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Getting diversity into workplaces, schools, etc. has so many different dimensions. Background and socioeconomic status and culture (for which these candidates are not so diverse compared to middle class white folks) is one dimension of that. Racial or ethnic appearance is another (for which it sounds like these candidates are). Sexual orientation and gender are two others that aren't even in play here.

I don't have a pat answer... I think places doing the hiring have to make the call - hopefully thinking about different aspects. I mean, "we hired one ____ guy," does not mean a workplace is "done" with trying to be more inclusive or diverse. If a program is looking to hire candidates who would usually be overlooked and who bring different backgrounds or perspectives to the table... I think it's up to them to decide if either of these guys fit the bill. And up to any individual who potentially qualifies to decide if they want to go in for that status/opportunity or not. 

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I think the "diversity" stuff is all junk anyway. Most often, people given scholarships and jobs and admissions based on diversity are generally from wealthier backgrounds. There is very little real diversity in the internet age unless looking at very low income groups or people with disabilities really. When an employer is looking for a "diversity" candidate, they are generally not asking to bring in a new cultural element to a workplace. They are generally just seeking a tax credit and the right to claim to be an equal opportunity employer. So really, it does not matter at all. 

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It’s hard to imagine for the second scenario that it would even be an advantage. Research generally shows being Asian is more of a disadvantage than an advantage when it comes to things like college admissions. 

For college admissions, I personally think the goal should be increasing economic diversity, not so much racial diversity. In general, I think the kids being most disadvantaged are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, especially when that is coupled with poor public schools. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Farrar said:

 

If a program is looking to hire candidates who would usually be overlooked and who bring different backgrounds or perspectives to the table... I think it's up to them to decide if either of these guys fit the bill. And up to any individual who potentially qualifies to decide if they want to go in for that status/opportunity or not. 

Yes, I can see benefits of company's bringing in different backgrounds and perspectives. But, I see more of what Janeway is describing, at least in my scenario. The young man wants to work at a place that receives significant funding from the government so they are required to hire a certain number of diverse candidates and leave the qualifications as wide open as possible. 

35 minutes ago, Janeway said:

 When an employer is looking for a "diversity" candidate, they are generally not asking to bring in a new cultural element to a workplace. They are generally just seeking a tax credit and the right to claim to be an equal opportunity employer. So really, it does not matter at all. 

 

Edited by Riverland
typo
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East Asians don't usually qualify for affirmative action slots. Mexican-Americans typically do even if they are fair, non-Spanish speakers, and their family has been in the U.S. several generations.

My mom would've qualified as Latina if affirmative action had existed when she was applying to college because she is 1/4 Mexican. Even though resembles the 3/4 Scottish heritage (fair, dishwater blonde hair, and green eyes), doesn't speak Spanish, and has a Scottish surname. I don't think she has even a single time faced any prejudice or discrimination based on the part-Mexican heritage. But the rules of today say she would qualify.

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4 minutes ago, Frances said:

It’s hard to imagine for the second scenario that it would even be an advantage. Research generally shows being Asian is more of a disadvantage than an advantage when it comes to things like college admissions. 

For college admissions, I personally think the goal should be increasing economic diversity, not so much racial diversity. In general, I think the kids being most disadvantaged are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, especially when that is coupled with poor public schools. 

 

Yes, Young Man (1) is the one who will claim racial diversity when it is advantageous to him. I very much agree that the most disadvantaged are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This does not fit Young Man at all.

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5 hours ago, Crimson Wife said:

East Asians don't usually qualify for affirmative action slots. Mexican-Americans typically do even if they are fair, non-Spanish speakers, and their family has been in the U.S. several generations.

My mom would've qualified as Latina if affirmative action had existed when she was applying to college because she is 1/4 Mexican. Even though resembles the 3/4 Scottish heritage (fair, dishwater blonde hair, and green eyes), doesn't speak Spanish, and has a Scottish surname. I don't think she has even a single time faced any prejudice or discrimination based on the part-Mexican heritage. But the rules of today say she would qualify.

I included both scenarios because while I understand that East Asians don't qualify for affirmative action, it seems very arbitrary to me that both men were adopted into very similar SES white families and raised as such. And, the part-Mexican young man was actually raised in a community full of people with similar racial heritage, while the part-Korean was not. Just very arbitrary to me.

Edited by Riverland
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34 minutes ago, Riverland said:

Yes, Young Man (1) is the one who will claim racial diversity when it is advantageous to him. I very much agree that the most disadvantaged are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This does not fit Young Man at all.

Yeah, but I can see how it may still apply in the sense that he looks of a certain race, which means many will treat him of that race, no matter how much money he has or where he was raised, etc. Plenty of very wealthy, very powerful people of color still face racial discrimination on a regular basis. 

And hiring committees are composed of people who may have racial bias, and may discriminate, consciously or otherwise, based on things like name, appearance, etc no matter how much money someone has. People are tribal at heart, and it is easier to relate to people "like you" and that makes you more likely to hire them even without a conscious reason for it. And given the power structure in the USA the people doing the hiring are often white, which means they - purposely or not- tend to hire other white people. Sometimes that comes into play in subtle ways. So yeah, someone that looks Mexican American may very well face racial bias in the workplace, despite his privileged upbringing. 

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When there is federal money involved, there are going to be very specific rules. I think as long as you're following the letter of those rules, you're welcome to apply. I agree with what someone said above about how there are some programs that Asian Americans do not qualify for that Latinx do.

We live in a city where there are significant program investments intended to benefit a certain profile of kid or family that we, as a middle class white family, are clearly not. But I still take advantage of the programs that I'm allowed to access because I live in that city. And I have zero issue with that. When it's the government, the rules are clear, and I have no issue with people using or not using a program as long as they are specifically allowed to do so.

I think in practical terms to recruit and keep employees who are diverse, workplaces have to have a variety of approaches - having specific slots for minorities is only one of those potential approaches.

 

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20 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Yeah, but I can see how it may still apply in the sense that he looks of a certain race, which means many will treat him of that race, no matter how much money he has or where he was raised, etc. Plenty of very wealthy, very powerful people of color still face racial discrimination on a regular basis. 

And hiring committees are composed of people who may have racial bias, and may discriminate, consciously or otherwise, based on things like name, appearance, etc no matter how much money someone has. People are tribal at heart, and it is easier to relate to people "like you" and that makes you more likely to hire them even without a conscious reason for it. And given the power structure in the USA the people doing the hiring are often white, which means they - purposely or not- tend to hire other white people. Sometimes that comes into play in subtle ways. So yeah, someone that looks Mexican American may very well face racial bias in the workplace, despite his privileged upbringing. 

Hmm. I can't deny that this may be true some of the time. But I don't personally see it. Maybe because I am from a 50/50 community (white/Hispanic). Sometimes I see advantages for whites, but just as often I see advantages for Hispanics. The vast majority of the time it does not matter. Whether in the workplace or community leaders, you see a pretty even split of racial backgrounds. 

In the case of Young Man, his skin tone is darker than most whites, but I doubt anyone would look at him and think that he's Mexican. 

 

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Some schools have tried to address this by asking, in essays or interviews, how race/ethnicity or cultural differences have impacted the applicant’s life or world view. I think anyone claiming any status should be prepared to answer that question at some point. One of the current candidates for POTUS is a perfect example.

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This comes up a lot in the international adoption groups.  Personally I don't think it is appropriate to claim extra perqs unless one is at an actual disadvantage from one's background.  But if it's a matter of helping the school meet its diversity aspirations, I think you should at least have some visible or cultural remnant of the "diverse" status.  For example, my kids are very obviously indigenous American (biologically).  They weren't raised in a Hispanic/Latina culture, don't have a foreign accent, and have very minimal foreign language skills, but sure, they would offer some diversity on a college campus if you're talking about color, race, family background.  If the college app asks about their race, it is certainly not disingenuous to answer factually.

And some people argue that even though our kids were raised by white parents etc., there is a higher likelihood that they will face discrimination due to their looks, so they deserve benefits (such as, say, scholarships for Hispanic students) to offset that.  I'm not really convinced by that, but I would leave it up to my kid to decide whether to pursue a scholarship, as long as they tell the truth.

In the cases described in the OP, it's not clear whether or not the individuals "look" diverse.  That might be a factor.  I don't think #1 would be right to claim Mexican / Latino status, but he might claim whatever his actual biological heritage is if it is not majority white.

Not really sure how I feel about the 50/50 Korean / European biological heritage.  Presumably this person looks part Asian.  What does anyone say if they are 50%?  They don't fit exactly into any box.  I think most people would check the non-white box in that situation, though it doesn't really make sense.  I mean we refer to Barack Obama as a black person though his mother was white.  His white heritage is sort of erased for most purposes - even though the white side of his family raised him.  Why would it be different for a person with a Korean-born mother and white father?

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4 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Yeah, but I can see how it may still apply in the sense that he looks of a certain race, which means many will treat him of that race, no matter how much money he has or where he was raised, etc. Plenty of very wealthy, very powerful people of color still face racial discrimination on a regular basis. 

And hiring committees are composed of people who may have racial bias, and may discriminate, consciously or otherwise, based on things like name, appearance, etc no matter how much money someone has. People are tribal at heart, and it is easier to relate to people "like you" and that makes you more likely to hire them even without a conscious reason for it. And given the power structure in the USA the people doing the hiring are often white, which means they - purposely or not- tend to hire other white people. Sometimes that comes into play in subtle ways. So yeah, someone that looks Mexican American may very well face racial bias in the workplace, despite his privileged upbringing. 

But for people brought up in wealthy families, there are connections that pretty much guarantee an easy entry into the work force.

I don't think it's technically wrong to claim a diversity benefit if you fit the description, but I have issues with it ethically in this case.

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