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Author Topic: Comments and questions for Elchoson  (Read 1416 times)

gohan00001

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Comments and questions for Elchoson
« on: April 27, 2004, 12:25:23 AM »
Dear Elchoson:

I just finished reading all the messages concernign the post entitled "I give up." Two of your comments really called my attention. The first one was your complaint about AA not being really considered an URM and the response someone gave that they are actually overepresented on campuses in ralation to their population. The other comment was on your decision not to attend law school this year.

On Asian Americans and Affirmative Action: True, one may argue tht they may be overrepresented on campuses across the nation. However, contrary to Hispanic minorities, Asian Americans should never have been categorized as one group. Let's face it, a Chinese is culturaly and even physically different in comparison to a Japanese and a Thai. I believe the same can be applied to second, and perhaps even third-generation immigrants of Asian origin in this nation. While it is true that Korean, Japanese and Chinese Americans may be attending universities in high numbers, I really have met very few college studens of Southeast Asian origin and heritage. Thus Thechoson, if not generalizing and assuming that all Asians are culturally alike, and if you are not a member of the only three groups that may be justly represented, you still have the right to complain about the lack of AA access for Asian Americans.
 But moving even further in the discussion, the ratio of Asian American students in law school is certainly much lower as compared to undergraduate school and other graduate programs (I don't have access to any figures though, but that is the impression I have after visiting some schools and working at different law firms, where every single attorney I interacted with was White). Therefore, you have all the right to complain about this injustice.
 Another point you made was on your decision not to attend law school this year. I certainly hope you have reconsidered your point and decided to attend law school this fall. Unless you are sure you can dramatically improve your resume or your LSAT scores, you are just running the risk of being rejected once again, and with the expected higher competition to get accepted in law school for the 2005-2006 academic year, you could very well be runing the risk of being rejected by the same schools which accepted you this year.
 Look, just do your best and you will see how well you will do in the profesion. Of course, the best your first year grades are, the better the chances for you to transfer to a higher ranked school the following year. Anyway, I really wish you good luck with your future. 


gohan00001

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2004, 12:28:13 AM »
Ohhhh!! Just to clarify, the point I made in ralation to Aa being underrepresented was related to a response your comment received from someone else.

thechoson

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2004, 01:12:30 AM »
Hmm.. well regarding Asians, yes I am one of the "big 3" which are overrepresented.  I am Korean.  I just pointed out the case of Asians to point out the hypocrisy inherent in Affirmative Action.

Let's compare Asians to Mexicans.  Why is it that we usually get the shaft when it comes to AA, and Mexicans get AA?  Why are Mexicans underrepresented?  Well it's a combination of things, but I think it gets down to two major ones.  On average, the East Asians (the overrepresented Big 3) are richer.  MUCH richer.  Another thing is cultural.  Asians put a greater emphasis on education, cutting across economic lines.  This comes from the Confucian tradition which emphasized learning along with other factors.  Some of these observations come from statistics.  I think the average income of East Asians is 50k ish, to about 25k for Mexicans.  Also, I have Mexican friends.  Rich ones and not so wealthy ones.  All of them don't emphasize education and grades in the household as maniacally as most Asian families do. This is what I have observed. 

So.  We got the cultural differences.  Why?  I don't know.  But it does exist, and it is a factor in Asians overall performing better in school and on test scores than Mexicans, even one of similar economic levels.

Economic differences?  Why?  Well Mexican and East Asian immigration has picked up like wildfire post WWII.  Korean, Japanese, and Chinese immigrants are just richer when they come over here, with some exceptions.  Couple of reasons for this.  East Asians have to be decently wealthy to AFFORD to get over here.  Of course, the exceptions are the Chinese smuggled in, but this is a recent phenomenon.  Mexicans for decades can just jump the fence and get in here.  So if you are poor, you have incentive, and you have means to get over here.  This was even more so before Operation Gatekeeper along the border.  Thus more poor Mexicans are able to get over here to escape poverty than Asians.  Also, in the 60s onwards, while Mexico still suffered economically, Korea and Japan took off.  Thus not as many people have the desire to escape their country for economic reason.  Some bring money over here and start businesses.  Some already have some other form of capital, like engineering skills.  What I am trying to say is compared to the majority of Mexicans, the majority of Asians come over here with more capital, whether its accumulated through education or just pure cash to start businesses.  We live in a capitalist society.  Capital breeds capital.  It's easy to make money if you have money.  Thus Asians are pretty well off.  Couple that with the cultural work ethic and fervor for education passed on to the next generations, and you see why East Asians are in a better economic condition than Mexicans.

What I am trying to say is this.  Do Asians face less discrimination than Mexicans? No.  Asians are just mostly in a better economic situation, so have access to better schools, etc.  This is not a RACIAL thing, it's an ECONOMIC thing. 

AA should target economic distinctions, not racial ones.  It should help those who are economically struggling, not just blindly based on race in the name of increasing diversity.

I kept making this argument, and I will make it again.  If Carlton Banks, an African American who grew up in Bel Air applied to U of Michigan law school with a 3.5 and 160 from UCLA, and Joe Smith, a white guy who grew up dirt poor and had to work 40 hours since high school to make his way through college, got a 3.5 and 160 from UCLA, Carlton Banks would have gotten the edgebased on the AA system they had set up there.

Now you tell me, how is this fair?

gohan00001

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2004, 02:44:16 AM »
Argh!!! I had written this really great answer for your posting, but I just erased everything by accident!!!!! ??? Anyway, Elchoson, I do agree that Asian Americans deserve the same opportunity given to other minorities in this nation, but stating that they are much better off in comparisson to other minorities is an over simplification of the situation. There is quite a large number of Koreans in this nation who are here illegally and working very hard to make up for that fact (just as many Mexicans do). An average income of $50,000 is really nothing for a family of 3 or 4 people. Even worse, the fact that $50,000 is the average doesn't mean that the majority of Asian Americans families in this nation make that amount. On the contrary, for every successfully Asian American who followed the 'Confucial ideal of studying" mentioned in your post, there is always the Asian American individual who ends up dropping out of college of graduating with a mediocre GPA.
   To give an example, you appear to be a member of a middle class family. Well, if you live in Philadelphia or San Francisco, you will meet many Korean Americans who simply are not able to afford an education. Hell, I have met many Koreans who are in this nation in search of a better financial future.
   The truth (once again) is that Asian Americans are not the privileged minority so many people have the image of. On the contrary, they still suffer the same hardships as the members of any other minorities.
   I still think that Japan is the only real prosperous nation in Asia (by that I mean a developed nation). South Korea is getting there, but as the Asian crisis of the 90s and the recent report on families with high level of cedit debt demonstrate, this prosperity may not be permanent. The same goes ot nations such as China, Thailand  and Taiwan, all nations with high GDP growth. Until we can see what the future holds for these nations, they are no different than Brazil and Mexico, both nations that were considered economic miracles in the 70s. Thus, we can still have a high level of illegal immigration wave from Asia, although of course not as high as the case of Mexico.

thechoson

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2004, 03:31:49 AM »
If you are comparing Korea to Mexico in terms of economic wealth, you are crazy.  I was doing a comparison. Yes not ALL Koreans make 50k.  Neither do all Mexicans make 25k.  But on average, Koreans as well as most East Asians are more prosperous than Mexicans. This is a fact.  You mentioned East Asians (the big 3) so that's what I was using in my argument.  Yes, there are other so called Asians that are from developing countries even poorer than Mexicans.  Hence there is the problem.  Our AA system selects based on race instead of economic level, which is surely the indicator of how privileged or unprivileged a person is.  I also think having a class of 2 rich Asians, 2 rich Mexicans, 2 rich blacks, and 4 rich caucasians does nothing for diversity.  I think having 10 white people of varying economic backgrounds would do more for this alleged diversity colleges want.  But by using race as the singular and determining factor for AA, as many schools do, yes, Asians can get marginalized.  So can whites.  Heck so can any race, because if you have one Mexican with better numbers who got that because he or she could afford a SAT prep course and another Mexican who grew up dirt poor and could not take that prep course and thus could not get those numbers, a school might pick the rich Mexican and slight the poor one if they have met their AA "quota".  Thus AA marginalizes everyone, regardless of race, and is a very poor system the way it is set up right now.

Revenant

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2004, 03:32:11 AM »
Ohhhh!! Just to clarify, the point I made in ralation to Aa being underrepresented was related to a response your comment received from someone else.

Yeah, sorry, I was wrong when I lumped all the different Asian groups together. :)

In fact, as I learned not too long ago, certain Asian American groups are considered as URMs -- just not the big ones like Chinese American or Korean American.  I'm not sure what other AA groups aren't considered URMs.

AO33

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2004, 05:06:40 AM »
Oh God, why do I get the feeling that this thread is going to become another 7 page flame about the pros and cons of AA. Well, while we're all at it I might as well throw in my thoughts, whatever that's worth.

I think everyone's generalizing too much. Everyone can look around a a huge range of economic, social, cultural difference between any race. If we are going to give favoring status to any particular group it should be based on socioeconomic factors. I am 5th generation Chinese-American and I was lucky to have parent's who are very well off. I've never wanted for anything, went to the best private schools, got into Yale for UG, etc. If I didn't get any acceptances for law school I could just spend the rest of my life on a beach doing nothing. I'm an only child so no matter how bad I screw up or do nothing with my life I know my parents will make sure I live in way I've been accustomed to. I am NOT trying to brag, so please no flames.

My point is that I am glad I don't receive any extra consideration because I'm not considered a URM.  I want to study the law because that is my passion, but it's not going to hurt me in the least if I don't go. If an admissions office had told me they gave my spot to someone who was slightly less qualified but came from a very low socioeconomic class, I wouldn't lose sleep over it because I've felt at various times in my life I've been given too much. I've never worked a day in my life and I felt a bit guilty listening to other UG talking about trying to make tuition payments by working extra shifts. For 4 years I walked in a drugged, inebriated, semiconscious state. When I wasn't impaired in some way I was getting laid. My philosophy degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on cause I can't tell you a thing about philosophy. I don't mind giving up my spot in law school if admission determines a more deserving student deserves it.

It seems to be everybody talks about working towards a better society but when its time to make sacrifices everyone backs down. Sometimes making our society better involves making a bit of hardships.

L1

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2004, 07:58:05 AM »
Many Asian families have an extremely high rate of savings. I know that the US has been trying to get the Japanese to spend more (thus buy Am goods). So its no surprise that many Asians make it over here w/ a savings of $30,000 or so. I also agree that b/c of the proximity, Mexicans are able to come here w/ very little money. Maybe only $5,000 to pay off a coyote.

It is a well known fact that the poorest ppl in distant countries do not come here. It is usually the middle-class of that country that does b/c they have the resources to make it here.

I am an Argentine native, which makes me Hispanic even though I look white. I must agree w/ Choson on several of the points he has made. Culturally, Asians and Jews put a greater emphaisis on education. I read an article in the Economist that the 1st generation of Mexican immigrants is more educated than the 3rd generation. This means that while the 1st may have finished high school, the 3rd only makes it to the 9th grade. Around the world the trend has been that the 3rd generation is much more educated than the 1st.

thechoson

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Re: Comments and questions for Elchoson
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2004, 12:27:14 PM »
Argh!!! I had written this really great answer for your posting, but I just erased everything by accident!!!!! ??? Anyway, Elchoson, I do agree that Asian Americans deserve the same opportunity given to other minorities in this nation, but stating that they are much better off in comparisson to other minorities is an over simplification of the situation. There is quite a large number of Koreans in this nation who are here illegally and working very hard to make up for that fact (just as many Mexicans do). An average income of $50,000 is really nothing for a family of 3 or 4 people. Even worse, the fact that $50,000 is the average doesn't mean that the majority of Asian Americans families in this nation make that amount. On the contrary, for every successfully Asian American who followed the 'Confucial ideal of studying" mentioned in your post, there is always the Asian American individual who ends up dropping out of college of graduating with a mediocre GPA.
   To give an example, you appear to be a member of a middle class family. Well, if you live in Philadelphia or San Francisco, you will meet many Korean Americans who simply are not able to afford an education. Hell, I have met many Koreans who are in this nation in search of a better financial future.
   The truth (once again) is that Asian Americans are not the privileged minority so many people have the image of. On the contrary, they still suffer the same hardships as the members of any other minorities.
   I still think that Japan is the only real prosperous nation in Asia (by that I mean a developed nation). South Korea is getting there, but as the Asian crisis of the 90s and the recent report on families with high level of cedit debt demonstrate, this prosperity may not be permanent. The same goes ot nations such as China, Thailand  and Taiwan, all nations with high GDP growth. Until we can see what the future holds for these nations, they are no different than Brazil and Mexico, both nations that were considered economic miracles in the 70s. Thus, we can still have a high level of illegal immigration wave from Asia, although of course not as high as the case of Mexico.

This is EXACTLY the reason AA is screwed up right now, and why I am arguing against it.  Because just like everything I've been saying, it generalizes.  By saying, well Asians on average are pretty well off, it ignores different groups of people within the Asian "race" that many not be that well off