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Author Topic: what race to mark on LS apps?  (Read 9932 times)

cyberrev

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #80 on: January 31, 2006, 10:52:37 AM »
Race is not a matter of what you feel.  It's what's in your blood, for the purposes of these applications. 

This is utter nonsense.


Redemption, I find your argument quite interesting (not being sarcastic). I'm really unsure as to how I feel about this but I have to ask you, what would you think of who is a(n) URM who was adopted and raised by white parents? To take a really famous and extreme example (this has a point, I swear), what about Maddox and Zahara Jolie (or Jolie-Pitt, whatever)? Would it be wrong for them to self-identify as Cambodian and Ethiopian (respectively), as they will have been raised with every luxury and privilege? Do you think it would still be possible for them to bring a uniquely Cambodian or Ethiopian viewpoint to their surroundings? Do people in their circumstances have an ethical obligation to not check the boxes at all? I'm not trying to be confrontational as I have only an objective interest; I really am curious as to what your take on this would be.  :)

ha ha, i kinda asked the same thing.  come be my lead singer!

Lilacs04

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #81 on: January 31, 2006, 11:01:17 AM »
ha ha, i kinda asked the same thing.  come be my lead singer!

We are of one mind! Hey, maybe I should put off this law school gig.  :D

redemption

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #82 on: January 31, 2006, 11:02:28 AM »
Race is not a matter of what you feel.  It's what's in your blood, for the purposes of these applications. 

This is utter nonsense.


Redemption, I find your argument quite interesting (not being sarcastic). I'm really unsure as to how I feel about this but I have to ask you, what would you think of who is a(n) URM who was adopted and raised by white parents? To take a really famous and extreme example (this has a point, I swear), what about Maddox and Zahara Jolie (or Jolie-Pitt, whatever)? Would it be wrong for them to self-identify as Cambodian and Ethiopian (respectively), as they will have been raised with every luxury and privilege? Do you think it would still be possible for them to bring a uniquely Cambodian or Ethiopian viewpoint to their surroundings? Do people in their circumstances have an ethical obligation to not check the boxes at all? I'm not trying to be confrontational as I have only an objective interest; I really am curious as to what your take on this would be.  :)

As it happens, Marcus Samuelsson, a famous chef in NYC is Ethiopian-born and was adopted by Swedish parents and raised in Upssala (I think). He does not identify himself as Ethiopian, but as Swedish. He is the foremost Scandanavian chef in he United States. How could he bring an Ethiopian perspective when he doesn't speak the language, know the culture at all, doesn't know any Ethiopians or understand the particularities of their sense of humour? He couldn't. If he were to attend LS, it would be as a Swede.

However, there is another criterion which I had listed - whether he feels disadvantaged by the fact that he was born Ethiopian. If, all his life, in Sweden and, as an adult, here in the US, people have looked at him funny, clutched their purses, and doubted that he can cook Swedish, then he is within his rights to claim that he has been disadvantaged. He could claim URM status on that basis, and if I were he, and had had that experience, I'd check "Other". In real life, he makes a very big point of saying simply that he's Swedish.

redemption

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #83 on: January 31, 2006, 11:14:55 AM »

hmmm.  not sure i agree with what i think youre saying.  if the purpose for urm status is to address disadvantage rather than heritage, youre right on.  

however, if it to address heritage, then one could argue, for example, that wealthy african americans, a'la 'fresh prince of bel aire',  having suffered no disadvantage due to their heritage in their lives, should not mark african american?  

i could agree with your premise that the idea of diversity means that people should bring to the table different cultural experiences -- although i doubt that adcomms see the urm issue that way.  i'm not certain, as it applies to urm's, whether disadvantage plays a major role -- if they can get their numbers up.

i may be wrong there, not enough experience to know

just wondering.

I get you, rev. I'm saying that there are two ways to interpret the purpose of the URM identification section: to address disadvantage or to increase cultural-perpectival diversity. If you feel that one or the other of these reasons is relevant to your case, mark the box marked URM; if not, don't. It's not a legal issue, but an ethical one.

As for the Fresh Prince, he could make a case that he would bring cultural diversity to the class. When pressed (actually, when sued) adcomms and their bosses say that diversity is their purpose, not AA. I tend to believe them a little bit.

redemption

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #84 on: January 31, 2006, 11:17:00 AM »
I forgot to say that it is just that I am utterly stupefied by the fact than anyone believes that there is such a thing a biological "race".

cyberrev

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #85 on: January 31, 2006, 11:22:12 AM »
I forgot to say that it is just that I am utterly stupefied by the fact than anyone believes that there is such a thing a biological "race".

well in my own religious belief, the concept of different 'races' (read as 'species' perhaps)is an unbiblical concept, but that's just my perspective.  i mean, why don't we classify females and males separate races -- are there not more physical differences between genders than between, for example, an african american male and a caucasian male?

thanks, red

jnc18

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #86 on: January 31, 2006, 12:17:08 PM »
I've already pointed out that the majority of applications ask that you mark the primary race/ethnic group that applies to you or to mark the most appropriate box or boxes.  Notice that it did not ask that you mark the race/group that you'd like to be considered as for admissions purposes.

You are then required to sign every application either digitally or via certification letter to "verify that the above information is true, correct, and complete to the best of [your] knowledge."  Notice that it does not say "to the best of your benefit" or "to the best of your preference."

If you choose to do otherwise it is not only grossly exploitative, it is fraudulent.

How is this even debatable?

redemption

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2006, 12:25:49 PM »
I forgot to say that it is just that I am utterly stupefied by the fact than anyone believes that there is such a thing a biological "race".

I think you grossly misinterpretted my standpoint to be exclusively the point you're bringing up here.

Regardless of whether there is a biological component to race (forgive my potential ignorance here, but what do you consider the physical trait differences between people from Asia, or India, or Africa, or Europe, or the Middle East, or Latin America, or Native Americans, or Hawaiians?  While "race" may indeed be a social construct, there are differences which do have physical manifestations), there are some schools that have on their application the following:

Ethinicity (mark one)

or

Ethnic Background (mark one)

or

Race/Ethnic Background (mark one)

While I will agree with you that there are those which ask you to mark how you describe yourself, or ask you if you feel you are a member of a minority group, or those who ask if you feel you are a member of an underrepresented minority, there are certainly applications which simply ask what your ethnic makeup is.

It's not so far fetched to assume this means (or should be answered) by marking based on your geneaological background, especially when the question/prompt is only one or two words long.

Ok. This is my position: ethnicity is not a genetic or a biological category. It is a cultural, historical and geographic one. The same is true of "race". When law schools very occasionally use the word, it is because it has become so unruly, so slang, that people assume that it means ethnicity. When, however, we start taking about race and blood, it has gone too far.

When LS ask you to indicate your "ethnicity", they are not asking you what your "blood" is, but what I believe is a far more complex question: do you identify with a certain group, and if so is this identification strong enough that (a) you can offer your future classmates some interesting perspectives from your experiences as a member of that "group"; and/or (b) that you have been disadvantaged because of your membership in that group?

The physical markers issue: we have decided, apparently, to classify people by melanin, but not by hair color. Why is that? What makes black skin a race, but not black hair? What about eye-color, height, the shape of the eyes, or any other characteristic?

Conversely: go to Bolivia (or Argentina or Brazil, etc). The peole who run the country there are of direct Spanish descent, without any intermixing between them and the indios who have traditionally lived there. Let us imagine that one of those people came to the US as a child, naturalized, and applied. He would be able to mark Hispanic/Latin and no-one would bat an eyelid; so would a "pure" indio in the same position. Are they of the same race? No. Are they both Hispanic/Latina? Yes. I could extend this to cover all such artificial groups, including the ones that you list above, but you get the idea.

Race - the very notion of it, and the very categories that are used - is an invention, and a very recent one at that.

Mr Shears

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2006, 12:38:53 PM »
Well, I did a little research, because I was inclined to believe that the concept of race was probably something created by man.  But, anyway, if any of you are so inclined, here is a statement by the American Anthropological Association ("AAA") in which they state that racial groups differ in genetics only 6%.

http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm

Conversely, there is an article in Scientific American that discusses both views.  They agree that race is a matter of perception, but also maintain that specific diseases and traits are predominantly in certain genetic classes, i.e., Sickle Cell Disease in Africans.

Here is the article for your reading pleasure"

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00055DC8-3BAA-1FA8-BBAA83414B7F0000

redemption

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Re: what race to mark on LS apps?
« Reply #89 on: January 31, 2006, 12:46:52 PM »
1. There is greater genettic diversity within "black" Africa than between Africans and Europeans.
2. Overweight people have a higher incidence heart disease.

jsia  ;)