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Author Topic: Russian = URM?  (Read 17061 times)

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2004, 10:42:18 PM »
GMTA. My PS was essentially the same, though I wrote it with the hope that the adcomm would come to that conclusion without me outright screaming it.  :D It had to do with the difficulties my mother had navigating American society after my father died and left her a single mother. She fell prey to a questionable realtor, and nearly lost a good portion of my father's estate to my greedy grandmother. Ah... the good old days. Our society may be "open" to immigrants, but our society also has a nasty proclivity to eat those immigrants for lunch.

TLFKARG

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2004, 11:52:13 PM »
You know, this is is one of those things I've wondered about. This is a country full of immigrants, and all too frequently immigrants form closed communities. I know that there are Russian communities in this country that are disenfranchised from our justice system despite being the "right" color. They don't speak the language, they don't understand the customs, and they are at a distinct disadvantage when they try to maneuver through the legal system. Just because you're white (or Asian! As a Korean-American, I'll insert myself into this discussion) doesn't mean that you are not from a community that is under-represented. It seems to me that there are those of us who have the unique opportunity to serve under-represented communities by virtue of our heritage, and as such, deserve special recognition regardless of our skin color.
No one disputed that or made innuendos to the contrary.  As a Russian immigrant, I am well aware of such communities. We are not, however, focusing on the disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups within a minority group.  There are plenty of poor American whites that are disenfranchised from the remainder of society and that are at a great economic disadvantage, i.e. folks from the Appalachian region.  That status alone, however doesn't warrant special benefits to the same degree as those who are culturally distinct, socio-economicly disadvantaged AND have to overcome racial bias.  I have struggled through poverty both in Russia and in my early years in the US, but I will never contend that I deserve to benefit from AA, because despite all my hardships, I am a WHITE woman and will never have to face the societal ills known to true URM's.

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2004, 12:09:30 AM »
You know, this is is one of those things I've wondered about. This is a country full of immigrants, and all too frequently immigrants form closed communities. I know that there are Russian communities in this country that are disenfranchised from our justice system despite being the "right" color. They don't speak the language, they don't understand the customs, and they are at a distinct disadvantage when they try to maneuver through the legal system. Just because you're white (or Asian! As a Korean-American, I'll insert myself into this discussion) doesn't mean that you are not from a community that is under-represented. It seems to me that there are those of us who have the unique opportunity to serve under-represented communities by virtue of our heritage, and as such, deserve special recognition regardless of our skin color.
No one disputed that or made innuendos to the contrary.  As a Russian immigrant, I am well aware of such communities. We are not, however, focusing on the disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups within a minority group.  There are plenty of poor American whites that are disenfranchised from the remainder of society and that are at a great economic disadvantage, i.e. folks from the Appalachian region.  That status alone, however doesn't warrant special benefits to the same degree as those who are culturally distinct, socio-economicly disadvantaged AND have to overcome racial bias.  I have struggled through poverty both in Russia and in my early years in the US, but I will never contend that I deserve to benefit from AA, because despite all my hardships, I am a WHITE woman and will never have to face the societal ills known to true URM's.

But if this were the true definition of a qualifying URM, then Asians would have to continue to be included. We are culturally distinct. Many (if not most... at least where I come from) of us are still socioeconomically disadvantaged. And trust me, the racial biases are still alive and kicking. My understanding of the purpose of URM designation lies in the name itself: under-represented minority. As in that particular candidate is representative of a minority (defined here as cultural, rather than racial) that is, at this time, under-represented by the legal profession. This is something that clearly needs to be considered by law schools, wouldn't you agree? How would it serve the needs of a ghetto babushka who has been arrested because her grandson dealt drugs out of her home if her attorney does not speak her language nor knows nothing of her customs? Isn't it the responsibility of the legal profession (thus extended to the law schools themselves) to ensure that she has adequate representation? If you are of Russian origin and know the language and the customs, don't you believe that you are in a unique position to ensure that your community has access to legal assistance? Don't you think that this is something to be considered by the law schools to which you apply (and I know you're in school already... this was hypothetical)? And I don't mean just in terms of diversity (what you have to offer the university) but in terms of representation (what you offer the community).

TLFKARG

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2004, 12:23:14 AM »
You know, this is is one of those things I've wondered about. This is a country full of immigrants, and all too frequently immigrants form closed communities. I know that there are Russian communities in this country that are disenfranchised from our justice system despite being the "right" color. They don't speak the language, they don't understand the customs, and they are at a distinct disadvantage when they try to maneuver through the legal system. Just because you're white (or Asian! As a Korean-American, I'll insert myself into this discussion) doesn't mean that you are not from a community that is under-represented. It seems to me that there are those of us who have the unique opportunity to serve under-represented communities by virtue of our heritage, and as such, deserve special recognition regardless of our skin color.
No one disputed that or made innuendos to the contrary.  As a Russian immigrant, I am well aware of such communities. We are not, however, focusing on the disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups within a minority group.  There are plenty of poor American whites that are disenfranchised from the remainder of society and that are at a great economic disadvantage, i.e. folks from the Appalachian region.  That status alone, however doesn't warrant special benefits to the same degree as those who are culturally distinct, socio-economicly disadvantaged AND have to overcome racial bias.  I have struggled through poverty both in Russia and in my early years in the US, but I will never contend that I deserve to benefit from AA, because despite all my hardships, I am a WHITE woman and will never have to face the societal ills known to true URM's.

But if this were the true definition of a qualifying URM, then Asians would have to continue to be included. We are culturally distinct. Many (if not most... at least where I come from) of us are still socioeconomically disadvantaged. And trust me, the racial biases are still alive and kicking. My understanding of the purpose of URM designation lies in the name itself: under-represented minority. As in that particular candidate is representative of a minority (defined here as cultural, rather than racial) that is, at this time, under-represented by the legal profession. This is something that clearly needs to be considered by law schools, wouldn't you agree? How would it serve the needs of a ghetto babushka who has been arrested because her grandson dealt drugs out of her home if her attorney does not speak her language nor knows nothing of her customs? Isn't it the responsibility of the legal profession (thus extended to the law schools themselves) to ensure that she has adequate representation? If you are of Russian origin and know the language and the customs, don't you believe that you are in a unique position to ensure that your community has access to legal assistance? Don't you think that this is something to be considered by the law schools to which you apply (and I know you're in school already... this was hypothetical)? And I don't mean just in terms of diversity (what you have to offer the university) but in terms of representation (what you offer the community).

I don't think you get it.  No matter how poor or culturally distinct, Russians are still WHITE!  What is the percentage of white representation (or Asian, for that matter) in inner city schools?  What percent of the US prison population is white or Asian?  How many Russians or Asians live in the Chicago projects and dodge bullets every day just to walk across the street for an ice cream cone? 

Yeah, I thought so.....

EDIT: you also seem to be confusing raw numbers with the ratio of advanced degree holders within a certain racial or ethnic category.  Sure, there aren't many Russian lawyers out there.  Does that make us under-represented?  I doubt it, unless the ratio of lawyers to other Russians is as low as it is for African Americans or Hispanics.  I guarantee you there's nothing to compare.  As a simple percentage, advanced degree holders are far more prevalent in white and Asian communities than they are in Hispanic, Native American or African American communities.  In fact, the percentage of BA holders in the white community is TWICE what it is in the Black community. 

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2004, 12:37:39 AM »
You know, this is is one of those things I've wondered about. This is a country full of immigrants, and all too frequently immigrants form closed communities. I know that there are Russian communities in this country that are disenfranchised from our justice system despite being the "right" color. They don't speak the language, they don't understand the customs, and they are at a distinct disadvantage when they try to maneuver through the legal system. Just because you're white (or Asian! As a Korean-American, I'll insert myself into this discussion) doesn't mean that you are not from a community that is under-represented. It seems to me that there are those of us who have the unique opportunity to serve under-represented communities by virtue of our heritage, and as such, deserve special recognition regardless of our skin color.
No one disputed that or made innuendos to the contrary.  As a Russian immigrant, I am well aware of such communities. We are not, however, focusing on the disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups within a minority group.  There are plenty of poor American whites that are disenfranchised from the remainder of society and that are at a great economic disadvantage, i.e. folks from the Appalachian region.  That status alone, however doesn't warrant special benefits to the same degree as those who are culturally distinct, socio-economicly disadvantaged AND have to overcome racial bias.  I have struggled through poverty both in Russia and in my early years in the US, but I will never contend that I deserve to benefit from AA, because despite all my hardships, I am a WHITE woman and will never have to face the societal ills known to true URM's.

But if this were the true definition of a qualifying URM, then Asians would have to continue to be included. We are culturally distinct. Many (if not most... at least where I come from) of us are still socioeconomically disadvantaged. And trust me, the racial biases are still alive and kicking. My understanding of the purpose of URM designation lies in the name itself: under-represented minority. As in that particular candidate is representative of a minority (defined here as cultural, rather than racial) that is, at this time, under-represented by the legal profession. This is something that clearly needs to be considered by law schools, wouldn't you agree? How would it serve the needs of a ghetto babushka who has been arrested because her grandson dealt drugs out of her home if her attorney does not speak her language nor knows nothing of her customs? Isn't it the responsibility of the legal profession (thus extended to the law schools themselves) to ensure that she has adequate representation? If you are of Russian origin and know the language and the customs, don't you believe that you are in a unique position to ensure that your community has access to legal assistance? Don't you think that this is something to be considered by the law schools to which you apply (and I know you're in school already... this was hypothetical)? And I don't mean just in terms of diversity (what you have to offer the university) but in terms of representation (what you offer the community).

I don't think you get it.  No matter how poor or culturally distinct, Russians are still WHITE!  What is the percentage of white representation (or Asian, for that matter) in inner city schools?  What percent of the US prison population is white or Asian?  How many Russians or Asians live in the Chicago projects and dodge bullets every day just to walk across the street for an ice cream cone? 

Yeah, I thought so.....

So the purpose of awarding URM status is to pat Hispanics and African Americans on the back for surviving? I'm not being shallow... this is what your argument amounted to. And I go back to the term itself: Under Represented Minority. I will whole-heartedly agree that Hispanics and African Americans are woefully under-represented (the ratio of representative lawyers with respect to the general population is terrible), but this is a fact with many other groups, too, some of which happen to be Asian, some of which happen to be white. If the sole purpose is to promote more African American and Hispanic lawyers because they are the "right" color, and if this is done to the detriment of other cultural groups because they are the "wrong" color, then this is the very definition of reverse discrimination. Frankly- and I realize that I'm going to sound inflammatory at this point but see no politically correct way to say this- I don't believe that universities are in the business of making social reparations. The purpose is to ensure that what is IN the schools accurately reflects what is OUTSIDE of the schools. As such, immigrant representatives need special consideration regardless of skin color.

BTW, Ruskie, relax. This is all hypothetical, not personal.

amelus

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2004, 12:49:23 AM »
"The purpose is to ensure that what is IN the schools accurately reflects what is OUTSIDE of the schools. As such, immigrant representatives need special consideration regardless of skin color."

agree, this is precisely the point.

TLFKARG

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2004, 12:52:12 AM »
Percentages of BA or higher Degree Holders by Race (for males)(2002)

Hispanic males: 8.6%
Asian Males: 42.3%
White Males: 27.4
Black Males: 13.1%

Given those numbers, do you continue to think that Asians and Whites deserve the benefits of AA?

TLFKARG

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2004, 12:53:49 AM »
"The purpose is to ensure that what is IN the schools accurately reflects what is OUTSIDE of the schools. As such, immigrant representatives need special consideration regardless of skin color."

agree, this is precisely the point.

Unless they are already adequately represented.  I think that the representation of white immigrants in the legal profession is a far more accurate reflection of the general population than the representation of Blacks and Hispanics.

amelus

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2004, 01:15:28 AM »
Percentages of BA or higher Degree Holders by Race (for males)(2002)

Hispanic males: 8.6%
Asian Males: 42.3%
White Males: 27.4
Black Males: 13.1%

Given those numbers, do you continue to think that Asians and Whites deserve the benefits of AA?

i'm not sure why you selected just males, but according to those stats whites are terribly underrepresented.  also, you're citing BA's and above, we're talking specifically JD's.  i'm not saying your sample might not be relevant, i'm saying i have no way of knowing.  you'd be better off citing statistics that are 100% on point.

anyway UMHBmom 's point was (and she'll correct me if i'm wrong, and then it will be my point) is that those categories of dividing people up are political categories.  if you dont want to call them political, use a different term, but they are not at all the best way to divide up population.  immigrants, for example, cannot be said to have adequate representation simply because whites might be adequately represented and the immigrants in discussion have a white complexion.

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2004, 01:19:36 AM »
[

EDIT: you also seem to be confusing raw numbers with the ratio of advanced degree holders within a certain racial or ethnic category.  Sure, there aren't many Russian lawyers out there.  Does that make us under-represented?  I doubt it, unless the ratio of lawyers to other Russians is as low as it is for African Americans or Hispanics.  I guarantee you there's nothing to compare.  As a simple percentage, advanced degree holders are far more prevalent in white and Asian communities than they are in Hispanic, Native American or African American communities.  In fact, the percentage of BA holders in the white community is TWICE what it is in the Black community. 

What does it serve a Pakistani immigrant if there are proportionally more Pakistani with advanced degrees if 98% of them are doctors and engineers and he's sitting in jail? I'm talking SPECIFICALLY about the legal community. Lawyers are defenders of the people and definers of the culture, and as such special emphasis should be placed on equal representation. I'm not confused in the way that you think I am. I will admit to being confused by your argument. On the one hand, you say that URM status should be awarded only to those who meet three criteria: they must be culturally distinct, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and fighting racial bias. When I point out to you that Asians fit this criteria, you say that there is an added element: a clearly-defined URM is one who dodges bullets while crossing the street in inner-city Chicago. So then I'll add that the Pakistani now must contend with the current wave of xenophobia washing across the nation. His mosque is bombed and he homeschools his kids because they get beat up at school. Yet he STILL does not qualify because he fails your litmus test: he is not black or hispanic. My point was never to take anything away from black and Hispanic applicants, but to suggest that lack of sufficient representation afflicts people who belong to minority cultures within majority races, and the needs of these people are not being addressed.

Percentages of BA or higher Degree Holders by Race (for males)(2002)

Hispanic males: 8.6%
Asian Males: 42.3%
White Males: 27.4
Black Males: 13.1%

Given those numbers, do you continue to think that Asians and Whites deserve the benefits of AA?

Well......... it looks as if whites do. Seriously, what are you trying to prove? If the purpose of AA is to ensure that advanced degree holders are proportionate by race to society as a whole, then (info from 2000 Census, races represented as whole or in part, thus totals more than 100):

77.1% of Whites should hold advanced degrees

12.9% of Blacks should hold advanced degrees

12.5% of Hispanics should hold advanced degrees

1.5% of Native Americans should hold advanced degrees

4.2% of Asians should hold advanced degrees

0.3% of Native Hawaiians should hold advanced degrees

6.6% of the ubiquitous "other" should hold advanced degrees

Statistics. BTW, your numbers don't come to 100%. Who's missing?