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Almost Black: The True Story of How I Got Into Medical School By Pretending to Be Black Paperback – September 13, 2016
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"Mindy Kaling's brother is a cool prankster upsetting the status quo." -Gawker
"This sounds like it's straight out of a sitcom!" -Perez Hilton
"Mindy Kaling's brother may have taken a slightly unorthodox route to get into medical school. -TIME
"Vijay Chokal-Ingam, the brother of writer and actress Mindy Kaling, has sparked controversy with his new book." -NBC News
"Mindy Kaling's older brother took the phrase 'fake it til you make it' to a whole other level." -Entertainment Tonight / CBS News
"Like others who've recently been exposed for falsely claiming racial identities...Chokalingam wanted to claim the fruits of racial affiliation without having to carry black people's burden." -CNN
"Vijay Chokal-Ingam (a.k.a. Vijay Ingam), has published an irreverent and very un-PC memoir about gaming the affirmative action system." -Inquisitr
"This entire enterprise was a joke...it's obvious that you don't take these issues all that seriously." -The Daily Beast
"Chokalingam's story is...surprising because of how shameless he is." -Washington Post
"Vijay Chokal-Ingam, the brother of comic TV writer and actor Mindy Kaling, made a splash...when he claimed to have gotten into med school purely because he pretended to be black." -BuzzFeed
"Mindy Kaling's brother Vijay Chokalingam says he got into med school in the late '90s by pretending to be black to take advantage of affirmative action -- which kind of sounds like something Dr. Mindy Lahiri's younger brother Rishi might do on "The Mindy Project.'" -Los Angeles Times
"Vijay Chokalingam, the brother of the actress Mindy Kaling (whose real name is Vera Mindy Chokalingam), has written a book about his experiences posing as a black man, in order to take advantage of positive discrimination policies and gain acceptance to medical school." -The Telegraph
"Some of you may recall 'Soul Man,' the awful 1986 movie starring C. Thomas Howell as a kid who takes tanning pills to qualify for a black-only scholarship at Harvard Law School. Well, Mindy Kaling's older brother Vijay Chokal-Ingam says he did something of the sort." -Boston Globe
About the Author
Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam (Chokalingam) is an "Affirmative Action Hacktivist" who was successfully admitted to the St. Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine by posing as a black man, despite having a pitifully low GPA. Vijay detailed his misadventures masquerading as a black man in his recent book Almost Black. His story has been featured on more than 100 media outlets, including CNN, NBC, ABC, TIME, FOX, and Huffington Post.
Vijay received his B.A. in Economics without distinction from the University of Chicago, where his more academically gifted classmates included Tucker Max (the New York Times best-selling author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell / Sloppy Seconds and the founder of the "fratire" literary genre). After failing out of medical school, Vijay got his act together and gained admission to the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a top-ranked business school. This time, Vijay did not pose as a black man, since UCLA does not practice affirmative action in admissions.
Top customer reviews
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Vijay smartly just used the system, why is that wrong? it is the system that is questionable. This book really focus on the issue with a delightful entertaining approach and also a perfect amount of lightness to it that keeps you glued to the book. Just read it.
How many people do you know who questions a problem and not do anything. Vijay actually takes action and even throughly finish his experience to share the story. I would say he is a very courageous person.
It's a little vulgar, however - it's also very informative and gives a first person perspective on the struggle of getting into medical school if you're white or indian, while also shedding some light on how real racism is. It's definitely an easy read too because it's so funny, I highly recommend.
If you've lived life a little dangerous here or there you will find this amusing. And my friend was the one that got me on this book. She would be laughing reading this and so when she was finished i decided to read it. Next thing you know I was the one crying laughing.
Vijay took a huge risk in writing this book and in doing some of the things that he did to get into medical school. However, those risky actions gave him a unique and unparalleled insight into the med school admissions.
"Affirmative Action" started from the year 1961, when the then President J.F Kennedy signed the Executive Order 10925。One can see the Executive Order on WiKi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_10925 ). Look at the original words used: "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."
So, the original intention is to ensure candidates will NOT be judged by their race, color or national origin.
Today's mutated version of Affirmative Action started from 1980's when some political groups tried to change the original idea of Affirmative Action into a racial quota. The then President Ronald Reagan opposed the idea of setting racial quota, he said, "I think there are some things … that may even be distorted in the practice, such as some affirmative action programs becoming quota systems. And I’m old enough to remember when quotas existed in the United States for the purpose of discrimination, and I don’t want to see that happen again." The President’s News Conference, January 29, 1981
About the book:
This book is quite well-known among Asian Americans, I mean even well-known by other Asian Americans besides Indian Americans. When I talk to Asian kids, I found many of them are well aware of the racial challenges they are facing today. " We really did nothing wrong", they said, " we just happen to be Asian and we cannot control this. Then we are punished because of our race."
Kids from economic struggling Asian families are especially upset. Not all Asian families are wealthy. In fact, many Asian families are of lower social-economic status. Kids from these families are especially upset because they face double challenges: both racial bias from colleague admission/workforce and economic challenges. They think the racial quota from educate/workforce is especially unfair for them. Their resources is not as good as richer Asian kids, the only thing they can do is to sleep less, and to work their guts out, however, they only end up to find out that even richer Asian kids are also working their guts out PLUS they have better resources so their performance is even better and they take all the racial quota for Asians. Due to the racial quota from education/workforce, these hardworking Asian kids from low social economic status can only compete with the wealthier Asians but not with peers from other races. Is this fair?
Indeed, the racial quota thing is harming the kids from low social-economic status across all races. The kids from wealthier families of a given race are more likely to get their races' quota because of their better resources and therefore better academic performance comparing to kids from poorer families of the same race. Today's mutated version of Affirmative Action serves to solidify the social classes -- middle-upper class white, black and asian kids would take the racial quota for their races respectively, leaving lower class white, black and asian kids behind.
Considering a student's social-economic status REGARDLESS of his/her race and skin color is a much better and fairer way than setting up a racial quota.
Dr. King is one of my favorite political figures. I appreciate his words " I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
I feel sorry that today people are judged by their skin, not the content of their characters.
I understand the political correctness environment nowadays and the narrower range of topics one actually can discuss, so I'd like to make clear that I am a politically independent person and actually I never voted. I am just talking about my observations and my worries. If Amazon find any part of my review does not click with your political correctness guideline, you can simply delete my review.
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Almost Black follows a true account of how Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam gets admission in a medical college pretending and lying to be...Read more