Skip to comments.Overly Advantaged California Student Sues To Enter Berkely
Posted on 08/14/2002 3:16:41 PM PDT by NonZeroSum
Del Norte Vista, CA (APUPI)
In a case reminiscent of the famous Bakke decision, a California high school senior is suing the University of California over their refusal to admit him to their prestigious Berkely campus, despite his sterling biography and SAT score of over 1700, under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Todd Hepplewitt, an honors student at Caca Fuego High, in Del Norte Vista, is claiming that, in today's society, he's handicapped by his lack of hardship in life. He contends that the difficulty of making it in a victimized society, and getting no government or institutional support, is underestimated and can't be appreciated by those who have been burdened all their lives by life.
"I wrote an essay describing my difficulties to them, but they completely ignored it."
"I've done everything I could to struggle through, and to make changes at home. I asked my parents to get a divorce, but they refused, no matter how much I pleaded. My father tried drinking, but he turned out to have an allergy to alcohol, and I couldn't get him to beat me when he wasn't drunk. I wanted him to quit his job so we could go on unemployment and put pressure on me to drop out of school and work full time, which I could then resist, but he wouldn't do it."
"They just kept on paying the bills, encouraging me to do well in school, providing a nurturing environment for success." He went on, the faintest hint of tears gleaming in his eyes, "It's as though they didn't even care whether I got into college or not."
Despite living daily with the unceasing ravages of normalcy, Todd managed to graduate valedictorian, earn three letters on the track team, and serve as president of the student council, all while starting and successfully growing a mail-order Mongolian ferret business on the internet into a multi-million-dollar powerhouse of rodentiary commerce.
He worked hard, and hoped that, despite his appalling paucity of sob stories, he could still somehow persevere and achieve his lifelong dream--to attend the jewel of the UC system.
But alas, it was not to be. He received his rejection letter last Tuesday, though he knew that several people with more chaotic home lives had been accepted with much lower scores.
Undaunted, he made a determined decision to use the tactics of the elitists, those who rose to the top solely through adversity, to press his case, using government pressure.
"Actually, I'm not sure I want to go now, after the way they've treated me, but there's a principle involved. I'll continue to fight until everyone realizes what a true challenge it is, in today's America, to make it without challenges."
UC Berkely officials were unavailable for comment.
(Copyright 2002 by Rand Simberg)
That's REALLY good considering the max you can get is 800 + 800 = 1600
Maybe he got extra credit on a take-home project.
In a related story....
A New Strategy for Racial Quotas: "Comprehensive Review"
By Walter Williams (March 21, 2002)
If your father beats your mother up or abandons her, or you've made a few suicide attempts, you're moved up a notch or two over the more academically qualified students who are short on familial pathology.
[CAPITALISMMAGAZINE.COM] In 1996, California's voters passed Proposition 209, which outlawed racial quotas for college admission. That didn't mean the end of the quest for racial quotas and the euphemisms for it: affirmative action, diversity and multiculturalism. The diversity lobby has rigged up a new and devious way around the law and court decisions in order to have race-based college admission. They've come up with a policy called "comprehensive review" that could well become college-admissions currency across the land.
Last year, Dr. Richard Atkinson, president of the University of California system, called for the elimination of the widely used SAT as an admissions requirement for the system's 10 universities. He argued that the SAT is biased against minorities.
The SAT is not biased -- it accurately predicts a student's class standing at the end of his freshman year. In fact, the SAT over-predicts black freshmen standing, a standing higher than that actually achieved.
Atkinson and the diversity gang never point out specific exam questions that are racist or culturally biased. A typical arithmetic exam question is: "There are 20 packages of bagels on a shelf in a store, and each package contains the same number of bagels. If three of these packages contain a total of 18 bagels, how many bagels are there in seven of these packages? (A) 21, (B) 36, (C) 40, (D) 42 and (E) 49."
You might ask what's racist or culturally biased about that question? I don't know, but Atkinson and the diversity gang might argue that it's culturally biased, since bagels aren't a staple among blacks and Hispanics.
John Leo, in a Feb. 18 U.S. News & World Report article, "Punching an Unfair Ticket to College," did a bit of research on the University of California's comprehensive review admissions policy. University admissions offices will give extra points and consideration to students who have coped with "personal struggle" and "difficult personal and family situations or circumstances." A student's chances for admission will increase if he's overcome a physical handicap, was fired or downsized from a job, was born illegitimately or comes from a family where neither parent went to high school.
Leo says that "unusual family disruption" is also a plus, and so are any "unusual medical/emotional problems" on the part of the applicant. That means if your father beats your mother up or abandons her, or you've made a few suicide attempts, you're moved up a notch or two over the more academically qualified students who are short on familial pathology.
Comprehensive review is simply an underhanded diversity tactic to evade laws and court rulings against racial quotas. To make use of race-based admissions plausibly deniable, the University of California's comprehensive review plan contains a pious statement that it must not be used to promote racial preferences.
This tactic is both disgusting and racially condescending. More blacks and Hispanics will be admitted to the University of California by associating them not with academic excellence, but with social and psychological pathology and dysfunction. It teaches black youngsters that victimhood is the ticket to college and academic preparation is a side issue. It's a concession that blacks cannot academically compete and to expect them to do so is racism.
I doubt that the architects of "comprehensive review" are racists -- they're probably well-meaning leftists. But for 50 years, the well-meaning leftist agenda has been able to do to blacks what Jim Crow and harsh discrimination could never have done: family breakdown, illegitimacy and low academic achievement. The University of California's diversity agenda is more of the same. What's worse is that too many black people either go along with it or sit in silence, conceding that black youngsters cannot compete academically.
And I am saying this even though I happen to be black!
I totally believe everyone should go forth in his/her life through their innate merit and applied commitment and dedication! If a person deserves something then that person should attain it due to the simple fact that his/her superior ability necessitates and warrants the person to achieve it. However when people start using quota systems, saying that this percentage of this and that fraction of that is entitled to something solely due to their race, location or birthright, then there is something wrong in the system!
And although I feel for people born with certain disadvantages I do not think that deserving people should suffer! For example lets say you have a Hispanic Female with a B- Average from a public high school who comes from a categorically impoverished background; and then you have a White Male with an A average from a posh private high school in an opulent milieu. Under current conditions the Hispanic female would get the position and there is a good chance the White Male might miss out due to the fact he was disadvantaged to be born white, male, and rich. And that would be tantamount to vile discrimination against the White Male for reasons beyond his control. It is totally unfair to him to apply such inequitable standards to him, meaning that although he deserves the position he would not get it because of the color of his skin and his gender! In the strive to become more egalitarian we have started applying concepts that are basically racist (just on the reverse side). Why? Because to this kid (the white male) he has just been discriminated against and his prime position has gone over to another person who is not even close to his performance levels just because she is a she, and belongs to a minority.
It is my personal opinion that such a system is inherently and fundamentally unfair in each and every respect! It is taking the concept of utilitarianism (sp) to the maximum, and turning it into what it is supposed to rectify.
And the reason I am so heated against this is that even though I am black I am originally from Kenya (I came here three years ago to pursue my Finance major). And I have had to come up against a lot of things. For example even though I have managed to achieve and maintain a 4.0 GPA (currently I am a senior) I have faced several dire situations such as the tuition problem (converting currency from Kenyan shillings to American dollars takes away some of the value). And my college originally did not provide scholarships or tuition waivers to international students (even though kids from Saudi Arabia could get it which incensed me, however that is another story). However I have had to cope with such stuff, and adapt. For example I joined the student government and rose up the ranks, and changed the laws through alliances I had made with the faculty senate and the school president. By changing the laws I could get funding at least for my tuition. I became chair of a myriad of committees in my school, and even got a good internship in the state Finance and Trade department (where I was working solo on projects that had previously been given to whole teams .making me the first intern, who was international, and also the first person to finish the project without a team of 10). Also I had to start a myriad of organizations ranging from simple stuff like an Investment club to my baby which I am working with a pal ( it will be a company if it works out).
As in when I came here I was totally disadvantaged in every respect of the word. I was foreign, facing tuition difficulties, a minority two times over (black, and foreign), so on and so forth. Yet I managed to establish myself, and on top of that not only thrive but excel (unless something drastic happens this semester I will graduate class marshall).
I am not trying to tout my own horn (actually I express gratitude to God for all of that) .all I am saying is I did not come here and expect the governmental authorities to take care of me. I went out and took care of things.
Yet there are hordes of people who are willing to grant favors to people from disadvantaged backgrounds at the expense of individuals with high magnitude of merit!
And do not get me wrong! I am not against helping out people from disadvantaged neighborhoods. I have nothing against the handouts. None whatsoever. My issue is that in the process of helping out the disadvantaged kid you are discriminating against a person who deserves the position, but just happens to be white!
That is unfair, and it seems to be simply the taking of the Utilitarian concept to levels that are basically abhorable!
Help the disadvantaged with all the help available ..however in the process do not disadvantage another person just because he is a he and his skin has low levels of melanin!
To me it smacks of being a paradigm of the reverse-brown paper test (I was told in decades past some white organizations would only admit questionable people if there skin was lighter than a brown paper bag. In this case it is reversed).
Not only that. They will accept these unverified tales from Blacks, Hispanics, gays, females, the disabled, immigrants and more ...Then turn around and reject the ones from male whites and Asians.
Tremendous latitude for corruption of admissions officers and lying by applicants
I'd also sue. Then I'd burn something to the ground.
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