NBC Frets Race-Based College Admissions Headed for Dustbin of History

June 27th, 2023 8:14 PM

On Monday night’s Nightly News, NBC reporter Laura Jarrett presented a divisive and racially charged segment covering the possible Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. Jarrett interviewed incoming Mount Holyoke College president Danielle Holley, who claimed that striking down affirmative action was equivalent to telling minority students that they “are not welcome.”

“A crucial Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action could come tomorrow. As colleges and universities grapple with the possibility that race might no longer be a factor in admissions,” anchor Lester Holt warned at the top of the segment.

Jarrett began her report by worrying that the possible SCOTUS decision created an “anxious reality” and that there would be “writing … on the wall” for the nation’s elite schools. She then asked Holley how a nationwide ban on affirmative action would affect Mount Holyoke, to which she replied: “It will send a very strong message to black students and to Latino, Latina students that they are not welcome.”

Jarrett did not question or push back on this idea, and the segment continued with diminished and insignificant coverage of the opposing view, where oral arguments from the court case against Harvard were cited. And although the oral argument soundbite noted that “Harvard ranks Asians less likeable, confident, and kind,” at no point did Jarett try to refute or explain why those kind of disparaging reviews were necessary.

Holley’s claim was absolutely outrageous. It reduced the worth of minority students solely to their ability to fill an arbitrary diversity quota, while simultaneously feeding into the far-left’s race-baiting narrative that anyone who does not support left-wing policies was evil and racist. Ironically, it was the leftist colleges and media that were obsessed with affirmative action and diversity, and constantly invoking identity politics wherever, even for court decisions that don’t yet exist.

The segment then continued with Jarrett and Holley worrying that colleges would not be able to fulfill diversity quotas using “race-neutral alternatives” instead of directly using race itself to determine admissions.

Jarrett looked to UC Berkeley’s dean of undergrad admissions, Olufemi Ogundele to defend affirmative action further. He lamented that some schools in the country were far richer than others, a definite concern. But instead of offering some kind of solution to improve the poorer schools and give minority students a better shot at getting into colleges through improving their education, he instead wanted to lower the standards required in application processes in general.

This affirmative action approach may have appeared to help minority students on the surface, but really did nothing to solve the actual problem of minority students having less quality education to begin with. Slackening standards to give people free diversity spots would help neither society as a whole nor the recipients of such programs. It would only give rich, elite liberals another chance to pat themselves on the back for their fake “progress.”

NBC’s race-baiting was sponsored by Gillette and Capital One. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt


6:50 PM ET


LESTER HOLT: A crucial Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action could come tomorrow. As colleges and universities grapple with the possibility that race might no longer be a factor in admissions. Laura Jarrett reports. 

[Cuts to video]

LAURA JARRETT: For many elite schools, the writing from the nation's high court is on the wall. 

How worried are you? 

DANIELLE HOLLEY: I'm extremely worried. 

JARRETT: Danielle Holley is the incoming president of Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts. But this peaceful campus belies an anxious reality. As soon as tomorrow, the Supreme Court will answer the most anticipated question this term: Can colleges and universities look at race in admissions decisions? 

HOLLEY: Everyone is talking about this case all the time. People from departments that are not in the law school are asking me, ‘what day will we hear?’

JARRETT: For decades, the court recognized the educational benefits of a diverse student body and said schools can look at someone's race as one plus factor among many. But the court's current conservative majority may ban it nationwide this time. 

What will that do to a place like Mount Holyoke? 

HOLLEY: It will send a very strong message to black students and to Latino, Latina students that they are not welcome. 

JARRETT: Not so, say the lawyers who sued Harvard over its admissions plan. Long treated by the court as the gold standard, it's now accused of being “obsessed” with race. And along with the university of North Carolina of discriminating against Asian students, which the schools deny, but was emphasized during oral arguments. 

CAMERON NORRIS (attorney, SFFA): Asians should be getting into Harvard more than whites but they don't because Harvard gives them significantly lower personal ratings. Harvard ranks Asians less likeable, confident, and kind.

JARRETT: If the court agrees using race violates the law, schools may still look at an applicant's finances, zip code, or even consider essays about overcoming adversity, so-called race neutral alternatives.

NORRIS: Universities just cannot consider race itself.

JARRETT: Colleges tell NBC News they are prepared to adapt if required, expanding financial aid scrapping SAT scores, or getting rid of legacy admissions all potentially on the table. But Holley says ignoring race would produce a devastating result.

HOLLEY: We've seen a track of them not working.

JARRETT: She points to California one of nine states that outlawed affirmative action more than 20 years ago, causing a 50 percent drop-off in minority admissions, numbers that have never bounced back, as seen by UC Berkeley.

OLUFEMI OGUNDELE: I have struggled to really move the black number here at Berkeley. And again, that's not from a lack of trying.

JARRETT: Olufemi Ogundele, Berkley’s dean of undergrad admissions, says affirmative action was never perfect, just a Band-Aid.

OGUNDELE: The fact there are high schools in this country that have manicured lawns and golf courses and there are high schools in this country that have bars on the windows and metal detectors in the hallways, and yet we are asking both of those students to show up in our application process the same doesn't make any sense.

JARRETT: For now, schools are bracing for the dawn of a new era, making the task of equalizing the playing field not impossible but significantly harder. Laura Jarrett, NBC News South Hadley, Massachusetts.