Interview with Robert Links

OK, so you've talked about Bakke the case. What about Bakke the man? How do you think the public misunderstood Alan Bakke as a person?


I think the public misunderstood Alan Bakke as a person because many people, not all people, but many, simply labeled him as a racist. Ah, I can remember reading articles where they spelled his name B-A-K-K-K-E. And, ah, it bothered me because it was so far from the truth, ah, that it was unfortunate. I mean here's a guy who is 32 years old, he's got a wife and two children to support, and he wants to be a doctor. He works nights in an emergency room volunteering. He goes to take all the classes. He takes the MCAT, the entrance exam and scores exceptionally well. And he's just a hard working guy who wants to provide a service to humanity. That's what he wanted to do. And, ah, I think the greatest testament to his character is that he saw it through, he graduated, he now works back near the Mayo Clinic, and, ah, he is an accomplished fellow, ah, in more ways than one. And, ah, and he did it very quietly and in a very peaceful way and in a way that, ah, it was not, ah, done for public media or public consumption. And, ah, I think it says something very special about him as a man.