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Author Topic: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?  (Read 5149 times)

Groundhog

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2005, 06:10:03 AM »
I'm writing about being the only white kid in the whole school, as well as my neighborhood, and various other experiences that I hope not many have to write about. It's done in a slightly humorous, though not controversial fashion(I hope!), so we'll see. But that's my PS, not diversity. Was considering it, but I realized how contrived it would seem.

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2005, 08:27:16 AM »
I'm writing about being the only white kid in the whole school, as well as my neighborhood, and various other experiences that I hope not many have to write about. It's done in a slightly humorous, though not controversial fashion(I hope!), so we'll see. But that's my PS, not diversity. Was considering it, but I realized how contrived it would seem.

good call.  you being white wouldn't really add diversity to the school. 

Groundhog

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2005, 09:01:57 AM »
good call.  you being white wouldn't really add diversity to the school. 

I hope you mean good call for not using it as diversity, but that it will make an interesting personal statement. It got me my current job(granted, in the touchy feely field of reslife), and I'm hoping that my amusing example will persuade the adcomms. Tell me if I'm just being naive, though.

thescreed

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2005, 12:19:53 PM »

As for my situation, I live in a small town with only one other foreigner in the whole town.  I would say I am immersed in the culture.  By the way, living on a base and wondering off a few times when you’re 10 years old doesn’t qualify.

Wow, I'm not at all certain what I did to deserve this attitude from you. I certainly never claimed to be "immersed in the culture." I only said that I knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of racism. And for the record, it wasn't "wandering off base a few times." I got on my bike and rode around Sagamihara pretty much every day after school, and pretty much all day long on weekends. I asked for and received my weekly allowance in yen. I rode the trains unaccompanied. I did manage to learn a thing or two while I was there, even if I was a kid and even if I wasn't "immersed in the culture."

jb1246a

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2005, 01:17:45 PM »

Also, what I described in my earlier post is not all attributable to xenophobia, and whether you think it ultimately stems from racism or not, the fact is that it often results in de facto racism. My Asian-American friends, who were just as foreign as I was, often escaped the level of discrimination that I faced. Especially those of them who spoke Japanese well. When a drunken man screamed at me and kicked me while walking past me on the sidewalk, it may have been because I'm an American, or it may been because I'm white (or maybe both). But the fact is, he wouldn't have done it if I was Asian. The reasoning behind his manifestly racist behavior doesn't change the fact that the behavior itself is still racist.
[/quote]

kaio, I completely agree with you. I've experienced similar circumstances in China that would not have happened if I did not look the way I do. 

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2005, 01:40:46 PM »
good call.  you being white wouldn't really add diversity to the school. 

I hope you mean good call for not using it as diversity, but that it will make an interesting personal statement.

that's exactly what i mean, sorry for being unclear.

SCgrad

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #46 on: November 16, 2005, 04:40:29 AM »


Wow, I'm not at all certain what I did to deserve this attitude from you. I certainly never claimed to be "immersed in the culture." I only said that I knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of racism. And for the record, it wasn't "wandering off base a few times." I got on my bike and rode around Sagamihara pretty much every day after school, and pretty much all day long on weekends.

Well, let's see, I didn't think I was giving you that much attention, but I guess I will.  Now, even though you earlier said you eventually stopped leaving the base for the most part, I will assume that you spent what… 25 hours a week off the base?  You must admit the time you spent at home and in school and anywhere else on the base doesn’t give you any insight into Japan.  Now, this was how many years ago?  And you were how old?  I’m not sold.

Okay, now lets assume you really do have some understanding of “racism” in Japan.  Those limited times you were subjected to “racism” make you know what it feels like to be black in America?  I don’t buy that at all.  I also think if the best thing you got out of spending a year in Japan is the “racism”, you missed a butt load of good stuff.

It’s kind of funny, I wrote my PS mostly about my experience in Japan.  I included a sentence related to some peoples’ unwillingness to change prejudicial views, and I was a little bit wary to even do this.  I’ve been here for six months and would not claim to have that great of an understanding of the intricacies of Japanese culture, but you figured it out living on a military base when you were ten years old.



thescreed

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2005, 10:49:16 AM »


Wow, I'm not at all certain what I did to deserve this attitude from you. I certainly never claimed to be "immersed in the culture." I only said that I knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of racism. And for the record, it wasn't "wandering off base a few times." I got on my bike and rode around Sagamihara pretty much every day after school, and pretty much all day long on weekends.

Well, let's see, I didn't think I was giving you that much attention, but I guess I will.  Now, even though you earlier said you eventually stopped leaving the base for the most part, I will assume that you spent what… 25 hours a week off the base?  You must admit the time you spent at home and in school and anywhere else on the base doesn’t give you any insight into Japan.  Now, this was how many years ago?  And you were how old?  I’m not sold.

Okay, now lets assume you really do have some understanding of “racism” in Japan.  Those limited times you were subjected to “racism” make you know what it feels like to be black in America?  I don’t buy that at all.  I also think if the best thing you got out of spending a year in Japan is the “racism”, you missed a butt load of good stuff.

It’s kind of funny, I wrote my PS mostly about my experience in Japan.  I included a sentence related to some peoples’ unwillingness to change prejudicial views, and I was a little bit wary to even do this.  I’ve been here for six months and would not claim to have that great of an understanding of the intricacies of Japanese culture, but you figured it out living on a military base when you were ten years old.

Wow, you pummeled the *&^% out of that straw man you built. I never claimed any of the things you say I claimed (except that I was there at all), and in fact I specifically disclaimed some of the things you say. I wrote at the beginning to say that I wasn't going to do a diversity statement specifically because of the things you say.

I don't know if living in Japan has made you feel cranky or superior, but in either case you should hurry home so you can realize that you're just another American a-hole.

Best of luck to you.

Groundhog

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2005, 03:02:56 PM »
good call.  you being white wouldn't really add diversity to the school. 

Hmm I just noticed we have pretty similar numbers-I'll be watching your apps closely. Mind PMing me a few details about your ECs, undergrad, major, etc? I'll reciprocate.

SCgrad

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Re: Straight, Middle-Class, and White: Did You Write a Diversity Statement?
« Reply #49 on: November 16, 2005, 05:34:09 PM »
I'm straight/white/middle-class male as well, though I am thinking about writing a diversity statement about growing up pacifist in a military family (ie dad, uncles, grandfathers, ancestors dating to 1600s and early all served militarily in some fashion) on army bases across the country.  Don't know how diverse that makes me though, as there are millions of army brats out there...

Sounds interesting to me. Montauk even says that this qualifies as a diverse experience. Write a diversity statement about it.

I thought about writing a diversity statement based on a particular Army brat experience, but I think it can only cut against me, because I don't think anyone will want to hear it.

In fifth grade I lived in Japan for a year, and Japan being a super-safe place, I was free to ride my bike off base and all over town whenever I wanted, which was often. As anyone who's spent significant time in Japan knows, Japanese people are unfailingly polite and unmistakably racist. It really gave me a taste of what it must be like to be black or Hispanic in America today -- store owners eying you suspiciously, having a hard time getting someone to serve you, and so on. It wasn't just a language barrier, it was a certain unmistakable hostility. By the end of that year, I pretty much didn't want to leave the base anymore, I just hung out at the rec center.

It was a definite learning experience, but I don't think anyone wants to read an essay by a white male declaring an entire nation to be racist and declaring himself a victim of racism. Well, not victim really, since there were no long-term or serious consequences, but a white guy claiming to have experienced racism is so counterintuitive that I doubt very much it will fly.

These are the things I had a problem with.  Stop polluting the world with your nonsense.