega-corporations – we are watching and taking notes.
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