As I’m sure you’ve probably heard by now, Aunt Becky (Lori Laughlin) and one of the Desperate Housewives, Felicity Huffman, got arrested along with the CEO’s of Companies that were paying upwards of $500,000 to have their children go through a service to qualify them as kids with learning disabilities that would allow them to take the SAT on their own and for extended periods of time. They pretended that their children were high school athletes on the sailing team, soccer team, tennis team, etc. Dozens of wealthy parents were indicted. Coaches at Georgetown, USC, UCLA, the University of Texas and other schools face charges, as well. Officials said the investigation continues and more individuals could be charged, possibly including students. Officials also said, however, that some students were not aware of their parents’ manipulation of the process.
Also named in the indictment are William E. McGlashan Jr., founder and managing partner of TPG Growth, a Silicon Valley investment fund, wine baron Agustin Huneeus, Robert Zangrillo, CEO of venture firm Dragon Global, Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of the notable law firm Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, Elisabeth Kimmel, owner of Midwest Television and a board member at Ballast Point Brewing and former Pimco CEO Doug Hodge.
The bribes reportedly went as high as $6 million. The children, generally, did not realize their admission was due to a bribe.
It has been a while for me since I took those tests but I remember the anxiety that I felt in that cold room – I was a straight A student and I felt like my whole life depended on that exam. I was one of the privileged black kids growing up with a dad who was an attorney and a mother who worked in accounting at a factory in town, but under no circumstances were we rich or even wealthy. Hell both of my parents were still sending money home to their parents and grew up with 8 siblings a piece in shotgun houses.
We basically were first generation “not broke”. So I knew how much that test meant. And I worked my ass off to ensure that I’d be ready for that test. My heart was racing the entire time as I tried to unlock the logic games and tried to understand the definitions of words that were not used where I grew up under the belief that in order to keep my family from having to pay for anything – I needed to do well. And I did well. Well enough to Earn a Scholarship to the University of Virginia which was the Number 1 public school in the Country at the time and not many students were accepted into that incoming class. I ultimately opted for my alma mater Tougaloo College, a prestigious HBCU in MS that awarded me a full scholarship based on my grades, extracurricular activities, and test scores. UVA would have cost my family a lot of money for out of state fees, but I chose Tougaloo on its merits and received incredible opportunities as a result.
Think about this for a minute… The wealth gap is so significant that C list Yt celebrities are paying $500,000 to 1 million to cheat their kids way into school (that they won’t have to get student loans for because they can afford to pay for school in cash or assets or because they cheated their way into a scholarship) while many black students will be battling with student loan debt if they were to attend the same institutions that they earned their way into because they certainly couldn’t afford to financially cheat their way in.
You want to talk about how systems work? You want to talk about privilege? Privilege is being in a position to be in position even when you are not qualified for that position… privilege is dancing through the doors that others have had to knock down by force, privilege is getting a degree that you bought from an institution that is considered prestigious while the girl that got in off her merits is getting the campus police called on her after walking back to her room late at night from studying trying to keep her scholarship because that’s the only way she can afford to be there.
Privilege is knowing that your kids will get where you want them to go in the snap of a finger and the stroke of a pen… while black kids change their names on their resumes from Davonte to Dave to fit into spaces where they still won’t completely be welcomed no matter how much bass they’re willing to take out of their voice.
Privilege is not having debt and being able to get into a home that you can utilize to leverage as an asset while your black counterparts struggling with debt and working in the same jobs as you for less pay.
What’s really funny is thinking that Rich Colonizers just started paying and finessing systems to push their not so bright kids right on through to the best schools… Oh that system didn’t start with these women and CEO’s today… no sir… ask 45 why he don’t want you to see his MF SAT’s if you don’t understand what I mean. Systemic Oppression is Deeply rooted in access and accessibility… the facade of a meritocracy (You can make it if you work really hard) and the truth of glass ceilings, gate keepers, and institutional collusion across the board. Somebody had to tell these people these businesses existed… and somebody had to believe there was a viable lane for businesses like this because they weren’t asking for crumbs… they were asking for more than what some black families will see in their financial lifetime based on studies!
It would be absurd to believe that this just started happening when Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin came about. Trump Jr. had the audacity to mock those arrested which leads me to believe this operation was a calculated and targeted operation focused on white liberals and white moderates that stand in possible opposition to those not directly aligned with as a weaponized attempt to disarm some of them financially prior to future campaigns. Additionally, if anybody has no room to talk about having his way paid to privilege it’s The son of the dude, that’s the son of the dude, who got their way paid through privilege.
Think about that – What some of these people’s families are paying before they even get to school … to cheat them into the schools is more than what some black families will have flow into their accounts or pockets in their lifetime. How does privilege work? How do systems work? Look no further than 44+1 for that answer.
Systemic oppression is real. White privilege is real and diabolical schemes that allow those with money and resources to have access to things that many of the rest of us have to fight for simply to make our way TO THE STRUGGLES that subsequently follow upon graduation are real and they are perpetual. What this operation has truly shed a light on is the fact that many of those that are likely in positions of power today benefitted from the very same types of opportunities that are being highlighted in the scandal of today and the illusion of a meritocracy or society where if you work hard enough you’ll get what you want – is indeed that, an illusion… especially when the deck of cards is stacked against you and in favor of those that can throw millions at a problem and make it go away in the blink of an eye or the stroke of a pen. This is America. This has always been America.