I saw the Snowden movie, and it inspired me: it made me realize that I am kind of like the Wikileaks of Affirmative Action. Of course, there are huge differences between Edward Snowden and me but like him, I have exposed the truth in a web of lies.
Snowden was the American intelligence operative who leaked the National Security Agency’s covert surveillance on the American public to Wikileaks. He was a whistleblower who acted out of a deep sense of patriotism and fear that U.S. Government was lying to the American public about the extent of covert surveillance. As a result of Snowden’s revelations, Congress passed laws ending many types of NSA surveillance of innocent American citizens. Yet, Snowden was forced into exile in Russia, to avoid imprisonment in the United States for his release of classified documents. In a way, Snowden paid for his strong sense of morality, by being forced into exile.
Now, no matter how you feel about the NSA, Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, you should realize that a leader of a government agency is not supposed to lie to a Congressional Oversight Committee. Yet in 2013, the Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper lied to Congress when he said that government does not “wittingly” collect information on hundreds of millions of Americans. Clapper committed perjury: if he felt that it was not appropriate to discuss the matter in public for fear of undermining national security, he could have simply declined to answer the question. As an intelligence agent, Edward Snowden recognized Jim Clapper’s lies after reading internal presentations at the NSA, that clearing contradicting Clapper’s claims to Congress. Snowden felt did a public service by revealing the NSA’s lies on Wikileaks as he said in his movie.
Like the NSA, the great colleges and universities in the United States lie to the public about their activities, specifically the role of race in admissions. Many schools including Washington University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University publically deny they “discriminate on the basis of race.” Yet these same schools (and more than 100 others including the entire Ivy League) endorsed racial preferences in the Supreme Court’s Fisher decision. Review the amicus briefs filed by the institutions of higher education range from public flagship schools (e.g., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the President and Chancellors of the University of California) to eight Catholic universities (e.g., Fordham, Georgetown, Notre Dame) to 37 private liberal arts colleges (e.g., Amherst, Oberlin, Wesleyan) and all of the Ivy League schools. The schools consistently downplay the role race in admissions as a single factor.
The schools lied. Race is a HUGE FACTOR in college and graduate school admissions. Moreover, there is an abundance of statistical evidence that shows that race has an enormous impact on admissions decisions: it’s much harder to get into college or grad school as Asian and white and much easier to get in as black and Hispanic (see footnote below).
In my book Almost Black, I reveal the truth about the role of race in admissions. I expose the fact that many schools such as the University of Pennslyvania, Yale University, and Washington University use racial preferences in admissions despite the fact that they publically claim they don’t discriminate on the basis of “race.” I reveal that some state schools, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison are willing to compromise their state residency requirements for minorities. Taxpayers of Wisconsin, did you know your money was going to support out of state students? My book shows that some schools such as Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine separate their applicants into pools based on race, including a special day and interviewer for minority applicants. They called this practice “affirmative action” although it could be more accurately described as illegal racial segregation. I exposed the enormous extent to which race impacted admissions to medical school. Like Snowden, I was brave enough to defy my family and public condemnation in order to expose the truth.
I am personally opposed to affirmative action, but I am aware that not everyone agrees with me on that. Still, the colleges and universities, all of which use government subsidies, should not lie to the public about the role of race in admissions. The great universities of this country must publically divulge and defend their racially discriminatory admissions policies if they are to continue to receive government subsidies.
Only when the American public is aware of the truth, can they demand changes to make our society a better place. Like Snowden, I am a very flawed person who understands that.
Sources: MCAT and GPA Grid for Applicants and Acceptees by Selected Race and Ethnicity, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 According to MCAT and GPA Grid for Applicants and Acceptees by Selected Race and Ethnicity, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 put into today’s admissions scenario, an applicant with my GPA (3.1) and my MCAT score (31) would have an acceptance rate of 74.3% if s/he was African American, 49.1% if s/he was Hispanic; YET 29.0% if s/he was White, and 17.1% if s/he was Asian American.
William G. Bowen, Martin A. Kurzweil, and Eugene M. Tobin, Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005), 105, Table 5.1., Minority Student Opportunities in United States Medical Schools 1996. Etc.) I realized all of this because I studied economics and statistics at the University of Chicago.