Activists with the radical pro-affirmative action group, By Any Means Necessary, staged a protest on Tuesday featuring a black Detroit high school student who was denied admission to the University of Michigan.
The student, Brooke Kimbrough, claimed UM rejected her because of her “morals,” and not her below-average ACT score of 23. (The average U-M student has a score between 28 and 32.)
“I believe that I have been rejected because of the morals that I stand for,” said Kimbrough, according to Fox 2 news. “I will take back my freedom as a tool to help others. I have left the plantation to get my freedom but I am coming back for you, too. I will make it my civic duty to document every news of a rejection letter that the university produces to our black, brown and red bodies.”
Kimbrough’s comments follow weeks of increasing tensions over race at U-M. BAMN activists, as well as minority students with the Black Student Union, another group, have continuously demanded increased black and Latino enrollment, even though a state constitutional amendment prohibits administrators from considering race as a factor toward admission.
Earlier this year, BSU made a list of demands and threatened “physical action,” if they were not met. The most costly demand was met almost immediately, as administrators hastily approved a $300,000 renovation to the UM multicultural center. University officials have also met frequently to listen to BSU’s demands and assuage their concerns about diversity on campus. (RELATED: UMich meets demands of black students who threatened ‘physical action’)
Some in the media have attempted to draw a connection between Kimbrough and Jennifer Gratz, a white applicant who was denied admission to U-M in the 1990s, at a time when the university awarded bonus admissions points to minority applicants. After winning at the Supreme Court and leading a statewide ballot petition drive, Gratz succeeded in forcing the university to abandon its practice of considering applicants’ racial makeup.
The initiative was later struck down by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and reached the Supreme Court last year. Analysts ultimately expect the Sixth Circuit’s decision to be overruled.
Gratz said Kimbrough’s situation was not analogous to her own. Kimbrough wants under-qualified minority applicants like herself to receive special consideration, whereas Gratz only wanted equal consideration regardless of race, she said.
“I fight for equal treatment for all, without regard for race,” wrote Gratz in a statement on Facebook. “Ms. Kimbrough fights for discrimination and believes she is entitled to preferential treatment based on her race. I fight for equal opportunity to compete, she fights for equal outcomes despite competitiveness.”