Cornell Campus(l), Scantron sheet(r)

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A high schooler shared his SAT score, Cornell rejection—and right-wingers claimed he didn’t get in because he was white

Cornell and '1460' were both trending on X because of the video.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Dec 19, 2023

Right-wing influencers blamed a student’s rejection from Cornell University on the fact that he is white. But the 17-year-old who made the now-viral video never mentioned race as a factor and asked for the video to be removed after it went viral.

“Bro got rejected bc he’s White,” influencer Josh Lekach said in a since-deleted post on Sunday, adding that Elon Musk “should hire him.”

In the rejection video posted to TikTok by student, his disappointment is obvious as the video highlights his qualifications such as a 4.6 GPA, 1460 SAT score, nearly 500 hours of community service, and more.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average SAT score for Cornell is 1505 and the school has an acceptance rate of 7%.

His video left the internet divided, as conservatives blamed race for his rejection. One went so far to say that it spelled the end for white men.

“White males in America need to accept the reality that trade schools is likely their best option,” wrote one.

“Whites need to accept that they can’t get into good schools with a 1460 SAT and embrace fixing the toilets of the people who do get into those schools,” joked another.

But others scoffed at his qualifications and implied that the rejection was deserved.

“1460 SAT???? Applying to any IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL???? The sheer caucacity!!!” wrote one person on X.

“1460 SAT trying to get into Cornell is actually hilarious,” said someone else.

“He didn’t get in because he’s below average and didn’t deserve it. But he thought he’d get in anyway because he’s [white],” another person wrote.

But as the video became a jumping-off point for both supporters and opponents of affirmative action, the original poster denied ever asserting that he thinks his rejection was in any way related to the fact that he’s white.

In an X post Monday, Lekach said he was deleting the video at the request of the poster.

A screenshot of the message sent by reads: “I am the person in the video you posted about. My life is being turned inside out because of this whole scenario. I didn’t say it was because of race, if anything it was my extracurricular’s ability to spell out a story of what I wanted to do. I am begging for you to take down this post because it has completely jeopardized my future.”

Lekach responded that he would delete the video, but warned he should be careful about what he posts online in the future because “you can’t control how people perceive things online.”

“However, you should not let the negative comments of some people online affect your future prospects,” Leach continued. “These comments are insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and people move on quickly from one thing to the next. Remember, your future is in your hands, and you alone have the power to shape it.”

“I sincerely wish you all the best and lots of success,” he added.

In the comments, many X users defended the student and condemned Lekach for amplifying the video and attributing the rejection to race in the first place.

“So you ruined a kid’s life and then took that as an opportunity to lecture him? Am I getting this right?” replied one user.

“He needs to be careful what he posts? He’s not the one that added the race thing,” wrote someone else.

“YOU posted a kid’s video and gave it false context and then had the audacity to lecture HIM after he begs u to take it down …?????” another person wrote in a post that has been viewed more than six million times.

“Posting someone’s video with an intentionally misleading caption and then telling THEM to be careful what they post online is batshit levels of crazy,” similarly remarked one user.

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*First Published: Dec 19, 2023, 11:30 am CST