The sly way affirmative action undermines confidence
I hated affirmative action. It was a tool to undermine confidence bc it was presented as systemic lowering if standards to allow college admission to a handful of blacks who might graduate, but never would’ve been noticed had they been white, or Asian. There were only like 100 of us my year. Something like a third of the class was “legacy” or had Harvard grads as relatives and therefore received undefined admissions preference. One student run paper was devoted to presenting gpa averages broken down by race (not legacy status) to “prove” Asians had the highest grades, then whites, then blacks. Unlike Hawaii, mainland American culture assigns one race to a person regardless of her complex heritage. I now question the validity of data assembled with this blunt tool, but then I bought into what was “known” about black people. I wanted to trumpet my good grades to the people judging me. After 4 years of being unavoidably, undeservedly uncomfortable in my skin I graduated “magna cum laude,” with high honors. Only then did I feel worthy.
I am slow to mention Harvard bc people get hostile, assuming you think you’re better. Or, they expect more of a “wow factor” in a Harvard grad than I show. Many echo the sentiment of the pastor’s wife, at a mission where I worked and struggled with a random filing system: “my husband thinks you are overrated.” (Btw, Jesus was not mean like those church “leaders.” To paraphrase Ghandi, many Christians fail to show through action the love of Jesus. Jesus–cool. Christians–far too often, not cool.) People see regular me, with a record and addiction, and they make affirmative action comments. I agree with the first black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. When he retired reporters asked if his replacement should be black. To paraphrase Justice Marshall, a snake is a snake, black or white, it’ll bite. Race should not be a determining factor any more than inny or outey belly buttons.
Race based policies are inherently faulty and affirmative action is a subversive way to destroy its “beneficiaries.”. It appears to make high standards incompatible with admitting black students. People who have what they never earned are spoiled, cheaters, thieves, extortionists or some combo of everything. We are never designated people who have what we should have had all along