Abigail Fisher has joined Allan Bakke, Jennifer Gratz/Patrick Hamacher and Barbara Grutter as part of a list of Whites who have used race as an excuse because they faced a road block for maybe the only time in their lives. The idea that we should have race-neutral college and graduate school admissions policies in a country that’s far from race-neutral shows an enormous sense of unacknowledged entitlement and privilege.

Here’s why. Using myself as an example, I graduated Mount Vernon HS (NY) in 1987, 14th out of 545 students (the top 3% of my class), with a 3.83 GPA on a 4.0 scale, with an 1120 SAT (a 1220 on today’s SAT). I didn’t get into Yale, but was accepted at Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh. Money was an issue, as I ended up going to Pitt because they offered me an academic scholarship, while Columbia offered a private investigator into my father’s finances. Still, my grades would’ve easily knocked Fisher out of contention at UT-Austin, as well as Gratz and Hamacher.

I also think about the two decades I’ve spent teaching high school, college and graduate students. The most consistently obstinate students I’ve taught have been White students who thought they knew more than me. They didn’t get that context always matters when interpreting history, especially something like affirmative action. For those students, for Fisher, et al., and for the Supreme Court, entitlement matters more than context. Facts, circumstances be damned.
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