By Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) So, what does it take to become a student at the “Harvard of the Midwest?” And if the University of Michigan passes on your particular set of achievements, is it OK to claim it was because of discrimination?
Those are just two questions swirling since pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary held a rally on behalf of Detroit high school student Brooke Kimbrough to protest the fact she was rejected.
Kimbrough, 17, an African American with distinctive oversize glasses, fuchsia lipstick, and a towering bun atop her head, had a 3.5 grade point average at a charter high school in Detroit and scored a 23 out of 36 on the ACT. She claims racial discrimination is the reason she was rejected.
The Princeton Review found the average high school grade point average of an incoming U of M freshman is 3.82; about 25 percent have a perfect 4.0, according to about.com. The university admits about 37 percent of applicants.
Despite the disparity in these grades and hers, BAMN is demanding U of M reconsider Kimbrough’s application for the sake of diversity.
“I believe I have been rejected because of the morals I stand for,” an obviously agitated Kimbrough shouted into a handheld speaker during the rally, which was filmed for local TV news.
She added: “I have left the plantations to get my freedom, but I am coming back for you, too … I will make it my civic duty to document every news of a rejection letter that the university produces for our black, brown and red bodies.”
Birmingham Seaholm student Daisha Martin also spoke at the rally, saying she was rejected and is “going to fight” until she’s accepted. Martin did not release her high school scores.
The rally was a hot topic on 97.1 The Ticket Wednesday, with hosts and callers weighing in.
Mike Valenti asked his afternoon show co-host Terry Foster, “She’s 17, bro, if your daughter, 17, wants to make a spectacle of herself, you’re going to allow it?”
“We’re going to talk first,” Foster said. “Not going to let her fly off.”
Caller James had a negative reaction to the rally, saying Kimbrough “ruined it for herself, maybe even getting into other colleges,” adding she may have a difficult time explaining the situation to any other schools she may consider.
“There are other colleges that she can go to … She can start at a smaller college and work her way up,” James added.
Caller Troy said: “I’m like ‘What in the hell is that?'” She has no business applying to Michigan with a B average and a 23 (on her ACT). Don’t you get a 23 for just showing up?”
He added she could have difficulty landing a job, as any employer who Googles her name may not like what they see.
“She’s pretty much ruined any opportunity for the future,” Troy said.