Interview with Toni Johnson-Chavis

Now I want to move to the Bakke case itself. When Alan Bakke is described as a decent, hard working family man who wanted nothing more than to fulfill a life long ambition to be a doctor, how does that make you feel?


It makes me feel, "So what?" That's the aspiration of, of many, ah, people who want to be doctors in, in America. There are lots and lots of people who want to go to medical school. Unfortunately, there is a supply and demand factor, and there are not enough medical schools to, ah, take care of all the people who aspire to go to medical school. So, that unfortunately there is going to be a selective gradient, ah, and that was then and it's going to be now. And, so there is going to be a selection process. That selection process, as far as I'm concerned, has factors other than what your GPA is and what your SAT score is, ah, how much money you're parents have. That factor should also be laced with humanistic values in terms of what your future contribution and commitment can be to society. And certainly medicine has been thought to be a lucrative field, so that if we are going to select people who have a high GPA and high SAT scores because they solely want to make X amount of money and not because they really feel like they're indebted somewhat to society and that they have something to contribute and to offer to society in whole, ah, that that includes poor people, Black people, and all people, then we are going to have a problem. But we're not going to ever get away from a selective gradient. So, I'm sorry that Bakke thought that he was well qualified, ah, and that that was a spot that he should have. There are countless other people who feel the same and we can't accommodate all of them. So I felt no pity or sorrow at all for the man.