Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?  (Read 3154 times)

nawwal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • AOL Instant Messenger - jbr483
    • View Profile
I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« on: August 08, 2005, 04:02:15 PM »
I'd love to spice this conversation up a little bit.

I consider myself black but I have an interesting background that might disqualify me according to certain individuals. I'd be interested to hear other perspectives. My father is a white Jew, my mother is black, of African-American descent who converted to Judaism. I consider myself black and Jewish.  I was raised, for many years, in a mostly Jewish community. While we found most Jews to be the least prejudice group amongst white people, I still experienced racism. My family and I no longer live in that community but we all now experience the general racism common in America. I've been followed in stores because of my skin color, and white women tend to hold their purses a little bit tighter when I am around, etc. However, I do look bi-racial and I understand that I have had a completely different experience that what is stereotypically thought to be "normal" for the average black American. So I repeat, am I black? And if you think I am, do you think I deserve affirmative-action? If not, then for whom is affirmative action meant?

thenextstep

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 799
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2005, 04:24:02 PM »
I'll bite...

You are Black if you are choosing to identify that way and have ancestry from Africa at some point I'd say.  So that qualifies you for sure.  I think it also makes sense for you to benefit from AA as the vast majority of White people do not really think of you (and therefore treat you) as less Black than others.  Now, I think it also makes for an interesting life story to point out your dual heritage and how you are at times relatively privileged compared to people who are darker-skinned depending on the situation.  Nearly everyone has a complex life when it comes to relative privilege and it is useful to recognize and understand that, as it seems you do.  AA definitely has its flaws but it is probably the best idea we have right now for working to overcome institutionalized racism, which you have definitely experienced it seems from your statements.  So if I were you, I would write a diversity essay about your heritage and its complexity but have no guilt about benefitting from AA.  Best of luck!

twarga

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3516
  • Must have cookie! Me like cookie!
    • View Profile
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 04:32:41 PM »
I'd love to spice this conversation up a little bit.

I consider myself black but I have an interesting background that might disqualify me according to certain individuals. I'd be interested to hear other perspectives. My father is a white Jew, my mother is black, of African-American descent who converted to Judaism. I consider myself black and Jewish.  I was raised, for many years, in a mostly Jewish community. While we found most Jews to be the least prejudice group amongst white people, I still experienced racism. My family and I no longer live in that community but we all now experience the general racism common in America. I've been followed in stores because of my skin color, and white women tend to hold their purses a little bit tighter when I am around, etc. However, I do look bi-racial and I understand that I have had a completely different experience that what is stereotypically thought to be "normal" for the average black American. So I repeat, am I black? And if you think I am, do you think I deserve affirmative-action? If not, then for whom is affirmative action meant?


Go for it!  URM status rocks!
http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=twarga

Attending:  Widener DE $$$
Accepted:  Rutgers-Camden, Villanova, Temple
Rejected:  Penn, Harvard

3.0 (3.82), 166

kookoogirl

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 133
    • View Profile
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 06:35:17 PM »
lol you are half ORM and half URM...

John Galt

  • Guest
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2005, 07:05:31 PM »
I'd love to spice this conversation up a little bit.

I consider myself black but I have an interesting background that might disqualify me according to certain individuals. I'd be interested to hear other perspectives. My father is a white Jew, my mother is black, of African-American descent who converted to Judaism. I consider myself black and Jewish.  I was raised, for many years, in a mostly Jewish community. While we found most Jews to be the least prejudice group amongst white people, I still experienced racism. My family and I no longer live in that community but we all now experience the general racism common in America. I've been followed in stores because of my skin color, and white women tend to hold their purses a little bit tighter when I am around, etc. However, I do look bi-racial and I understand that I have had a completely different experience that what is stereotypically thought to be "normal" for the average black American. So I repeat, am I black? And if you think I am, do you think I deserve affirmative-action? If not, then for whom is affirmative action meant?


Depends. If you look white, you're white. If you look like a minority you are a minority. Interesting story though. Write a statement about it.

Denny Crane

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5383
  • Where's my Shirley Schmidt-ho?
    • View Profile
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2005, 07:09:36 PM »
Applications usually allow for multiple checks when it comes to checking off which ethnicity you are.  There will be no hurting in checking off both Black and Caucasian.  You will probably be given URM status, which you should definitely use to your advantage (I'm using it, and it feels damn good). 
Yale.Law.School.2010

nawwal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • AOL Instant Messenger - jbr483
    • View Profile
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2005, 07:39:36 PM »
 
 
Quote

Depends. If you look white, you're white. If you look like a minority you are a minority. Interesting story though. Write a statement about it.
Quote


I just did. Thank you for the tip. Anyone want to read it? I'd appreciate any comments anyone might have.


Denny Crane

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5383
  • Where's my Shirley Schmidt-ho?
    • View Profile
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 07:41:05 PM »
I just did. Thank you for the tip. Anyone want to read it? I'd appreciate any comments anyone might have.

If you post it, they will come...
Yale.Law.School.2010

pop_tort

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 178
    • View Profile
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2005, 04:41:46 AM »
I love how the law school application process helps people come to terms with their minority status.....

If you have to even question as to whether AA is applicable to you, I'd say the answer is no. I don't think it's the kind of thing you need help deciding on by posting to a message board. Either you know it's applicable, or it's not.

I also don't think being followed around in stores or "white women clutching their purses tighter" when they see you is strong enough evidence to cry discrimination, and how such "discrimination" has fueled your interest to study law - especially when compared to other folks who have experienced worse (i.e. unjustly arrested "for fitting a description", denied education opportunites due to economic hardship, acted as a translator for their parents because they were the only child old enough to comprehend both adult conversations fluently, etc etc).

So boo-hoo-hoo, your self esteem is shot because some white lady *allegedly* felt "uncomfortable" around you - I'm sure the same white lady might clutch her purse if she was around Marylin Manson or Eminem (had they never been famous). It wasn't like this white lady accused you of rape, and tried to have you killed - which is what happened in The Massie Affair: http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=62-0670033995-0, or like she was Andrea Yates and you were one of the black (or black looking) guys she falsely accused of taking her kids. Yeah, those are extreme examples, but you get my point-- a clutched purse is bullsh*t when compared to the more serious issues and problems that exist.

Happy writing- hopefully your equivocation on your racial identity is and what it means to you won't shoot you in the foot as your write your statement. And I certainly hope it doesn't hint around the tone of "my mama's black, so give me a hand out"... the adcomm will see right through it. You might, however, be able to play up your diverse background by discussing your multi-ethnic background and how that has infulenced and shaped you as a person, etc etc.

Good luck.

ImVinny!

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2242
  • What am I?
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: I consider myself black but is AA meant for me?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 09:19:33 AM »
This is exactly why AA is not a good idea, and needs to be abolished.