The New York Times accidentally admitted that affirmative action hurts black college students

This recent New York Times article talks about a black student at Amherst College whom the New York Times claims is “unprepared academically” for the particular college that she is attending.

So I’m trying to think of all the reasons why someone who is “unprepared academically” for this particular college would get admitted to this particular college. Here are the reasons that I can think of:

1) Their parents made a big donation to the college.

2) They were admitted for their athletic ability.

3) They were admitted as a result of affirmative action.

If anyone here can think of any other reason, please post it in the comment section.

Anyway, it’s that third reason that I’m interested in for this discussion.

Without specifically mentioning affirmative action, the New York Times article makes a good case against affirmative action.

The student in question even says “I always feel like I need to prove to other people that I do belong here.”

I would respond to that by saying that anyone who is “unprepared academically” for this particular college does in fact not “belong” at this particular college.

Please note that no one said this student was “unprepared academically” for college in general. Instead, this student is “unprepared academically” for this particular college.

But there are thousands of other colleges in the U.S.

If affirmative action did not exist, then instead of getting admitted to this particular college, this student would have been admitted to a different college – one for which she was “prepared academically” instead of one for which she was “unprepared academically.”

Attending a college that is too difficult, is far worse than attending a college that matches your abilities. Affirmative action is causing terrible harm to these students. Colleges should get rid of affirmative action, so that each student will be matched up with a college that matches his or her own abilities.

Here is the relevant text from the New York Times article:

One young woman said she went to sleep at night wishing she would not wake up. Imani Marshall, a senior pre-med student from Chicago, who is black, felt a shudder of recognition and started to cry.

Ms. Marshall, who went to a selective public school in Chicago and came to Amherst on full financial aid, said she had felt unprepared academically and socially for Amherst. Yet she felt that by asking for help, she would undermine not just her own standing but that of her entire race.

“I feel like an impostor,” Ms. Marshall said the other day over lunch at the central dining hall. “I close myself off a lot of times from help. I always feel like I need to prove to other people that I do belong here.”

 

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November 29, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Education, Racism.

One Comment

  1. actions15 replied:

    Richard H. Sander, UCLA law professor, summarized it by mismatch theory.
    http://www2.law.ucla.edu/sander/Systemic/summ/AffirmativeActionSummary.htm

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