The recent race controversy at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine reminded me once again of one of the more devastating and pressing issues facing Black people: inferiority. 

What struck me the most about this controversy scandal was how the school was accused of sacrificing meritocracy at the altar of diversity to admit an unqualified Black prospect.  

UCLA has denied the claim that they have discriminated on the basis of race and have pushed back against this uproar. However, their own dean of the medical school runs a minorities-only fellowship which violates the California law that prohibits public institutions from using race as a consideration in any matter.

Still, the accusations surprised me in many ways. First, we’re not talking about the humanities or the political sciences, where mistakes can easily be swept under the rug, but about a medical school whose sole mission is to create the future wave of doctors capable of saving lives.  

Whether these allegations are truthful or not, the question is how did we get here? Are Black Americans really so inferior that some institutions might consider bending over this far to accommodate our supposed inferiority?

Under slavery and segregation, we were told by whites and by our nation’s laws that our inferiority, our sub-humanness, was the reason for our bondage. Since the 1960s, many of us have made the point of embracing our newfound freedoms to prove that the color of our skin does not limit our abilities. Yet, due to largely leftist policies and its prevailing attitudes, that nasty inferiority continues to shadow us.

Today’s controversy came about because too many educators continue to emphasize the ideology of DEI to the point that skin color sometimes is all that matters. And it is rather disturbing that even a medical school is allegedly prioritizing race over skill.


Perhaps the worst thing about this whole affair is that it undermines the truly gifted Black students. I know there are great Black students at that school who are more than qualified to be where they are. I see this talent around my impoverished South Side neighborhood every day. One of my mentees, who grew up in the projects next to my church, is now getting his education at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Is it fair that these brilliant Black students are stigmatized as inferior?

Will they be viewed through the lense of DEI, which values skin color above all? Will their contributions be called in to question after this controversy even if the university has said it’s not true? Will there always be doubts?

Black author and commentator Shelby Steele once wrote that “when people argue for diversity and, thus, for racial preferences, black students are effectively Sambo-ized. They are assigned an inferiority so intractable that nothing overcomes it, not even good schools and high family incomes.”

What DEI officers around America are guilty of is stigmatizing Blacks so heavily that it is the equivalent of handing down a sentence. Not only do these Blacks have to burn the midnight oil to get into these highly regarded programs, but they also now have to prove themselves over and over — like Sisyphus — against this stigma of inferiority.


And, all because someone wanted a certain skin pigmentation on their campus or at their company. If this isn’t racism, I don’t know what it is.

Sadly, there is another aspect to this inferiority — one that affects my neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. To be born into my neighborhood is to be born into a world of inferiority created by one liberal policy after another since the 1960s. When I see a newborn, a part of me cannot help but think of how that child will grow up conditioned by these policies of dependency, policies created by people who disbelieve in that child’s ability to succeed in life.

What they would never give that child is the pathway out of inferiority: a quality education, an emphasis on two-parent households, teaching the value of hard work, discipline, resilience, responsibility, and accountability. What they will do instead is let this child coast through life, never demanding anything, and if that child should have a dream they will make up for that inferiority by relying on racial preference to pave the way.

It is time that we stand on our own two feet, sink or swim.