Any "fortunate" URM's

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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Thirteen
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby Thirteen » Sun May 23, 2010 2:56 pm

Knockglock wrote:
wolf13 wrote:I am in the same situation as you regarding this. I am part Mexican, from a middle class family, and don't have a story of overcoming my background. It doesn't help that I am white as hell, never learned Spanish, and my family isn't traditional. Hell, the most racism I have experienced has been from looking white, when attending things put on by Latino clubs. Looking at me, and my background, I am a "typical white American".


Are you planning on writing a DS?


OP, I'm an AA Male frum an upper-middle class background. I wrote about how growing up how I did gave me a unique perspective, and how I would bring a certain way of viewing things to the classroom that would benefit the overall learning experience. Echoing Kohinoor, I think adcomms care, in the absence of extreme circumstances, more about your writing ability than the content of your DS. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot a PM to me.

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r2b2ct
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby r2b2ct » Sun May 23, 2010 3:53 pm

Wrong. URM is about relative "access". What about the "underrepresented" part is so difficult to understand? Rich blacks are NOT underrepresented in the professions. I would venture to say that by percentage, they are as likely to have access (i.e., means, background, social connections and family structure) and to enter the professions as anyone. Rich blacks are not underrepresented in my view.

I think it is a mistake to view individuals as "underrepresented". URM refers specifically to race/ethnicity. Someone can be a member of an URM, but they are not themselves URM. Furthermore it is a mistake to consider characteristics other than race/ethnicity when considering the URM question.

AA is a results-oriented policy. The general goal is to generate positive (balanced) results. AA is a response to the issue of unequal representation of socio-politically significant races/ethnicities. So, the results are limited to the representation of these races/ethnicities. The point isn't to fix the reasons why there is an imbalance or even to suppress their effects, it is to provide alternative forces (which may or may not be arbitrary to the original forces) which affect the aggregate to counterbalance the ultimate representation. The causes of the issue are not really taken into account and are functionally irrelevant. So I think it is going too far to say AA is truly related to individually-experienced adversity or lack of opportunity.

I don't mean to say that this is how AA should be, or even why some people support it, but based on how it works this is what I think.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby hellokitty » Sun May 23, 2010 3:58 pm

I guess I'd say I've been pretty fortunate...I don't want to delve too deep into the topic, but it had absolutely nothing to do with me being a URM and had more to do with life experiences. It was a sort of narrative that explained why I wanted to practice law, based on my own personal experiences. I'm pretty sure there was no mention of race or ethnicity it my PS at all.

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bk1
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby bk1 » Sun May 23, 2010 4:35 pm

PDaddy wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
Knockglock wrote:Are there any URM's out there that were fortunate and didn't have to go through huge struggles in their life in overcoming adversity? How did you craft your DS?


Contradiction in terms. If you are, say Obama's daughter or J-Lo's son, you are not a URM because rich or upper-middle-class ethnics are well represented in the professions.

This just proves that you (and a lot of people on TLS, sadly) still don't understand what "under-represented minority" means.


Wrong. URM is about relative "access". What about the "underrepresented" part is so difficult to understand? Rich blacks are NOT underrepresented in the professions. I would venture to say that by percentage, they are as likely to have access (i.e., means, background, social connections and family structure) and to enter the professions as anyone. Rich blacks are not underrepresented in my view.

In fact, one can argue that, from a sheer economic standpoint, they are highly represented, which is why their families have money and status in the first place. Out of 100,000 black families with household earnings above $250K, you are going to find a high concentration of entrepreneurs and professionals. Out of 100,000 white families of the same status, there will, likewise, be a high concentration of entrepreneurs and professionals. Like hell a suburban, rich black kid deserves some kind of boost. That undermines the purpose of recognizing URM's in the first place...creating access wfor those who don't have it.


I think the problem here is the conflation of the terms URM and minority (as it is used more broadly). URM is a specific category of social/ethnic groups that are given a boost in law school admissions, that is all it is. vanwinkle is correct, URM means only this and nothing more. If you want to get into semantics that is a whole other deal or if you want to debate whether or not certain URM's deserve the boost. What "URM is about" is irrelevant to the current discussion as to what it is, as it is defined in terms of law school admissions.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sun May 23, 2010 6:36 pm

i don't like the usage of racism as a justification for affirmative action. you guys realize, of course, that such a justification is as illegal as murder, no? its called the equal protections clause. beyond that, i really dont find the logic all that convincing.

i really dont want to feel like a pawn in some adcom's wild-eyed social engineering project.

i wish we'd make arguments that were based on the compelling interest inherent in diversity.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby romothesavior » Sun May 23, 2010 6:39 pm

creatinganalt wrote:Anyway I apologise cos this is pointless and I should stop talking. TLS + race never goes anywhere.


fwiw, I'm a big supporter of AA and URM boosts, so I'm not sure why we're even arguing. I'll just drop it as well because race debates on TLS are pointless.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby hiromoto45 » Sun May 23, 2010 6:42 pm

.
Last edited by hiromoto45 on Sun May 23, 2010 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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YCrevolution
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby YCrevolution » Sun May 23, 2010 6:44 pm

..

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romothesavior
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby romothesavior » Sun May 23, 2010 7:04 pm

hiromoto45 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
creatinganalt wrote:Anyway I apologise cos this is pointless and I should stop talking. TLS + race never goes anywhere.


Agreed, and I'll leave it alone too... But I'll just finish by saying that it is absurd to think that a black guy teeing off with his white buddies at the country club can "relate" to a poor black kid from the hood. The former faces racism, no doubt, but overcoming it is far, far easier than it is for the latter. And I don't have to be black or have some enlightening experience to make that claim.

And fwiw, I'm a big supporter of AA and URM boosts, so I'm not sure why we're even arguing. I'll just drop it as well because race debates on TLS are pointless.


I am so puzzled as to why you attempt to support your absurd claim.

It's beliefs like this that perpetuates the misguided thinking of "you aren't really black if you aren't poor. "


Don't put words in my mouth. I never said that rich/middle class blacks don't experience racism or "aren't really black." Complete straw man argument, which is what the most ardent AA-supporters are best at. Hiro, I strongly agreed with what you said on the first page about economically advantaged blacks facing racism. No doubt about it... a black kid in the same socio-economic position as myself is going to face things I never would have to. So at the root of this argument, I agree with you.

All I've been arguing against is this line here:
So the Mott Haven black guy and country club black guy actually have a fairly decent understanding of one (important) facet of each other's existence - the race part. I'd say in America, that is the pretty much the part that matters.


IMO, that's just absurd. Feel free to disagree with me, but don't make straw man arguments or put words in my mouth. I never said you have to be poor to be black. K thx bai.

And thirteen... heaven forbid anyone disagree with you. Might as well insult my intelligence, right? Or maybe I "just don't get it?" This is why we can't even discuss race (or any political matter) in this country... neither side allows for reasonable dissent or disagreement.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sun May 23, 2010 7:07 pm

YCrevolution wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:i don't like the usage of racism as a justification for affirmative action. you guys realize, of course, that such a justification is as illegal as murder, no? its called the equal protections clause. beyond that, i really dont find the logic all that convincing.

i really dont want to feel like a pawn in some adcom's wild-eyed social engineering project.

i wish we'd make arguments that were based on the compelling interest inherent in diversity.

You're actually somewhat off (assuming racism and discrimination are interchangeable terms for this argument). You're right on the diversity part, at least as it applies to state law schools (and possibly some other state actors).

State actors can constitutionally remedy their own past discrimination through race-conscious measures, and possibly take race-conscious measures so as not to give effect to ongoing discrimination by private actors with which the state actor interacts/contracts. It's just very difficult to establish that such remedies are narrowly tailored to achieve their intended goal.

And while not AA per se, there are other situations where it is constitutional for a state actor to (overtly and explicity) consider race in its actions/programs.


I'm of course not in a position to argue about the extent to which the constitution allows for past discrimination to be taken into account by various actors.

But by "racism" I wasn't referring to the systematic discrimination that took place in the past, but rather the kinds of anachronistic attitudes that seem to persist to this day. Lots of posts itt made the argument that affirmative action follows logically from the fact that many urms, including well-off ones, experience racism. I just wanted to express my dissatisfaction with that line of reasoning.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby 20121109 » Sun May 23, 2010 7:20 pm

Romo, I think some people are having some trouble with the fact that you seem to be attempting to make sense of different "levels" of racism across the various socioeconomic strata. Like, saying how a rich black kid won't face as much racism as a poor black kid (or it would be easier to overcome), simply due to the qualifiers of wealth. I see your reasoning, but I beg to differ. The thing about trying to reason racism at any level, is that, well, you can't. Racism, just like any other prejudice and/or discrimination, is alogical. Claiming that something should make sense in this particular context is inherently oxymoronic. Wealthy blacks still face just as much racism, but just in different, maybe less overt forms.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby creatinganalt » Mon May 24, 2010 4:37 am

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:
YCrevolution wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:i don't like the usage of racism as a justification for affirmative action. you guys realize, of course, that such a justification is as illegal as murder, no? its called the equal protections clause. beyond that, i really dont find the logic all that convincing.

i really dont want to feel like a pawn in some adcom's wild-eyed social engineering project.

i wish we'd make arguments that were based on the compelling interest inherent in diversity.

You're actually somewhat off (assuming racism and discrimination are interchangeable terms for this argument). You're right on the diversity part, at least as it applies to state law schools (and possibly some other state actors).

State actors can constitutionally remedy their own past discrimination through race-conscious measures, and possibly take race-conscious measures so as not to give effect to ongoing discrimination by private actors with which the state actor interacts/contracts. It's just very difficult to establish that such remedies are narrowly tailored to achieve their intended goal.

And while not AA per se, there are other situations where it is constitutional for a state actor to (overtly and explicity) consider race in its actions/programs.


I'm of course not in a position to argue about the extent to which the constitution allows for past discrimination to be taken into account by various actors.

But by "racism" I wasn't referring to the systematic discrimination that took place in the past, but rather the kinds of anachronistic attitudes that seem to persist to this day. Lots of posts itt made the argument that affirmative action follows logically from the fact that many urms, including well-off ones, experience racism. I just wanted to express my dissatisfaction with that line of reasoning.


But if today's racism (at all levels) stops the natural non discriminatory reordering of society that most white people THINK already exists then it is relevant. So society was unjust. Now there is equal protection under the law but a lot of discrimination in practice neutralises some of that. At this has a socio economic impact at all levels for AAs. So AfAc is needed BECAUSE of the present day racism (which neutralises the principles of equality that are now on the books) as part of the drive to 'right past wrongs'.

So for example, if you can show evidence that black people are discriminated against in hiring (closest is that black names are heavily discriminated against which has been shown over and over), then as part of the 'righting of past wrongs' in striving for equal levels of representation in the workplace for minorities (when they used to be kept out), you can argue that this current discrimination becomes relevant as 'keeping people out' and as a justification for AfAc.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby creatinganalt » Mon May 24, 2010 4:46 am

See this kind of argument really annoys me. We HAVE been discussing race. And yes, someone was snarky but you are snarky all over TLS all the time. It's like as soon as someone (non URM) discusses race and their arse isn't kissed, immediately it's subtle digs against 'political correctness' and not being 'allowed to dissent'.

You are dissenting. Just cos people think you're argument is crap doesn't mean you aren't dissenting. You have given NO EVIDENCE for your central claim (that the rich black guy and the poor guy have dissimilar experiences of racism). I've given evidence why I think they do. A lot of POC on the thread have said they think they do. You just keep stating it.

Well you know, what? I've been polite but seriously, fuck off. Everyone thinks black people have the victim attitude but in every online or IRL conversation I've had about race, the non URM cannot handle any disagreement, any snarkiness, anything but polite deferential patient ass kissing treatment. Anything else (like a URM getting annoyed or short) is considered 'political correctness'. It's really really pathetic.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby LAWLAW09 » Mon May 24, 2010 7:29 am

creatinganalt wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:
YCrevolution wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:

So for example, if you can show evidence that black people are discriminated against in hiring (closest is that black names are heavily discriminated against which has been shown over and over), then as part of the 'righting of past wrongs' in striving for equal levels of representation in the workplace for minorities (when they used to be kept out), you can argue that this current discrimination becomes relevant as 'keeping people out' and as a justification for AfAc.




(not that your "if" was literally asking for evidence but...)


http://money.cnn.com/2005/06/17/news/ec ... ring_bias/

http://www.econ.brown.edu/econ/events/p ... stern1.pdf




"They are who we thought they were." -- Dennis Green


lol


Less eloquently: history, research, and common sense are on "my" side. The burden of proof still has not shifted to its proper place. ("Want another study?? OK. Sure. I'll prove I'm not crazy or complaining, again.") No surprise there though. Privilege rarely participates in its own demise.

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3 Stripes
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby 3 Stripes » Mon May 24, 2010 12:11 pm

In this thread, people still do not understand the meaning of URM and Affirmative Action. Highly disappointing for a pool of future lawyers who are supposed to be fundamentally sound with logical, comprehension and reasoning skills.

First of all, racism DOES exist and anybody who refuses to acknowledge this is a buffoon. While it's not in-your-face, it's still there as it has become more institutional and systematic.

URM=Under-represented Minorities
-not who's most disadvantaged
-not who's "more black"
-not who suffers the most at the hands of "whitey"

So, considering this, a "rich" black person is no different from a "poor" black person in the eyes of Adcomm members because both are still under-represented minorities. Those who try to say that a bourgie (or well-off) black person doesn't deserve to be considered for admission with respect to AA (like many posters in this thread) are mistaken and don't understand the concept of URMs/AA.

The main reason URMs (blacks, Latinos, Native Americans) are sought out by Admission Committees is because of what they are: under represented minorities. Schools, for varying reasons, seek to have as many URMs as possible to at least appear to have a diverse student body. In order to do this, schools go out of their ways to find URMs. This is where AA comes into play. Affirmative Action, in school, seeks to level the playing field in the sense of having plausible, attainable racial/ethnic representation in college and graduate schools. AA achieves when as many QUALIFIED URMs as possible are given opportunities to succeed academically. While there will most likely never be as many blacks/Latinos/Native Americans as whites in institutions of higher learning, given the racial composition of the American population, AA seeks to provide access to premier academic institutions by enabling Adcomms with the ability and desire to give extra consideration to URM applicants. Also, AA doesn't take seats away from "more qualified" (code for: white applicants) and, if anything, increases the level of competition for admission amongst URMs. And while schools may not openly admit to this, there is a quota for URMs that matches the American population, more or less. So, AA doesn't take seats away from whites.

When it comes to the preferences of Adcomms, we can be sure that URMs who have demonstrated achievement in the face of adversity (ie-a latino kid from the barrio who succeeded academically in high school and college in the face of drug dealers, murder, etc.) are generally favored. However, as many people seemingly fail to grasp, when it comes to URMs especially, it's quality over quantity in the eyes of adcomms, even though they would like to have as many URMs as possible. Schools, for the most part, would rather have 20 URMs who seem to be competent of succeeding academically as opposed to having 200+ URMS, some of whom would undeniably struggle. That is why some "rich" black kid who may have attended the best schools and grow up in a relatively affluent neighborhood could be considered more favorably by certain Adcomms than a "poor" black kid who performed at a high level academically in the public education system. It would be less of a risk in terms of seeing their students fail, much less URMs. At the end of the day, education is still a business and schools are still going to want the best and brightest, even in the face of conscious efforts to attain as many URMs as possible.

There it is.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby Mattalones » Mon May 24, 2010 2:15 pm

Deng, y'all are going at it on here.

Here's something useful

I don't want to get into the AA debate, but I have a fairly useful way to think about and clarify what URM is:

An Underrepresented Minority (URM) in higher education is any ethnic group that has historically made up a significantly smaller proportion of a given field of study (e.g. law school) than they make up in the general population, where "general population" can mean either the national population or the regional population near a certain school (e.g. the population of MA for Boston College, or California for UCLA).

National underrepresentation and overreppresentation:
Think about any ethnic group (I am going to make up a word for illustration) and call that group "puffs." If puffs are 10% of the national population, but they make up only 1% of the population in higher education, then puffs are very underrepresented. Now, think of another ethnic group - the "pops" - who make up only 3% of the national population, but who make up 30% of the population in higher education. That makes the pops very overrepresented.

Now that the point is made, think of actual ethnic groups in higher education: Hispanic and Asian Americans at top universities.
The last census reported that about 15.4% of the US is hispanic and that about 4.4% of the US is Asian. Now take a look at those groups for some top universities:

US POP
Asian: 4.4% - Hispanic: 15.4%


3 TOP WEST SCHOOLS
UCLA
Asian: 38% - Hispanic: 15%
UC Berkeley
Asian: 41% - Hispanic: 11%
Stanford
Asian: 28%% - Hispanic: 10%

Average for these WEST schools
Asian: 36%% - Hispanic: 12%


3 TOP EAST SCHOOLS
Harvard
Asian: 16%% - Hispanic: 7%
Yale
Asian: 14%% - Hispanic: 7%
Northwestern
Asian: 18%% - Hispanic: 7%

Average for these EAST schools
Asian: 13%% - Hispanic: 7%


After looking at this, you can clearly see that, at least for 3 top schools on each side of the country (feel free to post-to-increase my sample of top EAST/WEST undergrads if you want), there is nearly a tripple overrepresentation of Asian Americans in both EAST and WEST, while the reppresentation splits for hispanics. EAST has only one-half representation for hispanics, whereas WEST falls short by much less.

The above was only a comparison to the national population, and demographics vary by region.

Regional underrepresentation and overreppresentation
Because the west coast boarders Mexico, it has more hispanic than the east coast. Because of proximity as well, the west coast also has more Asians. So, the role that regional ethnography plays is important to consider.

The census shows that states on the west have much more hispanics than the east; CA has a 37% hispanic population. East coast states are much different: NY has a 17% hispanic population, Pennsylvania has a 5% hispanic population, ME has a 17% hispanic population, etc. So, this strongly suggests that hispanic underrepresentation in CA is actually about proportional to that of east coast states event though hispanic reppresentation is closer to the national average at top CA schools than it is at top east schools.

Historicity
The numbers can't just be mismatched in a random year for a group to be a URM in higher education. An ethnic group's reppresentation being lower in higher education than in the general population must be a longstanding fact, and it must be the result of institutionalized barriers to access (e.g. the long-lasting affects of segregation).

Mexicans had it bad in CA: (picture of a typical sign in window of CA restaurant from 1900-1960s)

Blacks had it bad everywhere: (picture of a typical sign for blacks from 1900-1960s)

You all know the story, or have at least heard parts of it. Either way, I won't get into it, but there have been serious barriers to entry into many life-essentials (e.g. health care, education, job markets, property ownership, etc) for a select handful of ethnics groups in the US (e.g. blacks, Mexicans, Indian Americans), and the effects of those barriers accounts for part of the story behind underrepresentation of those groups in higher education. Only those ethnic groups that are underrepresented in part because of such barriers meet this historicity criteria; they have been historically underrepresented in a way that makes them eligible to be URMs.

Implications
This idea of "URM boosts" is obviously meant to help. However, whenever help is given out in categories, things get hazy. Consider something analogous to illustrate why: As we all know, just because horses are animals, it doesn't mean that "helping animals" means helping horses (viz. there are many other animals besides horses; rattle snakes, for instance). In the same way, helping only groups who have been historically underrepresented in higher education raises questions: should the rich black/Mexican/Native-American kid get help? should the poor white kid not get help? why deny certain groups help like the Hmong Chinese, who face serious barriers into life essential in China? There will always be these types of "where do we draw the line" questions. However, recognizing URMs as a group is a step in a good direction. The best that can be done to mitigate line-drawing issues is to take things on a case-by-case basis.

HTH
Last edited by Mattalones on Tue May 25, 2010 11:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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3 Stripes
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby 3 Stripes » Tue May 25, 2010 4:45 pm

c0rpusdelicti wrote:
Q: What does one call an African-American gentleman, possessing more than a fair measure of education, breeding, and distinction, who has just left the room?

???


A body in the casket.




































I keed. I keed!

d34d9823
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby d34d9823 » Tue May 25, 2010 4:57 pm

Mattalones wrote:US POP
Asian: 15.4% - Hispanic: 4.4%



You really should un-switch this. I was confused for like 10 seconds.

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Mattalones
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby Mattalones » Tue May 25, 2010 11:24 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:You really should un-switch this. I was confused for like 10 seconds.

Oops. Thanks. I fixed it. Can you remove the quote to avoid further confusion. Thanks :-)

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby mwazaumoja » Wed May 26, 2010 11:39 am

From my own personal experience as a member of the Black Allied Law Student Association at NYU, I can tell you that there is a good amount of diversity among the black students, as well as in the population of the school at large. Some people grew up more disadvantaged than others, some went to ivy league schools, some of us are immigrants, etc.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby c0rpusdelicti » Wed May 26, 2010 1:14 pm

3 Stripes wrote:
c0rpusdelicti wrote:


Q: What does one call an African-American gentleman, possessing more than a fair measure of education, breeding, and distinction, who has just left the room?

???


A body in the casket.


I keed. I keed![/quote]

Actually, the answer is.... "deleted". <----- I actually typed out the "n-word" here but the forum auto-censors to "black man". Which is stupid, but I digress.

Malcolm X, anyone? The Skip Gates controversy, anyone?

The point I'm trying to make is that racism affects even the most privileged members of African-American society. It's an inescapable fact of life and no matter what resources one accumulates, one cannot escape one's physiognomy and the consequences arising thereof. The purpose of affirmative action, in my view, isn't solely to aid those from disadvantaged backgrounds in reaching economic parity with the privileged segments of society. Rather, I think that the goal of countering the racism that is still insidious and pervasive in everyday life is at least equally as important.

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3 Stripes
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby 3 Stripes » Wed May 26, 2010 1:20 pm

deleted

There I said it.

I don't see why TLS bans a certain word just because it's controversial but then allows posters to type in swear words and have unruly topic discussions. Furthermore, even in this day and age, we all operate in a system that perpetuates the racism/discrimination that birthed the word. It's hypocrisy in the truest sense.

And I am a black person.

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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby c0rpusdelicti » Wed May 26, 2010 1:28 pm

3 Stripes wrote:deleted

There I said it.

I don't see why TLS bans a certain word just because it's controversial but then allows posters to type in swear words and have unruly topic discussions. Furthermore, even in this day and age, we all operate in a system that perpetuates the racism/discrimination that birthed the word. It's hypocrisy in the truest sense.

And I am a black person.


Hear, hear! It's exactly this kind of sterile engagement with the topic of racism (almost always tending towards the "colorblind" view of the world) that pisses me off.

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Mattalones
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby Mattalones » Wed May 26, 2010 1:48 pm

deleted

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bk1
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Re: Any "fortunate" URM's

Postby bk1 » Wed May 26, 2010 1:59 pm

This is teetering on the brink of an AA debate, I can just feel it.




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