When The Former Majority Association for Equality (FMAE)
launched their scholarship program, they prepared themselves for a major backlash from the community. They knew that with the creation of a scholarship
exclusively for white males, individuals and groups would start to paint them as racists and extremists. However, their new scholarship has, more than anything, just drawn curiosity.
Countless newspapers, and even Perez Hilton, have been running the story for the past week, and on Monday, the group’s president, Colby Bohannan, participated in an interview on CNN. According to the Austin-Statesman
, which ran the story last week, “Bohannan said that in person, he's only been met with support for his group. But online, he said, he's seen some criticism.”
The requirement for the scholarship is that applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be at least one-quarter Caucasian, a Texas resident, demonstrate a commitment to education, and show financial need. FMAE’s goal, according to their website
, is to “financially assist young Americans seeking higher education who lack opportunities in similar organizations that are based upon race or gender…we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic groups.”
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Bohannan, an Iraqi war veteran, stated that the idea came to him when he began searching for scholarships
for school, reported by the Austin-Statesman
. “I felt excluded,” Bohannan said in his interview with the paper. “If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?”
The FMAE board – which includes three white women, one Hispanic and one African American, according to the Austin-Statesman – is quick to proclaim that this scholarship opportunity is in no way racist. Their mission
states, “We do not advocate white supremacy, nor do we enable any individual that does. We do not accept donations from organizations affiliated with any sort of white supremacy or hate group. We have no hidden agenda to promote racial bigotry or segregation.”
An administrator at Texas State University, Joanne Smith, stated that this scholarship
is no different from others targeted to certain demographics. In her interview with the Austin-Statesman
, she said, “From the university's standpoint, we can't take issue with a scholarship offered to a certain group.”
Since the media hype of the scholarship program, FMAE has received donations to total $2,500. This fall, they plan to give five white males in Texas a $500 scholarship.