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How The College Admissions Scandal Lawsuit Affects Black Alumni Of Schools Involved

CHICAGO DEFENDER — A new lawsuit against elite universities over the admissions scandal suggests that Black alumni of those schools will likely face new scrutiny and fresh doubts in addition to what they’ve long encountered over affirmative action admission programs.

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By Nigel Roberts

A new lawsuit against elite universities over the admissions scandal suggests that Black alumni of those schools will likely face new scrutiny and fresh doubts in addition to what they’ve long encountered over affirmative action admission programs.

See Also: The College Admission Scandal Is A Reminder Of A Broken System Against Black Folks

Two Stanford University students filed a class action suit on Wednesday against several universities, including Yale and the University of Southern California (USC), that were engulfed in a massive admissions cheating scandal involving wealthy parents who paid bribes to get their underachieving children into elite schools.

The two plaintiffs, Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods, alleged that fraud prevented them from gaining entrance to their school of choice, despite their stellar qualifications. The two Stanford students also said that the scandal means potential employers will undervalue their degree, USA Today reported.

The undervaluing of degrees from elite schools would add an extra layer of doubt about the qualifications of Black students from those schools. Racist views about the intellectual ability of Black students already fuel the view that the bar was lowered to allow them to enter and graduate from top schools.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has spoken about her high school counselor discouraging her from bothering to apply to Princeton University. She ignored that advice and gained admission. As a student, she endured “that everyday drain of being in a deep minority” and feeling that she had to prove her intellectual abilities so that others would believe that she “belonged at Princeton, as much as anybody.”

In the federal lawsuit, Olsen said she had high standardized test scores and athletic abilities, but Yale rejected her after she paid the application fee.

“Had she known that the system at Yale University was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school,” the lawsuit states. “She also did not receive what she paid for — a fair admissions consideration process.”

Woods also said she achieved high scores on standardized tests and was an athlete. But USC rejected her application, alleging that she “was never informed that the process of admission at USC was an unfair, rigged process, in which parents could buy their way into the university through bribery and dishonest schemes.”

Woods also claimed that the scandal means that her degree “is now not worth as much as it was before, because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having rich parents who were willing to bribe school officials.”

This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.

Activism

Civil Rights Before the Loving Decision

Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case in 1967 that recognized marriage as a fundamental right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.

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Not so recently in the United States, same sex marriages were illegal. In the last century, there were laws on the books that prohibited folks from different races marrying.  

Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case in 1967 that recognized marriage as a fundamental right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.

In 1958, Mildred Loving, a Black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were convicted and sentenced to a year in prison for violating the state of Virginia’s laws prohibiting their marriage.

That conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1968, ending discrimination in marriage based on race.

The Loving decision was a catalyst in 2015 to help abolish discrimination in marriage in same-sex marriages, which allowed for equality in the LGBTQ communities of all races including this author.

Before the Loving decision, Joan Steinau, a white woman, married Julius Lester, who at the time was a singer and a photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  Julius later became a writer.  

Joan and Julius were divorced in 1970.

Next month, Joan’s memoir, “Loving before Loving:  A Marriage in Black and White,” will be released. In the book, she recounts her marriage to Julius Lester before the Loving decision in the midst of the civil rights era as a wife, mother, and activist. 

In an interview with the Post, she said,   “Given both the erasure and distortion of Black lives as presented in the white-led media, the existence of a robust Black press . . .has been essential to the survival and thriving of Black community.”

Quoting the Chicago Daily Defender in her memoir, she said, “When one of its reporters asked President Truman, after he said school integration might lead to intermarriage, ‘Would you want your daughter to marry a Black man if she loved him?’ The president responded with a typical segregationist attitude of the time, ‘She won’t love anybody that’s not her color.’   It was important for the Black reporter to be there, because of course he assumed the possibility that naturally she could love anyone and pointed that out with his question.”

She added,  “That’s just one example of a long history of significant advocacy and reportage by hundreds of Black newspapers over the last 150 years. The Post News Group has jumped into the gap regionally to fill this important space, and I’m grateful for it. Until we have true representation of all experiences/perspectives at major media outlets, we will continue to need media targeted to excluded groups.

“My own history with Oakland/Berkeley dates to the 1980s when I began to visit from the East Coast and plot a way to move here. In 1991, my wife and I did settle in Berkeley. We immediately joined a predominantly Black church in Oakland and began creating a friendship circle. The diverse culture here was high on our list of reasons to move from our predominantly white area in New England. And it has been everything we hoped for.”

Joan Lester dedicates this memoir to her wife, Carole.  In addition to this memoir, she is a commentator, columnist and book author.

“Loving before Loving A Marriage in Black and White” by Joan Steinau Lester is available for pre-order now and on sale on May 18 on Amazon and at local bookstores.

For more information log onto JoanLester.com.

Wikipedia was a source for this story.

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The Chicago Defender Debuts “Stay Strong Chicago” Video

CHICAGO DEFENDER — The people that live here are resilient. We are fighters. If you’re from here, then you know, even when everyone counts us out, we find a way to rise.

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Chicago has always been a city with tenacity.

The people that live here are resilient. We are fighters. If you’re from here, then you know, even when everyone counts us out, we find a way to rise.We see the headlines. But we know who we are. It’s easy to get caught up in the storm. But this storm will pass.Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Strong Chicago! #ChicagoDefender #InThisTogether

The post The Chicago Defender Debuts “Stay Strong Chicago” Video appeared first on Chicago Defender.

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LIVESTREAM: #SaveLocalJournalism — Publishers Discuss the Need for Strategy, Innovation and Community Support in the Era of COVID-19

NNPA NEWSWIRE — On Wednesday, May 6 at 1PM ET, four publishers from across the country, including Bobby Henry of Florida’s Westside Gazette, Sonny Messiah Jiles of the Houston Defender, Hiram Jackson of Real Times Media (whose publications include the Chicago Defender and five other regional weeklies in the U.S.) and Larry Lee of the Sacramento Observer, will participate in a special livestream broadcast to discuss the status of their operations as the global COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

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Tune in to view the livestream at 1PM ET, Wednesday, May 6, over Facebook and YouTube. An archive of the stream will also be made available.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As conditions around the globe worsen because of the coronavirus pandemic, publishers of Black-owned community newspapers and media companies and their staffs are struggling to sustain business operations that enable them to deliver important news and information to their readers, listeners and viewers.

On Wednesday, May 6 at 1PM ET, four publishers from across the country, including Bobby Henry of Florida’s Westside Gazette, Sonny Messiah Jiles of the Houston Defender, Hiram Jackson of Real Times Media (whose publications include the Chicago Defender and five other regional weeklies in the U.S.) and Larry Lee of the Sacramento Observer, will participate in a special livestream broadcast to discuss the status of their operations as the global COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

All four publishers and their media companies are members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association representing America’s Black press.

The broadcast will stream live over Facebook and YouTube and will include a lively and insightful discussion on the status of local community-based journalism. In particular, the panel will discuss the state and fate of Black-owned media companies.

As small business owners, these publishers faced significant challenges even before the economy took its current downward turn. However, there’s no secret that Black-owned small businesses have been essentially ignored when it comes to providing access to stimulus funding and small business loans.

Each of the publishers will discuss the vital role that Black-owned publications have served for the nearly two centuries (193 years) of the Black Press and why their role remains essential to the communities they serve.

Since the first issue rolled off the press in 1971, Henry’s Westside Gazette has maintained a high level of professional, insightful and reader-sensitive reporting that has gained the trust and respect of South Florida’s African American community.

The Houston Defender serves a city that’s home to nearly 1 million African Americans. Houston is consistently ranked as one of the top ten cities based on median household income, households earning more than $100,000 annually, business ownership, college graduates, and homeowners. Additionally, the city has enjoyed the lowest unemployment and home loan rejection.

At the leadership helm since 1981, Jiles has ensured that the Defender’s legacy as a publication that promotes the positive, analyzing problems and sharing solutions.

Jackson’s Real Times Media is a multimedia company and conglomerate of five publications: Atlanta Daily World, Atlanta Tribune, Chicago Defender, Michigan Chronicle, and New Pittsburgh Courier.

Further west, Lee’s Sacramento Observer is a past winner of the NNPA’s John B. Russwurm Award, which recognizes the Nation’s Top Black Newspaper. During its five decades of operation, the Sacramento Observer has been honored with over 600 local and national awards for journalism excellence and outstanding community service.

Tune in to view the livestream at 1PM ET, Wednesday, May 6, over Facebook and YouTube. An archive of the stream will also be made available.

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