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Student who claims to have changed race to gain admission calls affirmative action 'racist'

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Posted at 3:29 PM, Aug 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-06 18:29:28-04

Earlier this week, the Center for Investigative Reporting tweeted a Department of Justice memo outlining an end to "intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions." 

The memo was interpreted to put an end to affirmative action programs sought to make colleges and universities more accessible to minorities.

While eliminating affirmative action programs might be seen by some as controversial, one minority student calls the practice "racist."

Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam said on the CNN program "Smerconish" that affirmative action programs eliminate using merit as a decider. 

Chokal-Ingam, an Indian-American, used himself as an example as to why affirmative action programs should be eliminated. 

According to Chokal-Ingam, he applied to St. Louis University’s medical school using his middle name Jojo, claimed he was a member of black student organizations and shaved his head to appear to be black. Despite lower than average grades, Chokal-Ingam claims he was accepted. 

Chokal-Ingam disputed reports this week that claims a majority of Harvard students are now non-white.

"I think that is very deceptive," Chokal-Ingam told CNN's Michael Smerconish. "I think you are forgetting the Pocahontas factor, that is there are a large number of people who are whiter than winter in Alaska who pose as minorities for flimsy reasons which skew the results."

Chokal-Ingam, who is the brother of comedian Mindy Kaling, claimed the only things that should be looked at in admissions are students' test scores. 

According to St. Louis University, it has developed efforts to overcome under-representation for groups such as persons of color, women, persons with disabilities, disabled veterans and Vietnam-era veterans.

Some states and universities have already ended the practice. 

The University of Michigan was forced to abandon its affirmative action policy in 2014 after the state adopted a constitutional amendment barring the practice. While it’s too early to determine the effects of eliminating affirmative action at the University of Michigan, there had already been a sizable decrease in black enrollment leading up to the 2014 announcement. 

Even with affirmative action policies in place, students from some socio-economic situations are likely put at a disadvantage despite grades. According to the New York Times, 36 top universities in the United States had as many students from families in the top 1 percentile of income as the bottom 60 percentile.