As a Harvard undergrad (studying math and physics), I had pre-law friends who explained Harvard Law`s admission standards: 99th percentile LSAT scores and a 4.0 GPA, in order to be accepted in ones senior year. However, Harvard reserved some spaces for applicants who had supplemented their somewhat deficient college transcripts with "life experience."Â This included time served as a Peace Corps volunteer, a congressional intern, or as in O`s case, a community organizer. For "life experience" substitute proof of one`s liberal bona fides.Â Being half African American certainly shouldn`t have hurt O given the obvious racial preference Harvard Law showed in admitting his dunderhead wife. What`s more interesting is the fact that he started as a freshman at Occidental College, a slacker liberal arts institution for private school kids, and transferred to Columbia for his Sophomore year. Columbia at that time was the so-called "pits" of the Ivy League because of the perceived danger of Morningside Heights, a very high crime area before Rudy took matters in hand. (I turned down a John Jay National Scholarship to avoid the fate of one member of the class of `83 who was knifed to death while moving into his dorm, freshman week). So, I like to flatter myself by speculating that I was admitted to Columbia the year Obama was rejected/wait-listed, hence the need for his one year exile at Occidental. In the Ivy Leagues back in the 70`s and 80`s second year transfers were an important back door needed to maintain minority percentages, since their attrition rate tended to be high in the first year.Just a note—Obama isn`t half African-American—he`s half African. He`s thus 100 percent African-American.
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It`s amazing that the "affirmative action" benefits supposed to be benefitting the descendents of slaves, people who`ve been supposedly victimized by racist America, were given toÂ someone like Obama. Obama isn`t an underprivileged minority—he`s a preppie from Hawaii whose mother was a white academic, whose father was an African academic and whose white grandmother was vice-president of a bank.