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Author Topic: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?  (Read 13297 times)

TBoneUCLA

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2005, 06:44:12 PM »
mmhome,

now i know your response was not directed especially at me, but i will respond with my story since i started this thread.

in high school i wasnt given anything and nothing was expected of me. i got a 4.0 because i was a proud and competetive bastard, but my parents never pushed me. i never got a prize for good grades. i got a pat on the back.

likewise i had to get a job so i could rent a clarinet and pay for lessons myself, which i did. my folks didnt have the extra $$.

by my senior year i was the top ranked high school clarinetist in california, and no one not a single person asked me to do it or pushed me to do it or helped me do it but me. i was on my own.

so i went to a state school, got some $$$, but mostly had to take alot of the loans myself. my parents took what they could, but it wasnt like they bought my education for me.

and i decided to go to law school on my own. no one expected it of me, suggested it to me, or hoped i would. i called my parents and told them i wanted to and they said "are you sure? you have to pay for it by yourself!"

i dont even think my story is special. just cause a person is white doesnt mean they were born with a silver spoon in thier mouth...

Ninja

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2005, 07:39:56 PM »
mmhome,

now i know your response was not directed especially at me, but i will respond with my story since i started this thread.

in high school i wasnt given anything and nothing was expected of me. i got a 4.0 because i was a proud and competetive bastard, but my parents never pushed me. i never got a prize for good grades. i got a pat on the back.

likewise i had to get a job so i could rent a clarinet and pay for lessons myself, which i did. my folks didnt have the extra $$.

by my senior year i was the top ranked high school clarinetist in california, and no one not a single person asked me to do it or pushed me to do it or helped me do it but me. i was on my own.

so i went to a state school, got some $$$, but mostly had to take alot of the loans myself. my parents took what they could, but it wasnt like they bought my education for me.

and i decided to go to law school on my own. no one expected it of me, suggested it to me, or hoped i would. i called my parents and told them i wanted to and they said "are you sure? you have to pay for it by yourself!"

i dont even think my story is special. just cause a person is white doesnt mean they were born with a silver spoon in thier mouth...

You make a good point.  There are a lot of people out there in a situation similar to yours.

ryanjm

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2005, 01:07:11 PM »
As soon as all the rich kids stop benefitting from the contacts and help they get from THEIR fathers, I'll stop taking advantage of the almost non-existent help I might get because MY father is a URM.

Great response. Really well thought out.

angmill08

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2005, 02:04:20 PM »
I just want to interject that, well... life is not always fair. The goal of a just society is that the slights and frustrations are randomly distributed and balanced out by little bits of opportunity, also randomly distributed. Clearly, there are patterns of systematic oppression in the US so that challenges & opportunities are not randomly distributed. This needs to be addressed.

But I don't think having to pay for your own college education or only getting a pat on the back when you get good grades is in the same category as systematic oppression. This, to me, is a challenge TBone had to overcome (as he did by finding other motivation for good grades & suceeding in music). It makes him a stronger person in the end. Some other kid might have had clarinet lessons and college paid for but had a father who abused him. Both situations show that life throws you random challenges, and strong people find ways to overcome those challenges. Both situations would make great personal statements. But I don't think either situation should be elevated to the level of systematic oppression and therefore neither situation should, in and of itself, give the applicant an edge in ls applications. What would make the person a stronger applicant is how s/he dealt with the challenge.

If you can link your particular challenge to a pattern of systematic oppression which has lead to an underrepresentation of similarly challenged people in law school, well then, I think you have a case for receiving AA. If not, no dice. Just my $0.02.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

TBoneUCLA

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2005, 03:42:03 PM »
I just want to interject that, well... life is not always fair. The goal of a just society is that the slights and frustrations are randomly distributed and balanced out by little bits of opportunity, also randomly distributed. Clearly, there are patterns of systematic oppression in the US so that challenges & opportunities are not randomly distributed. This needs to be addressed.

But I don't think having to pay for your own college education or only getting a pat on the back when you get good grades is in the same category as systematic oppression. This, to me, is a challenge TBone had to overcome (as he did by finding other motivation for good grades & suceeding in music). It makes him a stronger person in the end. Some other kid might have had clarinet lessons and college paid for but had a father who abused him. Both situations show that life throws you random challenges, and strong people find ways to overcome those challenges. Both situations would make great personal statements. But I don't think either situation should be elevated to the level of systematic oppression and therefore neither situation should, in and of itself, give the applicant an edge in ls applications. What would make the person a stronger applicant is how s/he dealt with the challenge.

If you can link your particular challenge to a pattern of systematic oppression which has lead to an underrepresentation of similarly challenged people in law school, well then, I think you have a case for receiving AA. If not, no dice. Just my $0.02.

i agree with you. i certainly never tried to claim i should recieve special review because of my situation. i never een mentioned all that stuff in my applications, i figure it is all pretty normal.

i was just replying to a post thatmentions white rich kids and allllll thier connections. i thought that was silly.

now, maybe i am naive, and maybe people are gonna start to hate, but does everyone on here truly and honestly believe that because you are (lets choose) black, and living in america in the 21st centruy, that you undoubtedly faced systematic oppression that absolutly took away from you opportunities you may have had that would have deffinatly given you the chance to suceed more?

please dont bash, but i went to high school and college with many talented and confident black men and women, who never seemed oppressed (sure, they might have been called nasty names a time or two by idiots. i have had my fair share of being called "fag" angrily, as has any other gay man/woman)

i still have a difficult time seeing why systematic oppression of blacks allegedly holds everyone down, but other forms of racism/sexism/and homophobia dont seem to hold other groups back from being represented in law school.

personally, again, i feel AA is there because not enough people in the black/latin communties are valuing higher education enough today to even apply. so here is this major lack of applicants, and they cant have major law schools in this country only have like 1% black students, because that would just not be good. so they get higher percentags into the class by admitted people that are not as competetive as the rest of the pool.

agree or disaggre. its all good

angmill08

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2005, 05:57:22 PM »
TBone, you ask:

"...does everyone on here truly and honestly believe that because you are (lets choose) black, and living in america in the 21st centruy, that you undoubtedly faced systematic oppression that absolutly took away from you opportunities you may have had that would have deffinatly given you the chance to suceed more?"

 African Americans have undoubtably faced systematic oppression, and continue to face it today. This has absolutely contributed to the disparity of opportunites distributed among the African American population, and definitely means that a higher proportion of whites have a better chance to succeed (more opportunites) than the proportion of blacks with those same opportunities. This does not mean that every black person has had a lesser chance, or lesser opportunities than every white.

 It is not possible for AA to rectify this situation. AA is a blunt tool aimed at mitigating the effects of this situation.

 Back to your original Q, I got a highly coveted job a few years back. No one told me, but I assumed that the fact that I'm female helped. Why? Because the industry I worked in is disproportionately male, and the specific place I was hired was well known for its old boy network hiring, and, not coincidentally in my opinion, was way male. Also, in the job interview, I mentioned that the business was lacking a female face, and that the gender imbalance might discourage customers. My interviewer agreed that this was a problem.

 I was well qualified. I have done a great job and gotten lots of positive reviews from clients and local media. I still deal with sexist comments from clients and co-workers from time to time (this was WAY worse in the beginning, though.) I was qualified for the job based on my own merits, but I beat out other qualified applicants, in part, I believe, because I'm female. That's a weird system, I know, and it doesn't solve sexism. But at the same time, it was such an anomaly to get a break in this industry due to being female. Usually it's a liability and I believe that I lost other opportunities due to gender in the past. So this time I got a break. In my opinion, it was about time.

Yeah, my break was someone else's door in the face. That's why I say -- life is not fair. Sometimes you get a helping hand, sometimes you get the finger. I've been on both sides, for sure.  If there is a systematic pattern of one or the other, then there is a problem for society to address. Otherwise, you roll with it and move on.

 I enjoy this discussion.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

WoeIsMe

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2005, 06:17:03 PM »
angmill08.  opportunity is handed down, but also earned.  a 2 way street.. not some raffle / lottery ticket.  what is the systematic oppression you're referring to in regards to GPA, LSAT, and major?

TBoneUCLA

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2005, 07:42:36 PM »
angmill (and all else)

i enjoy this discussion too.

URMs, women, gays, etc often feel justified to complain when things dont go thier way in the world because of what  they were when they were born. and i think they are justified to stand up and say "hey! wait a minute! thats not fair to me! what did i ever do to you!?"

i think, in that respect, it is fair to let all those whities out there that were born decades after racism and sexism was more 'permissable" in this country to say "hey! wait a minute! thats not fair to me! what did i ever do to you!?" when they see other people technically less qualified get valuable opportunities over them.

it is theraputic to raise a red flag at an imperfect system. it lets other know you see the imperfection.

i would love to see a day when AA worked in such a way that those who truly needed a lift ALL got a lift and those who did not need a lift did not get a lift, regardless of race, gender, orientation, etc...
(that is my miss america speech ;D)

angmill08

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2005, 12:29:45 AM »
Systematic oppression has led to the disproportionate lack of educational opportunites in majority minority neighborhoods, which effects grades, LSAT, GPA and college attendance. This has been true since... well, since there have been racially segregated neighborhoods and schools. I believe this problem can compound over time, because when generation after generation is denied education, a culture in which education is not prized becomes normal. Then even when an opportunity for education arises the opportunity is more likely to be missed if a parent does not value education. And even if the opportunity is taken, a poorly educated parent often lacks the tools that a well educated parent has to help their child in the educational process. Because of this, cycles of educational success and failure span generations, and it is a challenge to break either cycle.

Systematic oppression has also led to the unfair treatment of a disproportionate number of minority students in majority white schools, although certaintly this has become more subtle, and I think, decreased overall in the past 30 years.

And a note about racism being less permissible for decades... it may be less permissible, but it exists nonetheless, in fact, it thrives in some pockets. This is my opinion, based on my experience living in a 75% black neighborhood for the past 5 years.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

SleepyGuyYawn

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2005, 10:42:47 AM »
First off, I've only read part of this thread so far -- so please forgive me if I miss something. 

For years I've supported AA -- but in thinking about why, it has much more to do with my dislike for the "types" of people who generally oppose AA than for my philosophical support for AA.  And it's part of a more general liberal groupthink -- an ideology -- that has compelled me to support AA. 

So it's hard to say this, b/c in general I support most liberal causes -- I can't stand the Bush Administration and what passes for "conservatism" in America.  But (yes, always a but), I just think AA is fundamentally unfair. 

I think it's unfair b/c it throws the idea of "individual rights" out the window.  The idea that a neighbor of mine who grew up in Kenya, and who has equal academic qualifications, getting a leg up (for most law schools, it's a substantial boost) b/c of his skin color -- that bugs me a lot. 

And life isn't fair -- ya'll are right.  But the idea is that we should try to make it as fair as possible.

One poster said this:
African Americans have undoubtably faced systematic oppression, and continue to face it today.

Well, okay.  I'm not even going to try to debate this.  Although it's often stated, and accepted, without debate -- and I do question that. 

What I would say is that perhaps we can make affirmative action work without stepping on the rights of individuals -- perhaps we can focus on life experiences and socio-economic status rather than just ask applicants to check a skin color box.

Lastly, I'm gettting a bit tired of being implicitly called a racist for debating affirmative action.  I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you over a computer that I'm a good person -- but I'd ask you to take my word for it.  All I want is an actual debate on the issue, without emotions being thrown in.  Let's try to be civil.