Bad News – This Kid Got Accepted at Lots of Colleges

April 10, 2018
Posted by Jay Livingston

If you’re a Republican, you probably think that Whites suffer more from racial discrimination than do Blacks.* One of the ways that Black people make things harder for Whites is by applying to college.

You have probably seen this video of the Black kid in Houston, on his computer, reading his acceptance from Stanford. Full scholarship. Family and friends scream in delight. He breaks down crying. It’s touching. He applied to 19 other schools with similar results.

The DC local Fox News program could not let the moment go without some criticism He had, the anchors complained, applied to too many schools. At each of those schools, they said, his acceptance meant that some other applicant was put on the wait list.**

The Fox reaction had nothing to do with race, right? That kid in the video  – that kid who jumped the line and displaced “someone else who worked really hard” –  just happened to be Black.

Still, there was something hauntingly familiar about the Fox take on college acceptances. Then I remembered it – the “Hands” ad. That was the TV spot Jesse Helms ran in his 1990 campaign for Senate in North Carolina. The ad showed a man’s hands opening a letter (no computer acceptances back then). The voice-over was explicit in playing the race card.

Affirmative action in 1990, college applications in 2018. In Republicanland, everyone knows that a White person just doesn’t have a chance any more.


* A Public Religion Research Institute poll (WaPo summary here) asked voters if Whites were “under attack.” Sixty-three percent agreed.  Is there “a lot of discrimination” against Whites? Forty-three percent of Republicans agreed. Against Blacks? Only 27% of Republicans agreed.

** Colleges send out more acceptances than they have places for. They make fairly good estimates of how many of those accepted students will choose another school. I would imagine that those estimates take into account the average number of schools that high schoolers apply to.

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