The dense story behind Rosa Parks’ fight for transit justice and civil rights in general couldn’t possibly fit on a one-page paper! But a football athlete from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) managed to reduce the Parks’ saga into a half-a***d, seven-sentence paragraph for his final paper — and got an A-!
The athlete’s final paper was written for AFAM, an African-American Studies course at UNC — a joke of a program called a “paper class,” according to Business Insider. These types of classes require no attendance and students only submit one paper for the semester.
During an interview for ESPN, Mary Willingham — a former UNC adviser-turned-whistleblower — revealed what we all suspected: athletes are directed to sham classes for an easy, breezy ride through college.
“Athletes couldn’t write a paper. They couldn’t write a paragraph. They couldn’t write a sentence. Some of these students could read maybe in a second or third grade level. For an adult, that is considered illiterate. I’ve became aware of this paper class system — students were taking classes that didn’t really exist. They were called “independent studies” …and they just had to write a paper,” Willingham told ESPN.
Willingham did extenstive research on student-athletes and their academics — until UNC stopped funding her studies this past January. She found nearly 60 percent of these football and basketball college players were “reading at a fourth-to-eighth grade level between 2004 and 2012,” SportingNews reports. Yikes!
While watching the ESPN report, Bryan Graham, a Sports Illustrated writer, took a screen grab of the infamous AFAM final paper and has gone viral ever since. Titled “Rosa Parks: My Story,” here’s what the athlete wrote that supposedly warranted an A-:
On the evening of December Rosa Parks decided that she was going to sit in the white people section on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. During this time blacks had to give up there seats to whites when more whites got on the bus. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Her and the bus driver began to talk and the conversation went like this. “Let me have those front seats” said the driver. She didn’t get up and told the driver that she was tired of giving her seat to white people. “I’m going to have you arrested,” said the driver. “You may do that,” Rosa Parks responded. Two white policemen came in and Rosa Parks asked them “why do you all push us around?” The police officer replied and said “I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.
“Their job isn’t necessarily to make [me] a better person, a smarter person. Their job is to [make sure] I’m eligible to play,” said Deunta Williams, a former UNC athlete.
Ironically, UNC ranks eighth in Forbes‘ best public colleges and 30th in US News and World Report‘s top schools list, according to Yahoo.