I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

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christinalsat
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I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby christinalsat » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:16 pm

I found it strange that a lot of schools ask if I'm Hispanic and then ask for my race. I'm certainly part-white, but also quite obviously have indigenous blood as most Latinos do. For now I've just been checking off white and Native American. It makes me slightly uncomfortable since I don't have a tribal card or anything like that. "Community attachment" is so vaguely worded I'm not sure what that means. I would also feel weird just checking white since I have never identified with that category either. Nor have I ever been treated as a "white person." Will this raise any kind of red flag? What have other people done?

I remember the census organized their race questions similarly and made a lot of people confused. Hopefully I'm not the only law school applicant who has faced this dilemma! Any advice?

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:36 pm

I dont think they will have a problem with it.

1. questioning you about how you define your race could get them into a lot of trouble if they do it wrong.

2. they want minority students.

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Shooter
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Shooter » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:40 pm

Wait. How exactly do "white persons" get treated?

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plenipotentiary
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:43 pm

Shooter wrote:Wait. How exactly do "white persons" get treated?


Well.

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Shooter
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Shooter » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Well if that's the criteria, apparently this poor girl has never been treated well in her entire life.

christinalsat
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby christinalsat » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:58 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
Shooter wrote:Wait. How exactly do "white persons" get treated?


Well.


That's not what I meant. I grew up in a mostly white town where I was essentially the only person with even remotely darker skin. Yes, some of the time I was treated poorly. Most of the time I was treated fine, but was always well aware that I was different. That's all I meant.

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Shooter
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Shooter » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:34 pm

I can totally understand that. Sorry for hijacking your thread.

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LAWLAW09
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:41 pm

Shooter wrote:Well if that's the criteria, apparently this poor girl has never been treated well in her entire life.



I don't think that is the criteria but I do think this is your reality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oUuJxJ_ ... re=related


With sincerity, good luck in your cycle.

christinalsat
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby christinalsat » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:45 pm

From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?

JOThompson
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:48 pm

christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?

Many schools will request proof of tribal affiliation if you check the Native American box. I think that Hispanic + White + DS is the safest bet here.

bdubs
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby bdubs » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:50 pm

christinalsat wrote:I found it strange that a lot of schools ask if I'm Hispanic and then ask for my race. I'm certainly part-white, but also quite obviously have indigenous blood as most Latinos do. For now I've just been checking off white and Native American. It makes me slightly uncomfortable since I don't have a tribal card or anything like that. "Community attachment" is so vaguely worded I'm not sure what that means. I would also feel weird just checking white since I have never identified with that category either. Nor have I ever been treated as a "white person." Will this raise any kind of red flag? What have other people done?

I remember the census organized their race questions similarly and made a lot of people confused. Hopefully I'm not the only law school applicant who has faced this dilemma! Any advice?


Consensus has seemed to be that you should use your best judgement in checking the race boxes. It will matter in some cases and not in others, either way you should clarify your cultural identification or heritage in a DS if you want to get any boost.

Traditionally, I think that the expectation was that most hispanics would check the white race box and the hispanic ethnicity box, while african origin hispanics would check the AA box. If you identify with NA too then you can check that.

This is not a science.

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vanwinkle
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:14 pm

bdubs wrote:Consensus has seemed to be that you should use your best judgement in checking the race boxes. It will matter in some cases and not in others, either way you should clarify your cultural identification or heritage in a DS if you want to get any boost.

Traditionally, I think that the expectation was that most hispanics would check the white race box and the hispanic ethnicity box, while african origin hispanics would check the AA box. If you identify with NA too then you can check that.

This is not a science.

This sums things up pretty well. The DS (or, if it's appropriate, discussing your diversity and background in your PS) gives you the opportunity to clarify, and that's important since the boxes don't really tell adcomms all that much.

If you're looking for specific advice, I'd say that you can check "Latino" and "white" and then explain in your PS your mixed background and the unique experiences you've had, and you should be fine.

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Sinra
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Sinra » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:14 pm

christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?


I checked the Hispanic and white race boxes. Although I feel the same way about how I have never considered myself white due to the mix that most Latinos are. But yeah, it's weird. It seems that CA schools are much more attune to this particular situation as they have been the only apps I've seen that ask Hispanic/Latino and then for race include "Latin American" and "other Hispanic." I mean, you'd think they'd learn since something like 95% of Hispanics in the census choose "some other race" rather than black or white.

Oh, and definitely talk about it in your DS.

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The Gentleman
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:34 pm

LOL, I worked as a Census taker and you wouldn't believe the way people responded to these questions. An older woman (who was obviously white) INSISTED that I write in "Polish-American" as her race. The same thing happened with several other people who responded with "Italian-American", etc...

But sorry for hijacking your thread OP. Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. That is why they have a separate question where they ask if you are of Hispanic descent. I think you would be fine marking "White" and checking "Yes" for the Hispanic question.

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Sinra
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Sinra » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:45 pm

The Gentleman wrote:
Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race.


Of course. The OP's particular problem (and as mentioned one faced by many Hispanics) is that we tend to overall be a mix of white, Amerindian and African. However, we've always identified as Hispanic-- so it's odd to all of a sudden be checking off "white" "AA" and "NA" even though technically those are the races involved. Confounding the problem is that "NA" for law school seems to denote specific tribal affiliation with NA tribes originally here. So it's a legitimate problem. But not one that any of us can fix.

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The Gentleman
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:58 pm

Sinra wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race.


Of course. The OP's particular problem (and as mentioned one faced by many Hispanics) is that we tend to overall be a mix of white, Amerindian and African. However, we've always identified as Hispanic-- so it's odd to all of a sudden be checking off "white" "AA" and "NA" even though technically those are the races involved. Confounding the problem is that "NA" for law school seems to denote specific tribal affiliation with NA tribes originally here. So it's a legitimate problem. But not one that any of us can fix.


I guess I stated the obvious there. -1 for me :(

christinalsat
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby christinalsat » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:12 pm

The Gentleman wrote:
Sinra wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race.


Of course. The OP's particular problem (and as mentioned one faced by many Hispanics) is that we tend to overall be a mix of white, Amerindian and African. However, we've always identified as Hispanic-- so it's odd to all of a sudden be checking off "white" "AA" and "NA" even though technically those are the races involved. Confounding the problem is that "NA" for law school seems to denote specific tribal affiliation with NA tribes originally here. So it's a legitimate problem. But not one that any of us can fix.


I guess I stated the obvious there. -1 for me :(


Agreed. For me it is especially complicated because I come from a country (Guatemala) where over 50% of the population is mestizo, the other 40% indigenous, and maybe 4% or less actually European/white. Actually I'm not sure if those are the precise proportions, but it's something along those lines. Despite my hesitation though, sounds like it makes sense to check off white. My diversity statement is already written....I don't really talk about race persay. It's more about the cultural differences between my family and the families I grew up with in a predominately white blue collar town.

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Sinra
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Sinra » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:22 pm

christinalsat wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
Sinra wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race.


Of course. The OP's particular problem (and as mentioned one faced by many Hispanics) is that we tend to overall be a mix of white, Amerindian and African. However, we've always identified as Hispanic-- so it's odd to all of a sudden be checking off "white" "AA" and "NA" even though technically those are the races involved. Confounding the problem is that "NA" for law school seems to denote specific tribal affiliation with NA tribes originally here. So it's a legitimate problem. But not one that any of us can fix.


I guess I stated the obvious there. -1 for me :(


Agreed. For me it is especially complicated because I come from a country (Guatemala) where over 50% of the population is mestizo, the other 40% indigenous, and maybe 4% or less actually European/white. Actually I'm not sure if those are the precise proportions, but it's something along those lines. Despite my hesitation though, sounds like it makes sense to check off white. My diversity statement is already written....I don't really talk about race persay. It's more about the cultural differences between my family and the families I grew up with in a predominately white blue collar town.


Don't worry about it too much. As long as you clarify in your statement. I think that for Hispanics in particular any diversity or racial boost we may receive or not receive is really on a case by case basis. And your DS will help make that case. Good luck.

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blackwater88
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby blackwater88 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:59 pm

christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?


I would never identify as Hispanic and White, that's why I left the race box unchecked. With so many Hispanics in the U.S. I'm surprised they haven't thought of the "Mestizo" option.

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calvmpv
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby calvmpv » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:24 pm

blackwater88 wrote:
christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?


I would never identify as Hispanic and White, that's why I left the race box unchecked. With so many Hispanics in the U.S. I'm surprised they haven't thought of the "Mestizo" option.


Many applications require that you check "at least one" of the following options or whatever it is that they ask/list.

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blackwater88
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby blackwater88 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:11 pm

calvmpv wrote:
blackwater88 wrote:
christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?


I would never identify as Hispanic and White, that's why I left the race box unchecked. With so many Hispanics in the U.S. I'm surprised they haven't thought of the "Mestizo" option.


Many applications require that you check "at least one" of the following options or whatever it is that they ask/list.


I applied to most T14s, and none of them forced me to check "at least one" of the race options. What schools are you referring to?

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Pleasye
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Pleasye » Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:32 pm

calvmpv wrote:
blackwater88 wrote:
christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?


I would never identify as Hispanic and White, that's why I left the race box unchecked. With so many Hispanics in the U.S. I'm surprised they haven't thought of the "Mestizo" option.


Many applications require that you check "at least one" of the following options or whatever it is that they ask/list.

As far as I know identifying your race is optional on applications.

OP, I feel your pain. Most Latinos have only ever identified as "Latino" or "Hispanic" and never as "white". I think it's up to you what you check but keep in mind that (once again, as far as I know) NA on applications refers to U.S. tribes and not to all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. So you may be creating some confusion if you check that box and then write your DS about being Hispanic.

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calvmpv
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby calvmpv » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:16 pm

LSpleaseee wrote:
calvmpv wrote:
Many applications require that you check "at least one" of the following options or whatever it is that they ask/list.

As far as I know identifying your race is optional on applications.


Well I just went over most of my completed applications and you're right...it's all optional. Greattt. Don't know why I didn't realize that as I was actually applying and went over each app 25 times.

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blackwater88
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby blackwater88 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:29 pm

LSpleaseee wrote:
calvmpv wrote:
blackwater88 wrote:
christinalsat wrote:From my law school advisor at my undergrad:
"I agree that the ethnic question is confusing. Native American might be interpreted to be a US tribe, and as I recall your mother is Guatemalan. Maybe Hispanic and White would be best, and then you are submitting your diversity statement with more detail."

What do folks think?


I would never identify as Hispanic and White, that's why I left the race box unchecked. With so many Hispanics in the U.S. I'm surprised they haven't thought of the "Mestizo" option.


Many applications require that you check "at least one" of the following options or whatever it is that they ask/list.

As far as I know identifying your race is optional on applications.

OP, I feel your pain. Most Latinos have only ever identified as "Latino" or "Hispanic" and never as "white". I think it's up to you what you check but keep in mind that (once again, as far as I know) NA on applications refers to U.S. tribes and not to all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. So you may be creating some confusion if you check that box and then write your DS about being Hispanic.


That's what I wanted to do, check both the "NA" and "White" boxes, ended up not doing it cuz I didn't want to come across as a smart ass. I insist, they should have a "Mestizo" box.

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Sinra
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Re: I'm Hispanic, what is my race?

Postby Sinra » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:06 am

blackwater88 wrote:
That's what I wanted to do, check both the "NA" and "White" boxes, ended up not doing it cuz I didn't want to come across as a smart ass. I insist, they should have a "Mestizo" box.


Yeah they really really should considering most Hispanics would identify as such. Damn it. I chose white also even though I felt totally uncomfortable doing so. Now I'm upset.




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