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Author Topic: Russian = URM?  (Read 17917 times)

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #50 on: December 26, 2004, 06:42:41 PM »
Getting a little test, aren't we sweetheart?  Actually, the stats I pulled gave the percentage of advanced degree holders within a specific racial population, NOT the ratio of advanced degree holders to an entire population.    Therefore, 42% doesn't represent the fact that 42% of advanced degree holders are Asian, but rather the fact that 42% of Asians hold advanced degrees.  My stat readings are just fine.  Comprende?

I realize that a great deal more came after this point, but I would like to correct you yet again. I gave you the opportunity to clarify the gist of your stats when I said, "Your numbers don't add up to 100% Where are the rest?" It was actually a polite attempt to allow you to clarify what you meant to serve with the stats presented. Your answer was that you excluded the "other" designation. If this is so, then your stats do, in fact, indicate the percentage of male advanced degree holders as a WHOLE broken into racial designations. If your numbers were simply, as you insist, given as percentages of males in each race that hold advanced degrees, you could have responded as such by stating that the numbers had no reason to add up to 100% (each of those numbers being independent of the others, natch). Since I'm going to assume that you did not actually name the stats you provided, the title is self-explanatory: Percentages of BA or higher Degree Holders by Race (for males)(2002) If you don't understand this, and I still contend that you clearly do not, then at least provide the board with the source of your statistics. I really believe that the issue here is simple reading comprehension. You don't understand what "under-represented" means and confuse it with historically disadvantaged. You don't understand what "Percentages of BA or higher Degree Holders by Race" means and confuse it with percentage of BA or higher degree holders in each race independent of one another.

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2004, 06:52:20 PM »
Mobell, I know you just jumped on, but one of the repeated issues up to this point has to do with the separation of the terms URM and AA. The fixation does not belong to Amelus nor to myself, but falls firmly on Ruskie's shoulders. She is the one unable to differentiate. She is the one who is fixated. I'm asking simply that she (and you, I guess) consider the term "under-represented minority" as it stands, without the taint of AA. What was the original purpose of the term, and if it is the same as AA, then why is it not called AA? My understanding is that they are independent terms and serve different purposes. For the third time: the purpose of URM as it relates to law schools should be to ensure that what is outside of the law school is accurately reflected inside the law school. As such, it is not a tool to be used to make social reparations (regardless of whether or not they are needed or deserved.... separate argument), but rather to ensure that the legal system is able to adequately represent those they serve: the people of the United States.

UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2004, 08:43:49 PM »
UMHB, your post sparked me to actually read the thread.  You seem like a reasonable person, and I think the question is actually interesting and innovative (as opposed to many of the AA "debates" that go on on this board.)

I think the term URM is probably a misnomer if you strictly construe it and don't clearly define "minority."  The term "minority" could theoretically be used for a lot of different groups, including Russian-Americans, Korean-Americans, etc.  It's convenient for semantical purposes, but it's not really descriptive of what goes on/should be going on in the admissions process.  So, maybe Russian is technically underrepresented, but that has nothing to do with whether he gets an admissions advantage based solely on his ethnicity.

The use of AA in the admissions process is designed to select groups that have faced systematic discrimination imparted by the US government and who have not yet overcome that systematic, legalized discrimination. 

Of course, like any other policy, AA is not perfect and there are groups that maybe should benefit that don't, depending on a particular school's policy.  There are also individuals who have faced particular disadvantage who aren't considered "URM" for the purposes of AA, but who gain admission with lower scores in consideration of that disadvantage on an individual basis.  (Yep, not all the people who get in with lower scores are URM, and some of them post on this board.  Of course, no one questions their credentials once it is clear they aren't "URM".)

The fact is, just by having the Scarlet A of "African-American" or "Chicano" is extremely limiting to even privileged members of these groups.  You mentioned that you're of Korean descent - this is so awful, but when people look at Asians they think "smart, good at math" not "criminal, good at sports."  Those stereotypes permeate our society even into the upper echelons of the legal profession (sadly.  All stereotyping is bad. :()

Also, the thing with AA is that it doesn't seek to address WHY certain groups are largely overcoming historical disadvantage and why others haven't.  I have my own ideas on that matter, but the fact is, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Southeast Asian, and African-American people are still underperforming as groups on culturally-biased instruments like the LSAT.  It is in a school's interest, however, to have a critical mass of these groups.  Consequently, they use positive preference policies, and I think these pedagogical interests justify their policies.

The task, then, should be figuring out exactly what is in that "black box" between high-achieving students of all races and some ethnic groups' lower performance on the LSAT.  No one is asking WHY an African-American who goes to a top historically-Caucasian school and gets a 4.0 is unlikely to score as well on the LSAT as their counterpart with a 3.6.  Obviously, the 3.6 is not necessarily smarter, so what gives?  If we expend energy on that question, I think we can get to a point where AA is no longer needed.  Until we reach that point, groups that are defined as "URM" for the purposes of admission will not include those who are performing on par with utterly privileged American Whites (even though some are loathe to admit their privilege.)

Boy, didn't I just ramble on... ::)

First let me say that if your President were to run for office, he'd have my vote. Hubba hubba. And before this sparks a huge controversy over my shallowness, get over it. I'd vote for Kermit the Frog over the Big White Muppet we have right now. OK, that's off my chest........

It's a shame that URM doesn't actually mean URM in it's most obvious definition. My personal opinion is that law schools in particular would be served if they were to make a concerted effort to allow admissions based on the demographics of the population which they serve. Of course, this is completely ideological on my part, and no law school admissions committee is so utopic. In my argument, not only would blacks and Hispanics and Native Americans be equally represented, so would all the various immigrant groups in order to ensure a legal system that functions as a reflection of the society which it attempts to, for lack of a better word, control. The fact that a population which is nearly 40% minority is controlled by a legal system that is nearly 90% white should be frightening. Hell, it is frightening. But I guess what I was trying to say is that simply because you are of the majority color does not mean that you are not disadvantaged by the system, and, ideally, this would be addressed by law schools. Thank you for going back and reading the entire thread. It was never my intention to state that blacks or Hispanics were given an unfair advantage or to discuss the validity of AA. I was just sharing my rosy-colored view of what URM should mean in the application process and how, by widening the definition, society as a whole would be better served.

Edited to add: Stereotypes are a b-i-t-c-h. Yeah, people do think "smart, good at math" when they meet me, but they also think, "Doesn't speak English, brought down the Detroit"... forget the fact that I absolutely suck at math! I guess Asians are lucky to have emerged with any positive stereotypes at all, huh? Another function of WASP control. Back when my maiden name was Kaplan, now.... those were the good times! A chink and a kike, all rolled into one!  ::)

russian_concussion

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2004, 09:09:57 PM »
Oh stereotypes. Being Russian, I hear all sorts of whacky ones. One time I even heard a reverse stereotype. It came from a girl that I used to know who was so blessed physically that she was cursed mentally. She asked me, with all sincerity, whether I have seen any snow before I came to America.
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UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #54 on: December 26, 2004, 09:13:20 PM »
How many sexual stereotypes can you think of off the top of your head when it comes to Asian women? I had one guy tell me that his dad had a lot of hookers in Vietnam, and that Asian women were, well.... horizontal. As in: their parts are horizontal. ??? I had nothing to say........ And I spent a good part of my teen years in the shadow of "Full Metal Jacket". You know... "Me so horny. Me love you long time".  ::)

russian_concussion

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #55 on: December 26, 2004, 09:46:10 PM »
Oh stereotypes. Being Russian, I hear all sorts of whacky ones. One time I even heard a reverse stereotype. It came from a girl that I used to know who was so blessed physically that she was cursed mentally. She asked me, with all sincerity, whether I have seen any snow before I came to America.

What?! LOL. She was an idiot...I hope she was blessed beyond belief physically to help compensate... :D  ;)

My god, you wouldn't believe.

When that happened, I had to hold my breath for about half a minute in order to not burst out in laughter, and then I said: "Uh...yea...Russia is a stereotypically snowy place..."
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UMHBmom

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #56 on: December 26, 2004, 11:02:16 PM »
Ya know, I've seen you use "oy" on more than one occassion, and I have to say.... it has a whole new level of meaning coming from a black girl! LOL! There have been instances in my life where I was afraid that rape was imminent, so I learned to stay out of bars and clubs. I guess I'm surprised that men are the same everywhere... even in Ireland. But then, it is Ireland, and everyone knows that the Irish are drunkards.  ;) Is it just African-American women that are believed to be promiscuous, or is it American women in general? Men can never really appreciate that sexual harrassment, at a certain level, is more than a nuisance- it's a terror tactic.

As far as nuisances go, my personal fave is the (always white!) person, who, with all sincerity, says very slowly and distinctly, "My, but you speak very good English!" Yeah... oy!  :-\

Since we missed the application deadline for Utopia School of Law and Racial Order, I guess that we have to trust that adcomms have a similar view of what the legal world needs. I guess I'm fond of the term "URM" simply because it is not legislated, which, in my mind, makes it inherently more fair. Nothing like a handful of lawyers and judges to completely f*ck up a good and rational idea, right?  ;D

amelus

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2004, 01:11:10 AM »
My comment was dismissive because that is my attitude toward the increasingly excessive AA discussion on this board.  It wasn't a function of this particular thread; it's the environment that has been generated since acceptances started rolling in - every time someone with lower numbers for a school is accepted, the first question is "Are you URM?" and if so, the thread devolves into an AA discussion.  It's tired, lame, and yes I think the people who start those discussions need to get a life.

you made several awful assumptions here and decided because you saw the words AA that this was just another bashing thread.  by your posts afterward on this thread discussing the matter it would seem you've realized you were terribly out of line in placing that "get a life" post in this thread that you now contributed to.

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Call me rude if you must, but honestly my initial comment was a flippant response to an annoying new trend on this board.  What I liked about LSD as opposed to XOXO from the outset was that there were not a ton of perfectly innocent threads winding up in AA-bashing sessions.  It gets old, and I personally think those who perpetrate this kind of behavior are the rude (and short-sighted) ones.  I could get into defending the merits of AA, but I've already done that on a number of threads and I just don't have time to do it on every one - I do have a life.

do you now perhaps see why i felt that was rather rude of you?  it sure seems that you now realize this isnt a bashing AA thread at all.  those discussing it aren't concerned about someone taking their seat (at least i'm not, and i certainly do not categorize myself as a white guy, another assumption on your part i really dont appreciate at all).

you had a general issue, sounds like a valid one, but misplaced your frustration in this thread when it belongs somewhere else.

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Honey child, I am an African-American progressive Democrat who used to work for Democratic campaigns and on Exec Board of College Democrats.  Trust me, I don't need to think Ruskie's cool to support affirmative action. NOW you can note my bias.  :D

"progressive Democrat"   which type of Democrat are you trying to seperate yourself from? ;)
at any rate, as you seem to realize by now, no one here had any objections to affirmitive action

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I am not telling you what you should and should not discuss, but I would argue that what you spend your time discussing says a lot about who you are and what your values are.  "Oppressed" white males who spend significant time constantly criticizing affirmative action because it is discriminatory?  Because those "privileged" Black people aren't really disadvantaged? Umm...yep, that says a whole lot.

again, i am not an "oppressed" white male and never considered myself white at all.  that you would assume that is the case here simply because that has been the case with other posters in other AA threads is rather troublesome.

bottom line:  you completely misunderstood the whole thread.  clearly you have a serious issue with anyone who is white and against affirmitive action.  without even reading this thread carefully you just jumped in to attack it because it looked like someone might be attacking AA.  it is probably a he, probably an angry white he, and someone who feels he lost his seat to some african-american.  these were all assumptions indicated within your posts.

it bothers me to see people ignore the merits of AA simply because they cannot appreciate the fact that not everyone has been given a fair shake in life.  it bothers me just as much to see people assume anyone who might perhaps be debating AA (which as i said before, no one in this thread was doing, except ruskie who cant seem to distinguish between AA in general and the idea of URM in law school) is a bitter angry white male who ought to get a life.

whichever side of an issue you are on, you've got no right to throw around wild assumptions. stick to analyzing the words write within people's posts.

amelus

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2004, 01:33:14 AM »
look the question is whether a russian immigrant is a URM right?

this does seem to be umhbmom's main point.  mine is in a more general sense though.  many groups, different groups of immigrants being a prime example, deserve urm status since they fit within the true purpose of urm, giving different groups that are not properly represented at law schools the neccessary representation.

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you say yes because his ethnicity is underrepresented, ergo he is an underepresented minority
we say no because #1 under your definition every immigrant would be a URM which ( i dont think) is not for what URM status was intended.  
i highly doubt every immigrant would be a urm.  which should be classified is a difficult question.  what group does a person whose mother is african american and biological father is an white, but who was raised by asian foster parents and identifies herself closely with asian culture belong to? (i just thought of the most complicated case that came off the top of my head).  this is obviously a matter for sociologists to address.  just because the idea is extremely complicated doesnt mean we shouldnt try to find answers.  just because many cases of who should and who should not qualify for urm is complicated doesnt mean we shouldnt try to improve the system.  at the moment it is terribly simplified and who qualifies for urm is basically a result of the political, not sociological realities.  that's wrong.

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#2 i bvelieve that URM status was intended for those communities and groups of people that faced HISTORICAL hardship in the US, the effects of which are STILL appearant today.
So the Asian community recovered and the Jewish community recovered but the Black and Hispanic communities have not and are URM.

why should you say it only matters if they face hardships in this country?  if you accept people from another country as citizens, if you are willing to grant them equal rights and equal opportunity in this country, why should this opportunity to attend schools of higher education, be denied because your hardships as a people occurred overseas?  within my understanding this is wholly irrelavent of course.  i am simply asking within your understanding of the purpose of urm.  it seems this is a rather capricious way to determine who gets helped with urm or not

now, you also say it matters if they have recovered or not.  why?  if jews and asians have recovered but african-americans and hispanics have not, why should that matter?  what i mean is the following.  as i have said before. let someone write in their ps or other optional essay, the hardships they, as an individual, have endured.  this is what people are doing all the time and adcomm's value it, as they should.  if a jew today has endured terrible hardships, while an african-american has lived in total luxury and no problems why should the african-american get help just because a lot of other african-americans are still suffering hardships?  why should the person who is jewish lose out just because many other jews are doing fine?  it doesnt make sense to say that we are going to value the fact that other people with your skin color, with your ethnicity, have problems and difficulties today, even though you dont (or vice-versa).

my point is that the reason that african-american should get urm and not the jewish person is because jews are represented plenty within law schools.  african americans are not.  they need representation.  i dont care about personal background when it comes to URM.  i dont care what the reasons are that some group is underrepresented and another group is not (that's important to solving the problem, but my concern as an adcomm ought to be to make sure each group has proper representation in law schools)).  personal background is important, but it is personal.  i dont care what your race or ethnicity is. i want to hear how you as an individual have overcome adversity.  that's an asset in law school and in life.

do you see the distinction and the holes within your line of reasoning?

TrojanChispas

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Re: Russian = URM?
« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2004, 01:53:35 AM »
bottom line: under your definition every immigrant would be considered a URM and be given preference.  i think this is wrong...have you seen the holes on your reasoning?
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