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Author Topic: AA for the not so colorful among us  (Read 3215 times)

Dominique

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AA for the not so colorful among us
« on: January 19, 2005, 02:04:22 PM »
Well as long as we have an AA board that doesn't seem to be being utilized, how about this.  I'm curious to hear opinions on this situation.  I'm part Mexican but I have very light skin.  I've never experienced any direct racism because it's impossible to tell.  (my mom is Mexican but I look like my dad.) For a while I felt torn about whether it was right to claim this on applications because I don't agree with AA in the first place.  But then I decided that since AA would either help me or hurt me, I might as well take advantage of every opportunity available to me.

I've posted this before but folks seemed caught up in their own debate.  So, I'm curious what anyone thinks.
3.7/165.  How crazy to finally have real stats...

texas1

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 02:33:11 PM »
Well as long as we have an AA board that doesn't seem to be being utilized, how about this.  I'm curious to hear opinions on this situation.  I'm part Mexican but I have very light skin.  I've never experienced any direct racism because it's impossible to tell.  (my mom is Mexican but I look like my dad.) For a while I felt torn about whether it was right to claim this on applications because I don't agree with AA in the first place.  But then I decided that since AA would either help me or hurt me, I might as well take advantage of every opportunity available to me.

I've posted this before but folks seemed caught up in their own debate.  So, I'm curious what anyone thinks.

Personally, I think that you should take every advantage that you can...and this comes from someone who really doesn't agree with AA policies. I believe that everyone should be evaluated on merit and not skin color, so I hate both discrimination and AA...but as long as AA is legal, I can't fault the individual for taking advantage of it...and I believe that every individual should do as much as they can for themselves and their family.

But, if AA gets you into the next higher tier law school (not saying that you need it...just for arguments sake) then I believe you should take that opportunity...but at the same time I believe you have a greater responsibility to take full advantage of that education. For if AA is the deciding factor, then you are taking what would have been someone else's place were it not for AA.

I get a bit riled when middle class URM's who grew up in wealthier homes than I talk about it being "owed" to them. Every opportunity should be viewed as a gift not a right regardless of race. For example, as a veteran I can go to a state law school for free. Now some might say that this is a right that I earned for serving in the military...and technically they are right...but for me it is still a gift that my state is giving me...and I plan to make the most of it.

So bottom line...go for it, just keep the right attitude of appreciation...

Dominique

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2005, 03:21:56 PM »
Yeah absolutely.  I certainly don't feel anything is owed to me.  Like I said, I don't agree with AA either.  But that's a good way to look at it- what you said about making sure you use it properly, taking advantage of the education.  Not that I was planning on doing poorly, but I'll keep that in mind when I'm feeling sick of reading cases.  :)
3.7/165.  How crazy to finally have real stats...

ImVinny!

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2005, 01:05:58 AM »
This is going to sound like a really stupid question then, but what would you think of someone who is technically white, but for all purposes looks hispanic, acts hispanic, lives around mostly hispanics putting hispanic and then explaining why?
I know some girl that lives by me and everyone thinks she looks that way, in fact the Mexican people chastise her for not knowing "her" language. What do you think of this situation?

zenbiddie

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2005, 10:11:35 AM »
This is going to sound like a really stupid question then, but what would you think of someone who is technically white, but for all purposes looks hispanic, acts hispanic, lives around mostly hispanics putting hispanic and then explaining why?
I know some girl that lives by me and everyone thinks she looks that way, in fact the Mexican people chastise her for not knowing "her" language. What do you think of this situation?

i think this is an interesting question because it shows how difficult it is to appropriately implement AA. 

if the girl who lives by you is disadvantaged economically, regardless of her race/cultural identity, then she should benefit from AA.  and by benefit i mean, she should get a shot to prove she can do the work.  i have a problem with AA when a marginal person (regardless of demographics) who lacks a proven track record or propensity for success is given an opportunity for then it is wasted on someone who really isn't worthy.  i agree with texas1 that anyone who benefits from a gift is obligated to make the most of that opportunity, not squander it away. 

take myself for example.  i grew up in a middle class family, both my parents have advanced degrees.  only one of my four grandparents had advanced degrees - three of the four had less than a high school education.  so my dad grew up poor and my mom was the first generation to be middle class.  i went to good schools all my life and yet took a wrong turn in college and wound up on welfare (briefly).  as an adult, i battled poverty and with some help from my parents, worked my way out of the hole.   

to make a long story short, when i applied to law school, i noted my ethnicity on the application where such information was requested but didnt mention it in my personal statement or anywhere else.  i didnt apply to law school looking for a hand out, i merely presented my strengths and accomplishments and figured if adcomms thought i belonged at their school then i would be admitted. 

its a fact that more minorities are needed in the legal profession.  to accomplish this, the education system needs to be fixed at the k-12 level, and the ridiculous standardized test which measures how well you can prep rather than your aptitude for law school should be replaced with a more acurate predictor.  i dont believe AA is fair when it potentially discriminates against nonURMs.  sure, i dont mind benefiting from AA - no one in their right mind is going to turn down help.  but IMO, AA is like a band-aid on gangrene.  it does nothing to solve the root of the problem and leads to complications. 

     

ImVinny!

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2005, 02:56:45 PM »
Exactly, well put! :D

I think the whole issue of race should be thrown out actually. If someone is going to do well, their track record will show it, if they aren't then the same applies.
There can be someone in a REALLY sucky school that studies hard and gets all A's, guess what that person is the same as the person in the rich school getting all A's, they studied hard.
For the person that just sits and does nothing and EXPECTS the handout and SAYS that they are underpriveleged and less opportunity and such, they are just being ignorant, IMHO.

dbgirl

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2005, 03:19:34 PM »
Vinny,

Who do you know that is doing nothing and expecting a handout from law school?

I don't know anyone who f--ed around in college and thinks they're getting into a top law school based upon minority status.
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

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ImVinny!

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2005, 06:56:01 PM »
Actually I do KNOW someone.
I was talking to this girl today, a Hispanic, and she got a VERY bad LSAT score, lower than 140. You know where she applied?
Notre Dame
Minnesota
American
Georgetown,  etc...
And she has already gotten acceptances from Minnesota and not heard from the rest, and she talks about her "hispanic" status and wants to do immigration policy, You can NOT tell me she isn't getting in based on that, and THAT is what is NOT fair about it.

manserunt

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2005, 07:53:01 PM »
I'm Native American on my dad's side, but because I look like my mom I'm very fair-skinned, with blue eyes.  Like the OP I've never experienced direct racism, but I also have a different perspective than I would if I were truly straight-up Caucasian. 

I believe I have gotten into law school on my own merit, and I don't consider myself a "box checker."  I am who I am, and I feel that my heritage has a lot to do with the choices I make and the life that I lead.  I don't apologize for my URM status, nor the fact that this might have made me more attractive to a school.  After all, universities have all sorts of people they seek out to round out a class.  The most obvious, pervasive example is the recruitment of athletes, most of which do not have the same numeric qualifications as other applicants.  From time to time, schools decide they want a well-rounded class, and seek out athletes, foreign applicants, applicants from rural states, applicants of certain religious or ethnic backgrounds, applicants with certain work experiences, applicants who play certain musical instruments, or with certain skills.  These "soft factors" make them more attractive to adcomms, who want to fill each class year with people who can learn from each other, not who are exactly like each other.  If bringing my unique qualities to the attention of an adcomm is deemed somehow "unfair" to others who are applying, I think that's very short-sighted.  Your race or ethnicity might not make you unique, so seek out other ways to make yourself a stand-out candidate.  Volunteer.  Become active in campaigns and/or charitable and professional organizations.  Travel.  Learn languages.  Work in interesting fields for a while before applying.  Give the adcomm a reason to care about you besides the fact that you're a white male with a talent for logic games.  URMs aren't getting accepted for their race so much as the unique qualities they bring to the table as students and alums.
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ImVinny!

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Re: AA for the not so colorful among us
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2005, 08:06:19 PM »
I'm not saying that you don't have unique things that make you special for law school. I am just saying that your race shouldn't be one of them. Get rid of the whole box checking idea and we are getting somewhere. Put everything in your personal statement, and we are getting somewhere. Just check the box and we aren't moving anywhere, except down, because we are saying that these people NEED the extra help, maybe their personal statements aren't good enough, I doubt that, but it seems that you are all ok with this.
Correct me if I am wrong, but no URM is saying they don't like it and WON"t take advantage of it.