Michael Brown: They hate to see you be great

Look at the picture for this post. It is one displaying pure joy as the result of hard work and great achievment. Michael Brown, of Houston, Texas, applied to 20 of the most prestigious colleges in America and was accepted to all of them, with a full ride to the school of his choice. On top of that, he also received another $260,000 in scholarship offers.

This is a kid who, in the sixth grade, kicked his educational efforts into overdrive. He currently has a 4.68 GPA (yes, you read that correctly) and scored a 1540 on his SAT (out of a possible 1600). He is being raised by a mother working two jobs as a chemical dependency counselor. So, when you read a story like this who wouldn't cheer for this?

I'll give you two people: They are none other than Fox 5 DC's own Holly Morris and Sarah Fraser, who are anchor and contributor, respectively.

Here's a video from the segment:

If you listened to their exchange, you heard his applying to 20 schools referred to as "obnoxious" and that his acceptance to all these schools was "taking a spot from someone who worked really hard."

First, let's clear up some things.

  1. Applying to 20 schools did not guarantee acceptance to all of them. Granted, he kicked butt so, it was extremely likely but, not guaranteed.
  2. He has not yet decided on which school to attend. Perhaps all of these schools interested him and he wanted to find out which school would ultimately provide him the best education and financial options. Applying to just one school would have robbed him of this choice.
  3. He didn't 'take a spot' from anyone. If this is the case, they should be calling out every kid who's ever been accepted to more than one college. By their logic, a large swath of college applicants are "taking spots" from other kids.

Let's put this is another way a lot of us can relate. Have you ever applied for more than one job? Have you later found yourself weighing more than one job offer? When you decided on that job, did the other company just leave that position unfilled or did they simply hire another applicant? I think we both know the answer to this.

However, what I saw was not a discussion of the merits of whether or not to apply to that many colleges. What it appeared to be, to me, was a display of racial microaggressions. As a college student in the late 80's/early 90's, I heard a lot of talk about how affirmative action was "taking spots" that would have otherwise gone to "hard working" white people. In the case of Michael Brown, his was not a discussion of affirmative action but, it's telling to hear similar language being employed when a black kid is the subject of the story. It makes me wonder just what visual popped in their heads as they imagined what those "hard working" kids they discussed looked like.

In the last week, after being called out over their comments, Morris and Fraser responded.

Fraser claims she has personally apologized to Michael Brown:

Morris, however, has not apologized. Instead, she chose to claim that color had nothing to do with it:

She is still being dragged on Twitter over this.

Regardless of what fools choose to hate, I look forward to seeing where one Mr. Michael Brown finds himself in a few years. The future seems full of possibilities for him. The truth is, if you don't have haters, you might not be doing much. So, to borrow a thought from none other than comedian Katt Williams, work on picking up a few more haters.