A story coming out of Harvard Law School fondly reminded me of one of an experience I had when visiting colleges during my senior year of high school.
The Harvard story goes like this: A promising young law student says to her friends via email:
“I just hate leaving things where I feel I misstated my position,’’ Grace wrote. “I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African-Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.’’
Way to go law student for applying the logic you have bee learning in school to a major social issue! With so few of color students (let’s hear it for my Ivy League Oreos!) pahking their cahs in Hahvahd’s garahge, it only stands to reason that it’s because your RBP is well, just not as bright.
And that reminded me of an inspiring day on the campus of a school I was considering attending.
The year I graduated from college, my home state repealed any sort of affirmative action practices in schools. What this one college took that to mean is that they shouldn’t allow any minority students to attend their weekly summer sleepover recruiting events. So they pulled the minority students out of the early scheduled sessions and put us all into to one camp session.
Not cool. Because there we were. About 200 Oreos and Coconuts at the tops of our class with our Bad Religion tapes and our composition notebooks full of angsty poetry, forced to hang out with a bunch of other of colors.
And then this doozie at lunch:
College (aged) counselor: You guys are so lucky to be minorities.
C(A)C: Yeah! You guys can get into school and not have to be smart or anything!
I don’t know what became of that girl, but she left an impression that day. I resolved to stand up for who I was.
A proud Oreo.
The conversation shifted to field hockey and John Hughes and I’m pretty sure that by the end of that chat, she was wondering if we were really minorities or not.