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Old 04-13-2018, 12:51 PM
you with the face you with the face is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 11,913
Anti-achievement at its finest: Acceptance by 20 colleges called "obnoxious"

Link to article: D.C. Fox 5 anchors slam teen who received 20 full rides to college.

So a Texas teen named Michael Brown discovers he's been accepted by all 20 schools he applied to, including prestigious Ivy Leagues. The kid has an astronomical GPA and a near perfect SAT score...clearly the guy is winning in the academic department. Great accomplishment, right?

Well, the story is covered by some newscasters who choose to harp about how "obnoxious" it is that by getting into so many schools, he took spots from “someone else who worked really hard.” Instead of saying something congratulatory, their immediate reaction is to criticize him using truly WTF? logic. The has led many people (including the student) to speak out.

Of note is that the student is a black male and the anchors are white women. I, like others, don't think it's a coincidence they said these things about a student with his racial background, because "taking a spot from someone else" is a charge pretty much every black person who attends competitive college has to defend themselves against in some shape or form. Rarely do whites have to put up with this; the default assumption is that they belong to any school they attend. Even if they are mediocre students. Argue what you want, but Michael Brown is not mediocre by any metric and yet he's still getting treated like he has taken rather than earned something.

And it is sad that him applying to 20 schools (instead of 4 or 5 which one newscaster insisted was better) was portrayed as arrogant, attention-seeking behavior. In all probability, he picked 20 because he was uncertain that he'd get into his preferred schools. In other words, a lack of arrogance likely guided his decision to apply widely. I wouldn't be surprised if it was his parents that insisted he do this, because that's what my mother did to me. She didn't want me to miss out on opportunities unnecessarily. But instead of pausing to consider the possibility Michael Brown approached the college application process with the cautious, risk averse mindset of someone who doesn't assume the world is his oyster, the news anchors found it easier to spin it as the complete opposite. Uppity, in other words.

What was behind all this commentary? Was this privilege blinding them to other possible points of view? Was this them assuming (like many stupid people do) that black people don't have to work hard to get into college; they can just apply and get in anywhere and of course, the kid would know this so he just wanted to waste his money in applying to a bunch of schools so he could have bragging rights? I'm struggling to understand why they couldn't keep a check on their biases and just say what is always expected for stories like this. "Wow, what an amazing accomplishment. I bet his parents are so proud. Now back to you, Bob, for the weather."

Michael Brown has asked for an apology. It'll be interesting to see whether he gets it. My guess is not.