Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

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madisonsmith5599
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Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Sun May 29, 2011 3:58 pm

I'm considering Vanderbilt and Boston College, and I am wondering to what degree I should take into account my status as an ethnic minority when deciding where to attend law school.

I visited Vandy, and the people were nice. Nashville, especially downtown and the area around Vandy, seemed cool. I did notice a subtle racial tension in Nashville; I didn't see or experience any overt racism, but I perceived a strange vibe between the few African Americans that I saw and the expected abundance of Caucasians.

I don't want to experience discrimination during or after school, and I'm not too keen on looking for jobs in the South for fear of discrimination, but Vandy is a great school and supposed to be better than BC. Just wondering whether anyone has any thoughts on this. In particular, I would enjoy hearing from other minority law students or 0Ls in this regard.

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20121109
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby 20121109 » Sun May 29, 2011 4:49 pm

madisonsmith5599 wrote:I'm considering Vanderbilt and Boston College, and I am wondering to what degree I should take into account my status as an ethnic minority when deciding where to attend law school.

I visited Vandy, and the people were nice. Nashville, especially downtown and the area around Vandy, seemed cool. I did notice a subtle racial tension in Nashville; I didn't see or experience any overt racism, but I perceived a strange vibe between the few African Americans that I saw and the expected abundance of Caucasians.

I don't want to experience discrimination during or after school, and I'm not too keen on looking for jobs in the South for fear of discrimination, but Vandy is a great school and supposed to be better than BC. Just wondering whether anyone has any thoughts on this. In particular, I would enjoy hearing from other minority law students or 0Ls in this regard.


Honey, no one wants to experience discrimination and to base your life decisions on the risk of discrimination is silly. No matter which school you attend or where you may work, you could be discriminated against. Also it's the 21st century so chances of overt discrimination have diminished greatly...it usually comes in different, more subtle forms. But deciding your life on the fear of discrimination...you wont get anywhere with that kind of mentality. Never let any kind of perceived prejudice deter you from attending a great institution or pursuing a job.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby Ty Webb » Sun May 29, 2011 4:53 pm

madisonsmith5599 wrote:I'm considering Vanderbilt and Boston College, and I am wondering to what degree I should take into account my status as an ethnic minority when deciding where to attend law school.

I visited Vandy, and the people were nice. Nashville, especially downtown and the area around Vandy, seemed cool. I did notice a subtle racial tension in Nashville; I didn't see or experience any overt racism, but I perceived a strange vibe between the few African Americans that I saw and the expected abundance of Caucasians.

I don't want to experience discrimination during or after school, and I'm not too keen on looking for jobs in the South for fear of discrimination, but Vandy is a great school and supposed to be better than BC. Just wondering whether anyone has any thoughts on this. In particular, I would enjoy hearing from other minority law students or 0Ls in this regard.


lol at using the city of Boston as an alternative in hopes of not encountering racism.

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Alltheirsplendor
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby Alltheirsplendor » Mon May 30, 2011 2:06 am

Ty Webb wrote:
madisonsmith5599 wrote:I'm considering Vanderbilt and Boston College, and I am wondering to what degree I should take into account my status as an ethnic minority when deciding where to attend law school.

I visited Vandy, and the people were nice. Nashville, especially downtown and the area around Vandy, seemed cool. I did notice a subtle racial tension in Nashville; I didn't see or experience any overt racism, but I perceived a strange vibe between the few African Americans that I saw and the expected abundance of Caucasians.

I don't want to experience discrimination during or after school, and I'm not too keen on looking for jobs in the South for fear of discrimination, but Vandy is a great school and supposed to be better than BC. Just wondering whether anyone has any thoughts on this. In particular, I would enjoy hearing from other minority law students or 0Ls in this regard.


lol at using the city of Boston as an alternative in hopes of not encountering racism.


I was thinking the same thing. If Boston is where you think you'll be avoiding racism I would continue researching the two cities if I were you.

And Gaia has it right. My mother gave me similar advice when I was younger. You will--potentially--encounter these sorts of attitudes no matter where you are. Don't let that get in the way of living your life.

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madisonsmith5599
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby madisonsmith5599 » Mon May 30, 2011 1:59 pm

Alltheirsplendor wrote:I was thinking the same thing. If Boston is where you think you'll be avoiding racism I would continue researching the two cities if I were you.

And Gaia has it right. My mother gave me similar advice when I was younger. You will--potentially--encounter these sorts of attitudes no matter where you are. Don't let that get in the way of living your life.


Isn't there something to be said about an increased probability of encountering racism in the South? There are degrees to everything. For example, women experience gender discrimination in both the United States and Saudi Arabia, but isn't the probability of a woman experiencing discrimination much greater in Saudi Arabia?

In the same way, I feel like although racism is everywhere, I might be more likely to encounter it in the South as compared to New England.

Agree or disagree?

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Alltheirsplendor
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby Alltheirsplendor » Mon May 30, 2011 4:21 pm


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Moxie
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby Moxie » Mon May 30, 2011 4:23 pm

Alltheirsplendor wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:lol at using the city of Boston as an alternative in hopes of not encountering racism.


I was thinking the same thing. If Boston is where you think you'll be avoiding racism I would continue researching the two cities if I were you.

And Gaia has it right. My mother gave me similar advice when I was younger. You will--potentially--encounter these sorts of attitudes no matter where you are. Don't let that get in the way of living your life.


+1. I think your chances of encountering racism is about the same in "the South" as Boston (having grown up and going to LS in Boston myself), it's not likely at either place. Don't be fearful of these attitudes, just go out and live your life the way you want to.

Edit to say - that thread above isn't completely relevant to modern day Boston. Boston has a history of racial tensions, but the atmosphere in the city has changed dramatically in the past twenty years alone, and racism is really only a problem in a few poor areas of the city.

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20121109
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby 20121109 » Mon May 30, 2011 5:26 pm

madisonsmith5599 wrote:
Alltheirsplendor wrote:I was thinking the same thing. If Boston is where you think you'll be avoiding racism I would continue researching the two cities if I were you.

And Gaia has it right. My mother gave me similar advice when I was younger. You will--potentially--encounter these sorts of attitudes no matter where you are. Don't let that get in the way of living your life.


Isn't there something to be said about an increased probability of encountering racism in the South? There are degrees to everything. For example, women experience gender discrimination in both the United States and Saudi Arabia, but isn't the probability of a woman experiencing discrimination much greater in Saudi Arabia?

In the same way, I feel like although racism is everywhere, I might be more likely to encounter it in the South as compared to New England.

Agree or disagree?


I was in the club when this went down.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/2 ... 87651.html

Ty Webb wrote:
lol at using the city of Boston as an alternative in hopes of not encountering racism.


What he said.

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby southernsnapp » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:58 pm

Racism isn't really tooo bad of an issue here, from my experience. It's more likely to be a problem in the rural areas. However, at schools the people from rural areas sometimes bring their racism to the campus. I really can't think of a polite way to say this, so just dont look raggedy and you won't have a problem. Being scared of racism definitely isn't a reason to avoid Vanderbilt.

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20121109
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby 20121109 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:01 pm

southernsnapp wrote: I really can't think of a polite way to say this, so just dont look raggedy and you won't have a problem.


:?:

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby fatduck » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:06 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
southernsnapp wrote: I really can't think of a polite way to say this, so just dont look raggedy and you won't have a problem.


:?:

you know, raggedy. don't wear your pants hanging low, or gaudy gold chains, or those big watches with all the fake diamonds all over them. also, make sure you pronounce words properly (except for "y'all," of course), and try not to listen to rap music in public. also, wear your hair straightened (for girls) or cut short (for guys). definitely not wavy. if you put on a polo shirt, some oxford shorts, and (ideally) some horn-rimmed glasses, i really doubt you'll experience too much racism.

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20121109
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby 20121109 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:13 pm

fatduck wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
southernsnapp wrote: I really can't think of a polite way to say this, so just dont look raggedy and you won't have a problem.


:?:

you know, raggedy. don't wear your pants hanging low, or gaudy gold chains, or those big watches with all the fake diamonds all over them. also, make sure you pronounce words properly (except for "y'all," of course), and try not to listen to rap music in public. also, wear your hair straightened (for girls) or cut short (for guys). definitely not wavy. if you put on a polo shirt, some oxford shorts, and (ideally) some horn-rimmed glasses, i really doubt you'll experience too much racism.


Ahhhh...

So this is how racism works.

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fatduck
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby fatduck » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:14 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
fatduck wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
southernsnapp wrote: I really can't think of a polite way to say this, so just dont look raggedy and you won't have a problem.


:?:

you know, raggedy. don't wear your pants hanging low, or gaudy gold chains, or those big watches with all the fake diamonds all over them. also, make sure you pronounce words properly (except for "y'all," of course), and try not to listen to rap music in public. also, wear your hair straightened (for girls) or cut short (for guys). definitely not wavy. if you put on a polo shirt, some oxford shorts, and (ideally) some horn-rimmed glasses, i really doubt you'll experience too much racism.


Ahhhh...

So this is how racism works.

oh don't worry, i'm sure she didn't mean anything by it.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby pleasetryagain » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:28 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
Honey, no one wants to experience discrimination and to base your life decisions on the risk of discrimination is silly.


This. Nashville is a majority liberal city. Racism is not a problem here anymore than anywhere else (especially compared w/ Boston). The South has racists just like the North has racists but this is not 1850. Nashville proper, and Vandy itself, is not "racist" at all; maybe the "vibe" you felt was just you being hung up on the race issue.

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:30 pm

+1 to gaia and ty webb. In today's world, overt racism is only an issue in very small, isolated pockets of the country. Subtle racism, however, is nearly universal, and you can't avoid it by avoiding certain cities. I don't really think that Nashville has the racial tensions you describe (at least no more than any other city), and by all accounts, Boston is certainly not a bastion of racial harmony. Therefore, you should not base your decision off of something like this. Nashville is a great city. I say enjoy yourself down there for a few years.

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby linklincoln » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:58 pm

I've lived in Nashville (currently live in Seattle). Nashville's no Seattle but it's not that racist. I also think people confuse prejudice with racism and while one can be a subset of the other, they are not necessarily interchangeable. I was born in Africa and I know a lot of African cab-drivers who wouldn't pick up black people unless they are dressed a certain way. The reason being the fact that some have been robbed on numerous occasions by people who happen to be African-American so they end up developing stereotypes etc. Can upper class black people who avoid living in predominantly black neighborhoods be considered racists? Modern-day racism is a complicated thing. Sometimes, it's hysterical from a philosophical perspective. In Seattle, the preponderant sum of black men date white women and the preponderant sum of black women date white men. Each stereotypes the other. To answer your question, you need not worry about racism of the overt kind in Nashville.

The other poster with the "raggedy" comment has a point, if you dress and act a certain way, you are going to receive a certain reaction from a certain segment of the population and that segment will not necessarily be white. Some of the most racist people I know are themselves minorities.

...Can't we all just get along?

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby Quan292 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:38 am

So basically you could be a perfectly polite law abiding citizen but if you wear clothes or listen to a type of music you should expect racist views towards you and it is somewhat okay?

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby linklincoln » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:41 am

I'm saying if you dress a certain way, you will get a certain reaction. I didn't talk about music and I didn't say the reaction was morally justifiable.

I believe a player (from New Mexico, I think) recently got arrested for sagging his pants. In San Francisco, no less. It has happened at a mall in suburban Seattle too. It happens everywhere. Again, not saying it's right, but it is what it is.

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mike_barnes
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby mike_barnes » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:33 am

linklincoln wrote:Some of the most racist people I know are themselves minorities.


Hmm... wonder where they learned that from.

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby linklincoln » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:34 pm

Hmm... wonder where they learned that from


Varied reasons. In Central America (i.e. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica,Nicaragua etc), social stratification can be traced to colonial practices by the Spaniards/Portuguese (peninsulares etc). In Africa it might take the form of stereotypes developed through mass media. Very much like how people tend to associate Africa in general with indigenous tribes, mud huts and stuff. Then you have the caste system in India which some have sought to justify through religion (although I suspect, prevailing cultural practices were simply incorporated into scripture) and so on and so forth.

Personally I think it's in the nature of humankind to seek superiority to one's neighbor and skin color just happens to be the most visible. If we were all of the same skin color, I'm quite confident we will find another reason (wealth, intelligence, sex, gender etc) as a basis for discrimination. Amongst most discriminated groups, there is discrimination within the group itself. Consider the stratification in feminist groups between educated feminists and the uneducated or the homophobia that exists amongst the African American community and amongst Africans.

In my experience, when people fight for equality, they are not so much fighting for the equality of humans in general but simply for the group in question to be accepted as equal to those who deem them inferior in the status quo. Upon achieving equality, they often turn around to discriminate. An example would be the Irish for whom the original concept of racism (according to some scholars) was invented by the British to discriminate against. Consider the case of Mexican illegal immigrants seeking rights in the United States when immigration policies in Mexico are far worse than that of the United States.

There's a certain irony concerning all this which would be hilarious if the effects of discrimination weren't so serious.

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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby linklincoln » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:07 pm

To the OP, there are a number of HBCU's in Nashville including Fisk, Meharry Medical College and to an extent, Tennessee State University. I've never been to Boston though so I cannot compare. The standard of living is also relatively cheaper than Boston but you must consider that against the backdrop of the relative sizes of the legal market in both areas. Vanderbilt holds more weight in the South than BC does in the north. I'm not advocating for one school over another, just saying. To be fair, some black people feel out of place in Nashville and I'm not a big fan of the South in general but that has to do with personal preferences not discrimination.

Diversity numbers don't tell much though (contrary to what one poster insinuated), my college roommate transferred to a school in Louisiana where blacks sit on one side of the classroom and whites, on the other, despite the closeness of the proportion of each race relative to class size. New Haven's population comprises of 35.8% Whites alone, 34.4% Blacks alone and 20.6% Hispanics of any race (according to city-data). You cannot make assumptions based on the aforementioned that will be applicable to YLS nor can the fact that New Haven made the list of most crime-infested cities in America be said to reflect on YLS as a school.

I will agree with one of the posters above though, if one contemplated the probability of discrimination one may suffer, one will never get out of his or her house. Live your life :D

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Quan292
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby Quan292 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:56 am

linklincoln wrote:I'm saying if you dress a certain way, you will get a certain reaction. I didn't talk about music and I didn't say the reaction was morally justifiable.

I believe a player (from New Mexico, I think) recently got arrested for sagging his pants. In San Francisco, no less. It has happened at a mall in suburban Seattle too. It happens everywhere. Again, not saying it's right, but it is what it is.


I was responding to a different poster about the music thing. To your point about factoring in racism in ones decision I actually think it is something to think about. Some minorities may be extremely aware of discrimination and very uncomfortable in such situations. I think the added comfort by a different school is warranted because it is 3 years of your life and the opportunities available from two schools can be almost even.

I just really dont agree with anyone doing anything that will compromise who they are just to fit into the culture around them.

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linklincoln
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Re: Vanderbilt, minorities and the South

Postby linklincoln » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:23 am

I just really dont agree with anyone doing anything that will compromise who they are just to fit into the culture around them


The analogy may not be warranted but wouldn't you agree that one has to dress a certain way to fit into a corporate culture? I like to think of it not so much as compromise but simply adapting to one's environment. Of course, all this is probably not applicable in law school, I have zero personal experience in that regard, just my opinion.

In the city of Nashville itself, OP can dress however he wants except I've seen people denied entry into a club once on second avenue in downtown Nashville because they claimed their pants were "baggy". However, there are tons of clubs nearby where there are no dress codes etc and back in 2005 there was a black club in downtown but I don't know if it's still open (I left in 2006). Also, there are a number of underground Jazz clubs and those "spoken word" things, if that's your thing. There's a relatively vibrant African-American community in Nashville. The OP need not worry so much about Nashville, the areas surrounding Nashville such as Murfreesboro...now that's another story.




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