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Anand Giriharadas: 'Rigging Leads To Feelings Of Supreme Merit'

This nauseating cycle relegates those without means to the bottom of the heap, despite their talent, work ethic, and integrity.

As if white privilege wasn't already on display enough with the sentencing of Paul Manafort today and last week to laughably low jail terms, we had news of more entitled, rich, elite white people acting like...well, who they are. This time, in the realm of buying their kids' ways into fancy colleges.

Stephanie Ruhle's panel had a spirited discussion about the topic this morning, identifying with laser-like accuracy all the reasons this scheme was so nauseating and vile.

  • It is not a victimless crime. There are kids WITHOUT the whiteness and wealth who have worked their asses off who have now lost that spot.
  • People are STILL questioning the fitness of Black and brown kids who get into colleges, asking if they are there because of "quotas" or affirmative action, or if they reeeeaallllly
  • deserve to be there.

  • These kids ALREADY have advantages others can only DREAM about. They get to have daddy and mommy buy their college entrance exam scores, too?

But leave it to Adnan Giriharadas to pull something from the indictment that is the most maddening of all - and of the longest-lasting impact. The cycle that is created and perpetuated by the perceived feeling of deservedness these kids get, that results from this cheating they may not even know about.

GIRIHARADAS: I gotta read you a quote from the indictment which is so striking. It's a quote from Singer, about something he heard from the kids. So the kids go in, they've been trending at, like, 1100 on their practice tests, or whatever, right? You walk in, you got a 1500. Wow! So nice, right? How do the kids process it? This quote is so telling. He summarizes what a lot of these kids say. He said, "Maybe I should do that again? I did pretty well, and if I took it again, I'll do better even." Okay? The reason this quote is so significant is it shows how rigging leads to feelings of supreme merit in people. The more you rig things and then give people a boost they didn't deserve, the more they actually experience it psychologically as deservedness. Then you end up with a country where that person, 30 years from now, is going to be running some hedge fund, right? And maybe raping and pillaging in the economy, running some nursing home, leveraging it up with debt. People will die a bit, overdose a little bit, on pain meds, whatever.


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TYLER: We were having a perfectly nice conversation without talking about Donald Trump. I don't know why you had to bring...

GIRIHARADAS: And then, they'll give a little to charity. And when someone like me 30 years from now, maybe my children, is saying, "Hey, hold on, how is this thing working?" They'll say, "I earned this. I earned this." And they may not know 30 years ago they got a 400 boost because someone else took their SATs for them."

These kids are destined to grow up to be the exact same people who we are desperately trying to oust from power today because they are so abusive and corrupt, and uninterested in how their actions affect the people around them. It's not new. But it should still be news.

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