Flashback: When Joy Ann Reid Strongly Challenged Misconceptions About Affirmative Action

by Gee NY
Joy Ann Reid

Renowned journalist and television host Joy Ann Reid, in 2023, spoke out about her experience with affirmative action, dispelling common myths and shedding light on the true nature of the policy.

In a candid conversation, Reid recounted how affirmative action played a pivotal role in her admission to Harvard University, stating that it did not entail admitting unqualified individuals but rather recognizing the talent and potential of deserving students from underrepresented backgrounds.

“It was literally not saying we are going to take an unqualified person and put them in Harvard…we are going to take a very qualified person who we never knew existed and put them in Harvard. That is how I got there. That is how Justice Ketanji Jackson got there…it’s how Clerence Thomas got there,” she said.

Reflecting on her journey to Harvard, Reid revealed that she hailed from a small suburb in Denver, Colorado, and attended a relatively unknown school.

Despite not having the privilege of attending prestigious preparatory schools or receiving extensive college test prep, Reid excelled academically, boasting impressive grades and SAT scores.

It was her academic prowess that caught the attention of a Harvard recruiter, who flew to Denver to meet with her and initiate the admissions process.

Contrary to misconceptions, Reid stressed that affirmative action aimed to identify highly qualified individuals who may have otherwise gone unnoticed due to systemic barriers.

She said her admission to Harvard was a testament to her intellect and diligence, rather than a result of preferential treatment.

However, upon arriving at Harvard, Reid faced unwarranted scrutiny and skepticism from some of her peers, who questioned the credentials of Black students admitted through affirmative action.

This experience, she noted, was a stark reminder of the racial biases and challenges prevalent in academic institutions, even among esteemed universities.

Reid’s remarks underscored the importance of affirmative action in promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education, debunking the misconception that it lowers academic standards.

As debates surrounding affirmative action continue, Reid’s poignant insights serve as a reminder of the transformative impact of policies aimed at leveling the playing field and providing opportunities for marginalized communities.

Related Posts

Crown App