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Ben Carson

Beyond Affirmative Action

19 Feb, 2014

In an article for, CarsonĀ says heĀ believes that affirmative action helped provide him with opportunities he otherwise would miss.

I believe that I benefited from affirmative action. When I applied to Yale University, I thought my chances of being accepted were favorable only because I was somewhat naive about admissions requirements for a high-powered Ivy League institution. In my mind, I was pretty hot stuff. Only after I got to Yale and became cognizant of my classmates’ many accomplishments did I realize that the admissions committee had taken a substantial risk on me and that I had been extended special consideration. My early academic experiences were traumatic, and but for the grace of God, I would have flunked out.

And calls for “compassionate action” to account for difficulties that college applicants have faced in their upbringing:

Such a strategy demonstrates sensitivity and compassion, as well as recognition of substantial achievement in the face of difficult obstacles. The groups who benefit from compassionate action will probably change over time, depending on which ones have the greatest number of obstacles to overcome. The point is, it’s time to be more concerned about the content of character than the color of skin when extending extra consideration.