Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 02:08:49 AM

Title: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 02:08:49 AM
hey all,

i know as i white kid i tread on thin ice by asking these questions, but whenever these debates are launched on talk shows, they often have a representative URM saying they feel too much of a helping hand is given to URMs in situations like law school admissions, job searches and all that.

what does this thread think?

what about "URMs" that came from wealthy, educated families and were bred to go to college and law school? how does this thread feel about those applicants getting the helping hand they may be recieving for being a URM?

is AA in this situation (law school applications) to ensure diversity in the law school atmosphere, or is it truly a "helping hand" for those that need the boost in thier professional life?

as a gay man i see no box to check in applications, and i can assure all that being gay certaily does cramp ones style in the professional world, in similar ways as does being a URM. many, if not most gay proffesionals i know keep thier sexuality under wraps at the work place (no pictures of the hubby at the desk, etc) for fear of thier good standing at work. i would say that is equally as challenging as facing racism/sexism in the work force...

and though gay my not be underrepresented in some law schools (in others though it for SURE IS underrepresented), i most certainly think it qualifies as minority. but we, as a group, do not recieve that special box in applications.

***i have no agenda in starting this thread. i think these are worthy topics to discuss, and this is the perfect forum to discuss them in what i hope will be an intelligent, tasteful and respectful way. if you dont have a worthwhile and beneficial comment, please refrain from posting. thanks everyone!
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 07, 2005, 08:55:01 AM
The "gay box" is on LSAC.  There is an entire section of the site devoted to connecting GLBT persons with schools that wish to attract them.  GLBT applicants can even self identify as such by checking "I self identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered"  on the CRS profile site.  CRS being the program that law schools use to recruit applicants they want.  Plus, I have seen many law school websites that have sections for GLBT prospects. 

Even more, just becasue the application doesn't have a box does not mean you can't send a statement of diversity.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 10:17:42 AM
In addition, I thought you wanted everyone to stay out of your bedroom.  Isn't that what you say is the only difference between you and a straight person?  If that's the case, you can't have it both ways.

ah, gotta love the hate, dont ya?

lawlawland said she had friends that would want to have "anal intercourse" with me. i very politly (as i am sure you remember) said that that was rude of her to say things that were so graphic on a public forum. and i certainly dont remember saying anything anywhere close to "that is the only difference between me an a straight man" never said anything near to that. please dont make things up.
saying i dont want people to discuss on a public forum who they know that might wanna have sex with me, doesn't mean that i wouldn't want an employer, say, to know that i was gay and, say, had a partner if i did. (vs. staying in the closet because my co-workers were homophobic,etc)

sorry dude, but you and i both know that isn't quite the same thing as saying on an application that you have faced adversity because of being gay in a country where lots of people still have problems with that.

that was a lame pot shot. lets move on.....


oh, to the other poster, i did acually check that box at the lsat. i personally never recieved anything special from it that i am aware of, and i do not think that a school i apply to would be made aware of that from lsac. and, i actually did write a extra essay at the 2 of 9 schools i applied to that allowed for such a statement. only two of 9 though had rrom for it though.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: maricutie on March 07, 2005, 11:31:19 AM
TBone: I would have submitted anyhow. Yale asked for a one-page explanation if you'd been out of school for longer than 6 months, and I just figured I'd include it with my applications to the rest of the schools. So far, no one's given me hate-emails.

As for your question ... it's a tough one. Those representatives that you mentioned are in a troublesome position: they can't speak their personal opinion without being thought of as a representative of a certain racial group. There are a lot of nuances, divisions, and differences within each cultural community: Ward Connerlly (sp?), for example, came from a very different background than that of most Af Ams in this country, as did Condi Rice and even Colin Powell. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 12:31:12 PM

Quote
No hate intended, so please don't take it that way.  I was speaking in the general "you", ie, the gay community, in that posting.  However, there is a significant difference in someone who is visually different, eg skin tone, as compared to an attraction that takes place in your head.  I'm not saying you are not discriminated against, but it's also not as likely that you can be singled out walking down the street.  It's also not the same in that gays have been prevented from attending school, being served dinner, etc, solely because of their genetics.  Once again, I'm not saying gays are not discriminated against.  However, I don't ever recall seeing a sign on a door that said "Gays not allowed" or "Straight people's water fountain."
Quote



well, i actually have never seen "coloreds only" drinking fountains personally, except for pictures of them, from over 50 years ago. have you seen a "coloreds only" drinking fountain? has anyones parents out there ever had to drink from a "coloreds only" drinking fountain? the thought makes my skin crawl, but i do know that hasn't been around for over half a century. i dont think colored drinking fountains are why we have aa in law school admissions...

and it is funny...i have never seen a "gays not allowed" sign either, but any time i am in a locker room at the gym and i overhear the word "faggot" being used in casual conversation (this happens all the time) they might as well post a sign.

sure, gays and minorites are discriminated againts in thier own special ways, but discrimination is discrimination, right? i honestly dont think there is a "significant" difference, as you say. many gay men and women CAN camonflouge themselves to the world, others are more "flambouyant" and just as obvious walking down the street as an ethnic minority. what if an employer knows i am gay and i dont get the job do i have the right at that point to get upset for discrimination?

and as it has been said- asian, indian, persian groups (all discriminated against by some people out there) dont get any URM status, either. they didnt neceessarily grow up in the lap of luxury with expectations of grad school, so why dont they get any boost?  it is a funky sysytem, to be sure, with deffinate imperfections.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 12:36:22 PM
This is why AA is so fundamentally unfair. It purports to be a means of advancing diversity, but it does so through an assumption that diversity will be achieved by admitting a certain number of people based on their melanin content. Such an assumption is unwarranted. Like you said, there are very rich black people who certainly do not need AA, and there are definitely white people who have overcome crazy-ass problems and would add to a diverse class--but not based on their skin, but rather through who they are, the experiences they've had, the viewpoints they can contribute. Humans shouldn't be reduced to skin color, and that's what AA does.

i wonder if there is a way to send some sort of "proof of poverty" for aa consideration. i think that is the true intent of it in law school, is to give "those" who have not had equal shots at things like academic sucess or otherwise and who still my be naturally bright the chance to go to law school. i think we all agree that being a URM doesn't MEAN you had no chances to succeed. it means you are an "underepresented minority," thats all.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 07, 2005, 01:16:24 PM
Und here vee go…

We all had a fair chance all that’s different in your skin tone?

The “it was 50 years ago get over it” attitude disgusts me.  Indeed the fact that this country had separate water fountains for the black and white race in the early 1900’s IS a reason to have affirmative action.  Indeed there are those of us who have parents who had to endure horrible retched things which this nation condoned.  Yes, there are those of us who have grandparents who can remember days even darker than those our parents lived.  Slavery… SLAVERY ended in 1865.  We are only a few generations from being enslaved.  My grandparents were born in the 1930’s.  They had first hand account from people who were slaves.  My mother can tell me those stories.  Me, my mother/father, my grandparents, and then slaves.  I am only four generations removed from a time that my feet were shackled and you, gay or not, had a right to own me.  Get over it?

It was only 1965/66 fifteen years before I was born that blacks were given the right to vote and that right was enforced and protected.  Whose parents were born after 1965?  I grew up in a society that has only found my race (rich, poor, light, dark, or otherwise) acceptable to vote for 30 or so years!  This country disallowed MY FATHER his right to vote.  The right to shape the nation which his child (me) would have to live in.  He was not allowed to correct the injustices of his generation so you better believe they have effected my generation of Black Americans – whether or not they’ve seen a segregated water fountain!

We rage for the white man who feels he got cheated out of a place at an ivy league and tell the little Black boy that runs home every day after school for fear of being shot or forced to join a gang to get over it.  We talk about other peoples living in this country who have been disadvantaged or felt adversity but it’s not the same as living in the wake of such travesties which your nation condoned -- how dare you compare!

So why is it, and this point is still contested, that Blacks as a whole are performing poorer than whites when we know that they are just a capable biologically?  Do we address the underlying social implications and inferences which that has, figure out what social force is caused it and correct it, no we bemoan AA in the context of how it effects white men!

Get over it… I think not.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 01:38:35 PM
Und here vee go…

We all had a fair chance all that’s different in your skin tone?

The “it was 50 years ago get over it” attitude disgusts me.  Indeed the fact that this country had separate water fountains for the black and white race in the early 1900’s IS a reason to have affirmative action.  Indeed there are those of us who have parents who had to ordeal horrible retched things which this nation condoned.  Yes, there are those of us who have grandparents who can remember days even darker than those our parents lived.  Slavery… SLAVERY ended in 1865.  Were are only a few generations from being enslaved.  My grandparents were born in the 1930’s.  They had first hand account of people who were slaves.  My mother can tell me those stories.  Me, my mother, my grandparents, slaves.  I am only four generations removed from a time that my feet were shackled and you, gay or not, had a right to own me.  Get over it?

It was only 1965/66 fifteen years before I was born that blacks were given the right to vote and that right was enforced and protected.  Whose parents were born after 1965?  I grew up in a society that has only found my race (rich, poor, light, dark, or otherwise) acceptable to vote for 30 or so years!  This country disallowed MY FATHER his right to vote.  The right to shape the nation which his child (me) would have to live in.  He was not allowed to correct the injustices of his generation so you better believe they have effected my generation of Black Americans – whether or not they’ve seen a segregated water fountain!

We rage for the white man who feels he got cheated out of a place at an ivy league and tell the little boy that runs home every day after school for fear of being shot or forced to join a gang to get over it.  We talk about other peoples living in this country who have been disadvantaged or felt adversity but it’s not the same as living in the wake of such travesties which your nation condoned -- how dare you compare!

So why is it, and this point is still contested, that Blacks as a whole are performing poorer than whites when we know that they are just a capable biologically?  Do we address the underlying social implications and inferences which that has, figure out what social force is caused it and correct it, no we bemoan AA in the context of how it effects white men!

Get over it… I think not.


i dont recal asking anyone to "get over it" as you mention, but i will reread my post just in case i type-oed something and it came out "get over it" accidentally...

someone made a refference to drinking fountains, and "straights only" drinking fountains and i asked if he had ever even seen a coloreds only drinking fountain. how you got "get over it" from that is beyond me. but please dont look into (through) what i am saying and try to find things to get yourself worked up over. that aint the point of this thread.

i am also an italian american. my grandmother herself was locked in a closet (for being "dirty and stupid") regulary in elemntary school by her german teacher and called TO HER FACE a black cat (then a popular derogatory term for italians for thier olive skin color) i mean, there has been a rediculous amount of hate in this country for basically every minority group that has ever been a minority group.

irish have been beaten. japoneeze have been locked up in inprisonment camps, gays have been brutally murdered (matthew shepard anyone? i met his mom. that was just a few years ago....) the list goes on.

my point is that i dont think AA is there as an apology or an "IOU" or past descrimination. if that was simply all it was than alot of other groups out there should get a peace of that pie. but i dont think that is its purpose. at least as far as law school goes. it think it is there to diversify a profession usually filled by the "good ol' boys club" and to give people that grew up without resources a chance to do great things.

and i know it sucks that your dad couldn't vote until the 60s. i think that is rediculous! but, on the other hand, at least he could get married. what is it? 48 states here in 2005 that wont let me do that?

there is oppression alive and well and living in your own back yard as we speak. life is the pits for everyone.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 07, 2005, 02:03:43 PM

i dont recal asking anyone to "get over it" as you mention

I was not quoting you as saying such but your comments about you or anybody’s parents never seeing a Whites only drinking fountain because that was over 50 years ago smacked of the “it was along time ago get over it" sentiment.  Perhaps I read too much into it.

but please dont look into (through) what i am saying and try to find things to get yourself worked up over. that aint the point of this thread.

It's not you, injustice in general tends to get me worked up.

Yes, I understand that there have been horrible things that you, your parents, and other minority groups have gone through in the course of their existence in this country.  However, those injustices were not part of the foundation of this country and were not propagated in the structural make-up of this country's constitution.  The effects of hate are indeed part of the human experience which we all feel in one form or another but that is just not the same as what American blacks have experienced.

I agree with you that AA is not an IOU or an apology for past wrongs, but it is the best (inadequate as it may be) way we have to counteract the effects of those wrongs.  I would love to see us (as a nation) address the reasons that something that ended 30 or 50 or 125 years ago is still affecting an entire segment of society wiht no other distinguishing factor than their race but as yet we have not.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 02:27:04 PM

i dont recal asking anyone to "get over it" as you mention

I was not quoting you as saying such but your comments about you or anybody’s parents never seeing a Whites only drinking fountain because that was over 50 years ago smacked of the “it was along time ago get over it" sentiment.  Perhaps I read too much into it.

but please dont look into (through) what i am saying and try to find things to get yourself worked up over. that aint the point of this thread.

It's not you, injustice in general tends to get me worked up.

Yes, I understand that there have been horrible things that you, your parents, and other minority groups have gone through in the course of their existence in this country.  However, those injustices were not part of the foundation of this country and were not propagated in the structural make-up of this country's constitution.  The effects of hate are indeed part of the human experience which we all feel in one form or another but that is just not the same as what American blacks have experienced.

I agree with you that AA is not an IOU or an apology for past wrongs, but it is the best (inadequate as it may be) way we have to counteract the effects of those wrongs.  I would love to see us (as a nation) address the reasons that something that ended 30 or 50 or 125 years ago is still affecting an entire segment of society wiht no other distinguishing factor than their race but as yet we have not.


well, to comment on your last statement- the truth is people in general love to hate (go read any thread on xoxo to get a sense of what i mean ;))  people love to hate. that is why issues that are supposed to be resolved now are not completely resolved. there will always be the segment of the population that loves to hate.

but i dont know if you really want to say things like "i know everyone experiences discrimination of some kind, but the black experience is differnt and somehow more relevant for this or that reason"  i only say that because obviously i dont know what it is like to be black, but you dont know what it is like to gay. and if you are a guy neither of us knows what it is like to be a women! they are all different types of discrimination, but they are all equally unjust and there are subtle intricacies in what ways the discrimination plays out in our lives. if it is wrong it is wrong. as a gay man i dont have a "people" or ancestors i can point to that were done wrong. it is family in a different sense, ya know? but up until the time that your father was allowed to vote my "family" was not even allowed to be public in any way, shape, or form. they would lose thier jobs, they we be shunned by family, they would be beaten. you know the drill.

i think that type of descrimination is pretty closel tied to the fabric (or foundation, as you called it) of this nation. and gays are descriminated against in the laws (structural make-up of the constitution, as you said) of this country- it is way we cant get married!

i just wouldnt say to others that what black people have faced in the past is inherently worse than what other people have faced because there is alot of "really really bad" going around. the differences are undefinable.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 07, 2005, 02:52:09 PM
Cheez: How do you think that the past injustices towards blacks have contributed to denying you the ability to study for class, and read books in your free time(which would help lsat performance)?

I mean, we can babble on and on about what was done wrong in the past, but in the end we're only talking about two things: Your GPA, and your LSAT. Studying, and logical reasoning/reading ability.

If you think that genetics has nothing to do with anything, then what environmental factors cause this underperformance in blacks? Is it white people's fault that blacks don't read and study as much as they should? Or is it their culture and values which fail to promote those things as being worthwhile? What do you think?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: dbgirl on March 07, 2005, 03:11:16 PM
Well, I happen to be a poor minority, just the kind that AA is "supposed" to benefit, according to popular wisdom.

And frankly I think my poor status is giving me lots more of a "leg up" than my minority status, because at UCs they consider poor and don't consider minority in the formula.

My boyfriend who grew up poor and white could qualify for the same considerations that I would under these guidelines -- and I agree with that.
In general, poor people have to fight for opportunities that are taken for granted by people with money, including a high-quality education. This is true regardless of race.

But I don't agree that wealthy minorities -- who look visibly different from white Americans are treated as equals to whites and have the same opportunities that wealthy white people have. Racial discrimination is very alive and well in this country.






Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: dbgirl on March 07, 2005, 03:23:35 PM
Ryanjm,

You make a lot of generalizations - using terms like "The way THEY dress," or the way THEY talk.

And this quote: "Is it white people's fault that blacks don't read and study as much as they should? Or is it their culture and values which fail to promote those things as being worthwhile?"

You seem to be quite an expert on minorities' dress, speech and study habits -- especially those of black people.How is it that you know so much about the entire black population of this country? I thought you were white? Did you grow up in an all-black neighborhood and attend an all black school?

Or, perhaps you're just guessing about things that you have no personal knowledge about?




Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 07, 2005, 03:38:44 PM
Ryanjm:

I think that because of past injustices many Blacks have failed to breach the boundary that separates the lower and middle classes.  I think that because of this a disproportionate number of Blacks are subject to an under funded education which fails to develop those two fundamental skills you spoke about.  I think that there are social factors that are a result of past and present injustices which cause many Blacks to fail in their primary education. Now, in addressing issues of higher education those Blacks that cannot benefit from Ugrad AA may end up at a sub-par institution which ill prepares them to perform well on the LSAT.   GPA’s are effected by the unstable foundation which poor primary educations create.

Is this the case for all Black people… NO!  But these are the realities for many.  Most certainly there is a cultural aspect which disvalues education in the black community which contributes to the underachievement of the race.  I think it is horrid that ideals of victimism and failure are propagated in the community from one generation to another.  But you think that those things originate with a fundamental genetic difference?  Absolutely not.  These are the effects of being told that you are too lowly or stupid to vote.  These are the effects of generations of denied education and employment.

As a Black man I would do away with AA.  But in order for that to happen we have to address issues which effect the race in general way before college is even considered.  Again, AA is not the best solution to address issues of social injustice which effect the race in general, but until we as a society agree to get just as angry about the injustices we create as the injustices which AA creates then the issue will never be resolved.

Agree or not this is the logic behind by comments.



P.S.  The discussion of the travesties which a race or group of people have been subject to and one’s feeling about them is never babble.


Cheez: How do you think that the past injustices towards blacks have contributed to denying you the ability to study for class, and read books in your free time(which would help lsat performance)?

I mean, we can babble on and on about what was done wrong in the past, but in the end we're only talking about two things: Your GPA, and your LSAT. Studying, and logical reasoning/reading ability.

If you think that genetics has nothing to do with anything, then what environmental factors cause this underperformance in blacks? Is it white people's fault that blacks don't read and study as much as they should? Or is it their culture and values which fail to promote those things as being worthwhile? What do you think?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 04:12:41 PM
i agree with cheeswiz (on this)

i cringe when i see a white person suggest that blacks are less capable than whites.

- "Is it white people's fault that blacks don't read and study as much as they should?" (ryanjm)

i would run far away from general statments like this that suggest such things. i really doubt anyone on here ACTUALLY thinks lower gpa/lsat combos in the black community are a result of less ABILITY (god i hope no one here thinks that)
-they might suggest less funds/educational quality (and less emphasis in the black community at large on education as cheeswiz says) and if so, then what we are REALLY talking about is giving a helping hand to those that cant AFFORD to be better prepared for law school, right?

if that is what we are talking about then aa should have a monetary connection. i think dbgirl syas at UCs it does (LEOP at hastings is what i imagine she is referring to) but that isnt connected to the URM admissions, really.

theortically,
as of right now a girl with a fortune 500 ceo father and several ivy league degrees running through her pedegree could easily get into schools generally way out of her reach score wise, if she can check the magic box. surely "this" girl doesn't need the boost she would be recieving, right? i know this is an etreame example, but it isn't like it doesn't happen. and there are many real life examples that fall in the grey area that would be equally relevant, no?

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 07, 2005, 04:37:03 PM
Yes, well said Counselor.

I also agree, that "'This' girl" should not get a boost from AA.  But, can we also agree that this girl (more likely than not) would not require such a boost.  Her parents probably didn’t allow for the possibility of her not attending school, and a good one at that.  She was probably educated at the better schools in the community.  Her community didn’t really have an issue with drug use and gangs.  Her LSAT scores make her competitive for T14, and if she wasn’t up to par on her practice test, she bought a good score through a prep course.

Sure, there are lazy Blacks out there just as there are lazy Whites, but shouldn’t be allow for the off abuse of the system in order to accommodate the more imidiate and pressing issue of providing a chance for those who were not given then same chances as “’this’ girl”?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 04:56:15 PM
Yes, well said Counselor.

I also agree, that "'This' girl" should not get a boost from AA.  But, can we also agree that this girl (more likely than not) would not require such a boost.  Her parents probably didn’t allow for the possibility of her not attending school, and a good one at that.  She was probably educated at the better schools in the community.  Her community didn’t really have an issue with drug use and gangs.  Her LSAT scores make her competitive for T14, and if she wasn’t up to par on her practice test, she bought a good score through a prep course.

Sure, there are lazy Blacks out there just as there are lazy Whites, but shouldn’t be allow for the off abuse of the system in order to accommodate the more imidiate and pressing issue of providing a chance for those who were not given then same chances as “’this’ girl”?



well.....yes-ish. and no-ish

just like the rich minority girl i made up in my post, there are also alot of po' ass white-trash (and i can say that, i have some in my own family) kids that grew up with no money, no assistance for an education and no one around who cared or valued  college/ gradschool. what about them? they are very diverse for a law school class i imagine (law schools would have to put up a "no shirt, no shoes, no service!" sign. kidding kidding....

anyways, my thought is that those without the benefits many had growing up SHOULD get the lift, but the system should be more...specific to those that TRULY need it.

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: PresClay_00 on March 07, 2005, 08:04:21 PM
I have a much smaller problem with economic status being taken into account for diversity than color of skin, religion, or sexual preference.  However, by the time you've graduated from college, you've shown that you've overcome those problems and are more than capable of standing on your own merit.  They're not going to give you a break on the bar, why not get used to it earlier?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: dbgirl on March 07, 2005, 08:12:00 PM
OK Tbone,

Maybe I'm being idealistic but I do believe that if you have a good story about overcoming poverty some schools, perhaps many schools, will consider that as an admissions factor, even if you are white.

I know a guy who got into every grad school(Berkeley, Columbia) he applied to because he had a very compelling personal story.

I think the area where poor minorities have an advantage over poor whites is with scholarships. There do seem to be more opportunities for minorities in that arena. If I ruled the world or had lots of money I'd dole out scholarships to all the poor folks.

Anyway I don't board like this should divide people so much. We shouldn't have the rich and the poor and the blacks and the whites and the gays and the straights arguing about who is more deserving of going to law school.









Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 07, 2005, 08:27:30 PM
OK Tbone,

Maybe I'm being idealistic but I do believe that if you have a good story about overcoming poverty some schools, perhaps many schools, will consider that as an admissions factor, even if you are white.

I know a guy who got into every grad school(Berkeley, Columbia) he applied to because he had a very compelling personal story.

I think the area where poor minorities have an advantage over poor whites is with scholarships. There do seem to be more opportunities for minorities in that arena. If I ruled the world or had lots of money I'd dole out scholarships to all the poor folks.

Anyway I don't board like this should divide people so much. We shouldn't have the rich and the poor and the blacks and the whites and the gays and the straights arguing about who is more deserving of going to law school.





dbgirl, i really dont think anyone (in this thread at least) is dividing up along racial/class/etc lines about who is more deserving to go to law school.

clearly different people will have different experiences (in this threads case, with descrimination) and i think we are sharing those, comparing them and working through new info, the way the thread was intended.

i did not grow up poor (not wealthy though by any means) so i wouldnt know first hand about writing a statement on it. i am sure anything writing about overcoming such an obstacle would be compelling. but that goes for anyone, concerning anything. i think it is safe to say though that URM status still carries more weight, at least given what little i know about URM status and apllicant info on here/LSN...

oh, can you guys believe that research from that other thread about blacks not performing well in law school because thier schools are too "tough" for them? what is that? i thought everyone basically felt that once you are in school the education is essentially the same, and ones performance on the bar shouldnt matter based on your rank in class! (the article says blacks would do better on the bar if the went to lower tiered schools and ranked higher in thier class) i dont even see how that makes any sense at all....










Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 07, 2005, 09:11:34 PM
Two quick random things: If you're quoting someone, remember to press quote again so that it stops the quote and we can see your response. Also, dbgirl, there's a huge gap at the bottom of your posts for some reason that takes up a buttload of space.

On topic:

I don't claim to be an expert on anyone's culture. However, I DO know what it takes to do well in school and on the LSAT. It's studying, reading, and preparing for the test. I'm asking how racial inequalities that existed 40+ years ago affects 22-25 yr old applicants today. If you've made it to college, you obviously have some motivation to better yourself, and from there it's just a matter of studying and doing well on the LSAT. A very narrow topic.
All of these other factors about what it's like to be black, etc... are all peripheral issues that really don't have a huge impact on your grades and LSAT unless you make them an issue. No white person is holding you back from reading books on your free time to increase reading comp and develop a better vocab. No one is stopping you from studying so that you can get a 3.5+. No one is stopping you from picking up some powerscore books and studying for a few months for the LSAT. Being poor is a huge hindrance. Being black is not.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: onlychild on March 09, 2005, 05:28:43 AM
I don't claim to be an expert on anyone's culture. However, I DO know what it takes to do well in school and on the LSAT. It's studying, reading, and preparing for the test. I'm asking how racial inequalities that existed 40+ years ago affects 22-25 yr old applicants today. If you've made it to college, you obviously have some motivation to better yourself, and from there it's just a matter of studying and doing well on the LSAT. A very narrow topic.
All of these other factors about what it's like to be black, etc... are all peripheral issues that really don't have a huge impact on your grades and LSAT unless you make them an issue. No white person is holding you back from reading books on your free time to increase reading comp and develop a better vocab. No one is stopping you from studying so that you can get a 3.5+. No one is stopping you from picking up some powerscore books and studying for a few months for the LSAT. Being poor is a huge hindrance. Being black is not.

You're ridiculous.  Seeing as though you have the key to doing well on the LSAT, please help me to understand why I didn't do better based on the factors below.

Race: Black
GRE Verbal %ile - 97
GMAT Verbal %ile - 91
LSAT score - 160 (82%ile)
Test prep - Powerscore

Please tell me why I didn't do better.  If the LSAT just tests your reading comp skills and vocabulary, then how do you explain my performance on the other standardized tests?  I hope I'm not genetically inferior!!  I may never recover from that revelation.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 09, 2005, 12:59:11 PM
I don't claim to be an expert on anyone's culture. However, I DO know what it takes to do well in school and on the LSAT. It's studying, reading, and preparing for the test. I'm asking how racial inequalities that existed 40+ years ago affects 22-25 yr old applicants today. If you've made it to college, you obviously have some motivation to better yourself, and from there it's just a matter of studying and doing well on the LSAT. A very narrow topic.
All of these other factors about what it's like to be black, etc... are all peripheral issues that really don't have a huge impact on your grades and LSAT unless you make them an issue. No white person is holding you back from reading books on your free time to increase reading comp and develop a better vocab. No one is stopping you from studying so that you can get a 3.5+. No one is stopping you from picking up some powerscore books and studying for a few months for the LSAT. Being poor is a huge hindrance. Being black is not.

You're ridiculous.  Seeing as though you have the key to doing well on the LSAT, please help me to understand why I didn't do better based on the factors below.

Race: Black
GRE Verbal %ile - 97
GMAT Verbal %ile - 91
LSAT score - 160 (82%ile)
Test prep - Powerscore

Please tell me why I didn't do better.  If the LSAT just tests your reading comp skills and vocabulary, then how do you explain my performance on the other standardized tests?  I hope I'm not genetically inferior!!  I may never recover from that revelation.

i have not taken the gmat or the gre, but are those verbal sections very similar to the lsat? i know that this is a race issue we are ACTUALLY talking about here. i do see that, but CAN one compare those scores to each other fairly? i just didnt know....
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 09, 2005, 01:03:05 PM
 T Bone,

Back to the tone of your original post, I don't believe that GLB people are underrepresented in law school over all. Or in the professional world. This doesn't mean that homophobia doesn't exist, or that many GLBs don't have to make accomodations to the heterosexist professional world. They do, as do women make accomodations to the sexist professional world. (And men, too!) It is not fair, and shouldn't be necessary. But this unpleasant reality does not seem to be leading to a systematic underrepresentation of women or GLBs in these situations. There is, however, a systematic underrepresentation of some racial groups (or ethnic subgroups of racial groups) in law school and legal professions. AA is designed to address that. It does not solve the problem of racism, or classism, or anti-immigrant prejudice. But it is designed to treat a symptom of these things. As many people have noted, it is a blunt tool that has many flaws. But in my opinion, it is doing some good in correcting a systematic, historical underrepresentation.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 09, 2005, 01:22:59 PM
T Bone,

Back to the tone of your original post, I don't believe that GLB people are underrepresented in law school over all. Or in the professional world. This doesn't mean that homophobia doesn't exist, or that many GLBs don't have to make accomodations to the heterosexist professional world. They do, as do women make accomodations to the sexist professional world. (And men, too!) It is not fair, and shouldn't be necessary. But this unpleasant reality does not seem to be leading to a systematic underrepresentation of women or GLBs in these situations. There is, however, a systematic underrepresentation of some racial groups (or ethnic subgroups of racial groups) in law school and legal professions. AA is designed to address that. It does not solve the problem of racism, or classism, or anti-immigrant prejudice. But it is designed to treat a symptom of these things. As many people have noted, it is a blunt tool that has many flaws. But in my opinion, it is doing some good in correcting a systematic, historical underrepresentation.

i do hear you. you make very logical points, and i understand them.

i would be interested to see how many schools, though, are underrepresented with the LGB community. probably alot, especially in small/conservative communities...

also, as i am sure you noticed, many folks on this very thread that would fall into the catergory of URM say that AA is there because of all the past animosity and misdeeds done to those groups in the past. clearly i disagree that that is the prompting of AA.

i feel (as you do more or less) it is more to get butts in seats, so that the law school can be more diverse and the law community can be more diverse.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: WoeIsMe on March 09, 2005, 02:35:30 PM

the topic asks if any URM think AA is overly helpful.  you might getter more response if it was broadened to 'any minorities' think AA is overly helpful.  Since there are many minorities who do not get AA status.. Asians and as you indicated GLB people.

you bring up an interesting point though in terms of segmenting.  AA segments groups into racial subgroups and those within the subgroup in many cases is gauged against others only within said subgroup.  So when you compare individuals in one subgroup against another (ie: black with hispanics), or against other minorities who don't get AA status, such as asians, or even against the larger population as a whole certain groups get benefits much greater than others.  The benefit is based on representation within said group and not disadvantage.  So I think this latter point may be the basis of your question.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 09, 2005, 03:37:52 PM
onlychild:  Your response makes no sense. Where did I say that the LSAT is only reading comp and vocab? A large part of the LSAT is logical reasoning. Judging by your response and the stupid question you asked, I can see where that area was probably lacking for you.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 09, 2005, 03:46:13 PM

the topic asks if any URM think AA is overly helpful.  you might getter more response if it was broadened to 'any minorities' think AA is overly helpful.  Since there are many minorities who do not get AA status.. Asians and as you indicated GLB people.

you bring up an interesting point though in terms of segmenting.  AA segments groups into racial subgroups and those within the subgroup in many cases is gauged against others only within said subgroup.  So when you compare individuals in one subgroup against another (ie: black with hispanics), or against other minorities who don't get AA status, such as asians, or even against the larger population as a whole certain groups get benefits much greater than others.  The benefit is based on representation within said group and not disadvantage.  So I think this latter point may be the basis of your question.


um yeah, i actually wanted to ask this question to URMs in particular, because they are the ones specifically benefitting from AA. i mean, i would assume most folks that dont benefit from it would easily say "yeah, it is too helpful to other people. let ME in, female dog!"

i kinda wanted to see if there were ANY URMs out there that were like "we dont need the help. we can do it on our own. this AA stuff is bull poo"  so far no takers in that respect, but the thread has been plenty active and chalk full of emotion and debate, so i am happy 8)
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 09, 2005, 04:33:13 PM
As soon as all the rich kids stop benefitting from the contacts and help they get from THEIR fathers, I'll stop taking advantage of the almost non-existent help I might get because MY father is a URM. 

amen! my father is a drama teacher at a community college and my mom is a secretary! oh, wait though, i am still white.
so i guess i dont get help from anyone    :P 


not all white kids are rich w/ connected lawyer dads. in fact most aren't. just sayin'
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: WoeIsMe on March 09, 2005, 04:35:07 PM
agree.. pretty lame post.. 2 wrongs make a right.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 09, 2005, 04:44:12 PM
mmhome,

now i know your response was not directed especially at me, but i will respond with my story since i started this thread.

in high school i wasnt given anything and nothing was expected of me. i got a 4.0 because i was a proud and competetive bastard, but my parents never pushed me. i never got a prize for good grades. i got a pat on the back.

likewise i had to get a job so i could rent a clarinet and pay for lessons myself, which i did. my folks didnt have the extra $$.

by my senior year i was the top ranked high school clarinetist in california, and no one not a single person asked me to do it or pushed me to do it or helped me do it but me. i was on my own.

so i went to a state school, got some $$$, but mostly had to take alot of the loans myself. my parents took what they could, but it wasnt like they bought my education for me.

and i decided to go to law school on my own. no one expected it of me, suggested it to me, or hoped i would. i called my parents and told them i wanted to and they said "are you sure? you have to pay for it by yourself!"

i dont even think my story is special. just cause a person is white doesnt mean they were born with a silver spoon in thier mouth...
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Ninja on March 09, 2005, 05:39:56 PM
mmhome,

now i know your response was not directed especially at me, but i will respond with my story since i started this thread.

in high school i wasnt given anything and nothing was expected of me. i got a 4.0 because i was a proud and competetive bastard, but my parents never pushed me. i never got a prize for good grades. i got a pat on the back.

likewise i had to get a job so i could rent a clarinet and pay for lessons myself, which i did. my folks didnt have the extra $$.

by my senior year i was the top ranked high school clarinetist in california, and no one not a single person asked me to do it or pushed me to do it or helped me do it but me. i was on my own.

so i went to a state school, got some $$$, but mostly had to take alot of the loans myself. my parents took what they could, but it wasnt like they bought my education for me.

and i decided to go to law school on my own. no one expected it of me, suggested it to me, or hoped i would. i called my parents and told them i wanted to and they said "are you sure? you have to pay for it by yourself!"

i dont even think my story is special. just cause a person is white doesnt mean they were born with a silver spoon in thier mouth...

You make a good point.  There are a lot of people out there in a situation similar to yours.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 10, 2005, 11:07:11 AM
As soon as all the rich kids stop benefitting from the contacts and help they get from THEIR fathers, I'll stop taking advantage of the almost non-existent help I might get because MY father is a URM.

Great response. Really well thought out.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 10, 2005, 12:04:20 PM
I just want to interject that, well... life is not always fair. The goal of a just society is that the slights and frustrations are randomly distributed and balanced out by little bits of opportunity, also randomly distributed. Clearly, there are patterns of systematic oppression in the US so that challenges & opportunities are not randomly distributed. This needs to be addressed.

But I don't think having to pay for your own college education or only getting a pat on the back when you get good grades is in the same category as systematic oppression. This, to me, is a challenge TBone had to overcome (as he did by finding other motivation for good grades & suceeding in music). It makes him a stronger person in the end. Some other kid might have had clarinet lessons and college paid for but had a father who abused him. Both situations show that life throws you random challenges, and strong people find ways to overcome those challenges. Both situations would make great personal statements. But I don't think either situation should be elevated to the level of systematic oppression and therefore neither situation should, in and of itself, give the applicant an edge in ls applications. What would make the person a stronger applicant is how s/he dealt with the challenge.

If you can link your particular challenge to a pattern of systematic oppression which has lead to an underrepresentation of similarly challenged people in law school, well then, I think you have a case for receiving AA. If not, no dice. Just my $0.02.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 10, 2005, 01:42:03 PM
I just want to interject that, well... life is not always fair. The goal of a just society is that the slights and frustrations are randomly distributed and balanced out by little bits of opportunity, also randomly distributed. Clearly, there are patterns of systematic oppression in the US so that challenges & opportunities are not randomly distributed. This needs to be addressed.

But I don't think having to pay for your own college education or only getting a pat on the back when you get good grades is in the same category as systematic oppression. This, to me, is a challenge TBone had to overcome (as he did by finding other motivation for good grades & suceeding in music). It makes him a stronger person in the end. Some other kid might have had clarinet lessons and college paid for but had a father who abused him. Both situations show that life throws you random challenges, and strong people find ways to overcome those challenges. Both situations would make great personal statements. But I don't think either situation should be elevated to the level of systematic oppression and therefore neither situation should, in and of itself, give the applicant an edge in ls applications. What would make the person a stronger applicant is how s/he dealt with the challenge.

If you can link your particular challenge to a pattern of systematic oppression which has lead to an underrepresentation of similarly challenged people in law school, well then, I think you have a case for receiving AA. If not, no dice. Just my $0.02.

i agree with you. i certainly never tried to claim i should recieve special review because of my situation. i never een mentioned all that stuff in my applications, i figure it is all pretty normal.

i was just replying to a post thatmentions white rich kids and allllll thier connections. i thought that was silly.

now, maybe i am naive, and maybe people are gonna start to hate, but does everyone on here truly and honestly believe that because you are (lets choose) black, and living in america in the 21st centruy, that you undoubtedly faced systematic oppression that absolutly took away from you opportunities you may have had that would have deffinatly given you the chance to suceed more?

please dont bash, but i went to high school and college with many talented and confident black men and women, who never seemed oppressed (sure, they might have been called nasty names a time or two by idiots. i have had my fair share of being called "fag" angrily, as has any other gay man/woman)

i still have a difficult time seeing why systematic oppression of blacks allegedly holds everyone down, but other forms of racism/sexism/and homophobia dont seem to hold other groups back from being represented in law school.

personally, again, i feel AA is there because not enough people in the black/latin communties are valuing higher education enough today to even apply. so here is this major lack of applicants, and they cant have major law schools in this country only have like 1% black students, because that would just not be good. so they get higher percentags into the class by admitted people that are not as competetive as the rest of the pool.

agree or disaggre. its all good
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 10, 2005, 03:57:22 PM
TBone, you ask:

"...does everyone on here truly and honestly believe that because you are (lets choose) black, and living in america in the 21st centruy, that you undoubtedly faced systematic oppression that absolutly took away from you opportunities you may have had that would have deffinatly given you the chance to suceed more?"

 African Americans have undoubtably faced systematic oppression, and continue to face it today. This has absolutely contributed to the disparity of opportunites distributed among the African American population, and definitely means that a higher proportion of whites have a better chance to succeed (more opportunites) than the proportion of blacks with those same opportunities. This does not mean that every black person has had a lesser chance, or lesser opportunities than every white.

 It is not possible for AA to rectify this situation. AA is a blunt tool aimed at mitigating the effects of this situation.

 Back to your original Q, I got a highly coveted job a few years back. No one told me, but I assumed that the fact that I'm female helped. Why? Because the industry I worked in is disproportionately male, and the specific place I was hired was well known for its old boy network hiring, and, not coincidentally in my opinion, was way male. Also, in the job interview, I mentioned that the business was lacking a female face, and that the gender imbalance might discourage customers. My interviewer agreed that this was a problem.

 I was well qualified. I have done a great job and gotten lots of positive reviews from clients and local media. I still deal with sexist comments from clients and co-workers from time to time (this was WAY worse in the beginning, though.) I was qualified for the job based on my own merits, but I beat out other qualified applicants, in part, I believe, because I'm female. That's a weird system, I know, and it doesn't solve sexism. But at the same time, it was such an anomaly to get a break in this industry due to being female. Usually it's a liability and I believe that I lost other opportunities due to gender in the past. So this time I got a break. In my opinion, it was about time.

Yeah, my break was someone else's door in the face. That's why I say -- life is not fair. Sometimes you get a helping hand, sometimes you get the finger. I've been on both sides, for sure.  If there is a systematic pattern of one or the other, then there is a problem for society to address. Otherwise, you roll with it and move on.

 I enjoy this discussion.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: WoeIsMe on March 10, 2005, 04:17:03 PM
angmill08.  opportunity is handed down, but also earned.  a 2 way street.. not some raffle / lottery ticket.  what is the systematic oppression you're referring to in regards to GPA, LSAT, and major?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 10, 2005, 05:42:36 PM
angmill (and all else)

i enjoy this discussion too.

URMs, women, gays, etc often feel justified to complain when things dont go thier way in the world because of what  they were when they were born. and i think they are justified to stand up and say "hey! wait a minute! thats not fair to me! what did i ever do to you!?"

i think, in that respect, it is fair to let all those whities out there that were born decades after racism and sexism was more 'permissable" in this country to say "hey! wait a minute! thats not fair to me! what did i ever do to you!?" when they see other people technically less qualified get valuable opportunities over them.

it is theraputic to raise a red flag at an imperfect system. it lets other know you see the imperfection.

i would love to see a day when AA worked in such a way that those who truly needed a lift ALL got a lift and those who did not need a lift did not get a lift, regardless of race, gender, orientation, etc...
(that is my miss america speech ;D)
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 10, 2005, 10:29:45 PM
Systematic oppression has led to the disproportionate lack of educational opportunites in majority minority neighborhoods, which effects grades, LSAT, GPA and college attendance. This has been true since... well, since there have been racially segregated neighborhoods and schools. I believe this problem can compound over time, because when generation after generation is denied education, a culture in which education is not prized becomes normal. Then even when an opportunity for education arises the opportunity is more likely to be missed if a parent does not value education. And even if the opportunity is taken, a poorly educated parent often lacks the tools that a well educated parent has to help their child in the educational process. Because of this, cycles of educational success and failure span generations, and it is a challenge to break either cycle.

Systematic oppression has also led to the unfair treatment of a disproportionate number of minority students in majority white schools, although certaintly this has become more subtle, and I think, decreased overall in the past 30 years.

And a note about racism being less permissible for decades... it may be less permissible, but it exists nonetheless, in fact, it thrives in some pockets. This is my opinion, based on my experience living in a 75% black neighborhood for the past 5 years.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 11, 2005, 08:42:47 AM
First off, I've only read part of this thread so far -- so please forgive me if I miss something. 

For years I've supported AA -- but in thinking about why, it has much more to do with my dislike for the "types" of people who generally oppose AA than for my philosophical support for AA.  And it's part of a more general liberal groupthink -- an ideology -- that has compelled me to support AA. 

So it's hard to say this, b/c in general I support most liberal causes -- I can't stand the Bush Administration and what passes for "conservatism" in America.  But (yes, always a but), I just think AA is fundamentally unfair. 

I think it's unfair b/c it throws the idea of "individual rights" out the window.  The idea that a neighbor of mine who grew up in Kenya, and who has equal academic qualifications, getting a leg up (for most law schools, it's a substantial boost) b/c of his skin color -- that bugs me a lot. 

And life isn't fair -- ya'll are right.  But the idea is that we should try to make it as fair as possible.

One poster said this:
African Americans have undoubtably faced systematic oppression, and continue to face it today.

Well, okay.  I'm not even going to try to debate this.  Although it's often stated, and accepted, without debate -- and I do question that. 

What I would say is that perhaps we can make affirmative action work without stepping on the rights of individuals -- perhaps we can focus on life experiences and socio-economic status rather than just ask applicants to check a skin color box.

Lastly, I'm gettting a bit tired of being implicitly called a racist for debating affirmative action.  I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you over a computer that I'm a good person -- but I'd ask you to take my word for it.  All I want is an actual debate on the issue, without emotions being thrown in.  Let's try to be civil. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 11, 2005, 10:44:49 AM
As you might guess from my repeated posts to this thread, I think about race a lot and have few friends who are interested in discussing it. So I long for a civil, open discussion of race related issues.

Sleepy... you make good points. But the point you don't want to debate is, I think, really one of the main issues here. I think the thinking behind the "check the box" is a) keep it simple and b) if we accept that racism does exist today, and systematic discrimination does lead to a pattern of impact, then why make people write an essay explaning this?

Clearly, reason a) is unsatisfying, although it is understandable but I think b) is reasonable.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 11, 2005, 12:21:30 PM
Sleepy... you make good points. But the point you don't want to debate is, I think, really one of the main issues here. I think the thinking behind the "check the box" is a) keep it simple and b) if we accept that racism does exist today, and systematic discrimination does lead to a pattern of impact, then why make people write an essay explaning this?

Even if we accept that racism does exist today, on a systematic level, it still remains a fact that not all black people (or Latina/o people) in this country are underprivileged overall.   

What’s more, there are many black people for whom their privileges far outweigh their oppression – and many white people for whom their oppressive life circumstances far outweigh their privilege of being white. 

An example

During college I had a friend who grew up in West Bloomfield (one of the wealthiest suburbs in the country).  Her father was an engineer, and her mother a doctor.  While she may have been the target of some discrimination during her life, her other privileges (including coming from an intact, strong family who guided her through private schools, a top university, and now into a PhD Program), far outweighed her oppression.

Compare this to a young man who I know (from tutoring, etc.), and for whom I've become somewhat of a mentor.  When I met him, he was a 14 year old in a Juvenile Detention facility.  He was a ward of the court and had no contact with any of his family members.  He'd been abused in terrible ways as a child, grown up in severe poverty -- his whole life a tragic tale.  Now he's striving for a better life. Even though his record is clear (juvenile offenders get their records cleared), he'll have a terribly difficult job of pulling himself up from his circumstances.  He's struggled to get on track academically, and even after finally graduating from high school, he knows nothing about the process of a college education (let alone graduate school).  He's a really bright kid, but he needs some guidance along the way, and some help once and a while.  This young man is white, but it's obvious to me that whatever privilege he's gained by being white is far outweighed by his life circumstances. 

So, of these two people – who, on balance, has experienced an underprivileged life?

Trying to determine privilege by asking people to check a box is taking the easy way out.  What we should be striving to do is to give a little assistance to people who have, on balance, experienced oppressive life circumstances.  Notice I say, “on balance.”  Skin color may be an indicator that a person has or will experience discrimination (I’ll concede this for the sake of argument, although I’m not entirely convinced of it), but it’s not an indicator that a person is, on balance, underprivileged or oppressed. 

Human rights are built on the notion that individual people matter themselves.  That's why it's a violation of a person's civil rights (human rights really) to target them, for instance, because they're Arab and walking through an airport.  We recognize that individual people matter -- and we don't make judgments about individuals by our notions, or even by our research, on a group from which they belong. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 11, 2005, 02:25:04 PM
well put.

i think most people reading this thread would suggest that the white kid you know, if he wanted to go to law school, should write about his experiences. i think he would, and i think it would be beneficial to him.

but, the girl you mentioned honestly needs no help whatsoever, in my opinion. i dont care if she is black and if some people in her life have discriminated against her for what she was born. she isn't in need of any help!
we ALL have people spit at us, so to say, from time to time. that is life.
if you are truly smart, educated, commited and persistent in life you would never let some idiots discrimination of you TRULY slow you down in any way.

and in this day and age there just isnt any kind of MAJORITY that is racist enough to actually effect your life on a day to day basis (and if you feel that that is not true i suggest you move from alabama to california, where i live)

i mean, why put yourself in harms way? as a gay man i got myself out of smalltown usa toot suite right into la where i knew i could function healthily.

as i have said, being poor and underprivileged and under appreciated is a true disadvantage. i do not believe simply being black is a legitimate disadvantage in america. not anymore.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 11, 2005, 02:42:44 PM
as i have said, being poor and underprivileged and under appreciated is a true disadvantage. i do not believe simply being black is a legitimate disadvantage in america. not anymore.

This is a strong statement -- one I was trying to avoid.  Because I really don't know if it's true or not.  What I do know is that most people who benefit from race-based AA have a hard time explaining how this "systematic discrimination" functions in their lives.

I'm BI, and so at times I run into some pretty entrenched discrimination.  I've been asked during interviews for volunteer positions about my sexual orientation (and not been allowed to volunteer with a particular organization b/c of it).  If I end up with a same-sex life-partner, I expect to have major problems -- problems sanctioned by the government (domestic partnership benefits are being challenged in my state right now b/c of an "marriage" amendment passed in November.  It looks like it may actually become illegal to offer domestic partnership benefits in the state.  Plus, I'll never get the tax breaks that a non-same-sex couple who were life partners would get). 

But despite all of the above, I get no official boost in admissions from any law school I've heard of (with the possible exception of Temple, but even for Temple you have to write a statement to that affect). 

I'd love for somebody to show me a written policy by any law school that gives AA for LGBT folks. 

I'm not saying, however, that I think I deserve AA -- far from it.  What I'm saying is that I think AA should be reserved for people who can demonstrate the need for a boost. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 11, 2005, 04:00:27 PM
i know, it is a strong statement. and i think we are basically agreeing with each other here.

but i would like to know if there are people out there that do firmly belive that by virtue of having black skin you positivly have experienced enough oppression in your life to justify your grads/scores as not necessarily being an adequate representaion of your ability. and that in that same light other people who have experienced other types of oppression have NOT faced oppression to the same degree, thereby saying that THEIR scores SHOULD represent thier ability.

if no one does think that is true, than we must be agreeing that AA simply helps to diversify a class that would otherwise be more homogenous in background.

i just think there are too many people jumping onto the back of the "AA trolley" hitching a ride to East St. that easily have enough change in thier wallet to pay for a ticket themselves. if you get what i mean.....
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SillyMia on March 13, 2005, 09:20:57 PM
"Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?"

Yes.  Me.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 13, 2005, 10:33:31 PM
"Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?"

Yes.  Me.


would you care to share your experiences/opinions? so far you are the only person to reply to this thread that that can answer yes to the main question...
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 14, 2005, 10:47:29 AM
I've been reading these posts as time allows over the weekend and thinking about what you are saying. My thoughts:

The point of AA is not to give a "boost" to anyone who has faced hardship. The point is to address the underrepresentation of certain racial groups in elite schools and professions. I think this is a valid goal, given the history of racism in the US and the continuing racism and effects of racism that linger.

I know AA isn't a cure for racism. But it is an acknowledgement of it, and an attempt to mitigate some of its effects. Unlike some, I think race still matters a lot in the US. My experience in the ghetto of a liberal city leads me to assume that racism can be felt strongly in the black ghettoes of California and New Jersey... or really in any place where blacks are the majority, as it is in my neighborhood.

I have some other comments too, but now I'm out of typing time, so maybe someone else wants to chime in.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 11:14:47 AM
The point is to address the underrepresentation of certain racial groups in elite schools and professions. I think this is a valid goal, given the history of racism in the US and the continuing racism and effects of racism that linger.

I certainly think that's one goal of AA. But the case has been made for AA in many ways, one of which is to give a boost to those who've faced hardship.  Anther reason for AA that has been discussed, especially by Univ of Michigan's council in the recent Supreme Court Cases, is the idea that minority representation necessarily adds to an educational experience.

I do understand the ideals behind trying to give an entire race a boost -- especially to attain many of the more elite positions in society.  And I certainly understand the extreme racism that has existed, and probably does still exist, in our society.  But I wonder if AA is the right answer.  B/c at a fundamental level, AA action is about ignoring individuals and making important decisions based on skin color alone.  That bothers me. 

One might respond by saying that AA is only supposed to be used to decide between two similarly qualified applicants.  But the fact is that it never happens that way in reality.  This is especially true in law school admissions  -- where GPAs and LSATs make it much easier to see who is more and less qualified. 

What seems so unfair to me is that I'm being punished for something that I had nothing to do with.  I've never owned a slave, entered a restroom that was "whites only," belonged to a country club that didn't allow African Americans, or to my knowledge, discrimated in any way based on somebody's skin color.  But I'm still thrown into the group of "white males." 

And no matter what I've been through -- or what I've overcome, I'll be railroaded as just another white male.

What's worse is when I consider the young man I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread (the one who was a ward of the court -- who came from the most humble of backgrounds).  If he ever got to be, say, president of a company -- he too would just be railroaded as another privelaged, white, powerful, male. 

I'm just tired of making decisions based on the group that somebody involutarily belongs to -- I'd like people to consider me a person for who I am, and for what I've overcome.  And how is that different than what people fought for with civil rights?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: WoeIsMe on March 14, 2005, 11:20:09 AM
I honestly believe you'd get better results if there was a tax reduction for corporations/firms who meet certain diversity factors.  I don't say I necessarily agree with this policy, but can guarantee the end goal of diversity would be reached much more quickly than trying to push the agenda at the university admissions level.

Ever see Boeing, Intel, Microsoft, or Lockheed recruiting high school students?  And yes, this would go closer to the source of problem.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 14, 2005, 11:34:33 AM
I honestly believe you'd get better results if there was a tax reduction for corporations/firms who meet certain diversity factors.  I don't say I necessarily agree with this policy, but can guarantee the end goal of diversity would be reached much more quickly than trying to push the agenda at the university admissions level.

Ever see Boeing, Intel, Microsoft, or Lockheed recruiting high school students?  And yes, this would go closer to the source of problem.



i think the deal with aa in law school is this:

general logic says that if 10% of the population is black, then 10% of practicing lawyers SHOULD be black, as lawyers are out there to represent the people. however, i have a feeling the % of black applicants is WAAAAAAY lower than 10%, like lets say it is maybe 3% or something.

WELL, we still need that 10% representation in law schools, so 10% of each class will be made up of black applicants. that means if a class is supposed to be around 400 people, an adcom will shoot for having 40 black 1Ls, even if only 100 black applicants applied. see what i am getting at?

i dont believe AA is there to make up for racism, i dont believe it is there because some adcom feels sorry for someone that had a tough time of things (as many many other people that had a tough time of things are given no help)

i feel aa is there to create diversity in this profession. the end. the REAL issue is why are so few black (or latin) students doing well in college and applying to law school? that can easily be a funding issue, or a cultural issue, but i think it is the issue nonetheless....
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SillyMia on March 14, 2005, 12:02:45 PM
Well, as a minority, it makes me really cringe when people use their minority status as an “in”.  Now, I have experienced times (several of them) when I didn’t fit in with my classmates and I was being ignored, but frankly, most people are comfortable with people like them and I had to keep telling myself that.  I also didn’t fit in with my “own” people because I was (and am) too conservative.

Then I see these urm that come from privileged families, a home, supportive parents, etc. start saying how hard being different was.  I don’t buy it.  Really, it’s hard, but not THAT hard to blame grades and lsat on it. 

However, I do agree that there are people, like myself, that grow up with friends in gangs and never discuss college.  Friends that get pregnant at 14 and drop out of high school.  Parents that don’t encourage going to school and make their child work over 30 hours with them to help out the household starting at age nine.  Moms that drop off their kids two hours late to school and then when they are called due to truancies, claim their child was “sick”. 

I graduated high school with a 1.8 gpa and just graduating high school was a feat.  Can you imagine how difficult college would be for somebody in this situation?  I left having no clue what college was (I also moved four times in high school so had no support system in any school).  Yes, I read several books to help with the “language barrier”, but let me tell you, a couple prerequisites in English does not get you up to speed when you’ve been speaking another language with a single parent that has a third grade education.  People take for granted what they learn at home and how that puts them just that much ahead.  I used to read the dictionary for fun.  Despite this, I still can’t say certain words correctly because I read them like they were spelled.

So, no offense, but do you think that a gay person has the same situation?

What it comes down to is economic disadvantage in the "ghettos".  Not discrimination (although I have gone home feeling like crap b/c of discrimination several times).  I’ve seen people pull the race card in professor’s office hours.  I’d be fuming!  No, it’s not race.  I’ve known several White people who worked two jobs and went to school while Ms. Color is complaining after her 5 hr/week subsidized job.  I’m sorry, but it’s not race.

The only way that I’ve seen race  (what is now touted as “person of color”) play an issue is people with families that don’t know any better and discourage the continuing education since we should be working.  Does any of this make sense?

I feel that urms are taking advantage of this, but I don't think that simply because their parent had to work two jobs to help them out in college is a reason that they should get preferential treatment.  I think this holds true for several people. 

I don't blame my grades (well deserved) on my urm status.  I just hope that the question continues to change from urm to economically disadvantage and WHY. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: shiveringjenny on March 14, 2005, 12:23:02 PM
I don't blame my grades (well deserved) on my urm status. I just hope that the question continues to change from urm to economically disadvantage and WHY.


yeah, i blame my grades (3.2) on being poor and sick, not being black. hopefully a 174+ on the LSAT will mitigate that and i will get into a good law school.

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 14, 2005, 01:55:01 PM
I just don't see why so many whites complain about being railroaded or punished by AA. If your numbers are borderline for a school, you're hoping something beyond the numbers will make them want you. Race is that factor for people who benefit from AA. Geography might be that factor for others. A family connection for another. It may not be something you have any control over and it may seem unfair that these things are more valuable to law schools than the things you do have control over, but... those are the breaks.
I just see this as similar to my job situation that I posted about earlier. I got a break. Somebody else didn't. We all don't get breaks all of the time. Overall, for most people, the good breaks and bad breaks even out and make it fair. If not, it could be a fluke, or it could be part of a pattern of systematic unfairness. But I don't think AA has created a pattern of systematic unfairness for whites, as it does not appear to be preventing white people from entering elite schools or professions at a disproportionate rate. It does seem to be helping minorities get into elite schools and professions, though, which is why I support it, imperfect as it is.
When I found out I didn't get into one of my reaches and saw others with similar or lower #s get in, I was sad. I know I could do well in that school even though my #s were on the low side. Perhaps if I weren't white I would have gotten the chance to prove it to them. But that was a break I didn't get.  Since I feel like I've gotten some breaks for being white, I can accept the idea of not getting some for being white too. It's not a perfect system, I know, but it is a useful tool for mitigating the systematic effects of racism.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 14, 2005, 02:07:06 PM
Sorry to overpost... but one more thing about the economic disadvantage of life in the "ghettos". I think racism led to the creation of the ghetto, and maintains it today. Why, throughout the 20th century, have whites and immigrants lived in less homogenous ghettos, and assimilated out of them more quickly than blacks? I think racism has a lot to do with it. There is a great book on this subject called "American Apartied". It was written maybe 10 years ago, but it is a very informative study of racial segregation in housing that has informed some of my opinions on this topic.
I hope no one minds the use of the term ghetto. My neighbors under 30 use it often. I could use a different term here if it is offensive, though.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 02:15:31 PM
If your numbers are borderline for a school, you're hoping something beyond the numbers will make them want you. Race is that factor for people who benefit from AA. Geography might be that factor for others. A family connection for another. It may not be something you have any control over and it may seem unfair that these things are more valuable to law schools than the things you do have control over, but... those are the breaks.

What you're saying, essentially, is that life isn't fair -- so suck it up.  And I tend to agree.  But I also think that life should be as fair as possible.  I have just as big a problem with legacies as I do with AA.  But I think your argument that geography is as important as race in admissions is specious at best.  

I understand life isn't always fair.  But institionalized injustice should be stopped wherever it occurs.
 
I'm not just talking about not getting into one of your reaches either.  I'm talking about how unfair it is that a significant portion of those applying to law schools have a substantial boost before the process even begins.  

And you say that I shouldn't complain b/c white people aren't underrepresented in law schools, firms, etc.  Alright, it's true that they aren't.  But what if I don't want to just be known as another white person?!  As far as I'm concerned, there's only one of me -- and I'm underrepresented in law schools  ;)

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 02:25:07 PM
Why, throughout the 20th century, have whites and immigrants lived in less homogenous ghettos, and assimilated out of them more quickly than blacks? I think racism has a lot to do with it.

Have you ever been to Appalachia?  There are far more poor white people in the United States (although, yes, by proportion there are more poor African Americans).

And whether racism has anything to do with the birth of poor, urban, African-American communities is up for debate (but I happen to think there's a definate tie). 

But I didn't have anything to do with this racism... I didn't have any more to do with it than any African American or Latino/a person my age.  So why punish me -- just because my skin is pale?  And you say that it isn't punishment, but the reality is that it is punishment.  When I'm more qualified than another person for a position in a law school, but you allow that person in b/c of the color of our respective skins, you're necessarily punishing me.  That's what I object to.  Listen -- I didn't choose my skin tone any more than anybody else.  And I've never participated in discrimination. 

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 14, 2005, 02:39:02 PM
If your numbers are borderline for a school, you're hoping something beyond the numbers will make them want you. Race is that factor for people who benefit from AA. Geography might be that factor for others. A family connection for another. It may not be something you have any control over and it may seem unfair that these things are more valuable to law schools than the things you do have control over, but... those are the breaks.

What you're saying, essentially, is that life isn't fair -- so suck it up.  And I tend to agree.  But I also think that life should be as fair as possible.  I have just as big a problem with legacies as I do with AA.  But I think your argument that geography is as important as race in admissions is specious at best.  

I understand life isn't always fair.  But institionalized injustice should be stopped wherever it occurs.
 
I'm not just talking about not getting into one of your reaches either.  I'm talking about how unfair it is that a significant portion of those applying to law schools have a substantial boost before the process even begins.  

And you say that I shouldn't complain b/c white people aren't underrepresented in law schools, firms, etc.  Alright, it's true that they aren't.  But what if I don't want to just be known as another white person?!  As far as I'm concerned, there's only one of me -- and I'm underrepresented in law schools  ;)




finally this discussion has grown some wings and sounds intelligent and thoughtful.

no more stupid talk of drinking fountains and deserving this or that - save such childish arguments for the playground, folks.  this is finally sounding smart

i do have to say that if you look at the numbers people dont get into schools with numbers well below 25% marks because of geography. i think it is fair to say that in this world of law school admission the biggest gain one can have as far as brownie points go is being a URM. nothing really holds a candle to that in terms of suddenly becoming desirable to a school that would otherwise ding you. if we can all at least agree that that is true, fair or unfair, i would be happy.....


and i do agree with the previous poster that being poor is not the same kind of hardship that being gay is, in consideration of ability. i for sure agree 100%.  i didnt like people saying that AA is deserved because they are oppressed and due to that oppression they should get a lift. i brought up the gay thing to say that "well, then in that case, where is my magic box to check, because i have been opressed too!"

it isn't the point of AA, and i think that fact is being fleshed out in this board.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 02:44:19 PM
I think it's important for me to point out, as well, that this is one of the only positions I take that's not in line with a general liberal groupthink (I sure as heck didn't vote for Bush, I'm a supporter of the ACLU and other similar civil rights organizations).

I just don't want to be railroaded into believe what I do about AA b/c I'm trying to tow a conservative ideological line. 


Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: risingMC on March 14, 2005, 02:56:13 PM
I've been trolling this post for some time, and it seems to be mostly non-URM people complaining about AA. There are some exceptions, of course, and this thread has been more civil than most. But in any event, it was directed to URMs, who so far haven't been responding. Since this thread seems to be more of a bona fide discussion and not like earlier rants, I'll post.

There hasn't really been a consensus on the main purpose (or purposes) of AA. Is it to right the past wrongs of society? But Asians, people of middle-eastern descent, etc. don't get any remedies. Is it aimed to bring up the downtrodden? But most beneficiaries of AA belong to the middle and upper-middle class, while there are likewise many poor whites.

I, for one, I think law schools use it to enhance the "diversity" of their incoming class. Perhaps if our government and society put more money into the earlier stages of education we wouldn't need to focus on the inadequacies of AA, but as it stands, it's probably the best option out there.

On a more personal note, someone asked if a URM could specifically point to something in their life that would have been different had he/she not been a minority. I've mentioned this elsewhere, but the combination of being hispanic and poor most definately had something to do with my abysmal first semester GPA. Still haven't figured out which had the more influence; my best guess is that they complemented each other. In my hometown all Hispanics were usually in poor areas, with crappy schools ... those of us managed to get out of there still faced an uphill battle once in college. Hence the bad gpa freshman year.

To make a long story short, without this first year my gpa would have been something like a 3.8, which is Stanford's median. My LSAT is still three points below their LSAT median of 169, but hey, that's ok. Did being Hispanic give me the benefit of those three questions on the LSAT? Perhaps. But I'm ok with that ... it just surprises me that people make such a big deal over something so minor.   
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 14, 2005, 03:12:15 PM
What an interesting discussion.

Yes, I have been to Appalachia.  :) (I tried to insert an emoticon here, because I am smiling. My mother is from SE Ohio, across the river from Kentucky and across the border from WVA. I've done some academic and some personal research there, so it's something I have some identification with.) That said, the white ghettos of Appalachia are the only white ghettos in the US that approach the black ghettos found in most metropolitan areas in terms of poverty and homogeneity -- and I personally theorize that this is related to the exploitation of Appalachians by the coal industry, which has some similarities to the exploitation of blacks by agriculture industry. But that's just something I've considered, and I digress... my point is that a very small percentage of whites live in any sort of ghetto. A much, much higher percentage of blacks do. (I can't remember the #s on this, but remember looking at data from (I think) the 2000 census and I was suprised at how high the #s were.)

I understand the interest in being seen as an individual. But the use of race to categorize and stigmatize people has a long history in the US, and I just don't see how a person can say that it doesn't impact life today. The pattern MC describes of race being linked to opportunity is very clear.  Of course there are always exceptions. But it is a clear pattern. So I go back to saying to whites who feel hurt by AA, you get some advantages for being white, and this may be the one disadvantage with any monetary consequence. Can you honestly say it didn't even out for you?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 03:30:33 PM
I, for one, I think law schools use it to enhance the "diversity" of their incoming class. Perhaps if our government and society put more money into the earlier stages of education we wouldn't need to focus on the inadequacies of AA, but as it stands, it's probably the best option out there.

I don't really see how you connect better primary education with a result that would give a law school class more diversity.  Because although I admit that impoverished people tend not to have access to the same educational opportunities, I think this has much more to do with socio-economic status than it does race.  

As for diversity, I sort of disagree that there's something inherent in the experience of people with darker skin tones that gives them a different perspective -- at least different enough to justify the substantial difference that AA can make in admissions.  I can see how poverty would give someone a vastly different perspective.  Or I can even see how a student who grew up in an inner-city would give, for instance, Baylor a different voice.  But instead of just asking students to check a box marked "Latino/a" or "Black" and take that to mean they'll add diversity, why don't we actually ask the students what they'll bring?  

I think this is much different, by the way, than the reality just twenty or thirty years ago.  But times do change.  These days, being African American is not proof one one specific life experience, just as being white is hardly proof of a privelaged, powerful existance.  

I personally think that affirmative action is a band-aid.  We're fooling ourselves if we think it's a cure for the actual problems that affects so many urban, African-American communities.  And sometimes I think that it actually hurts -- hurts by becoming the sole focus of those who fight for the uplifting of African American communities.  

And perhaps this issue isn't terribly important -- but it does depend on your perspective.  If you happen to be a student going to Kent School of Law instead of Northwestern despite being more qualified than many of the students who were admitted, I'd say it's a rather big deal.

Last, it bothers me when such a discussion is characterized as just a bunch of white people bitching.  When I discuss the fact that I'll never be able to marry my partner if I end up with another guy (I'm BI), I'm not said to be just another gay person bitching.  And if a bunch of women were discussing the fact that their golf club wouldn't let them play on Saturdays (perhaps a minor issue in your opinion, but I used to work at a country club with such a policy), you would dismiss it as just more women bitching.  So why is it that when I complain now about a form of institutionalized discrimination, I'm just dismissed as just another white guy bitching about a minor issue?  
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 03:41:31 PM
The pattern MC describes of race being linked to opportunity is very clear.  Of course there are always exceptions. But it is a clear pattern. So I go back to saying to whites who feel hurt by AA, you get some advantages for being white, and this may be the one disadvantage with any monetary consequence. Can you honestly say it didn't even out for you?

There is definately a correlation between being black and being poor and having less access to a great education.  But there is also a correlation between being having parents who didn't go to college and being poor and having less access to a great education.  So should we have a box to check on the application for that?  What about all the other things that correlate in such a way?

And here's the thing about "white privelage."  Everybody says I have it, but nobody actually outlines how being white functions to give me all these advantages I'm supposed to have in life.  People just say it's there.  And if anyone challanges such an idea, conventional wisdom says they'll be thought of as racially insensitive, if not racist. 

You say that AA has not consequences for me.  But the truth is that I'll never know.  I was deferred at four schools, three of which I'd love to go to.  If AA didn't exist, would I have been let in?  And would I have been offered a scholarship to some of the schools that I didn't get into?  The point is that I'll never know if AA hurt me.  But you can hardly claim that it didn't. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: risingMC on March 14, 2005, 03:54:05 PM
I don't really see how you connect better primary education with a result that would give a law school class more diversity.  Because although I admit that impoverished people tend not to have access to the same educational opportunities, I think this has much more to do with socio-economic status than it does race. 


Perhaps ... but the vast majority of students in poor, under-funded schools are usually minorities. I could look up the numbers, but I imagine that close to 80% of the poorest schools are comprised of mostly minority students. Unfortunately, though, most of these kids aren't ever going to be in a position to benefit from AA; most of them, in fact, won't even be in a position to graduate. And, yes, perhaps it is primarily a soci-econ issue ... but when most of these poor students are minorities, I find it hard not to include the issue of race in said discussion.

As for diversity, I sort of disagree that there's something inherent in the experience of people with darker skin tones that gives them a different perspective -- at least different enough to justify the substantial difference that AA can make in admissions.

Fair enough, but the thing is ... this is how society defines "diversity." Whether you consider that wrong, or whether we minorities are uncomfortable with the idea of being pigeon-holed, are entirely different issues. This racial and ethnic diversity is simply what society values. But I have to disagree that it's a "substantial" difference. See my previous post.

I personally think that affirmative action is a band-aid.  We're fooling ourselves if we think it's a cure for the actual problems that affects so many urban, African-American communities.  And sometimes I think that it actually hurts -- hurts by becoming the sole focus of those who fight for the uplifting of African American communities.

Yup, I see your point. Society seems to think that blacks are making progress because they've managed to reach the presidential cabinet; and yet, the ghettos are still there and thriving.

And perhaps this issue isn't terribly important -- but it does depend on your perspective.  If you happen to be a student going to Kent School of Law instead of Northwestern despite being more qualified than many of the students who were admitted, I'd say it's a rather big deal.

Also agree ... but it's my observation that it's usually the kids who got into NYU complaining about a URM getting into Harvard, or something along those lines. Maybe our experiences differ.

Last, it bothers me when such a discussion is characterized as just a bunch of white people bitching ... So why is it that when I complain now about a form of institutionalized discrimination, I'm just dismissed as just another white guy bitching about a minor issue
Quote
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I hope this wasn't directed at me. The exact reason I responded was because I felt comfortable enough in that it wasn't simply complaining, but in truth an actual attempt at an educated conversation. Occasionally we get these, but they're hard to distinguish from the standard bitter fare.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: faith2005 on March 14, 2005, 03:56:49 PM
I have alot to say, but I will try to make it quick, because I have to get off line. White privilege is a consequence of racially discriminatory practices that continue today. These privileges usually manifest themselves in socio-economic status, but not necessarily in yearly income etc. One of the examples given in books that I've read is the example of the GI bill. The GI bill provided educational stipends for many Americans, but disproportionately, African Americans were not able to take advantage of them, because of legal red tape surrounding exclusion from Universities etc. Federal loans at this time were also provided for homes/public housing. For most Caucasians, these loans went into home ownership programs/real estate. These benefits account for the increase in the size of the middle class. On the other hand, African Americans were largely given stipends to live in housing projects. For a large number, our grandparents grew up in the South (on sharecropping plantations where they were already in debt) and moved North and lived in these projects etc. This debt meant that some were able to buy homes/most were not. On the whole, in the U.S. wealth is built through real estate and most African Americans (even now) are being kept from building this asset. Today, these issues are perpetuated through depreciating home values nearly equal with the # or lack of whites in neighborhood, compounded by the lack of banks in inner-city neighborhoods generally. One article I read (I can post it later) showed that if wealth was the measure of educational achievements etc. as opposed to actual annual income, the educational achievement rates for blacks and whites would be relatively the same. Now, some might say that this is an argument for aa based on socio-economic status, but as I have shown, these policies that adversely affected socio-economic status were directly tied to race, not the other way around. One book that I recommend for those wanting to read more about white privilege from a critical race theory perspective is the possessive investment in whiteness. that book taught me alot.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: LaneSwerver on March 14, 2005, 04:07:42 PM
Wow. White privelege. I wonder where mine is? I wonder where it was when I was growing up in my house with no heat, no air conditioning, and an overabundance of roaches. I wonder where it was when I was critically ill as a child yet had no health insurance to pay for cancer treatment. I wonder where my white privelege was when my family was denied for food stamps and Medicaid because my mother made too much money ($1000/month). I wonder where my white privelege was when I worked my ass off to get into college only to be faced with paying for it myself by working full-time throughout. Hmmm... I wonder where it was when it came time to find a job. Why couldn't I just get on the White Phone and call up some White Friends that would get me into a job.

The argument here is not that injustice was done to black people in the past. You cite the GI Bill, public housing, bank loans, etc. Sure, that may have happened, but guess what? I didn't do it. My mom and dad didn't do it. I didn't persecute anyone. I went to the same sh*tty public school everyone else went to...strange how my white privelege couldn't get me into a nice private school. Keep on with the affirmative action, though. It actually helps me in the long run. When the underqualified are admitted to law school and graduate, I'll be up against them for jobs. And while I won't have a Harvard education, I guarantee that I can out-think and out-work anyone who got in on the "level playing field." Of course, when I do finish up and get that good job, it'll be because of my white privelege, but you know what? I'll take it.

That is all.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 14, 2005, 04:34:01 PM
I see where LaneSwerver is coming from.  What you talk about, faith2005, happened in the past.  People claim that white privelage is something that affects our society today.  And I still haven't heard how that functions really. 

There is certainly privelage tied to money.  But I've never been fortunate enough to have friends with any money.

I'm just me -- just a guy who's struggling to make it like everyone else.  And this idea that somehow I have "white privelage" stumps me.  I've certainly never seen it. 

MC, I think that under-funded schools and impoverished people are much more visible in inner-cities, but I'm not sure I agree that the vast majority of under-funded schools are in inner-cities.  There are lots of places, from the Mississippi Delta to rural South Dakota to the panhandle of florida to the upper-penninsula of Michigan where huge numbers of impoverished white people live, and where their schools are under funded.

And the "white people bitching" stuff was more in response to what I commonly hear (what is used to shut down discussion on AA very often), and to what you said about it being such a "minor issue."  I didn't mean to have it sound so negative. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 14, 2005, 05:07:10 PM
In my house, we also battle bugs, drugs and other realities of life in a low income neighborhood. But I noticed that when my neighbors and I talk to police about the drug traffic, I feel like I get a positive response about 3/4 of the time. The neighbors I've talked to about this feel they get a much lower level of positive response. When I spoke to the city about installing new street lights on my street, they were in the next week. One neighbor has been asking the city to fix the ineffective storm drain in front of his house for 10 years. No action yet. There are many little things like this that I've noticed. Each one alone, I would chalk up to luck or coincidence. But overall, they look to me like a pattern that correlates to our race -- the neighbors are black, and I am white. I'm not trying to hold anyone back, and I'm glad the streetlights got put in and the police at least say they will address the drug traffic I complain about. But I feel a little cheap when I pat myself on the back for how well I work with the city and the police. Maybe I get more results than my neighbors, not because I work harder or am more passionate or articulate, but because officials are more receptive to an angry white lady rather than an angry black man? Since it's hard to make any objective study of this, it is hard to measure. (Although matched pairs experiments, which attempt to do just this, have shown racism, even today, in housing and hiring. Remember the study just a few years ago about job applicants with "African-American" first names getting less job interviews than those with "white" or "race neutral" names? If you're interested, "American Aparteid" also cites matched pairs housing experiments that show racial steering of blacks to majority black neighborhoods.)

Some of my more vocal neighbors are college educated (like me). Some earn more money than me, some less. It's complicated, I agree. Certaintly there is no white phone where you call to collect white privilege. It will not be delivered to you postage paid. But I believe it exists in a more subtle and hard to define way even today.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 14, 2005, 05:25:54 PM
Nice arguments by both sides.

Everyone here is pulling out stats and figures, but forgetting that everyone's individual situation is different, but AA doesn't take that into account. It says, "you're black, so here's +50 points to your application numbers". If you want to talk about hardship and how race has impacted your LSAT and your grades, talk about it in your personal statement. Let it be a discretionary thing for the adcoms to consider. It's hard to say that AA is making up for white privilege when you've got black kids who came from families just as privileged as the average white family, and they get a huge bonus on their application for being black. How many people from the ghetto are honestly applying to law school? And even if they are, are we saying that it is so important to add diversity to the class that we should allow people who are not even close to as competent as their classmates to join them?

The last racist laws were repealed 50+ years ago. Whatever stats and figures there might be about the middle class, and various advantages that whites had 50+ years ago do not speak to the fact that ANYONE can get a job, work hard, and move out of the ghetto if they want to and they put in the effort. There is no law saying they can't work 50+ hours a week to save enough to move out.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: risingMC on March 14, 2005, 06:26:14 PM
Honestly, you're going to be hard-pressed to find anyone, minority or otherwise, who agrees 100% with the way affirmative action programs are being run. Most people agree that socio-economic status (regardless of race) should be given more weight, for example. And I think almost anyone who has studied the history, the aims and the current status of such policies is going to agree that some changes certainly need to be made. But, for the timne being, this is the best that's out there.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 14, 2005, 06:49:11 PM
Nice arguments by both sides.

Everyone here is pulling out stats and figures, but forgetting that everyone's individual situation is different, but AA doesn't take that into account. It says, "you're black, so here's +50 points to your application numbers". If you want to talk about hardship and how race has impacted your LSAT and your grades, talk about it in your personal statement. Let it be a discretionary thing for the adcoms to consider. It's hard to say that AA is making up for white privilege when you've got black kids who came from families just as privileged as the average white family, and they get a huge bonus on their application for being black. How many people from the ghetto are honestly applying to law school? And even if they are, are we saying that it is so important to add diversity to the class that we should allow people who are not even close to as competent as their classmates to join them?

The last racist laws were repealed 50+ years ago. Whatever stats and figures there might be about the middle class, and various advantages that whites had 50+ years ago do not speak to the fact that ANYONE can get a job, work hard, and move out of the ghetto if they want to and they put in the effort. There is no law saying they can't work 50+ hours a week to save enough to move out.


i think it is actually a good point to note that not ALL blacks and latins are from the ghetto, or would even know how to get to the ghetto without mapquest...

ontop of that, i think it is MOST LIKELY the black and latino kids that are not not from the ghetto that are the ones applying to law school anyways.....(i knew alot of black and latino kids at ucla undergrad. they all came from educated and comfortable families. i heard no stories in college of people huddled in the dark trying to finish thier alegebra homework in high school as gang wars too place right outside thier bedroom window.

i know that happens. it is just the exception rather than the rule.

and i think that exception/rule is tenfold when we are talking about law school. what perecent of black and latino applicants to law school actually grew up in the ghetto dirt poor?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: shiveringjenny on March 14, 2005, 06:56:24 PM
Nice arguments by both sides.

Everyone here is pulling out stats and figures, but forgetting that everyone's individual situation is different, but AA doesn't take that into account. It says, "you're black, so here's +50 points to your application numbers". If you want to talk about hardship and how race has impacted your LSAT and your grades, talk about it in your personal statement. Let it be a discretionary thing for the adcoms to consider. It's hard to say that AA is making up for white privilege when you've got black kids who came from families just as privileged as the average white family, and they get a huge bonus on their application for being black. How many people from the ghetto are honestly applying to law school? And even if they are, are we saying that it is so important to add diversity to the class that we should allow people who are not even close to as competent as their classmates to join them?

The last racist laws were repealed 50+ years ago. Whatever stats and figures there might be about the middle class, and various advantages that whites had 50+ years ago do not speak to the fact that ANYONE can get a job, work hard, and move out of the ghetto if they want to and they put in the effort. There is no law saying they can't work 50+ hours a week to save enough to move out.


i think it is actually a good point to note that not ALL blacks and latins are from the ghetto, or would even know how to get to the ghetto without mapquest...

ontop of that, i think it is MOST LIKELY the black and latino kids that are not not from the ghetto that are the ones applying to law school anyways.....(i knew alot of black and latino kids at ucla undergrad. they all came from educated and comfortable families. i heard no stories in college of people huddled in the dark trying to finish thier alegebra homework in high school as gang wars too place right outside thier bedroom window.

i know that happens. it is just the exception rather than the rule.

and i think that exception/rule is tenfold when we are talking about law school. what perecent of black and latino applicants to law school actually grew up in the ghetto dirt poor?

i actually did grow up dirt poor. we lived on a dirt road in rural georgia when i was a kid. my mom worked at wal-mart. we only moved to a middle-class neighborhood in a suburb of atlanta right before my high schooling.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 14, 2005, 06:59:00 PM
Nice arguments by both sides.

Everyone here is pulling out stats and figures, but forgetting that everyone's individual situation is different, but AA doesn't take that into account. It says, "you're black, so here's +50 points to your application numbers". If you want to talk about hardship and how race has impacted your LSAT and your grades, talk about it in your personal statement. Let it be a discretionary thing for the adcoms to consider. It's hard to say that AA is making up for white privilege when you've got black kids who came from families just as privileged as the average white family, and they get a huge bonus on their application for being black. How many people from the ghetto are honestly applying to law school? And even if they are, are we saying that it is so important to add diversity to the class that we should allow people who are not even close to as competent as their classmates to join them?

The last racist laws were repealed 50+ years ago. Whatever stats and figures there might be about the middle class, and various advantages that whites had 50+ years ago do not speak to the fact that ANYONE can get a job, work hard, and move out of the ghetto if they want to and they put in the effort. There is no law saying they can't work 50+ hours a week to save enough to move out.


i think it is actually a good point to note that not ALL blacks and latins are from the ghetto, or would even know how to get to the ghetto without mapquest...

ontop of that, i think it is MOST LIKELY the black and latino kids that are not not from the ghetto that are the ones applying to law school anyways.....(i knew alot of black and latino kids at ucla undergrad. they all came from educated and comfortable families. i heard no stories in college of people huddled in the dark trying to finish thier alegebra homework in high school as gang wars too place right outside thier bedroom window.

i know that happens. it is just the exception rather than the rule.

and i think that exception/rule is tenfold when we are talking about law school. what perecent of black and latino applicants to law school actually grew up in the ghetto dirt poor?

i actually did grow up dirt poor. we lived on a dirt road in rural georgia when i was a kid. my mom worked at wal-mart. we only moved to a middle-class neighborhood in a suburb of atlanta right before my high schooling.


a wonderful example of the exception to the rule. thank you for sharing, annoying goth (aka dirt poor urm) :o
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: risingMC on March 14, 2005, 09:37:21 PM
i think it is actually a good point to note that not ALL blacks and latins are from the ghetto, or would even know how to get to the ghetto without mapquest...

ontop of that, i think it is MOST LIKELY the black and latino kids that are not not from the ghetto that are the ones applying to law school anyways.....(i knew alot of black and latino kids at ucla undergrad. they all came from educated and comfortable families. i heard no stories in college of people huddled in the dark trying to finish thier alegebra homework in high school as gang wars too place right outside thier bedroom window.

i know that happens. it is just the exception rather than the rule.

and i think that exception/rule is tenfold when we are talking about law school. what perecent of black and latino applicants to law school actually grew up in the ghetto dirt poor?

Actually, I hear that most of the minorities who get to college aren't. A number that gets thrown around is 86%, but not sure where I heard it. We probably had a couple more at Berkeley because we were at public-school Berkeley, but still, it was hard to find people that I could relate to both culturally and socio-economically. Friends of mine who grew up in similar circumstances actually tell me that they're having a really hard time in law school trying to do the same.

But, seriously, this goes back to the argument that AA is meant to bring the provervial ghetto kid out of south central LA; in all reality, the kid doesn't ever even graduate high school, much less apply for his JD.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: faith2005 on March 15, 2005, 09:15:38 AM
the point is not that all white people are rich b/c of white privilege, but that black people systematically were discriminated against according to the color of their skin. there are poor white people, just as there are poor of every type of person. poverty is not something that aa is meant to remedy. race based discrimination is what aa is meant to remedy. generally black families who have a similar income to a white family are deeper in debt than said white family b/c of the history of white privilege. i think that people should unify as impoverished people in the states and organize according to that. but, unfortunately, whites who are poor have shunned organizing with black people b/c of issues with race. thats why the southern states continue in the situation they are now. and thats some of what i see in this thread as well.

concerning black folks from the "ghetto." there are alot of black folks who benefit from aa who aren't descendants of slaves, but instead sons/daughters of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. i do have a problem with this. this situation is b/c oftentimes they have better grades/sat scores than black folks from the ghetto, and their parents are generally more well off. alot of times they live in the suburbs/go to private schools. i was one of the few black folks at my undergrad who was "Black American." but, my solution isn't to stop letting those people benefit from aa, but to expand aa to continue to equalize the playing field. aa is responsible for creating the black middle class we see today, i think that more can be done to continue the process of wealth redistribution. but i accept that most people don't agree with this end goal, so i guess we'll agree to disagree.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: LaneSwerver on March 15, 2005, 09:17:45 AM
the point is not that all white people are rich b/c of white privilege, but that black people systematically werediscriminated against according to the color of their skin.

I believe you just made my argument. "Were" indeed.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: risingMC on March 15, 2005, 09:42:07 AM
concerning black folks from the "ghetto." there are alot of black folks who benefit from aa who aren't descendants of slaves, but instead sons/daughters of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. i do have a problem with this. this situation is b/c oftentimes they have better grades/sat scores than black folks from the ghetto, and their parents are generally more well off. alot of times they live in the suburbs/go to private schools. i was one of the few black folks at my undergrad who was "Black American." but, my solution isn't to stop letting those people benefit from aa, but to expand aa to continue to equalize the playing field. aa is responsible for creating the black middle class we see today, i think that more can be done to continue the process of wealth redistribution. but i accept that most people don't agree with this end goal, so i guess we'll agree to disagree.

Good point, faith.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 15, 2005, 09:49:03 AM
poverty is not something that aa is meant to remedy. race based discrimination is what aa is meant to remedy. generally black families who have a similar income to a white family are deeper in debt than said white family b/c of the history of white privilege. i think that people should unify as impoverished people in the states and organize according to that. but, unfortunately, whites who are poor have shunned organizing with black people b/c of issues with race.  

You say that poverty isn't what AA is meant to remedy.  But then you launch into a discussion of poverty.

The truth is that you seem to recognize the biggest hurdle for African Americans at the moment.  It isn't discrimination, per se (you keep saying that discrimination is an issue, but you haven't taken the time to spell-out just how that functions).  It's an economic condition.  Unfortunately, it's hard to break out of poverty.  I'm not sure it's exactly a "cycle of poverty," but it's something close.

Your assertion that poor white people refuse to "organize" with poor black people b/c of race is specious.  I don't know where you get this.  I'm not even quite sure what you mean by "organize."  Even the NAACP doesn't focus that much on issues of poverty, especially in light of their fight for AA.  There are a lot of reasons that poor white people and poor black people tend not to work together to break out of poverty.  One is that they don't have a shared history.  Certainly at one time this had to do with racism.  But I don't think the current "non-cooperation" has to do with racism.  And if it does, I think it has to do with racist feelings that african-americans hold just as much as anything else.  Another reason might be that poor, white people are much more likely to live in different areas than poor black people.  With the exception of certain parts of the south, most poor black communities exist in large cities, while poor white communities exist more in black communities.  

The biggest reason that poor black people and poor white people don't "organize," however, is probably that no poor people really are organized to fight for their rights at all.  Certainly there are organizations like the NAACP, but I'd hardly say that the NAACP is civil rights organization, not an organization of impoverished people fighting for their rights.  

Last, I used to work in a labor union, as an organizer (only for a short period of time).  And I did see white people and black people working side by side.  They saw themselves as workers and union-members, not black and white.  So perhaps this idea that white people won't work with black people is more your perception than reality.  
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 15, 2005, 10:52:22 AM
My feeling is that poverty is linked to discrimination. That is why proportionately more people of color live in poverty than the proportion of whites in poverty in the US. I also think that interracial cooperation on economic issues would happen more readily if whites would be conscious of the history and continuing effects of racism.

I'm not saying whites and blacks never work together. But look at this very debate for an example of how we often don't. Most people posting here agree on some general issues that AA could be improved, that it is a band aid solution, that economics and class are also important. But what do we have passionate arguments about? Whether or not racism still exists. Not that I mind sharing my opinions on this topic, obviously... But if instead of just trying to eliminate AA, white anti-AA folks would propose other methods to recify the underrepresentation of people of color in elite professions, then I think we would be more likely to see cooperation on this.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: faith2005 on March 15, 2005, 11:19:52 AM
i didn't mention the naacp at all. and i stand by what i said. black people on the whole, those who are descendants of slaves benefit from aa b/c they were systematically discriminated against. when people compare the black experience and the immigrant experience, thats exactly what I mean. If this country were actually a meritocracy, where people came and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, then, there would be little to no comparison of Black Americans with Italian/Irish/Jewish immigrants, b/c they shouldn't be in the same socio-economic position if that were truly the case. factor in the fact that disproportionately Black people in the States are in a worse position than most 2nd/3rd generation European immigrants and it is even more clear that this discrimination in the past still has a large effect on Black people today. poverty is tied to race in the U.S. those Black people who are disproportionately in poverty are impoverished b/c they are Black and descendants of slaves.

examples of discrimination today are different and alot harder to ger agreement on. for example, why are Black people still disproportionately represented on death row (particularly black people who murder whites)? in prison? why are predominately Black and Latino communities more likely to have failing schools?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 15, 2005, 11:42:27 AM
. poverty is tied to race in the U.S. those Black people who are disproportionately in poverty are impoverished b/c they are Black and descendants of slaves.

examples of discrimination today are different and alot harder to ger agreement on. for example, why are Black people still disproportionately represented on death row (particularly black people who murder whites)? in prison? why are predominately Black and Latino communities more likely to have failing schools?


poverty is tied to race? i am sure the millions of white americans living under the poverty line would find that most interesting....


and you actually said that poor black people are poor because they were descendants of slaves? is it, like, "IN" these days to not take an ounce of responsibility for ones situation??? would someone like to comment on the fact that poor black communities as a whole, especially the younger members, put a value on crime instead of education? is anyone here familiar with the music of rap/hip hop artists? the lyrics arent about wanting to go to law school, folks. and this is what kids listen to - these are thier "idols"    and this is all coming from INSIDE the community.

i really really hate when people blame everyone and everything EXCEPT themselves for a situation.

now i am not saying that stuff from the past has not put a crimp in the works for poor black americans, cause it has. no denying that.
but does anyone here have the balls to say that aspects of the black community itself helps in the prevention of higher education??
it would be great if i could blame ALL of my personal short comings on someone else, cause then i am off the hook. but i take responsibility for all the choices i make in my life. and everyone else has that same responibility to themselves to be honest like that....
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 15, 2005, 11:52:52 AM
First, I don't consider myself to be a "white, anti-AA" person.  I am very much for Affirmative Action, but for a type of it that addresses individual histories of discrimination (as opposed to ancestral), an individual's ability to add to a diversity of thought and opinion, and an individual's personal background (b/c I do very much believe that institutions should play a role in helping to live people out of poverty).  The only type of AA that I take issue with is that which only takes the color of someone's skin into account.  

In reply to: I also think that interracial cooperation on economic issues would happen more readily if whites would be conscious of the history and continuing effects of racism.

I do tend to agree that white people should be much more aware of how some unbelievable awful racial discrimination led to the socio-economic conditions, and sociological and cultural institutions, that characterize many African American communities currently.  

On the other hand, given that there is a strong correlation between poverty and race, I'd think that if we had a system that targeted people with a history of living in or near poverty, or with single parents or parents who didn't attend college, that would actually help african-americans.  And without two problems: the issue of just wealthier African Americans benefiting from AA.  And the issue of white people feeling resentful.  I think it would vastly improve harmony between white and black communities if they could both agree to give a helping-hand to those who struggle in their respective communities, not just those who struggle who come from one particular racial background.  

The examples of current discrimination given -- failing schools, people on death row -- these correlate to race, but they more strongly correlate to poverty.  Impoverished people are more likely to be put on death row, and more likely to be in failing schools.  And b/c African Americans are disproportionately poor, it hits them harder.  But again, with an AA system that targeted poverty, this could be better solved.  

But if instead of just trying to eliminate AA, white anti-AA folks would propose other methods to rectify the under representation of people of color in elite professions, then I think we would be more likely to see cooperation on this.

Two comments about this... First, you're acting like the two communities (black and white) are somehow organized within themselves to fight poverty, but refuse to work with each other.  The truth is that this isn't the case at all.  With labor unions nearly dead in this country, there aren't many groups of poor, or working class, people working together to fight poverty -- black or white.  And like I said, within the people who are fighting, there isn't any racial divide that I've ever heard of.  

Secondly, I have to go back to the issues of class and poverty as to why "elite professions" fail to attract a large number of African American or Latino/a people.  Poverty correlates with a lack of good education, knowledge about careers, knowledge about how to get into careers, and on and on.  Give people with a history of poverty a leg up and you'll be giving those who are disproportionately impoverished a leg up -- and you'll be giving a disproportionately big leg-up to the African American community, if you can understand what I mean.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on March 15, 2005, 12:00:37 PM
poverty is tied to race? i am sure the millions of white americans living under the poverty line would find that most interesting....

T-Bone.  It is true that there is a strong correlation between poverty and race. That doesn't mean there aren't poor white people (there are actually more white people in poverty than African Americans).  But it's true that African Americans are disproportinately poor. 


and you actually said that poor black people are poor because they were descendants of slaves? is it, like, "IN" these days to not take an ounce of responsibility for ones situation???

I disagree with where you're going with this.  I do agree that Jim Crow laws and slavery and discrimination have contributed greatly to higher rates of poverty for African Americans.  But I also think this can be fixed by targeting poverty, not race. 

would someone like to comment on the fact that poor black communities as a whole, especially the younger members, put a value on crime instead of education? is anyone here familiar with the music of rap/hip hop artists? the lyrics arent about wanting to go to law school, folks. and this is what kids listen to - these are thier "idols"    and this is all coming from INSIDE the community.

I think the real reason for high crime rates in African American communities has to do with living in densly populated areas, where it's harder to keep kids away from negative influences, and higher rates of people having less education (especially on the part of parents). 

i really really hate when people blame everyone and everything EXCEPT themselves for a situation.

I understand where you're coming from.  However, I also understand how hard it must be to grow up in downtown detroit, rather than some comfy suburb.  Especially if you're growing up in poverty. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 15, 2005, 02:40:22 PM
A good question to consider for this discussion would be "What causes poverty, and how can you work your way out of it"?
If we all pretty much agree that the problem is economic, then why can't a person, living in the ghetto right now, go out and work hard enough to save money to move out? I have my ideas but I'd like to hear from any URMs about this first.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 15, 2005, 02:45:44 PM
 Sleepy, I think that focusing on income INSTEAD of race is a bad tactic, because it denies the effects of systematic discrimination. The wounds of racism are still pretty raw, I think it discourages interracial cooperation to try to act like that was then, and this is now, move on. (Not that you said that, but I've heard that sentiment.) So in  my mind, as we address the issues that face people in poverty, especially in a inter-generational cycle of poverty, we need to be concious that race is a factor for many in that situation. How AA can do this with any precision is still unclear to me...

TBone, you might want to revisit the speeches and writings of African Americans such as Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby, William Julius Wilson, Malcolm X. Many African American leaders have encouraged discussion within the black community about personal responsibility, education, self-representation in the media & arts, etc. I don't think very many activist blacks deny the importance of these discussions. But spend time in any majority black community today and you will see the effects of the policies Faith2005 listed: unfair housing & lending policies, racism in urban planning, federal funding of white flight to the suburbs. Yes, these policies fell out of favor in the 1970s and '80s (or laws were put in place to prevent them, such as the Community Reinvestment Act, which Bush just scaled back last year... but I digress.) My point is that even those these racist policies have been dismantled, found illegal and/or become less acceptable, the effects are felt in black communities today. And I think people are right to demand a public policy solution to these public policy problems.

How to get out of poverty, ryanjm? Education. The question is, how to provide a good education for your kids if you have little money, little education yourself, and the public resources in your area (schools, libraries, parks, afterschool programs, public transportation to better resources) are not adequate?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 15, 2005, 03:01:17 PM
How do you get more money? Do you believe it is not possible to work hard enough to make enough money to move out of the ghetto regardless of education level?

High school dropout rates:
Yr.     White   Black   Hispanic
2000   6.9%   13.1%   27.8%

While the inner-city schools might not be great, it's hard to be educated if you don't even try to work with what you have. Personally, I believe it doesn't take much more than a few pencils, a teacher, and a library card to become educated enough to succeed at the average college.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 15, 2005, 03:45:16 PM


i am a pretty well informed and logical person, in my opinion. i would never deny that many poor black communtities face hardship due to the mix of discrimination and poverty.

i do raise red flags when someone, such as faith, makes remarks as obviously broad and innacurate as "black people are poor because of slavery" and "poverty is tied to race"

neither of these statements are true. i understand where she is trying to go with them. i do. i understand what she is trying to say. but as a future lawyer she needs to be more careful about how she says things, because she set herself up too easily for critisism in that instance.

poverty is the result of a lack of education. lack of education is a result of poverty. both of these are tied to living in in over crowded communities, hardships such as descrimination if the work force etc. i knoiw that

but dont tell me that the reason you are poor and un educated is because your great great grandfater was a slave. that doesnt hold.

if that were a "true" and logical statement than ANY person who is the descendant of slaves would be poor and uneducated, and we all know that isnt the case.

in the world of logic, where i like to live, a statement has to be true all the time for it to be true at all, unless you want to quantify with ywords like "usually"  "majority" "often" "sometimes"  etc.

otherwise you set yoursefl up for criticism. i simply called her on that lack of logical construction of her argument
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 15, 2005, 05:29:07 PM
How do you get more money? Do you believe it is not possible to work hard enough to make enough money to move out of the ghetto regardless of education level?

It is OFTEN not possible to make enough money to move to a more expensive neighborhood if you have little education and dependents. Do a budget for a single parent making $7/hr and this will be pretty clear.

Your view of what is needed to suceed in college flies in the face of the research done by numerous educators, child development specialists and other professionals. I suggest you investigate the issue a bit more.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 15, 2005, 06:16:47 PM
T-

"i do raise red flags when someone, such as faith, makes remarks as obviously broad and innacurate as..."poverty is tied to race"

Poverty IS tied to race.  There is a clear statistical correlation which is agreed upon by the Sociological community.

24% of Blacks in this nation are impoverished in comparison to 10% of whites.  This means that there are 14% more impoverished Blacks even though there is 84% fewer Blacks than Whites in America.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Ninja on March 15, 2005, 06:42:15 PM

24% of Blacks in this nation are impoverished in comparison to 10% of whites.  This means that there are 14% more impoverished Blacks even though there is 84% fewer Blacks than Whites in America.


Your math is wrong.

In 2000, according to the US Census, 69.13% (194,552,774) of the population was categorized as white/non-hispanic.  12.06% (33,947,837) was categorized as black.

24% of 33,947,837 is 8,147,481
10% of 194,552,774 is 19,455,277

This means that there are about 139% more impoverished whites than blacks.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 15, 2005, 07:02:03 PM
but dont tell me that the reason you are poor and un educated is because your great great grandfater was a slave. that doesnt hold.

if that were a "true" and logical statement than ANY person who is the descendant of slaves would be poor and uneducated, and we all know that isnt the case.


TBone, sorry to nitpick, but you are making a logical error here. I might say, "I am sad because it is cloudy today." You may agree or disagree. But there is no logical implication that anyone else will be sad because it is cloudy. See what I'm saying? I suspect you have other reasons for thinking that someone saying, "I'm poor and uneducated because my great grandfather was a slave" is wrong. Perhaps you would like to make that argument using clearer language and logic? ;) I'm teasing a little. Please do not take offense.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ImVinny! on March 15, 2005, 07:27:40 PM
"Your math is wrong.

In 2000, according to the US Census, 69.13% (194,552,774) of the population was categorized as white/non-hispanic.  12.06% (33,947,837) was categorized as black.

24% of 33,947,837 is 8,147,481
10% of 194,552,774 is 19,455,277

This means that there are about 139% more impoverished whites than blacks."

I am SOO glad when people bring in REAL statistics and not their own ranting idiocracy(I know, probably not a word, but you know what I mean).
Why would anyone in their right mind want to be called a "black" or "white" or "hispanic" and be called something that is identifying them as THEM? That makes no sense to me, you are YOU and that is not summed up in a title or anything except your own unique name and picture, heck fingerprint even. I am tired of people using their skin color as something to get a leg up and blaming others for thier own shortcomings. I agree with those of you that say this, and I really think that race is just a stupid social construction and that we should abolish such words from our vocab. I know, I am harsh, but that's what it will take. Someday when everyone is intermarried and all we will all look the same and there will be no discrimation and all this garbage will cease and I just hope I can live to see that day, because that is the time ONLY when people will shut-up about race and ethnicity, we are all members of one race: HUMAN.

I don't hate you because you are black, I hate you because you are YOU.
GET OVER IT ALREADY! :o
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: TBoneUCLA on March 15, 2005, 08:21:24 PM
but dont tell me that the reason you are poor and un educated is because your great great grandfater was a slave. that doesnt hold.

if that were a "true" and logical statement than ANY person who is the descendant of slaves would be poor and uneducated, and we all know that isnt the case.


TBone, sorry to nitpick, but you are making a logical error here. I might say, "I am sad because it is cloudy today." You may agree or disagree. But there is no logical implication that anyone else will be sad because it is cloudy. See what I'm saying? I suspect you have other reasons for thinking that someone saying, "I'm poor and uneducated because my great grandfather was a slave" is wrong. Perhaps you would like to make that argument using clearer language and logic? ;) I'm teasing a little. Please do not take offense.


faith did not say "i am poor and uneducated because my ancestors were slaves"

i wouldnt  assume faith is either of thse things, OR that her ancestors were slaves.

what she said was "black people are poor and uneducated because they are descendants of slaves"  and that is incorrect.

you see, when you make a generalization like that it must always be true.

that means ANY person who is a descendant of slaves MUST be poor in order for they relationship to justly be considered a cause/effect.

if there are ANY people out there that are neither poor NOR educated but were decendants of slaves (which of course, there are) we have disproved this relationship as being directly causal.

there may be SOME co-relation, but clearly there MUST be other factors involved. if there were NO other factors involved, then clearly ALL descendants of slaves MUST be poor and uneducated.

*phew ::)

it is all in the previous post, anyways...

dont F*ck with me! i got a 164 on the LSAT god dam it!!! ;)
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 15, 2005, 09:06:26 PM
Ninja,

I am sorry; my wording may have been a bit off there.  Let me clarify.  What I meant was not that the number of impoverished Blacks is greater than the number of impoverished Whites.  What I meant was that the percentage of impoverished Blacks is higher than the percentage of impoverished Whites even though a greater percentage of the population is White than is Black.

Race is statistically correlated with poverty.



Your math is wrong.

In 2000, according to the US Census, 69.13% (194,552,774) of the population was categorized as white/non-hispanic.  12.06% (33,947,837) was categorized as black.

24% of 33,947,837 is 8,147,481
10% of 194,552,774 is 19,455,277

This means that there are about 139% more impoverished whites than blacks.

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Ninja on March 15, 2005, 09:22:44 PM
Ninja,

I am sorry; my wording may have been a bit off there.  Let me clarify.  What I meant was not that the number of impoverished Blacks is greater than the number of impoverished Whites.  What I meant was that the percentage of impoverished Blacks is higher than the percentage of impoverished Whites even though a greater percentage of the population is White than is Black.

Race is statistically correlated with poverty.



Your math is wrong.

In 2000, according to the US Census, 69.13% (194,552,774) of the population was categorized as white/non-hispanic.  12.06% (33,947,837) was categorized as black.

24% of 33,947,837 is 8,147,481
10% of 194,552,774 is 19,455,277

This means that there are about 139% more impoverished whites than blacks.



On that point you are correct.  If I remember correctly, the impoverished rate of hispanics and native americans is also higher than that of whites.  Now the question is whether a race with a 24% impoverished rate should receive blanket aid while a race with a 10% impoverished rate receives none.  This is only one piece of the puzzle, but it may be worth discussion.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Alamss on March 15, 2005, 09:37:44 PM
I haven't read all of this huge thread but from what I understand some people consider African American's socio-economically disadvantaged situation to be very much an effect of slavery. I don't think so though. There are so many peoples and races in this world that have gone through enslavement, brutalization, extermination, and torture, systematically, continuously and by persons of seperate races, that many times did so because they thought the ones one the receiving end were inferior.

Slavery overall was awful, and yes slavery here many times was even worse and it lasted for a few hundred years. But was the slavery here much worse than the systematic hatred of the jews and then finally a termination of 6 million of them in the most horrible ways, was it worse than a few hundred years of enslavement, looting, and torture by the British, French, and other colonizers of eastern countries. My own ancestors were tortured and killed by the British who systematically colonized and enslaved India. I have not one bit of a detractive effect by that fact. Was it worse than the brutal and systematic Japanese killing and torture of millions upon millions of Chinese and other Asians from the countries it colonized. The examples of immense suffering by many peoples is plenty through out history but some have achieved much even after that wheras others haven't.

There is still systematic subtle racism in many parts of the world toward many peoples but some exceed wheras others don't. I am ethnically from the present day Pakistan. Pakistan is behind in many ways but I by no large means at all contribute that to the fact that many of its people up till world war two were enslaved and looted from by the British. That really is not why the nation is behind. It and its people are a little behind because they haven't implemented the right political and economic strategies. Look at Japan, its people suffered through their own government, were bombed the hell out of them and now look where they are. There are examples both ways of people who were as severely treated by others. The question is that how well you deal with it and how well you initiate to do something about it and not let that hold you back, rather than dwelling about it.

I believe that those who achieve, achieve on their own initiative, no matter the obstacles to them and those who don't, don't do so because of their own lack of initiative, not because of someone else. I am not saying that slavery did not have an adverse affect, by I do believe it cannot be blamed for the problems of African Americans, as much to the extent as it is being blamed upon.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 15, 2005, 10:13:04 PM
... the question is whether a race with a 24% impoverished rate should receive blanket aid while a race with a 10% impoverished rate receives none...

Directly, no, I don’t think that the 10% should get the shaft.  But I do not believe that simply because the 10% currently get no AA benefit means that Blacks should not get AA benefit.  I think that instead the 10% (and others) should be included.

In my background, the social sciences, we deal with hard numbers matched with human factors.  It is difficulty to introduce the subtle hues of grey that exist when you are dealing with people when some only want to address the black and white (lowercase) of things.  There are those on this board that refuse to accept that institutionalized slavery, social oppression, and other factors of depression attribute to the current state of the Black race.  The fact that Blacks have been oppressed is not the cause of their current state. To say that these historical factors have no effect is, at best, naïve. 

The fact that some Blacks are lazy welfare moochers does not discount the effects of historical factors.  The fact that some Blacks are rich does not discount the effects of historical factors.  The fact that there is gansta rap does not discount the effects of historical factors.  However, all of these things may contribute to the state of the race.  But their contribution does not discount, dismiss, or disallow the presence of said historical factors.

The fact that there are equally, worse so, or less oppressed members of other races does not discount the need for AA for Blacks.  If anything, I think it calls for the expansion of AA privilege/benefit/assistance to other classes.

Let’s add some substance to that yes or no box.  “o Yes / o No (If you have checked yes please attach a statement of oppression/disadvantage/adversity explaining why we should consider you for Affirmative Action benefit)”  That would open this up to a great many classes who have ALSO borne the brunt of institutionalized oppression.  “I’m gay and my partner and I can’t get married.  We struggle daily to advance within a system that considers us second class…”, “I am Arab-American, since 9/11 I have fought the false association between my race, my religion, and terrorism….”  Whatever, I just see any of these as reasons to limit AA to Blacks.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ImVinny! on March 15, 2005, 10:59:25 PM
Finally someone able to intelligently articulate what I was trying to say before.
Great job explaning there!

I haven't read all of this huge thread but from what I understand some people consider African American's socio-economically disadvantaged situation to be very much an effect of slavery. I don't think so though. There are so many peoples and races in this world that have gone through enslavement, brutalization, extermination, and torture, systematically, continuously and by persons of seperate races, that many times did so because they thought the ones one the receiving end were inferior.

Slavery overall was awful, and yes slavery here many times was even worse and it lasted for a few hundred years. But was the slavery here much worse than the systematic hatred of the jews and then finally a termination of 6 million of them in the most horrible ways, was it worse than a few hundred years of enslavement, looting, and torture by the British, French, and other colonizers of eastern countries. My own ancestors were tortured and killed by the British who systematically colonized and enslaved India. I have not one bit of a detractive effect by that fact. Was it worse than the brutal and systematic Japanese killing and torture of millions upon millions of Chinese and other Asians from the countries it colonized. The examples of immense suffering by many peoples is plenty through out history but some have achieved much even after that wheras others haven't.

There is still systematic subtle racism in many parts of the world toward many peoples but some exceed wheras others don't. I am ethnically from the present day Pakistan. Pakistan is behind in many ways but I by no large means at all contribute that to the fact that many of its people up till world war two were enslaved and looted from by the British. That really is not why the nation is behind. It and its people are a little behind because they haven't implemented the right political and economic strategies. Look at Japan, its people suffered through their own government, were bombed the hell out of them and now look where they are. There are examples both ways of people who were as severely treated by others. The question is that how well you deal with it and how well you initiate to do something about it and not let that hold you back, rather than dwelling about it.

I believe that those who achieve, achieve on their own initiative, no matter the obstacles to them and those who don't, don't do so because of their own lack of initiative, not because of someone else. I am not saying that slavery did not have an adverse affect, by I do believe it cannot be blamed for the problems of African Americans, as much to the extent as it is being blamed upon.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 16, 2005, 12:19:54 AM
Alamss,

You provide many examples of nations (not races) being attacked or oppressed.  This is different then an internal separation and struggle between a country's multiple races.  Horrible, yes, but not the same as detrimental acts condoned by the ruling government on a race.  The goal of the British Empire was not to capture and enslave the natives in foreign countries so the atrocities they experienced are not logically similar.  You touched on Pakistan, and I don’t know their history, but their neighbor India has a cast system.  This system has limited how certain groups can function within the country's infrastructure based on their race (cast).  If we were talking about an Indian AA program to assist lower cast citizens then that would be valid.  But to compare descendants of the oppressed from India or Pakistan who now live in the US (and thus have shown that they could overcome their problems from their home countries) is not the same as the struggle of Blacks in America. 

The nearest comparison you draw is of the Nazi take over of Germany.  And, if we were discussing a German program similar to AA that would be valid.  It should be noted though that there are many German and international programs to assist Jews.  In fact, we (the world) gave them an entire country (Israel), subsidize their military with weaponry, and economy with trade deals.  The concept of reparations has been applied to Jews but not Black Americans for the time and money they lost at America’s hands or Native American’s for the entire country we took from them.  Instead, we have AA.

I haven't read all of this huge thread but from what I understand some people consider African American's socio-economically disadvantaged situation to be very much an effect of slavery. I don't think so though. There are so many peoples and races in this world that have gone through enslavement, brutalization, extermination, and torture, systematically, continuously and by persons of seperate races, that many times did so because they thought the ones one the receiving end were inferior.

Slavery overall was awful, and yes slavery here many times was even worse and it lasted for a few hundred years. But was the slavery here much worse than the systematic hatred of the jews and then finally a termination of 6 million of them in the most horrible ways, was it worse than a few hundred years of enslavement, looting, and torture by the British, French, and other colonizers of eastern countries. My own ancestors were tortured and killed by the British who systematically colonized and enslaved India. I have not one bit of a detractive effect by that fact. Was it worse than the brutal and systematic Japanese killing and torture of millions upon millions of Chinese and other Asians from the countries it colonized. The examples of immense suffering by many peoples is plenty through out history but some have achieved much even after that wheras others haven't.

There is still systematic subtle racism in many parts of the world toward many peoples but some exceed wheras others don't. I am ethnically from the present day Pakistan. Pakistan is behind in many ways but I by no large means at all contribute that to the fact that many of its people up till world war two were enslaved and looted from by the British. That really is not why the nation is behind. It and its people are a little behind because they haven't implemented the right political and economic strategies. Look at Japan, its people suffered through their own government, were bombed the hell out of them and now look where they are. There are examples both ways of people who were as severely treated by others. The question is that how well you deal with it and how well you initiate to do something about it and not let that hold you back, rather than dwelling about it.

I believe that those who achieve, achieve on their own initiative, no matter the obstacles to them and those who don't, don't do so because of their own lack of initiative, not because of someone else. I am not saying that slavery did not have an adverse affect, by I do believe it cannot be blamed for the problems of African Americans, as much to the extent as it is being blamed upon.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Alamss on March 16, 2005, 10:26:24 AM
CheezWiz your right on the points that it is not a same comparison but yet it is a comparison of struggle nonetheless, in different form. The actions of the British and others was based on race and a desire for economic extraction, both in the case of slavery and colonization. In colonizing they considered the persons being colonized as inferior, they enslaved, but they didn't enslave just to enslave, they enslaved so they could easily parasitically extract the economic resources of the countries and control their socio-political infastructure. How else do such a small number of people take over such large persons and places.

In African slavery the european(and American but in much sense they were kind of still European) goal was the same, to extract resources parasitically to use for their own nations. For whatever reason they instead of extracting resources they found it more lucrative to extract the persons as resources of free labor. In this sense yes the Africans do have a little more of a lasting scar because they are still residing under the nation who once enslaved them whereas in cases of other peoples, those nations left the peoples behind.

India's caste system really does not have anything to do with race, India is pretty homogenous racially and people are rather casted on their inherent and ancestral social roles, not race. Yes Jews got help for their own millions killed, and yes reparations were made by Germany but just that cannot be contributed to their present prosperity and success, both in the United States, Israel and most everywhere else in the world. They are some of the most succesful people, generally speaking.

What I am saying is that yes people, various were put down by others and maybe even they deserve special treatment for being done so, but there is a difference between two equally oppressed persons. That difference is not mental capacity. I beleive an African American, Hispanic, Asian, Jew, European White, or any other persons of different races, ethnicities, and religions are born with the same mental capacity to achieve. What you achieve does not have at all much to do with racial affiliation but rather it is CULTURE that seperates the major achievers, achievers, slight achievers, and not so high achievers.

For example I nitpick my own cultural things that I find slanted backwards or that might be detractive to achivement. It is our culture through which we set as our standard that either propel or do not propel us to where we want to be. Actions of others do to a certain point affect our culture but in the end our culture is established by us, not others.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: faith2005 on March 16, 2005, 10:50:32 AM
hmm, i think that the discussion is interesting. t-bone, the point of logic i understand, but the relationship that you drew between gangsta rap etc. and hip-hop culture i definitely don't agree with. i still say that poverty is tied to race. if it weren't the numbers wouldn't be disproportional. and i also think that aa and other programs could be expanded and that would aid the redistribution of wealth in this country.

sleepy guy--i'm down for poor people coming together, i just haven't seen it happen in my neighborhoods. im from the midwest, and even though now the unions are dying, in the recent past (like my father's generation), black folks were just being allowed into the unions, so the history of cooperation would have to begin with my generation in my opinion. and i know that i won't be included in that organizing, once i have a law degree, but i'd like to see it happen.

alamss--i have heard about aa like programs in india and malaysia to aid people who were adversely affected by the caste system. And I disagree when you say that the south asians are homogenous racially. i have seen issues of color first hand in the south asian community, and its based on the ideal of the European standard of beauty. i have south asian friends who are considerably darker than i am, and those who are lighter. this doesn't exactly pertain to aa, but it does relate to the psychological effects of oppression etc. just something i thought about when reading your posts.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Alamss on March 16, 2005, 10:56:11 AM
Skin color does not have anything to do with anthropological racial designation. People of all races compose of light, medium and dark, still India or Pakistan are still overwhelmingly homogenous racially. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 16, 2005, 11:30:30 AM
Alamss said:
"What you achieve does not have at all much to do with racial affiliation but rather it is CULTURE that seperates the major achievers, achievers, slight achievers, and not so high achievers."


Alamss,
I agree with much of what you said in your post.  But let me ask you this.  I believe that historic social factors like slavery, Apartheid, or winning/loseing a war effect a culture.  Do you agree?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Alamss on March 16, 2005, 11:54:39 AM
Yes I believe those event affect culture
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: rohan on March 16, 2005, 12:00:03 PM
.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 16, 2005, 12:09:33 PM
I just want to throw in that while other groups of people have also experienced oppression, genocide and enslavement, if people from that group are not underrepresented in US law schools (based on the population of that group in the US) then law school AA for them is not relevant. Why? Because AA is an inappropriate tool to make up/make reparations for oppression. I don't think it should be considered a solution to that problem. But it can mitigate the effects of that oppression by addressing a proportional imbalance in specific situations, if such an imbalance exists.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ImVinny! on March 16, 2005, 12:45:40 PM
"I beleive an African American, Hispanic, Asian, Jew, European White, or any other persons of different races, ethnicities, and religions are born with the same mental capacity to achieve."


This makes soo much sense, why can't anyone else recognize this?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SillyMia on March 16, 2005, 03:24:09 PM
I wish I could remember the study that went full circle as to why people can't get out of impoverished areas.

It has to do with lack of transportation for the better jobs.  Lack of money going into the school systems.  People are immersed with people just like them and don't know any better.

Now, personally, I've always tried to make the argument FOR these people (my friends, seriously) that they don't know how to get out of it and that it's not that easy.  However, I got out of it despite it not being easy.  I searched around for how to get a higher education and just started taking a full load of classes despite working graveyard shifts 40 hours a week and retail another 20.  I'm not sure I can make that argument anymore as much as I try - BUT, I understand it.

Take it for what it's worth, from somebody who was raised in the hollywood/echo park area and graduated high school not knowing how to do simple fractions and majored in business economics and now has her own business (and regular job - can't get away from the long hours, I suppose). 

Just don't undermine how difficult it is or how all somebody needs is a pencil and paper to learn.

Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SillyMia on March 16, 2005, 03:27:12 PM


Just don't undermine how difficult it is or how all somebody needs is a pencil and paper to learn.



I meant, OR SAY how all somebody needs....
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 16, 2005, 03:41:44 PM
angmill and mia:

Ang, you kinda proved my point for me. Yes, it is difficult if not impossible to move out of the ghetto on $7/hr as a single parent. That's why you don't become a single parent while still living in the ghetto. That's a critical life error, and no doubt is a huge factor in why people struggle to move out of the ghetto. Use birth protection or keep your legs closed until you can afford it.
As for what educators and professionals think you need to succeed...please. Think back on your education. What did you need besides a few books and some pencils and paper and a teacher? It doesn't take much to be educated well enough to go to college besides the desire to learn, and the effort required to study instead of shoot hoops and play video games. Mia is her own example. It's really hard to argue about all of these factors that keep people down when it's pretty obvious that if you have the WILL, you can do it. The reality is that people either put themselves in impossible situations by having kids or doing drugs, and then they don't have the ability to save their money to move up in the world. Most of these things are problems with them, and not society keeping them down through racism. Racism didn't get you pregnant and smoking crack.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: SillyMia on March 16, 2005, 03:58:43 PM
I have to agree and disagree with you Ryan.  I mentioned earlier that parents are not very supportive - especially in high school when you are dependent on them.  My mom would get me to school two hours late and say I was "sick".  She'd pick me up early so I could help her at work and called them "dr.'s appointments".  I transferred high schools four times because my mom moved from place to place (including shared housing) because we couldn't afford it.  Working with her about thirty hours a week while in school b/c I had to didn't give enough time to "go to the library and pick up a pencil".  Moving from school to school and testing into the same level of english or math everytime when it turns out I had the same math course three years (each school had its own name for it).  Counselors never got to know me and never gave me advice as to what college even was.  Yeah, my friends got pregnant.  That wasn't smart because I know for a fact they knew where to get the free birth control.  But perhaps, they were crying for help or attention, though not a justification for their mistake.

I had friends that dropped out.  My best friend still gives me excuses as to why he can't get his ged.  Now THAT is unexusable.  That is when I draw the line and say, "yeah, grab a pencil and paper and get your a#@ to the library".  But, it's not just playing nintendo and hoops in high school.  That's when the student doesn't have many choices.  The key is getting that student to break the cycle. 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ImVinny! on March 16, 2005, 05:57:04 PM
Where there is a will, there is a way.
If someone REALLY wants to get somewhere in life they will try. Someone upper class can end up in the ghetto just as fast for crying out loud.
My mom decided to tell me as a sophomore in high school that she no longer needed to do anything for me, but I still go to tschool on time, in fact I took EXTRA classes. I had to take the city bus, which was terrible but I made it. My mom refused to help me fill out any forms or anything since eighth grade. I am in college now, my MOM didn't want me to go she was vehemently opposed to it in fact. But I AM nonetheless here.
How is that explained, except that I wanted something and worked hard for it. I got where I am and no one should be able to take that away from me, because of my skin color. In fact I am called things I am NOT all the time, things that it is REALLY uncalled for to say at the time it is said.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 16, 2005, 06:54:00 PM
Almass said:
“What you achieve does not have at all much to do with racial affiliation but rather it is CULTURE that seperates the major achievers, achievers, slight achievers, and not so high achievers.”
CheezWiz said:
“I believe that historic social factors like slavery, Apartheid, or winning/loseing a war effect a culture.  Do you agree?”
Almass said:
“Yes I believe those event affect culture”


So, if culture is the mitigating factor in whether or not a person is successful or not.  And social factors have an effect on a culture.  Then isn’t it unfair to say that a person who is born into a culture that does not support achievement is just lazy and unmotivated?  Isn’t it also unfair to blame the characteristics within that culture that bring about that unsupportive environment – like gangsta rap – without addressing the social factors that aided the occurrence of those characteristics?  Can’t we say that those of us who were born into cultures that support achievement have a leg up on those who were not?
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ImVinny! on March 16, 2005, 06:58:46 PM
"Can’t we say that those of us who were born into cultures that support achievement have a leg up on those who were not?"

I don't think so at all really.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 16, 2005, 07:08:39 PM
ryanjm said:
“Personally, I believe it doesn't take much more than a few pencils, a teacher, and a library card to become educated enough to succeed at the average college.”


But isn’t a child given those tools at a disadvantage when compared to the child with a iMac, a team of highly qualified educators, and access to numerous resources (including tutors or SAT/LSAT prep)?  I would posit that you need a lot more than a pencil and a library card to get into and succeed at an elite or good university.  And if you do, that path was a lot harder than the average or advantaged student.  I don’t think that the disadvantaged should be limited to the average.  AA helps equalize that inequality.

AND… to angmill08 and SillyMia… AMEN.  Although ryanjm is right, it is easier to blame the poor for being poor isn't it.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Alamss on March 16, 2005, 08:07:37 PM
We here seem to be addressing aggregates, not individuals. Now talking about persons, whether it is unfair to put the blame on them in particular for a lacking part of their culture (priority and emphasis on education), I am not sure if they are to be blamed but I am not addressing whether they themselves should be blamed. I am instead addressing that blaming externality for matters in which internality is the overriding and deciding factor, is innacurate. Gangsta rap, that might have gained vigor and strength of influence because of injustices, is not really a factor of that culture that in itself de-establishes the importance of education in that culture. Extarnalities(social injustices) seem to effect for the most part such cultural aspects as harsh feelings, expressed through music, other on the surface charectaristics and external consequences, they hardly penetrate internal core charectaristics of cultures that are already there. 

Externalities, if a certain core charecteristic in the culture is there, cannot change that. Meaning that if the importance of education is already there then social injustices will not make those factors of a culture dissipate. There hasn't been relatively as much prioritization on education within the African American, Hispanic, and Native American cultures. That is what we need to change, in conjunction with helping persons from those cultural backgrounds with programs such as AA for the meantime. But those accomodations should in no doubt be the sole means of solution. These programs do not address the core problems, that is, lack of significance on education, they only make a way to go around that problem. We can help to accomodate by these programs but most importantly we need to address the core cultural issues.

If we move from aggregates to talk about individuals then it shouldn't be the assumption that as soon as we say African American and African American culture we are immediately talking about a person in the ghetto who is downtrodden and that that culture is actually relevant in any significant way to that African American person. African Americans as an aggregate are poorer than whites but that does not mean Africans Americans individually are poorer than others. By applying an aggregate classification to individuals a distorted picture is painted. Many African Americans are descendents of slaves and former salves, but many also immigrated thereafter and had no affiliation to slavery, at least not to American slavery.   
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 16, 2005, 09:18:26 PM
Easier to blame the poor for being poor? I just think it's "correct" to blame people's problems on *gasp* themselves. If I flunk out of college, I don't blame my parents' lack of support, or my teacher that yelled at me, or my roommate partying all night. No. I blame myself because no matter what factors influence me, I have control of my own destiny. Me. If I screw up, it's because _I_ screwed up. Blaming environmental factors my problems is the easy way out. It takes the blame off of anything I could have done, and places it with what everyone else did, as though I have no control over myself and my actions.

As for comparing advantages afforded rich kids in private schools:
I went to a great public school. It was ranked in the top 3 in the state. Everything I learned there could have been taught using a few books, a few pencils, a teacher, and a library card. Nothing more. All of the extra things; sports, clubs, computers, etc... were peripheral. If you want to learn how to read and write, read and write. Doesn't take anything fancy. You want to learn math? Get a math book and work with a teacher. Science? Read books at the library. History? Library. Teacher unncessary but could be helpful.
Do rich kids have an advantage at nice schools? Sure. Is it a big one? No. Not for someone motivated to learn. And it sure doesn't prevent them from getting into a good college and attending law school if they really want to, with scores good enough to get in without help.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: CheezWiz on March 16, 2005, 09:29:22 PM
Alamss,

I love what you had to say and agree with most of it.  Let me ask you this.  Do you think that the aggregate has internalized, what you interpret to be, a lack of value place on education by choice or do you think that the external factors have effected the culture in a way that caused that type of thinking?  By this I mean that if Blacks, speaking of the underprivileged section, were exposed to the type of schooling that their privileged non-Black counterparts have (hi quality teachers, funding for technology and supplies, and the like) would that change the attitude towards education?  Also on the reservation and plantation there was not a need for the type of education that makes one competitive for today’s work/school environment.  For a long time Blacks (as close as our parents generation) were no given full access to the job market.  Do you think that these could have anything to do with the views towards education?  Or, do you really see it as a choice that is knowingly made?

ryanjm,
I think that’s really crappy to tell a little kid that because they were born poor that they have to buck up and go to the library to learn it themselves while the privileged kids are taught in the third best school in the State.  I bet your view would change if those computers and teachers were taking away and you were given a calculus book, a pencil, and told to “learn it”.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 16, 2005, 09:44:46 PM
Yes, alamss and cheezwiz, a good question about culture. I'm not sure myself. A lack of value on education is always a choice. In life you're almost always faced with a choice.
It would seem obvious to anyone that education "should" be valued because that's almost the only way to get a decent job and be paid well. Not valuing education is like not valuing your health--it's stupid. Whether your culture dictates you should or should not value education should be irrelevant if you, as an individual, are smart enough to realize what is or isn't valuable in the world as we know it.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Ninja on March 16, 2005, 11:34:13 PM
I've seen several arguments on this board that seem to exaggerate the privilege of not being poor.  Tutors, private schools, prep classes are just some examples.  I always thought my family was fairly well off, so I'm surprised I didn't receive all these bonuses.  I'm wondering how many people out there actually led this life of privilege.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: angmill08 on March 17, 2005, 07:48:16 PM
I know this is pretty far off from AA, but CheezWiz's points got me thinking...  I believe that many parents in my neighborhood pass on the idea to their kids that studying isn't the most important thing, that working hard won't always get you ahead, and that you can't really be anything you want. Basically, that the American dream is a crock. I think that this is something many of them learned from their own parents, and when I look at the limits of education and job options for African Americans 50 years ago, I can understand why they formulated this opinion.

But today, many leaders inside the Black community fight against this idea. I have heard it called "mental slavery." There are 3 organizations in my neighborhood (a teenage mother's house, a community garden and a drug rehab center) that, without denying the legacy of racism, try to push people to take responsibility for their actions and encourage that leap of faith to the idea that a better life is possible. All three limp along on volunteer organization, funded by community donations.

I think punishing children for the mistakes of their parents is morally wrong, and bad public policy. I think instead, we, as a society, should dedicate more resources to studying the effectiveness of various interventions to improve school performance and encourage people out of a cycle of poverty. Then we should dedicate adequate resources to funding programs that implement these interventions sucessfully. I bet that in the long run, this will be less expensive, financially and psychically, than our current system of ghettos, black market crime and prisons.

Telling people, "you made a critical life error which has condemned yourself and your children to poverty, inadequate education, and after that, minimal job options" is bad public policy, to say the least.

 
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: dbgirl on March 17, 2005, 08:47:15 PM
There is a HUGE difference between rich public schools and poor public schools, even in the same geographical regions.
Rich public schools frankly hold people to higher standards, teach harder subjects and foster an environment of success.
For instance in some public schools children are shaped from the time they are little to think about what college they will attend. Achieving high test scores is a strong emphasis in these schools and teachers will be fired if their kids don't measure up.

And Ninja I know many people who have tutors for their children and send their children to private lessons, etc., etc.

Additionally the rich public schools generally have more parent volunteers and better fundraising, which also makes a difference in the quality of education.

I agree that everyone should try to succeed and rise above his or her circumstances. I think people who don't go to college and blame it on their parents or their culture or their community are LAME. However, it is waaaaaaaaaaaaay harder for some people to graduate from college and succeed than it is for others.

I analogy I thought up: If two people are in a race and one is shackled with ankleweights, that person can finish, heck they might even finish ahead of the unweighted person, but it's going to be far more difficult to do so.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: neci on March 18, 2005, 10:46:28 AM
"It would seem obvious to anyone that education "should" be valued because that's almost the only way to get a decent job and be paid well."


When one is educated or aware of a situation...it is unbelievable what it easy.

When you are on the opposite end of the spectrum (not aware, uninformed, or uneducated), it is unbelievable what is hard or difficult.


Sometimes to get a full perspective of things, we need to push ourselves to imagine if we do not know something, how hard it  may be.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: rohan on March 18, 2005, 02:07:58 PM
I've seen several arguments on this board that seem to exaggerate the privilege of not being poor.  Tutors, private schools, prep classes are just some examples.  I always thought my family was fairly well off, so I'm surprised I didn't receive all these bonuses.  I'm wondering how many people out there actually led this life of privilege.

And I've seen several arguments on this board that seem to underestimate the effects of being poor.  It's hard to focus on buying glue and paper machee (sp) for that science project when you are eating cereal for dinner.  Actually it's hard to even be assigned that science project when there is only one book for every three children. Some of you guys have absolutely no idea what inner city life can be like, and I can't blame you for that, but sometimes the harsh judgements that are passed on certain communities ignore the effects of the real-life harsh realities faced by members of those communities.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: shiveringjenny on March 18, 2005, 02:35:51 PM
I've seen several arguments on this board that seem to exaggerate the privilege of not being poor.  Tutors, private schools, prep classes are just some examples.  I always thought my family was fairly well off, so I'm surprised I didn't receive all these bonuses.  I'm wondering how many people out there actually led this life of privilege.

And I've seen several arguments on this board that seem to underestimate the effects of being poor. It's hard to focus on buying glue and paper machee (sp) for that science project when you are eating cereal for dinner. Actually it's hard to even be assigned that science project when there is only one book for every three children. Some of you guys have absolutely no idea what inner city life can be like, and I can't blame you for that, but sometimes the harsh judgements that are passed on certain communities ignore the effects of the real-life harsh realities faced by members of those communities.

while i agree with your assessment, bp (i've been poor and i know what that *&^% is like),i feel that it is kind of tangential to the original point of this thread. there is a false dichotomy being presented in most of these posts about poor URMs vs. rich white guys. it is an indisputable fact that most of the URMs who go on to higher education aren't living in the ghetto (although it would be nice if ghetto/barrio dwellers were shooting for law school or what have you). despite the lack of wealth of URM's vs white people of similar income, most of the URMs i know are relatively well-off. there is a huge black middle class, for example, and URM members of the middle and upper classes have minimal reason for not doing as well as, say, white/asian kids who come from poor households (which they generally don't, as evidenced by test scores/grades).
i daresay that this is much more of a cultural issue than an economic one. i don't know what the solution to this problem is, but i feel that the current incarnation of AA ain't it.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: Alamss on March 18, 2005, 02:47:33 PM
totally agree with the distinction jlf makes, which really seems to be out the door in these argumentations. Everybody seems to be discussing on bipolarity.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: ryanjm on March 18, 2005, 08:20:22 PM
And we've come full circle to: There are problems, it sucks for those with those problems, and we have no good solution, although AA isn't it :)
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: shiveringjenny on March 18, 2005, 08:32:55 PM
And we've come full circle to: There are problems, it sucks for those with those problems, and we have no good solution, although AA isn't it :)

that, i think, sums it up nicely.
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: iwantin on March 29, 2005, 01:46:18 PM
Poverty is MAJOR...and race should be MAJOR.  My parents don't have "old money."  Neither of them went to college.  (And yes, your parents' education has something to do with YOUR education.)  Middle class does not even begin to relate to poverty.  Try going to school without taking a shower because you don't have enough money to pay the bill.  (It sucks!) 

Almost didn't take the LSAT because I couldn't afford it.  (And yes I AM in college; I received scholarships and loans.)  I received fee waivers for the test and ALL of my application fees.  Unlike most people at my university, I don't really have a lot to go home to.  And I don't have much to help me through law school.  (Don't try to make it seem like you'll be getting absolutely NO aid from your parents.)  However, I've proven that if given the opportunity, I can excel.  (That's why it's not all about numbers.)  Is a 4.0 coming from a student with a middle class background the same as a 3.7 coming from a student who has lived in poverty? NO.  (And if you think it is, you're lying to yourself.)
Title: Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
Post by: billyflynn on March 30, 2005, 01:31:08 PM
Although I feel the way AA is currently implemented is illogical and irrational, I do take comfort in knowing it exists. Why?  Because I know that when a black person is working at a company, hits that glass ceiling, or is turned down from a job because is/her name is too "black", or whenever a white person gets an advantage in society simply because of his/her skin color, none of them are going to turn down their advantages/privileges.