Donald Trump has been very courageous in his opposition to racism. In an Associated Press interview, Trump said that President Obama was a “terrible student…how does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?” It’s brave for Trump to question whether the sitting president benefited from the racially discriminatory policy of affirmative action that the Obama administration supports.
After all, Michelle Obama called her husband a “bum” while he was a college student at Occidental. However, that “bum” went on to highly competitive Ivy League schools. Similarly, Trump famously called Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” because she pretended to be Native American to exploit racial preferences at Harvard.
Of course, I’m no better than Senator Warren. With hilarious consequences, I transformed my race from Indian American to African American in order to take advantage of affirmative action in medical school admissions. But, unlike Senator Warren, I have come clean about my lies in my book Almost Black.
It’s funny that the Obamas, Senator Warren, and their chosen presidential candidate Hillary Clinton perpetuate racial discrimination in admissions, while frequently accusing Trump of being a “racist.” They are angry because the Republican nominee has courageously exposed their racism and hypocrisy.
So, what is the role of race in university admissions under affirmative action, anyway? To borrow the colorful language of Mr. Trump, “It’s HUGE.” In 2015, over 100 universities, including the entire Ivy League, publicly admitted that they use racial preferences in admissions in Supreme Court’s Fisher case.
The admission statistics from public universities, the College Board, and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) all show that given the same grades and test scores, it’s considerably easier to gain admission to college or graduate school as African American or Hispanic, than as Asian American or white. According to the AAMC, an applicant with my GPA (3.1) and my MCAT score (31) would have an acceptance rate of 74.3% as African American, 49.1% as Hispanic, 29.0% as White, and 17.1% as Asian American in 2013-5.
If someone did what Elizabeth Warren or I did, they would have improved their chances of admission by as much as 57.2%.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pose as a minority to protect yourself from affirmative action racism. When it comes to equal rights in higher education, the American people can determine their destiny. The Presidential Election of 2016 is a national referendum on the future of affirmative action.
In the Supreme Court’s recent Fisher case, Hillary Clinton publicly endorsed racial preferences. Donald Trump, on the other hand, pledged to appoint Justices in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was one of our nation’s greatest champions for the cause of a colorblind society. Had Scalia lived, he would have cast the decisive vote to abolish affirmative action, overturning the 4-3 Fisher decision legalizing racial preferences in university admissions.
Throughout her campaign, Hillary Clinton has been courting minority voters, including Black Lives Matter activists, by hyping the alleged benefits of racial preferences to them. However, minority voters don’t realize that policies like affirmative action also have negative consequences. Asian Americans are the greatest victims of affirmative action racism: it’s hardest for them to get into competitive universities.
Affirmative action also creates negative stereotypes about the capabilities of black and Hispanic professionals by making it seem as if they only got their jobs or degrees because of their race, not merit. If you are black, Hispanic or Native American, affirmative action is a stigma you will carry with you for the rest of your life, even if you become a Senator or the President of the United States.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson declared that “all men are created equal.” Unfortunately, that’s never been true, even in the idealistic eyes of the written law. There has always been a legal justification for discrimination, whether in the form of slavery, segregation, or affirmative action.
The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, took a groundbreaking step to abolish slavery. Trump has earned his place as the rightful heir to the legacy of Lincoln through his fearless opposition to affirmative action racism. As President, I believe that Donald Trump will end affirmative action like Lincoln ended slavery. Racial equality is something worth voting for.
Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam is the author of Almost Black: The True Story of How I Got into Medical School by Pretending to Be Black. Read more at www.almostblack.com.