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Her senior thesis aside, Obama's experience at Princeton is a good example of why affirmative action policies aren't a good idea.Citing Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist and professor at New York University, [W]hen administrators artificially sort people according to race in a manner ordained by race-based college admissions, they will inflame tensions by creating a false race-based achievement gap.
This is not the first time Obama has talked about her experience as a black student at Princeton.
In May, she posted on Instagram about how "scary" it was to be a black "first generation college student" at a school consisting of "generally white and well-to-do" students.
In this way, efforts to increase diversity and combat racism are actually worsening the problem.
To be clear, Obama certainly deserved to get into Princeton.
"As minorities, we were the most visible, but it became clear that special dispensations were made to admit all kinds of students whose grades or accomplishments might not measure up to the acknowledged standard," she writes.
Obama cites student-athletes, as well as the "legacy kids" who attended Princeton like their "fathers and grandfathers" before them, "or whose families had funded the building of a dorm or a library."Princeton probably did use affirmative action to raise enrollment numbers for minority students, but the school apparently didn't do a great job.“Why,” the Hitch once wrote, “are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny? Please do not pretend not to know what I am talking about.” Today our expectation is that Hitchens would have mocked Trump as relentlessly and obsessively as or Stephen Colbert. "You could almost read the scrutiny in the gaze of certain students and even some professors, as if they wanted to say, 'I know why here.'" This was often "demoralizing," Obama says, while acknowledging she "was just imagining some of it.""It planted a seed of doubt.Was I here merely as part of some social experiment? The former first lady says she gradually realized that affirmative action wasn't the only way the school filled quotas.By all accounts, she was a brilliant student who went on to become an accomplished lawyer.But the fact that people looked down on her because of Princeton's affirmative action policies is unfortunate, just as it is for all deserving minority students who wonder whether they're just filling a quota."There were so few of us minority kids at Princeton, I suppose, that our presence was always conspicuous," Obama writes.She adds that this drove her to "overperform" in order to "keep up with or even plow past the more privileged people around" her."I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of," she said."I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the UN.