SELF OWN: Joy Reid says she only got into Harvard because of affirmative action

"I got into Harvard only because of affirmative action."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
While discussing the United States Supreme Court's decision to ban affirmative action in college admissions, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid claimed that the only reason she was able to get into Harvard was because of that very practice. 

Reid made the comments on Thursday while appearing as a guest on “All In with Chris Hayes” where the two discussed the SCOTUS ruling that determined affirmative action policies violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.


"I got into Harvard only because of affirmative action," Reid told Hayes. "I went to a school no one had ever heard of in Denver, Colorado, in a small suburb. I didn't go to Exeter or Andover. I didn't have college test prep. I just happened to be really nerdy and smart and have really good grades and good SAT scores."

Reid explained, "A Harvard recruiter flew to Denver, and I met me up with her at the Village Inn Restaurant and did a pre-interview to pull me into Harvard. I was pulled in — affirmatively."

The Supreme Court ruled on the legality of affirmative action in college admissions as the result of lawsuits brought the group Students for Fair Admissions.

During the segment, Reid failed to mention the racial discrimination the policy brought towards Asian American students, but insisted that while she attended Harvard her mere presence "was questioned by white people" on campus.

"I was in a big conference class where some white students stood up and said, 'Those students, the black students, they’re only here because of affirmative action.' It became a huge argument that we all ended up having," Reid recounted.

She added, "I had never had my academic credentials questioned. I had never had anyone question whether I was intelligent — until I got to Harvard. And it was a defining point of my experience there. It was one of the many reasons I was miserable there my freshman year. You felt completely out of place. People kept telling me, 'You shouldn’t be here.' And yet, some of the people I went to school with were far less smart than me or the other black folks there."

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled to strike down affirmative action in colleges and universities. The court ruled 6-3 that affirmative action is unconstitutional, violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The ruling came as part of two cases, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College.

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