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Stanford Sociology alum, Theresa Vargas, writes about the recent college-entrance scheme in the Washington Post

Photo of Georgetown University

(Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)

Theresa Vargas is a local columnist for The Washington Post. Before coming to The Post, she worked at Newsday in New York. She has degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University School of Journalism.

Now that we see what stealing a college slot really looks like, can we stop making students of color feel like frauds?

If the FBI’s announcement this week about the college-entrance scheme could be distilled down to a single word, it is that one.
Duh. Of course, higher education in this country is not a meritocracy.
Duh. Of course, wealthy parents who pay for their kids to have the best of everything in life would also find a way to buy them the best education.
Duh. Of course, all those people who have blamed poor brown and black kids for taking the spots of “more deserving” white kids through affirmative action should have been looking closer at who really didn’t earn their seats.
For so long, people of color who have attended elite schools in this country have felt the need to prove that they deserved to be there. They have accepted that no matter their grades or SAT scores, people will look at them as affirmative action recipients and talk about them, sometimes to their faces, as tokens. I know this from personal experience as a Latina from the South Side of San Antonio who was fortunate enough to attend Stanford University and then Columbia University.

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