A Letter to All “Abbys” Out There: What Part of Equal and Fairness in Higher Education Don’t You Understand?
About a year ago from today I remember reading articles and watching news discussions about you.
As a brown girl, I remember thinking, “Who is this white girl complaining about not getting into college?” …So what, one thing doesn’t go the way she wants it to once in her life…
I am sorry that you felt discriminated against because of the color of your skin…I know how it feels and that is NOT okay. I once walked into a Halloween store and was accused of stealing bunny ears after I had already purchased and obtained my receipt. The manager’s rationale was that she knew ‘my kind’. I have to live with a large text on my face that shouts ‘illegal immigrant’ and ‘criminal’. This is not the first or the last time I will experience racism in my life because of the color of my skin. Fortunately for you, you will not have this target on your back.
What you are claiming as reverse racism is actually racial prejudice. Again, I am sorry you felt racially discriminated against but racial prejudice and racism are two completely different things. If you don’t take my word for it watch Franchesca Ramsey’s video breakdown of why reverse racism isn’t a real thing.
Just to refresh my readers’ memory, you were the litigious student who sued the University of Texas at Austin because you were denied admission. You believe you were rejected on the basis of your race. Your lawyer, Edward Blum, argued that the University violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and the Court found in favor of the constitutionality of the University’s admissions process in a 4–3 split decision.
Your case opened doors to opponents of affirmative action, such as Executive Director of the Center for Equal Opportunity Rudy Gersten and President Trump, to challenge policies again. Still, I cannot believe #45 had the cojones to order the civil-rights division of the Department of Justice to investigate “race-based discrimination” against white applicants in college admissions when his son-in-law Jared Kushner bought his way into Harvard University…yeah, he’s white too. According to Daniel Golden’s book The Price of Admission, Kushner did not have the academic record to get into Harvard. These are the unequitable actions that the White House should be investigating, not admission complaints filed by Asian-American and White students.
Similar to you, Kushner did not have good enough grades or SAT scores to get into the university he desired. Unlike you, he still got in….
This makes me so frustrated because there are people who do not deserve admission to prestigious universities but still get accepted because of their family name or large donation to the school. Yet, there are low-income families who cannot afford to pay their kids way into college or pay for SAT prep classes. There are students who work part time and go to school full time. There are high schools that do not offer AP classes. There are students who actually work their ass off to get into college.
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and ‘affirmative action baby’ Sonia Sotomayor expresses that the purpose of affirmation action is “to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.”
At the end of the day, diversity is an important value in our education and overall society. Without affirmative action schools would be full of rich white people, and let’s face it, that would be boring. There are a lot of misconceptions about affirmative action. “Affirmative action does not favor people of color over whites, but ensures that they are considered equally. Even now, white college students are 40% more likely to get private scholarships than minorities, and although 62% of college students in America are white, these students receive 69% of all private scholarships. Someone with a “white sounding” name is 50% more likely to get a job call back than a person with an “ethnic” sounding name, according to a 2003 study. Affirmative action doesn’t take anything away from anyone. It levels the playing field.” Zeba Blay wrote in a Huffington Post article.
It seems like the only people who are hindering white students’ chances of getting into college are themselves. Who would have thought it’s actually not the brown or black community’s fault this time?
I know this does not benefit you and probably brings you back to a dark time in your life Abby, but I am asking my readers to revive the #StayMadAbby on social media. If you’re a fellow chingona and comrade change Abby’s name to Trump’s, as follows #StayMadTrump, and voice your opinion about affirmative action. Let’s make the Trump administration hear us and fear us. Students of disadvantaged backgrounds will receive the education they deserve.