Minority Status?

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Emma.
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Emma. » Sun May 01, 2011 9:54 am

You can select multiple options on your applications. It would seem pretty strange to only self identify as black when you say you've always previously self-identified as white.

You're father *is* black right? You say technically he is half black....

AppsAbound
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby AppsAbound » Sun May 01, 2011 10:06 am

It's dishonest, because based on what you said you don't consider yourself as black. But if you are comfortable doing that, go ahead.

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Rurik
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Rurik » Sun May 01, 2011 10:09 am

I wouldn't do it out of respect for what schools are actually trying to accomplish by helping minorities in law school admissions, and I couldn't shake the feeling of getting something I didn't really "deserve" (at least insofar as one is deserving of a race-based minority boost). But then again, perhaps not willing to take advantage of the system when I could doesn't bode well for my future career prospects :wink:

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sun May 01, 2011 11:23 am

How is it undeserving if it's part of the rules the law school set? My father is half-black. I just acknowledge the fact that I grew up in an upper-middle class community and was afforded certain advantages most African Americans didn't have, so I feel bad. But that doesn't mean I can't contribute to the diversity that law schools are looking for....

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Rurik
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Rurik » Sun May 01, 2011 11:28 am

Maryam19 wrote:How is it undeserving if it's part of the rules the law school set? My father is half-black. I just acknowledge the fact that I grew up in an upper-middle class community and was afforded certain advantages most African Americans didn't have, so I feel bad. But that doesn't mean I can't contribute to the diversity that law schools are looking for....


So you're a self-identifying white/middle-eastern guy who looks like a white/middle-eastern guy who deserves a boost because your father is half black and you would "contribute" to law school diversity? Do you actually think you would ever be subject to discrimination later in your career because of your race like many of the typical minority candidates would? Do you think you're going to help serve as a strong role model to other self-identifying white/middle eastern guys who look like white/middle eastern guys, but have fathers that are half black? I mean, do what you what, man, but I wouldn't even be asking myself this question.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sun May 01, 2011 11:39 am

I'm not going to say what the OP should or shouldn't do. And I don't think its anyone's place besides the OP to decide that. Race and self-identification is too personal for that. If the OP wants to click AA, (along with other ethnicities) he or she is welcome to do so because he or she is AA. The OP will be fine with C&F no matter what he or she decides, so its really a personal decision.

rose711
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby rose711 » Sun May 01, 2011 11:42 am

If you qualify for URM you should definitely take it. It seems like people are saying that because of your (light) skin color and the fact you put down "white" before, you are not deserving or entitled to be an URM. This is not true. You should use every benefit you have to get into the best school that you can. Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply advocating their own views; so I am advocating mine.

Your background will definitely add to the diversity of a class where the majority of students have both parents as white.

Do not be deterred by others view to the contrary.

The ABA will not be able to advise you on this. I think you should trust your advisor.

I have never heard of C&F questioning someone's race if the school admits them as URM. You should check with the school you are applying to or, I guess, the board of law examiners/C&F in the state where you think you will be practicing to see if this is an issue at all.

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Rurik
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Rurik » Sun May 01, 2011 11:44 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:Race and self-identification is too personal for that.


I agree (generally), but this:

"I have always identified myself as "White," given that most applications include the White-North African/Middle Eastern designation"

Suggests this isn't a question of, "I am a quarter black and have always identified as African American, but I'm now wondering whether I can claim this given I only technically have a quarter of that race in me." It's more of an opportunistic, "I've never identified as African American, but now I think I want to since it will give me a boost and I'm wondering if my father's racial components will excuse me checking the box so that I don't run into trouble later."

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Rurik
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Rurik » Sun May 01, 2011 11:48 am

rose711 wrote:Your background will definitely add to the diversity of a class where the majority of students have both parents as white.


Yes, I would agree this makes a big difference when all the law school students get together every Friday night and sit down and discuss our parents' backgrounds and races.

have never heard of C&F questioning someone's race if the school admits them as URM.


And this has absolutely happened.

Frankly, a lot of schools aim for a certain number of minority students; it would be really sad if OP got into a school to the detriment of somebody who has for their entire life identified as an African-American, has two African-American parents, and has been involved in the black community.

rose711
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby rose711 » Sun May 01, 2011 11:53 am

Rurik wrote:
rose711 wrote:Your background will definitely add to the diversity of a class where the majority of students have both parents as white.


Yes, I would agree this makes a big difference when all the law school students get together every Friday night and sit down and discuss our parents' backgrounds and races.

have never heard of C&F questioning someone's race if the school admits them as URM.


And this has absolutely happened.


The diversity of the class has to do with the life experiences of the members of the class - not what stories they tell each other at the bar.

As I said, I have never heard of C&F questioning someone's race, where is that information from? Is there any hard evidence or reported decisions regarding this? I'm asking because I don't know.

Even if they do question OP's race, OP qualifies as AA - how would they say that OP is not AA? If this is an issue, then I suppose OP should change their self-racial identification with UG if possible

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Rurik
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Rurik » Sun May 01, 2011 11:59 am

rose711 wrote:The diversity of the class has to do with the life experiences of the members of the class - not what stories they tell each other at the bar.


When it comes to racial diversity, they are looking for more than just life experiences. And besides, it sounds like OP was raised in an upper-middle class neighborhood, and probably didn't have a life that much different than most of the people going to law school. Yeah, his father is half black, but maybe I'm missing this whole "life experience" thing the OP has going for him.

rose711 wrote:As I said, I have never heard of C&F questioning someone's race, where is that information from? Is there any hard evidence or reported decisions regarding this? I'm asking because I don't know.


I have heard stories of a couple of people with one black parent and one white parent, but look very white and they had questions about it at C&F. If it never got brought up and there were no safeguards, I'm assuming there would be a hell of a lot of WASPy guys suddenly deciding to identify with the African American community when it comes to applying to law schools.

rose711 wrote:Even if they do question OP's race, OP qualifies as AA - how would they say that OP is not AA? If this is an issue, then I suppose OP should change their self-racial identification with UG if possible


OP would be all right at C&F. He could tell them about his father and then I guess he could just lie about identifying as an African American.

I should add that my father is Mexican (born there to a wealthy family, but moved out of the country when he was young). I've never been to Mexico, don't have Mexican friends, my mom is as white as they come, and I've always identified as white. There was no way that I could have in good faith put a check beside the "Mexican" option on my law school admissions.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun May 01, 2011 12:02 pm

Hey just so it won't be misunderstood, I'm not telling the OP what to do. I'm not saying the OP is right or wrong. I nor anyone else on this board can decide that. The only point I'm trying to make is that I personally had a similar decision because of my racial make-up. Esp when the word got out that Columbia was heavily recruiting NA's this cycle (at least that was the rumor on TLS) I knew I could probably get away with checking the box but the truth is I never seriously contemplated that because I wouldn't feel right claiming the benefit of a race I had never embraced or truthfully had anything to do. That was my decision and the OP was looking for opinions so I was showing the OP my rationale not advocating for any particular course of action. To me it would have been disingenuous for me to suddenly find my heritage when I applied to law school just to get some sort of boost. It would seem to go against the spirit of the program as I understand it. But as stated before each person has to decide for themselves and do what they are comfortable with.

Maryam19
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Maryam19 » Sun May 01, 2011 12:23 pm

I understand where everyone is coming from. I'm not planning on just claiming african american, and calling it a day. I plan on explaining all of the circumstances (including my hesitation) in a diversity statement. This is definitely something I have come to embrace in recent years. As I have gotten closer to my father, I've learned a lot about my family and a lot of things have been put into perspective for me. Hopefully law school admissions won't hold these assumptions when they read my diversity statement.

mallen
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby mallen » Sun May 01, 2011 12:28 pm

Maryam19 wrote:How is it undeserving if it's part of the rules the law school set? My father is half-black. I just acknowledge the fact that I grew up in an upper-middle class community and was afforded certain advantages most African Americans didn't have, so I feel bad. But that doesn't mean I can't contribute to the diversity that law schools are looking for....


i'm not really sure why you're claiming to "feel bad," who are you "feeling bad" for African Americans who aren't upper-middle-class? At any rate, that negative emotion shouldn't guide your decision to check the box that appropriately describes your biological makeup. That seems to include Arab and Black. As for the privileges -- you do realize that although you've been "afforded certain advantages" that lower-class African Americans do not have, you have been denied certain privileges due to the fact that you are a) of mixed race and b) partially black? Racial disadvantage is not as loud and apparent as you seem to think....

In summary: your counselor is correct. Check multiple boxes. Write a DS. End scene.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 01, 2011 2:26 pm

OP, I really don't think that there is a problem with checking all relevant boxes and explaining your situation as clearly and truthfully as possible. If you don't hide any information on the subject, you are not doing anything wrong. The worst case scenario is that they say your more middle eastern than black and do not give you the AA "boost" - which I really don't see happening. You can't be faulted for giving all the information regarding your origin and self-identified culture. It's up to the admissions committee what they want to do with it.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun May 01, 2011 3:08 pm

Jesus, this thread is stupid.

OP you are AA, if you want to identify with it for your apps you've done nothing wrong. It's your decision alone.

masterthearts
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby masterthearts » Sun May 01, 2011 3:26 pm

ptblazer wrote:Having a complicated and diverse background shouldn't get you in trouble with C&F and explaining your situation should avoid any trouble. Mixed raced persons often have difficulty identifying with a specific culture/race, but it doesn't mean they aren't either of those races. And it doesn't change the fact that you are indeed an under represented minority as it is currently defined. My advise is to just do whatever you are comfortable with.


PLease correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall reading somewhere that the character and fitness review does not probe race/ethnicity....sort of on the grounds that that would be illegal to probe C&F based on race/ethnicity.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun May 01, 2011 3:39 pm

wow we sure have a lot of pretentious/self-righteous ppl on TLS. but wait, i knew that already :P

plenty of people are making the 'rational benefit' argument, and plenty of others are making the 'ethical/moral' argument. i appreciate the few that say that ultimately this is the OP's decision. TECHNICALLY, you can check that AA box because your dad is half black. regardless of the community you grew up in, regardless of the opportunities you received. part of me doesnt like that system; it seems unfair, but thats the system that was created, and im a textualist ;)

id be more hesitant, for personal reasons, if you did not even identify with that part of yourself -- but in an earlier post you said you did. so no bigs. i dont buy the, "if you dont look the part, you cant claim it" argument. while certainly valid on a lot of levels, this is presumptuous at best, condescending at worst. also, you dont even have to have a history of actively "giving" to the AA community (although doing so in the future would certainly be appreciated).

write a diversity statement about how your mixed status has affected you growing up, what you do or do not identify with, etc. if your concern was C&F, w/ that diversity statement and attention to care (i.e. if they let you choose more than 1, maybe you should), i cant foresee a legal problem. the ethical or moral ones are up to you, and you alone.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby yngblkgifted » Sun May 01, 2011 3:55 pm

Maryam19 wrote:Hey everyone,

I would really appreciate some advice. I'm working through my applications for next year's cycle (early, I know), and am stuck in an ethical dilemma. I'm working with a law school admissions adviser, who has suggested for me to apply as identify as African African American on my applications. My mom is 100% Arab, and my father is half Arab, half African American (black). I have always identified myself as "White," given that most applications include the White-North African/Middle Eastern designation. Technically my father is half black, and my adviser suggests this is grounds for me to claim minority status. I have always claimed White, so wouldn't it look akward/deceiving if I decided to apply as African American for law school purposes only? What happens if I decide to just leave the race box empty, and write a diversity statement explaining these circumstances? I don't want to get into any kind of trouble...but then again this adviser as a dean of admissions at a top 30 law school.....does he know what he's talking about? HELP


While technically you may classify as "black" for admissions, I believe that unless you just completely BS your diversity statement, I doubt you will be able to convey a genuine understanding of what it means to be black in America. With that being said, I think that understanding is a crucial component to any AA's application that you will clearly lack. If I were an on an admissions committee, I wouldn't consider you "black" no matter what box you checked if I knew what you just posted on TLS. But then again, I am not the one making the decisions and your TLS posts will not be disclosed in your application.
Nevertheless, I vote that it would be fairly deceptive to apply as an African American if you have never thought of yourself as such, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't do it and get away with it. The question is, will you be able to look yourself in the mirror if you did it? Only you can answer that. Best of Luck OP!
Last edited by yngblkgifted on Sun May 01, 2011 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby cinephile » Sun May 01, 2011 3:58 pm

mallen wrote: Check multiple boxes. Write a DS. End scene.

scammedhard
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby scammedhard » Sun May 01, 2011 4:17 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:While technically you may classify as "black" for admissions, I believe that unless you just completely BS your diversity statement, I doubt you will be able to convey a genuine understanding of what it means to be black in America. With that being said, I think that understanding is a crucial component to any AA's application that you will clearly lack. If I were an on an admissions committee, I wouldn't consider you "black" no matter what box you checked if I knew what you just posted on TLS. But then again, I am not the one making the decisions and your TLS posts will not be disclosed in your application.
Nevertheless, I vote that it would be fairly deceptive to apply as an African American if you have never thought of yourself as such, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't do it and get away with it. The question is, will you be able to look yourself in the mirror if you did it? Only you can answer that. Best of Luck OP!

Really? Please explain to me what is "a genuine understanding of what it means to be black in America." Let's see who is a "legit" African American and who is not...

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby yngblkgifted » Sun May 01, 2011 4:33 pm

scammedhard wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:While technically you may classify as "black" for admissions, I believe that unless you just completely BS your diversity statement, I doubt you will be able to convey a genuine understanding of what it means to be black in America. With that being said, I think that understanding is a crucial component to any AA's application that you will clearly lack. If I were an on an admissions committee, I wouldn't consider you "black" no matter what box you checked if I knew what you just posted on TLS. But then again, I am not the one making the decisions and your TLS posts will not be disclosed in your application.
Nevertheless, I vote that it would be fairly deceptive to apply as an African American if you have never thought of yourself as such, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't do it and get away with it. The question is, will you be able to look yourself in the mirror if you did it? Only you can answer that. Best of Luck OP!

Really? Please explain to me what is "a genuine understanding of what it means to be black in America." Let's see who is a "legit" African American and who is not...


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that one needs to identify as such in order to truly know what an identity means. This includes the negatives and positives things that come with said identity. If one never sees them self as a certain identity, how can they truly understand it? That's like me identifying myself as a straight person until I'm 22 and then saying I would like to check a box that says I'm gay. It doesn't matter if I check the box or not, I still have no genuine understanding of what it means to be gay in America. All I can do is speculate. This is the main reason why OP is having any reservations.HTH.

Edit: I would say the same thing about any race. I'm not trying to turn this into a debate on what being black means. This is simply about identity.
Last edited by yngblkgifted on Sun May 01, 2011 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ptblazer
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby ptblazer » Sun May 01, 2011 4:43 pm

Its pretty common that bi-racial people have a difficult time identifying with a specific race (especially during their youth), but it doesn't mean that he/she is not both of those races. Just because the OPs skin is light I don't think he/she needs to feel guilty about checking the AA box as well as his/her other race. It may be true that the OP doesn't know what it is like to be black in america, but he definitely knows what it is like to be a minority in america, one of which is AA.
Last edited by ptblazer on Sun May 01, 2011 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby yngblkgifted » Sun May 01, 2011 4:52 pm

ptblazer wrote:Its pretty common that bi-racial people have a difficult time identifying with a specific race (especially during their youth), but it doesn't mean that he/she is not both of those races. Just because the OPs skin is light I don't think he/she needs to feel guilty about checking the AA box as well as the his/her other race. Its may be true that the OP doesn't know what it is like to be black in america, but he definitely knows what it is like to be a minority in america, one of which is AA.


OP seems to have found a race to identify with, and that is white. I can understand if op said that she/he never felt like he/she fit neatly into a racial category, but from the original post, that doesn't seem to be the case. I was operating under the assumption that when OP says that he/she had always "identified as being white" or that he/she has always "claimed" white, they were talking about which racial group they identify with on a daily basis - not just what they identify with when they take a standardized test.

scammedhard
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Re: Minority Status?

Postby scammedhard » Sun May 01, 2011 5:00 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:OP seems to have found a race to identify with, and that is white. I can understand if op said that she/he never felt like he/she fit neatly into a racial category, but from the original post, that doesn't seem to be the case. I was operating under the assumption that when OP says that he/she had always "identified as being white" or that he/she has always "claimed" white, they were talking about which racial group they identify with on a daily basis - not just what they identify with when they take a standardized test.


Wrong! OP wrote:
I have always identified myself as "White," given that most applications include the White-North African/Middle Eastern designation.


Notice the "given." She knows she does not fit in "white" category neatly, and she seems rather confused as to what ethnic group she belongs too. Maybe she doesn't really care, and that would be wonderful.
Last edited by scammedhard on Sun May 01, 2011 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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