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Author Topic: Am I an underrepresented minority?  (Read 9144 times)

pikey

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2006, 06:50:49 PM »
No (s)he should not check it.  African American refers to people who are racially African (ie Black).  You are not African American if you are a white person who grew up in South Africa.  You are not African American if you are an Indian person who grew up in Kenya.  In order to check that box, you must be Black.

As for leg ups for Arabs, the OP's post stated that (s)he looked white.  Obviously the OP isn't getting crap for being Arab if people think that (s)he is Western European.  Nice try.

so, can you check it if your black and grew up in the suburbs of london?



Yes.  Just like you can check Asian if you grew up in Canada or Pacific Islander if you grew up in Japan.  It relates more to your racial/ethnic background than your national background.  Notice that African American is the only one that includes American, because that's what people who are racially 'African'/Black are called in America.
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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2006, 06:55:52 PM »
No (s)he should not check it.  African American refers to people who are racially African (ie Black).  You are not African American if you are a white person who grew up in South Africa.  You are not African American if you are an Indian person who grew up in Kenya.  In order to check that box, you must be Black.

As for leg ups for Arabs, the OP's post stated that (s)he looked white.  Obviously the OP isn't getting crap for being Arab if people think that (s)he is Western European.  Nice try.

so, can you check it if your black and grew up in the suburbs of london?



Yes.  Just like you can check Asian if you grew up in Canada or Pacific Islander if you grew up in Japan.  It relates more to your racial/ethnic background than your national background.  Notice that African American is the only one that includes American, because that's what people who are racially 'African'/Black are called in America.

so, essentially, a black person in the US that has never stepped a foot outside of this country has more right to call them selves African American than a white dutch kid from South Africa that just moved here?

seems like our definitions need to be re-worked.
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pikey

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2006, 07:30:31 PM »
No (s)he should not check it.  African American refers to people who are racially African (ie Black).  You are not African American if you are a white person who grew up in South Africa.  You are not African American if you are an Indian person who grew up in Kenya.  In order to check that box, you must be Black.

As for leg ups for Arabs, the OP's post stated that (s)he looked white.  Obviously the OP isn't getting crap for being Arab if people think that (s)he is Western European.  Nice try.

so, can you check it if your black and grew up in the suburbs of london?



Yes.  Just like you can check Asian if you grew up in Canada or Pacific Islander if you grew up in Japan.  It relates more to your racial/ethnic background than your national background.  Notice that African American is the only one that includes American, because that's what people who are racially 'African'/Black are called in America.

so, essentially, a black person in the US that has never stepped a foot outside of this country has more right to call them selves African American than a white dutch kid from South Africa that just moved here?

seems like our definitions need to be re-worked.

Nobody is saying that they can't call themselves African American.  However, racially they are not African American as it is understood in this country, and therefore cannot check it on an application that asks for your racial background.  A white person who grew up in Singapore certainly wouldn't be checking Asian.  Whether they call it African American, Black, or colored, we all should know what the schools are referring to when they list it on an application.  Anything else is just being deliberately obtuse.
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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2006, 08:13:00 PM »
What is the definition of "understood"? Understood by whom? There is no office that makes their decision and this thread proves that there is certainly no consensus on the subject. Unless the application specifically states African-American as being black, then I think it should be open to anyone who traces their roots to Africa, be it a Morrocan Arab, South African Afrikaaner, or Kenyan Indian.

As lawyers, we'll be forced to look for loopholes, and as far as I'm concerned, this a tremendous one. Categorizing by race is idiotic. In addition to the examples I mentioned above, there are plenty more groups that cannot be categorized in this country. Millions of Americans are of partial Native American blood- blacks and whites. How about Hispanics- some are white, some black, even Asian- some a mix. What should they check?

theprocrastinator

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2006, 08:38:40 PM »
What is the definition of "understood"? Understood by whom? There is no office that makes their decision and this thread proves that there is certainly no consensus on the subject. Unless the application specifically states African-American as being black, then I think it should be open to anyone who traces their roots to Africa, be it a Morrocan Arab, South African Afrikaaner, or Kenyan Indian.

As lawyers, we'll be forced to look for loopholes, and as far as I'm concerned, this a tremendous one. Categorizing by race is idiotic. In addition to the examples I mentioned above, there are plenty more groups that cannot be categorized in this country. Millions of Americans are of partial Native American blood- blacks and whites. How about Hispanics- some are white, some black, even Asian- some a mix. What should they check?

While I think you make a good point and I would recommend your advice in a lot of situations, I doubt character and fitness will like it very much. One of the first things the committee does is compare your law school app with you bar app to look for any inconsistencies. Unless the OP can convince the committee that (s)he was unaware of the fact that checking that box gave them an adavantage and of the fact that (s)he did not fall within the group that was meant to receive the advantage, then the committee will know that the OP intentionally manipulated the system, which will not go over well. While OP's decision to check the box may be legally okay because of the flawed nature of the language used in these situations, it certainly reflects dishonesty and manipulative intentions, two of the biggest red flags for character and fitness.

I do, however, think that OP can check the box and feel okay for character and fitness if (s)he attaches a detailed addendum explaining everything that has been explained to us, as suggested earlier.

pikey

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2006, 09:37:14 AM »
What is the definition of "understood"? Understood by whom? There is no office that makes their decision and this thread proves that there is certainly no consensus on the subject. Unless the application specifically states African-American as being black, then I think it should be open to anyone who traces their roots to Africa, be it a Morrocan Arab, South African Afrikaaner, or Kenyan Indian.

As lawyers, we'll be forced to look for loopholes, and as far as I'm concerned, this a tremendous one. Categorizing by race is idiotic. In addition to the examples I mentioned above, there are plenty more groups that cannot be categorized in this country. Millions of Americans are of partial Native American blood- blacks and whites. How about Hispanics- some are white, some black, even Asian- some a mix. What should they check?

The issue isn't whether or not you approve of categorizing by race.  Schools do it, and until they change that you have to follow their rules.  If you disapprove, then you should decline to state your race, not lie about it.

Hispanic is the one exception, as it goes by ethnicity/national origin as opposed to race.  I don't make the rules, but at this point in life, if you are intelligent enough to apply to law school, then you should be intelligent enough to figure out the spirit of the categories, even if you think you can play around with the specific wording.

For those who are really obtuse, Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Emory, GWU, Harvard, Michigan, UNC, Northwestern, Penn, Stanford, Wake Forest, and William and Mary all list the description as Black/African American.  There's a reason why Black is first.  It would be patently false to choose that description if you are not Black, especially if people think that you look Western European.  To clarify it completely, the category for UVA just states Black.  You'd obviously run into problems if you checked African American on one of the former applications and White on UVA's application, because you could not check the Black category.
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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2006, 03:11:30 PM »
as much as i abhor taking part in any kind of AA discussion...
i will assume everyone has had 8th grade biology..in it you learn that biologically there are only three races caucasoid, negroid, and mongoloid, thats it... you are either one or the other or a combination of one two or all three....so an african american would be an american citizen of african descent and the race would be negro ....so yes a white person born in s. africa who emigrated to the u.s (i.e. teresa heinz kerry) would be an african-american but not negro or since it is 2006 non-black...and so could not check, as someone has mentioned, the black (not of hispanic descent) box ......african american is not a race it is a cultural and nationalistic distinction...(which by the way is why the box says black not hispanic becasue hispanic is generally a cultural distinction...as there are both hispanic caucasians and hispanic negros (ex. antonia banderas/celia cruz)....no one questions the race of an italian american (caucasian)...which gets us into the whole carribean west indian distinction which is also nationalistic/cultural anybody whos ever been to puerto rico or NYC can attest (see banderas/cruz example)...racism is stupid.....rant over
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pikey

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2006, 03:31:59 PM »
as much as i abhor taking part in any kind of AA discussion...
i will assume everyone has had 8th grade biology..in it you learn that biologically there are only three races caucasoid, negroid, and mongoloid, thats it... you are either one or the other or a combination of one two or all three....so an african american would be an american citizen of african descent and the race would be negro ....so yes a white person born in s. africa who emigrated to the u.s (i.e. teresa heinz kerry) would be an african-american but not negro or since it is 2006 non-black...and so could not check, as someone has mentioned, the black (not of hispanic descent) box ......african american is not a race it is a cultural and nationalistic distinction...(which by the way is why the box says black not hispanic becasue hispanic is generally a cultural distinction...as there are both hispanic caucasians and hispanic negros (ex. antonia banderas/celia cruz)....no one questions the race of an italian american (caucasian)...which gets us into the whole carribean west indian distinction which is also nationalistic/cultural anybody whos ever been to puerto rico or NYC can attest (see banderas/cruz example)...racism is stupid.....rant over

There's a difference between race, ethnicity and nationality.  Hispanic is the only identifying category that considers some form of ethnicity/nationality.  For every other category, it is your racial background that matters.  For the purpose of identifying yourself on a law school application, African American = Black. I don't see why this is so difficult for some people.

I don't see how Caribbean fits into this discussion.  I don't think anyone is claiming that there is a Caribbean or West Indian race.  I know Caribbean people who are Black, White, Chinese, Indian, etc and all of them are just as West Indian as I am.  The only time I've even seen West Indian as an option was on HBCU applications.
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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2006, 04:11:14 PM »
Hey Everyboy, im no longer "white"

Im a Euro-Asian-African-Native American!
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jarhead

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2006, 05:06:54 PM »
as much as i abhor taking part in any kind of AA discussion...
i will assume everyone has had 8th grade biology..in it you learn that biologically there are only three races caucasoid, negroid, and mongoloid, thats it... you are either one or the other or a combination of one two or all three....so an african american would be an american citizen of african descent and the race would be negro ....so yes a white person born in s. africa who emigrated to the u.s (i.e. teresa heinz kerry) would be an african-american but not negro or since it is 2006 non-black...and so could not check, as someone has mentioned, the black (not of hispanic descent) box ......african american is not a race it is a cultural and nationalistic distinction...(which by the way is why the box says black not hispanic becasue hispanic is generally a cultural distinction...as there are both hispanic caucasians and hispanic negros (ex. antonia banderas/celia cruz)....no one questions the race of an italian american (caucasian)...which gets us into the whole carribean west indian distinction which is also nationalistic/cultural anybody whos ever been to puerto rico or NYC can attest (see banderas/cruz example)...racism is stupid.....rant over

There's a difference between race, ethnicity and nationality.  Hispanic is the only identifying category that considers some form of ethnicity/nationality.  For every other category, it is your racial background that matters.  For the purpose of identifying yourself on a law school application, African American = Black. I don't see why this is so difficult for some people.

I don't see how Caribbean fits into this discussion.  I don't think anyone is claiming that there is a Caribbean or West Indian race.  I know Caribbean people who are Black, White, Chinese, Indian, etc and all of them are just as West Indian as I am.  The only time I've even seen West Indian as an option was on HBCU applications.


it fits into the discussion because too many white people think AA is about nationality...which is the point i was trying to make but probably rambled too much for it to be clear......my whole point was that black is a race...i was trying to point how how ridiculous the whole my aunt if from portugual or whatever arguments made my anti-AA white folks...so i should qualify for AA...i was attempting to agree with you
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