This NYT article hits it pretty hard: "Ten or 20 years ago, Frances Harris almost certainly would have been admitted. Her excellent grades might not have even been necessary, because Berkeley and U.C.L.A. — the jewels in the U.C. system — accepted almost all of the African-Americans who met the basic application requirements. To an admissions officer, Harris would have seemed like gold: diversity and achievement, wrapped up in a single kid."
But is it fair or helpful that if Frances was Asian she would have had no chance 20 years ago, much less today? The article describes all sorts of problems that Frances has dealt with in amassing her "A-" GPA from a school that's not very good. But what about Asians in the same boat? Sounds like her academic background has prepared her not for an elite university, but rather a non-elite one, where she can continue her hard work and smart choice, and still build for herself a very successful life.
The do-gooders in this article want to do every thing in the world to boost the numbers of black kids in elite schools except what matters most: convincing more black people to make smart choices, including parents providing a stable household for their kids, and kids not going to school and ruining the environment for themselves and others. And of course the do-gooders here have nothing to say about black kids getting to college and selecting worthwhile majors. Surely if these factors turned around, people would stop taking a negative view of "black-sounding names", a factor presented here as a reason to lower the academic standard for applicants who "check the black box."