Micheal Brown, a brilliant high school senior, is still waiting for a formal apology from Fox News – and he certainly deserves it.
Brown has been offered a full ride in scholarships to 20 different colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford – but his celebration was somewhat dampened after Fox anchors in Washington, D.C. called Brown “obnoxious” for applying to so many colleges.
Fox 5 D.C. co-anchor Holly Morris and contributor Sarah Fraser criticized Brown, who is African-American, and accused him of holding potential college slots hostage for other deserving students.
“It’s a little ridiculous that this kid applied to 20 taking away a spot and basically wait-listing another kid,” Fraser said earlier this month.
“I think it’s a little obnoxious because you can only go to one,” Morris added. “You can only take one full ride and you are taking a spot from someone else who worked really hard.”
Brown is simply asking for an apology. Why shouldn’t Brown apply to as many colleges as he chooses? He has worked hard in high school to earn his 4.68 GPA and the bright 17-year-old wants the best college education available to him. Shouldn’t Brown be praised for being accepted into America’s top colleges?
This is an uplifting story, a tale of inspiration. The video of Brown celebrating with friends went viral and many people, Black and white, enthusiastically supported Brown on Twitter.
Even former President Bill Clinton reached out to congratulate him.
“What an incredible accomplishment, Michael,” he wrote on Twitter. “Follow your heart and your head, your future is incredibly bright. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
“If you want to talk about Georgetown,” Clinton wrote, “give me a call.”
Fox News commentators on national prime time shows have consistently railed against affirmative action policies for college students and they have criticized poor African-Americans.
Now, here’s Brown, a young man who has earned the right to apply to the colleges of his choosing and yet he is criticized for being smart, assertive and self-motivated.
Would Morris and Fraser take Brown to task if Brown was white? Morris said, through Twitter, that she would have scolded Brown even if he was white. We’ll never know. Fraser issued an apology to Brown on Twitter, but Morris has not and neither has Fox DC 5.
The issue over the number of colleges that Brown applied to is not the story. The story is how this bright young man will enter one of America’s top colleges in the fall — for free— because of his academic acumen. Brown is a role model for other high schools around Houston and across the country.
For Fox anchors, criticizing Brown is shameful and undermines his incredible achievement.
“My disappointment was with the language used to describe me, a minor. To call someone obnoxious and annoying,” Brown told Newsweek. “I cannot change how someone thinks, but how someone presents their opinion is important and they just presented it poorly.”
Brown’s mother, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown, told Newsweek she would also like to see her son get an apology over the incident.
“It would just be the right thing to do, period,” Rutledge-Brown said.
Brown has been accepted to the following universities: Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins University, Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Williams College, University of Texas-Austin, University of California-Berkeley, Amherst, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Tulane University, University of Michigan, UC-Davis and UC-Irvine and Stanford University.
The brainy teen said Morris and Fraser should “maybe next time think a little bit more before you act or say something and just consider the person on the other side.”
Brown deserves an apology from Fox – but he doesn’t need it. He’ll do just fine.
What do you think?
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