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Author Topic: What qualifies one as African American?  (Read 6134 times)

neomage

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What qualifies one as African American?
« on: June 15, 2006, 08:29:22 PM »
I've got to be honest here: in principle, I am against affirmative action. But, if there is a way for me to get into a better school (or get more scholarships) within the rules of the system, I will gladly exploit it.

By race, I'm 100% Indian, but by nationality I'm at least 50% African American (both my parents were raised in East Africa, and my mother was born there). I'm also what is known as a 'splitter' (LSAT in the 170's, GPA sub 3.0, strong soft factors), so anything that could help nudge me over the top would useful.

I want to know what exactly defines one as African American. If it's how many generations removed your family is from Africa or the darkness of your skin, I'm probably more African American than most undeniably 'black' people. It clearly isn't socioeconomic factors (in that case they wouldn't need to know what ethnicity I was, my tax information would be sufficient).

Basically, what conditions need to be met for me to check that little "African American" box?

BrerAnansi

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2006, 08:46:31 PM »
Those labels apply to ethnicity and not nationality, if that helps.  So while Africans, by ethnicity and not nationality, technically aren't African American, they are Black and adcomms hardly differentiate between the two.  You sound like (correct me if I'm wrong) someone of Indian ancestry who happens to have ties to Africa.  By this logic shouldn't White Africans be allowed to check the African-American box?  But really, it's up to you.  No one on a messageboard can tell you who you are. 
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DougLlewellyn

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2006, 11:43:43 PM »
Feel free to misrepresent yourself.  People do it every year.

Did you check African American/Black on your undergrad application?  If not, checking different boxes would screw you one way or the other if challenged.  Which box did you check on your LSAT?  You are an ignorant bastard if you think that you will get away with checking African American/Black on the law school application while your LSAT shows a different checked box. 

Just consider the consequences of lying on your application.  An honest application without any intent to mislead will keep you from having to spend the next three years (at least) worrying about it. 

It would be a jackass move on your part to fool with your application given your "170's" LSAT.  Anyone trying to challenge your character would not have the burden of determining whether you are "African American".  The discrepancies alone would sink you.  Better luck next time.  :-* 


   

1LCorvo

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2006, 02:55:53 PM »
Quote from: neomage link=topic=65296.msg1458056#msg1458056 date=1150417762
Basically, what conditions need to be met for me to check that little "African American" box?
[/quote

That's an interesting question, and I think any response will probably be unclear. When Africans were first brought over here many moons ago, there was not a definite way in identifying them, save skin color. However, with the increase of mix races and other darker races, it became (and still is) difficult to denote a person as African american simply because of skin color. Nevertheless, I suppose that there are not any "clear and distinct" conditions that should be met. As of now, it seems as if having dark skin is sufficient enough, but that clearly has problems. Additionaly, one might be able to argue that being "african american" simply means being part african and part american, or a little bit of both. Yet, this criteria could potentially allow any one to be an african american, rendering the term useless. Labeling any group is invaribly an intricate matter, and I am not certain how law schools are dealing with this complexity.

To answer the question, I do not believe that there are universally agreed upon conditions, which must be met to qualify as an african american.
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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2006, 03:26:20 PM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.
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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2006, 05:02:23 PM »
I've got to be honest here: in principle, I am against affirmative action. But, if there is a way for me to get into a better school (or get more scholarships) within the rules of the system, I will gladly exploit it.

By race, I'm 100% Indian, but by nationality I'm at least 50% African American (both my parents were raised in East Africa, and my mother was born there). I'm also what is known as a 'splitter' (LSAT in the 170's, GPA sub 3.0, strong soft factors), so anything that could help nudge me over the top would useful.

I want to know what exactly defines one as African American. If it's how many generations removed your family is from Africa or the darkness of your skin,I'm probably more African American than most undeniably 'black' people. isn't socioeconomic factors (in that case they wouldn't need to  It clearly know what ethnicity I was, my tax information would be sufficient).

Basically, what conditions need to be met for me to check that little "African American" box?

SHORT ANSWER: You don't meet the conditions.  Shouldn't check that box.
Just be true to yourself.

EXPLANATION: Nothing to do with SES. More about ethnicity/descent/ancestry and less about nationality.   Watch how you intend the bolded sentence to come across.  You probably didnt mean much by it but that could easily be misconstrued.  You aren't an African american and you will not get any points/kudos/or congrats if you check a box.

I am black and have NEVER received any beneficial treatment for checking the black box.
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Googler

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2006, 08:04:00 PM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.

Deloggio is an idiot. 

A Caucasian who grew up in Zimbabwe is more African than a black person who's family has been in the United States since the 17th Century. 

Where does it end?  I have Puerto Rican friends who are as white as anyone else, presumably because all of their ancestors were Spanish, as opposed to American Indian or black.  Nobody would question their being Hispanic.  If someone  left Germany in 1628 and moved to present day Venezuela, they would be Hispanic.  You are drawing a distinction based on how long their ancestors have been there, which I really don't think is legitimate. 

jazmine

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2006, 08:05:53 PM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.

Deloggio is an idiot. 

A Caucasian who grew up in Zimbabwe is more African than a black person who's been in the United States since the 17th Century. 

damn that black person would be old. 
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Googler

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2006, 08:06:26 PM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.

Deloggio is an idiot. 

A Caucasian who grew up in Zimbabwe is more African than a black person who's been in the United States since the 17th Century. 

damn that black person would be old. 

Haha, good call. 

Googler

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2006, 08:07:25 PM »
Feel free to misrepresent yourself.  People do it every year.

Did you check African American/Black on your undergrad application?  If not, checking different boxes would screw you one way or the other if challenged.  Which box did you check on your LSAT?  You are an ignorant bastard if you think that you will get away with checking African American/Black on the law school application while your LSAT shows a different checked box. 

Just consider the consequences of lying on your application.  An honest application without any intent to mislead will keep you from having to spend the next three years (at least) worrying about it. 

It would be a jackass move on your part to fool with your application given your "170's" LSAT.  Anyone trying to challenge your character would not have the burden of determining whether you are "African American".  The discrepancies alone would sink you.  Better luck next time.  :-* 


   

There's no misrepresentation, and there is no C & F issue.