American Colleges and Universities have often struggled with the issue of race. Primary White Institutions (PWI’s) initially in almost every instance, failed to admit most minorities at all. When they did, it was often as a result of legislation requiring minority admissions and/or affirmative action programs establishing goals for minority students. There has been a long term backlash to affirmative action students, most suggesting that deserving white students were denied admission in lieu of less qualified minorities.
Some have disingenuously taken up the cause of highly qualified Asian students who have suffered because of limits imposed by Affirmative Action programs. They place blame, typically on black students that were admitted rather than recognizing that these programs have made all minorities, crabs in a barrel, fighting for a limited number of spaces while white students enjoy the rest.
A still-developing scandal has revealed that rich people, almost all rich, white people, have been using other tools to ensure their children got into good colleges and universities and buy their way in. These schemes included having other people take their ACT and SAT tests, faking medical disabilities to allow extra time on standardized tests, and “earning” athletic scholarships in sports their children didn’t play. They faked honors earned in high school and staged photo’s of the children on rowing machines or playing water polo. One example had the parents paying from $15–75K to get a rigged test score with $10K going to the person who actually took the test. Money was routed through a mostly fake charity, apparently aspiring to keep up with the Trump family.
Among the schools known to be involved are; Georgetown, Stanford, Yale, the University of Texas, and the University of Southern Califonia. People have been quick to suggest the schools had no idea this was going on and the students were unaware the fix was in. People at the schools getting paid include athletic coaches and administrators. One would think a student might notice if someone else took their SAT and got an excellent score?
Thus far, 33 parents have been charged by the FBI as part of, Operation Varsity Blues. Several executives of firms have been charged as well with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. A couple of the parents arrested were Hollywood celebrities. I omit their names because it would distract from my main points:
1 When it’s all said and done, what will be the penalty for these crimes? Depriving better-qualified students of getting into the best schools. What are the odds one of those rich parents will go to jail? Or will they pay a small fine or see the cases dropped? Maybe the actors involved can play themselves in the movie?
2. Will we see the outrage about rich, white people, cheating the system in ways different than usual like legacy students, making huge donations, or adding a wing to a building?
The problem is not now nor has it ever been affirmative action. The existing programs have served more like a cap on minorities, significantly less than their percentage of the population. Some people have condemned the admission of minority students while readily accepting that the advantaged often take advantage. Let’s see if they even make the effort to get upset?