Felicity Huffman says she just wanted to give her daughter “a fair shot” at getting into the college of her choice. That is the reason the Emmy Award-winning actress paid someone to cheat on her daughter’s college entrance exam.
Huffman pled guilty in federal court to paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT exam answers illicitly corrected by a test proctor.
Huffman, who, along with her celebrity husband, William H. Macy, reportedly has a net worth of $45 million, believed that her daughter, Sophia Macy, was educationally disadvantaged because of a learning disability.
Huffman tried to rationalize her cheating by saying that she only wanted to use her wealth to level the playing field for her daughter.
Most parents want what’s best for their children and Felicity Huffman is no exception. But it is likely that her daughter already had an abundance of the best. Her parents were able to provide her with the advantages in life that wealth brings. In this sense, Sophia lived a life of privilege.
The absurdity of Huffman’s belief that her daughter has lived a life of disadvantage warranting short-circuiting the normal college admissions process is breathtaking. Are we expected to believe that Sophia did not have the opportunity to attend the best schools for her learning disability and to have the most appropriate support systems? Sophia was even allowed six hours to take the three-hour SAT exam when she produced documentation stating that she had a learning disability.
Sophia’ s mother is a textbook example of the type of greed that underpins white supremacy. She exemplifies the people who have so much more than most people but who want even more. Why? Because they believe they deserve it. And that is what, in their minds, makes it “fair” to cheat.
Deservedness is based upon merit in some cases and upon status in others. While we all deserve respect because of our status as human beings, a student deserves a promotion because of her meritorious work. A problem arises when social wires get crossed by wealth, racism or other factors and status is seen as merit. There is no merit in being born into a wealthy family, just as there is no merit in being born white. But racism and classism assign merit to both. And this leads to a false sense of deservedness.
For her crime, Felicity Huffman received only 14 days in jail at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif., where at least one hour of recreational sunbathing is allowed from 4 p.m. Friday until 8:30 p.m. Sunday. She also is required to pay a $30,000 fine out of her $45 million in assets and perform 250 hours of community service.
During her trial, prosecutors argued that Huffman should go to prison, pointing out that a jury in Akron, Ohio, sentenced a single Black mom to five years in prison for using her father’s address to get her children into a nearby suburban school district. Prosecutors also pointed out cases in Atlanta where some Black public school teachers and administrators received as much as three years in prison for bolstering school rankings by cheating on students’ state exams.
By understanding the false sense of deservedness that attaches to whiteness and wealth we can explain why judicial outcomes vary so greatly. This also explains the differing outcomes in employment, education, housing and health care.
“A fair shot” to some Americans means greater advantage for them at the expense of others. And unless we find a way to change this culture, racism and classism will continue to fuel the oppression of the truly disadvantaged in this country.
Oscar H. Blayton is a former Marine Corps combat pilot and human rights activist who practices law in Virginia.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.