Half Persian/Half White

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Amir N
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Half Persian/Half White

Postby Amir N » Fri May 07, 2010 2:37 pm

Despite being half-half, I identify myself as a Persian American. I understand Middle Eastern is not considered URM for law school purposes. I am wondering, however, if I will be penalized in anyway during the admissions process if I mark "other" instead of Caucasian under the ethnicity box?

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twert
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby twert » Fri May 07, 2010 2:40 pm

you won't be penalized, but your persian half is more caucasian than your "white" half

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merichard87
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby merichard87 » Fri May 07, 2010 2:40 pm

no. And it could make for a nice DS.

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twert
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby twert » Fri May 07, 2010 2:40 pm

edit: double post
Last edited by twert on Fri May 07, 2010 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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merichard87
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby merichard87 » Fri May 07, 2010 2:42 pm

twert wrote:edit: double post



Catch-22

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TheCheerfulPessimist
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby TheCheerfulPessimist » Fri May 07, 2010 3:00 pm

Fascinating. All of my Persian friends swear up and down that they are white and not Arab. This is the first I've heard of a half Persian/ half white person.

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pany1985
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby pany1985 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:04 pm

Persians aren't Arabs. They're Persians.

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Borhas
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby Borhas » Fri May 07, 2010 3:06 pm

TheCheerfulPessimist wrote:Fascinating. All of my Persian friends swear up and down that they are white and not Arab. This is the first I've heard of a half Persian/ half white person.


Arabs are also white

Iranians and Arabs are like rival ethnicities

ViP
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby ViP » Fri May 07, 2010 3:08 pm

Borhas wrote:
TheCheerfulPessimist wrote:Fascinating. All of my Persian friends swear up and down that they are white and not Arab. This is the first I've heard of a half Persian/ half white person.


Arabs are also white


Iranians and Arabs are like rival ethnicities


Not exactly. Although the term "white" is thrown around aimlessly these days.

Arabs are Semitic people. Persians are Aryans/Caucasians.

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Borhas
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby Borhas » Fri May 07, 2010 3:11 pm

ViP wrote:
Borhas wrote:
TheCheerfulPessimist wrote:Fascinating. All of my Persian friends swear up and down that they are white and not Arab. This is the first I've heard of a half Persian/ half white person.


Arabs are also white


Iranians and Arabs are like rival ethnicities


Not exactly. Although the term "white" is thrown around aimlessly these days.

Arabs are Semitic people. Persians are Aryans/Caucasians.


yeah, that's a more precise way of putting it

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Iron Man
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby Iron Man » Mon May 24, 2010 1:32 pm

Iranians, Arabs, Afghans and Pakistanis are caucasoid by "skull type." So these people would check white/caucasian unless there is a specific category which lists your race/nationality.

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weee
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby weee » Mon May 24, 2010 8:31 pm

...
Last edited by weee on Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr. Pablo
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby Mr. Pablo » Mon May 24, 2010 8:35 pm

Iron Man wrote:Iranians, Arabs, Afghans and Pakistanis are caucasoid by "skull type." So these people would check white/caucasian unless there is a specific category which lists your race/nationality.

This is correct.

gris.clair
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby gris.clair » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:44 pm

Short answer: Mark what feels right. No, you won't be penalized.

Long answer:

I'm half Pakistani/half white so I know how you feel. There's no label that feels like a good fit.

I feel like there are two ways to approach the term Caucasian. First, with a classic "scientific" eugenics-fueled 19th century definition - people indigenous to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. By this definition, you and I are both fully Caucasian.

But we can also approach the term in the way it is used colloquially in the United States -- as a synonym for white. Here's where it get really tricky. Arabs and Persians are considered white by the U.S. Census Bureau for a really interesting reason...

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1975883,00.html#ixzz0r9eZRsDS

Arabs, who would seem to have an even stronger race claim than Hispanics do, are trumpeting their own write-in campaign because the Census by default counts them as white — and the bureau announced this week that it has no intention of changing that policy in 2010. Incredibly, the term Arab doesn't even appear on the census form, though other Asian ethnicities, like Indian, are listed as races. (Ironically, part of the problem is that Arab immigrants a century ago petitioned the Federal Government to be categorized as white to avoid discrimination. Today, Arab-American leaders realize how much that move has cost their community in terms of federal aid and legal clout.)


So, basically the Census considers us white because of the lobbying of an oppressed ethnic group in the early twentieth century. I don't think that is especially valid or accurate. Moving on...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race#Usage_in_the_United_States

The Supreme Court in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) decided that Asian Indians – unlike Europeans and Middle Easterners – were Caucasian, but were not white, because most laypeople did not consider them to be white people.


So, according to the 1923 Supreme Court, we're both Caucasian, but you are white and I am not. (I guess? My ethnic group is largely found in the Middle East but my family lives in an area that was part of India in 1923...) Regardless, the Supreme Court based whiteness on a layperson's definition of the term.

Do American laypeople consider Persians white? Do laypeople consider Arabs white? It's hard to answer. I know Christian Lebanese families who have fully integrated into American societies. I'm sure most laypeople would consider them white, and they might identify as white as well. But I know a million other Middle Eastern families who would never be considered white by laypeople, nor would they identify as white.

Basically, I think you are free to interpret "Caucasian" however you wish and answer the question however you feel comfortable. "Other" is there for a reason.

12262010
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby 12262010 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:49 pm

Image

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Iron Man
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby Iron Man » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:09 pm

gris.clair wrote:Short answer: Mark what feels right. No, you won't be penalized.

Long answer:

I'm half Pakistani/half white so I know how you feel. There's no label that feels like a good fit.

I feel like there are two ways to approach the term Caucasian. First, with a classic "scientific" eugenics-fueled 19th century definition - people indigenous to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. By this definition, you and I are both fully Caucasian.

But we can also approach the term in the way it is used colloquially in the United States -- as a synonym for white. Here's where it get really tricky. Arabs and Persians are considered white by the U.S. Census Bureau for a really interesting reason...

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1975883,00.html#ixzz0r9eZRsDS

Arabs, who would seem to have an even stronger race claim than Hispanics do, are trumpeting their own write-in campaign because the Census by default counts them as white — and the bureau announced this week that it has no intention of changing that policy in 2010. Incredibly, the term Arab doesn't even appear on the census form, though other Asian ethnicities, like Indian, are listed as races. (Ironically, part of the problem is that Arab immigrants a century ago petitioned the Federal Government to be categorized as white to avoid discrimination. Today, Arab-American leaders realize how much that move has cost their community in terms of federal aid and legal clout.)


So, basically the Census considers us white because of the lobbying of an oppressed ethnic group in the early twentieth century. I don't think that is especially valid or accurate. Moving on...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race#Usage_in_the_United_States

The Supreme Court in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) decided that Asian Indians – unlike Europeans and Middle Easterners – were Caucasian, but were not white, because most laypeople did not consider them to be white people.


So, according to the 1923 Supreme Court, we're both Caucasian, but you are white and I am not. (I guess? My ethnic group is largely found in the Middle East but my family lives in an area that was part of India in 1923...) Regardless, the Supreme Court based whiteness on a layperson's definition of the term.

Do American laypeople consider Persians white? Do laypeople consider Arabs white? It's hard to answer. I know Christian Lebanese families who have fully integrated into American societies. I'm sure most laypeople would consider them white, and they might identify as white as well. But I know a million other Middle Eastern families who would never be considered white by laypeople, nor would they identify as white.

Basically, I think you are free to interpret "Caucasian" however you wish and answer the question however you feel comfortable. "Other" is there for a reason.


You are making it more complicated than it needs to be. I already posted the correct answer to this. Unless your family that lived India came from the southern parts then you are not Caucasian you are a Dravidian and you would check Asian.

SuperFreak
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby SuperFreak » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:27 pm

Iron Man wrote:
gris.clair wrote:Short answer: Mark what feels right. No, you won't be penalized.

Long answer:

I'm half Pakistani/half white so I know how you feel. There's no label that feels like a good fit.

I feel like there are two ways to approach the term Caucasian. First, with a classic "scientific" eugenics-fueled 19th century definition - people indigenous to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. By this definition, you and I are both fully Caucasian.

But we can also approach the term in the way it is used colloquially in the United States -- as a synonym for white. Here's where it get really tricky. Arabs and Persians are considered white by the U.S. Census Bureau for a really interesting reason...

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1975883,00.html#ixzz0r9eZRsDS

Arabs, who would seem to have an even stronger race claim than Hispanics do, are trumpeting their own write-in campaign because the Census by default counts them as white — and the bureau announced this week that it has no intention of changing that policy in 2010. Incredibly, the term Arab doesn't even appear on the census form, though other Asian ethnicities, like Indian, are listed as races. (Ironically, part of the problem is that Arab immigrants a century ago petitioned the Federal Government to be categorized as white to avoid discrimination. Today, Arab-American leaders realize how much that move has cost their community in terms of federal aid and legal clout.)


So, basically the Census considers us white because of the lobbying of an oppressed ethnic group in the early twentieth century. I don't think that is especially valid or accurate. Moving on...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race#Usage_in_the_United_States

The Supreme Court in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) decided that Asian Indians – unlike Europeans and Middle Easterners – were Caucasian, but were not white, because most laypeople did not consider them to be white people.


So, according to the 1923 Supreme Court, we're both Caucasian, but you are white and I am not. (I guess? My ethnic group is largely found in the Middle East but my family lives in an area that was part of India in 1923...) Regardless, the Supreme Court based whiteness on a layperson's definition of the term.


Do American laypeople consider Persians white? Do laypeople consider Arabs white? It's hard to answer. I know Christian Lebanese families who have fully integrated into American societies. I'm sure most laypeople would consider them white, and they might identify as white as well. But I know a million other Middle Eastern families who would never be considered white by laypeople, nor would they identify as white.

Basically, I think you are free to interpret "Caucasian" however you wish and answer the question however you feel comfortable. "Other" is there for a reason.


You are making it more complicated than it needs to be. I already posted the correct answer to this. Unless your family that lived India came from the southern parts then you are not Caucasian you are a Dravidian and you would check Asian.


There is debatably no such thing as Dravidian, and there is evidence to support the notion that Indians are neither Caucasian nor Asian but a distinct group. There is also genetic evidence to support the notion that there is no difference between Dravidians and Aryans so as to call them differently. It is more superficial than real. Also, whites are not Aryans.

Persians should just be considered Arabs. The Supreme Court in 1923 was wrong about the Indians.

DustyfootPhilospher
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby DustyfootPhilospher » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:11 am

Racial designation is completely a cultural construct. In an anthropological sense Persians and Arabs are classified in the grouping "Caucasian" due to cranial structure, evolutionary origin, and genetic characteristics. That does not mean that they equate to the western (Specifically American) term for "White". There are even some groups in sub-Saharan African that anywhere in the world would be recognized as Black but are classed as "Caucasoid" in anthropology. This includes some groups in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan (which has the blackest people on earth). Some groups in India are also classified as "Caucasoid" in Anthropology (although its under debate) even though culturally they would be South Asian. Even groups of people who are obviously black by phenotype in the Andamese Islands and Papua New Guinea are (debatably) classified as Austrosoid. Native Americans are classified as Mongoloid right along with Chinese and Japanese but obviously receive different racial classifications in society. There is confusion in US society and even within the US Census Bureau apparently between social classifications of race and the scientific one. Arabs are considered in science white but deserve a separate classification on official demographic surveys because most do not consider themselves to be included in the societal view of "white" nor does society view them in this way. As a matter of fact they may be one of the most discriminated groups in the US in some areas of life.

Another point of confusion is the word Caucasian which does not always equate to "White" in the US social context. For instance I have lived in Europe for years and typically when you say Caucasian you are referring to people originating in the Caucasus region of Eurasia who are actually not very "White".

I have also lived in Latin America and the Caribbean which have very complex definitions of race that are vastly different than those in the US. Arabs, Persians and Indians obviously do not fit into the accepted American lay definition of “White”. This is a gaff on the part of the US Census Bureau, but Americans lack so much knowledge about race (even their own) that it hasn’t received that much public push back. Just as many people of Hispanic origin honestly believe their race to be Hispanic. Some (not all or even most) have no clue Hispanic is an ethnicity that covers people of many races. Its actually a recent ethnic designation created in the 70’s by the US Census Bureau to group people from the complex and diverse racial backgrounds of people from Latin America which is highly misogynous. All in All the US Census Bureau screwed up.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:24 am

DustyfootPhilospher wrote:Racial designation is completely a cultural construct.

Wow, society and culture are the reason for my darker skin tone and facial features? And all this time I'd been told it was genetics! Damn liberal scientists, lying to me again!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:25 am

Amir N wrote:Despite being half-half, I identify myself as a Persian American. I understand Middle Eastern is not considered URM for law school purposes. I am wondering, however, if I will be penalized in anyway during the admissions process if I mark "other" instead of Caucasian under the ethnicity box?

1) You won't be penalized.

2) You may or may not get a boost from this if you write a Diversity Statement discussing your life as a Persian-American and how it will add diversity to the incoming class.

DustyfootPhilospher
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Re: Half Persian/Half White

Postby DustyfootPhilospher » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:53 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
DustyfootPhilospher wrote:Racial designation is completely a cultural construct.

Wow, society and culture are the reason for my darker skin tone and facial features? And all this time I'd been told it was genetics! Damn liberal scientists, lying to me again!



No. I am not saying that your phenotypic (physical) features are decided by society, I am saying that how society decides to classify you accordingly are a social construct. For example when Langston Hughes, a very famous African American writer went to West Africa to discover his roots he was very hurt that when he arrived the local poplulation considered him White. This was becuase he had medium brown skin and loosely curly hair, while in the US he was obviously Black and became famous writing about life as a black man. In some countries Arabs are considered "White" while others some even call then Black. In Brazil they have over 100 different sub-races for the category of Black. Also many people in the Caribbean who are of black decent (at least mostly) but have lighter skin or what is termed "cooley" hair (curly not kinky) are called called White but in the US would be obviously Black. The terms black, white, asian, Indian, vary from country to country and no one can say which one is right or wrong. Also over the years the definition of race has changed. In Medieval Europe many Arabs from North Africa such as Moroccans were considered "Black" and put into the ambiguous racial designation "Moor". The meaning of the word Moor has changed through out history and has included Blacks and Arabs at the same time. The Greeks at one period refered to Southern Indians as Eastern Ethiopians because Southern Indian and people of the Ethopian/Somalian region have very similar physical features and were considered the same race. (There is genetic evidence however linking some groups of southern india to East Africa.)
It is widely accepted by most anthropologist that there is not one way to define what is "race". For example give me any number of characteristics to define a race and I guarantee you that I can find people who consider themselves another race who sometime share those features, or people who doconsider themselves a part of that particular race but do not share all of those characteristics. There is an entire field of science designated to the discussion about what is race and can race be defined with a resounding NO. No need to take my word just do a bit of research maybe and that might help you out.
Also geographic origin cannot put a definition on race for a couple of reasons. There are regions from which many different racial groups have originated (north africa for example is the place or origin for Berber's and some groups of Black Africans). Also this would call into question at what time period do you start counting a persons origins. At one point everyone started in Africa. The ancestors or Asians at another point went through eastern europe as a part of their evolutionary history before "Caucasians" split off in another direction etc, etc.
Maybe do a bit of traveling as well and you will see what racial groups people might mistake you for. So no your dark skin and facial features do not define your race, they are the characteristics used by society to define your race. Race is not a fixed global definition. That is an undebatable fact that I am sure you will find if you do any research on the subject.




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