Vijay Chokalingam, brother of American actress and producer Mindy Kaling, has recently gained popularity after he revealed his social experiment during 1998/99 when he posed as an ‘African-American’ to get admission in top medical colleges of America. What is surprising is that he actually almost got into most of them, which he would not have had a chance to even apply as an Indian-American.
In a brief bio-data on his blog almostblack.com, Vijay identifies himself as an ‘Affirmative Action Hacktivist’. It says, “A professional resume writer, interview coach, and graduate school application consultant as well as the founder of the LA Resume Service and the Interview SOS Career Service in Los Angeles.”
Vijay apparently was an average student in junior year of his college and knew that he could not get through medical colleges as an Indian-American. So he posed to be an African-American. He wrote in his blog, “I shaved my head, trimmed my long Indian eyelashes, and applied to medical school as a black man.” He transformed from being Vijay to Jojo – a member of Organization of Black Students.
He writes, “Not everything worked out as planned. Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me or found my bald power dome very attractive.”
In a follow-up to his parent blog, he uploaded documents proving the authenticity of his story.
However, Vox.com debunked some of what he claimed. In order to prove preferential treatment on basis of colour, he did not apply to the same medical colleges as an Indian-American before posing as African-American. Also his claim that, “things were so easy when I was black”, where as he got admission in UCLA’s MBA program after dropping out of one medical school that accepted him.
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