Common App to Students: 'Stark Differences' in How Black and White Protesters Are Treated

Statement comes in the wake of the Capitol riot

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January 12, 2021

A college admission application service told high school seniors that minority protesters are treated differently than white protesters due to systemic racism.

The Common App—a service used by more than one million students worldwide to apply to universities—released a statement in the wake of the Capitol riot. "We witnessed a deeply disturbing attack on democracy on Wednesday," the statement reads. "The stark differences between how peaceful black and brown protesters were treated this summer relative to [Wednesday's] coup again call attention to the open wound of racism."

The message was signed by Common App's CEO Jenny Rickard, who cheered on last summer's Black Lives Matter protests, many of which turned to looting and destruction. In a statement released in June, Rickard said no amount of education can protect black students from the "systemic racial injustices that have plagued our society for hundreds of years."

Universities across the nation have released statements blaming the Capitol riot on racism. At the University of Michigan, the dean of public policy said he was "heartbroken and frustrated" how "peaceful anti-racist protesters" were treated differently last summer. The president of American University, Sylvia Burwell, claimed the Capitol rioters were met with "far less resistance and aggression than we have seen in peaceful protests by people of color." Georgetown Law released a similar statement.

Julie Gunlock, the director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at the Independent Women's Forum, told the Washington Free Beacon that the Common App statement gave students a preview of what they would encounter in college. "Sadly, [this is] the sort of false and politicized message students can expect during their time at university, and for many years after if they plan to work in corporate America, big tech companies, or the mainstream media," Gunlock said.

The Common App did not respond to requests for comment.