First, wow! That is one of the best short answer explanations of Filipinos in America I have ever read. You lay out perfectly why it’s virtually impossible for anyone to mark anything as a sole race. Especially in the case of the Philippine Islands, who were raped and pillaged by the many waves of europeons and others. There is no pure blood for sure.
What I wanted to accomplish here was not to gain an advantage with AA. Anyone who has attended a UC knows that the Asian ethnic group has more than filled our quota. It concerns me though because it seems so hypocritical to welcome diversity, but then to define diversity solely as what can be seen on the skin. If anything the varying skin color of Filipino’s is a testament to our struggle and diversity. I have had so many people just message me and say “just mark white”. I don’t think I am do this, and feel honest about it. My heritage colors so many of aspects of my personal life. From political opinions on slavery, colonialism, globalization, women’s rights, and the suffering of the poor, to Food preferences like midnight cravings for pancit or adobo. Don’t get me wrong, I hate nationalism in all it’s form, I think it’s a pox on human progress, but that is not what heritage is for me. I am proud of my great-grandfather, and grandfather, and I feel like just marking “white” would be dismissing where they came from, and how I was able to be here. Thanks for all the advise guys. I think I will file a “diversity addendum”. Do you think I should specifically state in it, along with the above discussion, that I do not expect to gain any advantage for AA, or should I just explain why I mark Filipino, and leave it at that?
I wouldn't mention that that you are not seeking admission based on AA. The individual schools that you apply to will decide that based on the class that they are putting together. Some schools will ding you for marking Asian, some school look for it to broaden the class. It is in every law student's best interest to have as diverse a class in school as possible, if only to be better able to serve after graduation.
But do explain the discrepancy between your appearance, and why you marked Filipino on your application. If you can, if the application allows it, mark OTHER and then write in Filipino. It would draw attention to your diversity statement. I would even add that because of your background, you will be able to serve in a bridging cultures role that will be ever increasing in a legal world that is more, and more focused on globalization, internationalization, and interdependecy.
Asian-American groups that have historically done well in placing people for law school are basically those of Chinese and Japanese ancestry. Filipinos, Laotians, Hmong, Vietnamese, Thais, Indians, Pakistanis, Koreans, Malays,and Indonesians tend not to have huge representative numbers in law schools. As these cultures have an increasing say in America, and as each generation goes from being "immigrants" to "native born" then you will see the numbers increase.
Remember that the European immigrants have had a different immigration history. When the Italians and Irish (for example) first arrived in the early 20th Cent. they were also discriminated against. But with time they have become part of the fabirc of American society. Granted, their fortuitous skin color has helped them assimilate more quickly, their immigrant stories are now part of American legend. This will also happen with Asian ethnic groups. So long as the established descendents of those earlier immigration waves are able to adjust, adapt, and allow newer immigration to write their own American legends.
Hey Clone, I'm not surprised. I dated a Filipino girl who had freckles, and her mom had natural red hair thanks to her German ancestry. I have relatives whose ancestry is Basque - Filipino and they are also physically European looking. My aunt in Madrid looks completely Iberian. My dad used to be confused for Chinese, or Japanese. My mom looks Latin, and since she speaks Spanish, people assume that she is Mexican. My younger brothers either look Mexican, Spanish, or Samoan. I get confused for Mexican, First Nations, and when I played rugby a Pacific Islander (Tongan or small Samoan...very flattering for a rugby player!