« on: May 29, 2008, 08:49:30 PM »
I've tried viewing affirmative action from both sides of the aisle but it's hard to come to a consensus, especially when race does play a significant role in our lives. On the one hand, AA is helpful to minorities in that it levels the playing field and gives opportunity where none existed. On the other hand, it undermines the merit system by which students work so hard to gain entry into good schools.
I can't help but think of the Presidential race and the noticeable labeling of Barack Obama as a "black man" when he is clearly of bi-racial ancestry. Has he or anyone of bi-racial descent benefited from AA? The reason I bring this up is that i'm bi-racial (half caucasian, half japanese) and I frequently wonder if AA could help me academically if I needed it? I'd hate to think I would need to resort to AA to gain entry into any school but I've found that my identity has at times hindered my ability to achieve the things I want to achieve. When people look at me there's slight confusion as to what I am -- am I white? am I Asian? no, i'm both but I don't fit the stereotypical mold of what a bi-racial asian/caucasian individual is supposed to look like. my eyes are almond shaped, I have curly hair and I don't look remotely Japanese. So I guess my answer to anyone who questions my bi-racial identity would be that unless you've had to fill out the "other" box on a job application or have had racial epithets hurled at you then you have no right to claim what my ethnicity is.
Enough of my little diatribe...back to the point of my post. Do you think bi-racial individuals should benefit from AA or are we to be treated as non-minorities? When filling out an application of any kind is it wrong to claim you're something other than caucasian....or black.....or asian if your other half is a stark contrast? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.