It’s certainly clear that Mindy Kaling is the most talented person in her family.
Unless of course you replace “talented” with “ridiculous,” in which case her brother Vijay Chokal-Ingam wins, hands down, for an obnoxious and insensitive experiment that he claims proves why universities need to do away with affirmative action.
Chokal-Ingam, 38, told the New York Post Sunday that he pretended to be Black 17-years-ago to get into medical school, an experiment which he now plans to document in a memoir entitled “Almost Black.” (Clearly, he’s all about doing things in a timely manner.)
He argues on his website that he was desperate to get into medical school and that the admissions policies for “certain minorities” are “less stringent.” So, he decided to shave his head, trim his “long Indian eyelashes” and apply as a black man. (Apologies for all of the eye-rolling this story has already made you engage in).
He claims it helped him become a serious contender for schools like Case Western University and Columbia, but really all it appears to have done was earn him an invitation to apply. How exclusive!
He was eventually accepted into the St. Louis University School of Medicine, a place I’m sure is horrified to now be associated with such idiocy. He also claims that during the stint, he was harassed by cops, accused of shoplifting and either rejected or pursued by scores of women.
There are entirely too many issues to tackle with this man’s approach, I know. From the fact that he apparently did this experiment decades ago to the fact that he was only accepted to one school and then dropped out two years later because (surprise) he couldn’t ACTUALLY handle doing the work, it’s clear that he is, at best misguided, and at worst, egregiously bigoted.
But since he is so concerned with schooling, it seems like a good time to “school” him.
African Americans have and continue to be consistently sidelined by much of mainstream society. From fashion to Hollywood to media coverage to the justice system, the list of examples of discrimination extends far beyond even the bounds of this fool’s ignorance.
To throw just one small group of statistics at Mr. Chokal-Ingam, consider this:
According to the New York Times, after Michigan, California and Texas placed bans on affirmative action, the number of Hispanic and Black enrollment at universities dropped dramatically and has yet to recover. Even as minority populations in the state grew. The only state that has managed to somewhat successfully keep numbers on track has been Florida. Which, hey good for them, but it’s also the same state where Jeb Bush reportedly checked off Hispanic on his voter application form.
Shaving your head and trimming your eyelashes is not a form of research, it’s a form of stereotyping. Furthermore, as a minority yourself, you should not be engaging in this misguided idea that some races or groups are better than others. Understand that mocking the struggle of another race will not get you accepted or taken seriously. Mocking one group will not erase the color of your skin and the struggle it causes for people like your sister in Hollywood, nor will it move you ahead in life. But it will get you a collective side-eye from our staff, your own family (and from the comments on your Facebook page, pretty much all of decent humanity).
Vijay’s experiment proves his own bias. Many Americans are open to a discussion on affirmative action. Maybe even more are open to changing it. But we’re not open to hearing your ridiculous assessment of what being Black was like for a few days for you; especially with your money to fall back on and your famous sister to get your name in the press.
Please, have a seat.