April 24, 2014

She's only seventeen, so don't judge too harshly

Mitch Albom has a conversation with Brooke Kimbrough, an outspoken advocate for racial preferences, er, diversity, especially at the University of Michigan where she was -- gasp! -- rejected. This comes on the heels of the recent SCOTUS decision upholding Michigan's referendum which ditched affirmative action in higher education.

MSNBC's The Grio, which specializes in African-American stories, has a profile of Kimbrough. Ironically, it notes that she is a member of her high school's debate team where she and a teammate "were the first African-Americans to win the University of California-Berkley tournament." Based on this, though, one wonders just how that debate was structured, right? Nevertheless, Albom tactfully demonstrates what a complete sham "diversophile" arguments for "needed" diversity are ... and how its proponents easily come apart when pressed:

When I asked Brooke why it's wrong for U-M to set a similar bar (she was denied admission with below the U-M averages of a 3.6 GPA and a 23 on the ACT) she said U-M needed to "represent the state. Blacks are about 14% of the population, so it should be 14% roughly."

I pointed out that whites were 79% of Michigan's population, but officially 57% of U-M's, so should we adjust that up? "That's ludicrous," she said, claiming it should only apply to minorities. I then noted U-M was 11% Asian American, but our state was only 2%. Should we adjust down?

"I don't understand what you're asking," she said.

Of course she doesn't. But if she cannot understand such a simple question, then I wouldn't be so miffed about being rejected by U of M.

Brooke feels that she has overcome a lot. "My essays were about, like, fighting racism," she said. "Getting into (Michigan) shouldn't just be about grades."

But when I told her many students write moving essays, overcome odds, have great extracurriculars (like her debate team position) and also don't get in to U-M — despite higher grades and scores than hers — she grew frustrated.

"I'm doing the best I can in this life," she said. "If it's not reflected in my academics, I don't know what else I need to do."

And it's here, as Albom notes, that the racial aspect becomes irrelevant. He writes that Brooke is just "one of countless kids today who feel that without their first college choice, their future is doomed." I'll add, too, that she is yet another of the current generation who possesses a vastly overgrown sense of entitlement, where rejection of any kind is not only seen as wrong and unjust, but, as Albom notes, Armageddon.

I wouldn't worry much if I were Kimbrough. She's obviously bright (yes, despite botching Albom's questions ... I seriously doubt she "didn't know" what he was asking; indeed, she most probably was seeking avoidance of the obvious and just didn't do it very well) and motivated, so there should be ample opportunities for her after college. At the very least, I'm sure the grievance industry will always have a spot available for her.

Posted by Hube at April 24, 2014 09:25 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

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