Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?  (Read 4524 times)

mark_ede

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
    • View Profile
Re: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2005, 09:09:55 PM »
This is all somewhat silly.

I happen to think Affirmative Action in the form of positive quotas (i.e actual target numbers for "minorities" are bad). Recognition of the fact that certain groups face systemic discrimination (all the way through from birth up) and seeking to ameliorate this in various ways is not bad. There is also the fact that there is a positive advantage in encouraging diversity in law. So Affirmative Action itself can be good or bad depending on implimentation.

As for "Jewish affirmative action:" As a Jew who as read about such things the level of Jewish privilage is not what silly anti-Semites like to claim. Nonetheless Jews have, for various reasons, succeeded in America (and more broadly in pluralistic, liberal societies-one reason why Jews tend to support affirmative action, they see it affirming American liberal pluralism).

Regarding anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is a polite word coined by French and German (it was popularized by German racists in the 1880s) as a polite "scientific" replacement for Jew-hatred (which was the previous term). Saying one was a "Jew-hater" was rather inpolite, but being an anti-Semite meant one recognized the "inherant racial inferiority of the Jewish race." It has nothing to do with Semitism (which AFAIK doesn't exist) nor Arabs (Arabic is a semitic langauge, but anti-Semitism was designed for, and means Jew-hatred).

Jewish is not an offensive term. I suspect it is a relatively direct translation from the Hebrew "Yehoodi" (a man of Judah)->"Jew"

Now why Jews have managed to overcome systemic discrimination better then some other minority groups is a better question. I suspect it is because Jews faced less pervasive discrimination for far less time, and frankly because it is fairly easy for Jews to acculturate and assimilate. Other groups face quite literally visible difficulties, though it is not simply these two factors that make the difference, but it certainly helped.


_____

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
    • View Profile
Re: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2005, 12:07:09 PM »


Jewish is not an offensive term. I suspect it is a relatively direct translation from the Hebrew "Yehoodi" (a man of Judah)->"Jew"



I don't get it.  Yout talked about the word "Jewish" and then explained the origins of the word "Jew".

Could you please elaborate?  (And/or explain the origins of the word Jewish and why it is non-offensive, if that was your intention?)

I should probably mention that I am a Jew, and I'm not bothered by the use of the word "Jewish" simply because its omnipresent, but I can see why some would be...  Saying someone is "Jew-like" (ie Jew-ish) implies a value judgment somewhere--no one says people are Christian-ish; they are Christians.)

mark_ede

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
    • View Profile
Re: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2005, 09:21:22 PM »
what I mean is that "Jew"and "Jewish" probably derive dircetly from Hebrew (or possibly indirectly from Yiddish) and then became anglicized.

jbs

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 172
    • View Profile
    • my blog
Re: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2005, 10:35:32 PM »
just get rid of ANY boxes that denote race at all.  i can compete on grades, lsat scores, experience, extra curricular activities, groups, etc but i can't compete with a different race; we can't change our skin color and we shouldn't be admitted to a school based on something over which we've had no control over. 

i'm a white guy who just so happens to come from a very poor family.  i was raised in a housing project in philadelphia and my background is one that consists of overcoming adversity.  my race is irrelevant in all of this but i will still, no doubt, miss out on a few reach schools because my complexion is lighter than someone else's.

i also think it is insulting to minorities to consider race as a reason for admission.  i know if i were a black man or an hispanic man, i would want to know i got into the school of my choice based on academic success and hard work - not because i have a particular skin color.  i don't want to get in due to sympathy or quota fulfillments if i've worked my ass off to get into a good law school.
"i don't know what you're afraid of
i don't know what you've heard
get up, come on, let's do something
dontcha wanna know the Word"

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=jbs

asdf

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2005, 03:50:33 PM »
just to play devil's advocate....

it is fairly well known that asians have an unofficial quota in colleges. if you look at schools where affirmative action is repealed, the percentage of asians jumps dramatically, i think they said 30-40%. i remember reading another study that said being asian was like having a 50 point SAT penalty, with whites being even and blacks being something like 200+.

if schools are supposed to be diverse and represent the demographics of the US, why are there more jews than asians in colleges? jews are better off socioeconomically, they represent a smaller percentage of the US, and as a group they are less diverse than "asian americans," which represent 20+ ethnicities from the largest and most diverse continent in the world. so why cap asians and not jews? do legacy admissions count that much?

if you cap asians, you should cap jews. if you don't cap jews, you shouldn't cap asians. i agree with the other person who said there should be boxes for URM's, then another box for other, and i would like names to not be read with application files so they can't subconsciously discriminate against asian and jewish names.

if you think it's impossible to track which applicants are jewish because it's a religion not a race or whatever, i'm not voicing approval of this by any means, but if it was possible to cap jews 50 years ago, it should still be possible today.

misscarlet

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 111
    • View Profile
Re: Should there be a Semitic category on applications for Jews?
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2005, 11:25:32 AM »
if you are the white Christian average american joe, and there are circumstances or events in your life that set you apart, they are always taken into consideration. economic status and geographic location are huge factors in the application process. nobody wants their entire school to hail from massachusetts (no offense to MA) or any other state.

if you truly want diversity, some sort of affirmative action is necessary. without diversity, tolerance will never increase.  if we really want all races/religions/whatever to play on an equal field based solely on academics, a la "why can't we base it on my LSAT and GPA it's not fair," then make it your personal task to make sure that all American children are getting an equal education.  go to elementary schools in different parts of the country, and note the difference in the school's makeup.  make sure their teachers are equally qualified and experienced. be sure they receive equal funding for books, computers, and competitive teacher salaries.

i understand that it makes people angry or frustrated if others with lower numbers or less extra-curriculars, or whatever, get into the school of their dreams. there are rational thought processes to help understand why affirmative action is good. but you need to first distinguish between AA and quotas. AA = legal. quotas = illegal. it's not ok to say, "we only have room for 23 people with star-shaped birthmarks." but it IS ok to say, "we have a lot of people with star-shaped birthmarks, so we will look more favorably toward people who might have a birthmark shaped like a hamburger. it's not that their better, but in considering the totality of circumstances, we're going to use that hamburger shape as a plus factor."

wait a second, that's right. all that thought doesn't come in for someone who wants to know why their numbers aren't all that matter. experience something. write about it in your personal statement. it can make you special, too.
I knew the way you know about a good melon.