When Drake Johnson, his high school’s valedictorian, student body president, world champion cheerleader, and National Honor Society member, and president of two other clubs, decided he would be attending Harvard in the fall, he decided to post some photos on his Twitter account to commemorate. 

The 18-year-old Marina, California student was also accepted into other schools, including Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, and UCLA; he was accepted into Harvard sometime last month. "Harvard has been my dream school since I was little," Johnson told BuzzFeed News. Harvard provided him with the financial aid he needed, and that helped cement his final decision. 

Most people, when confronted with this news, would be happy for Johnson. That’s not how George Clayton, who held a position on the Texas State Board of Education from 2010 to 2012, felt. “Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota?” Clayton asked. 

Oh, one more thing: Johnson is biracial. 

"Thank you!" Johnson replied. "Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?"

Clayton’s Twitter also shows he asked the same question of many other high school students of color throughout March and April.



Although the comment seems starkly racist, the Harvard-bound student “didn’t want to just jump to that conclusion.” His counselor and friends agreed it sounded like Clayton was questioning Johnson’s abilities because of his race. Still, Johnson decided "the best way to do it is to just lay out all my accomplishments and then leave it up to him."

According to Dallas News, Clayton declined to comment. Dallas News further reports that Clayton’s Twitter bio says he is running for the Texas Board of Education against this year, although there is no record of him filing to become a candidate. 

It’s “unfortunate that some people… don’t fully understand what people of color can do,” Johnson told BuzzFeed. 

Johnson plans on studying government and politics at Harvard.

"My end goal is to be president of the United States," he said.