1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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Zolo Boi Supreme

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1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby Zolo Boi Supreme » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:57 am

My mother is Mexican and my father is Chinese. I grew up speaking Spanish so I'm fluent but never learned Chinese until I minored in it during college and studied a summer in China. I was planning on discussing the mix in my personal statement and explaining how being part of two different cultures shaped me. Currently I only checked the Mexican box on my application. Would checking the box for Chinese change my status as a URM for schools I'm applying to? Should I omit being Chinese from my application and focus on identifying as completely Mexican?

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby QContinuum » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:35 pm

You should be candid. If you identify as both Mexican and Chinese, you should identify yourself that way in your applications.

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Wild Card

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby Wild Card » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:12 pm

Only those who identify solely as Asian are discriminated against. If you identify as both Hispanic and Asian, schools will treat you as if you were only Hispanic.

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby cathy951107 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:44 am

Wild Card wrote:Only those who identify solely as Asian are discriminated against. If you identify as both Hispanic and Asian, schools will treat you as if you were only Hispanic.


Hi, I am new to the whole unwritten rules of applications.
Why are Asians discriminated against?

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4LTsPointingNorth

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:13 pm

cathy951107 wrote:
Wild Card wrote:Only those who identify solely as Asian are discriminated against. If you identify as both Hispanic and Asian, schools will treat you as if you were only Hispanic.


Hi, I am new to the whole unwritten rules of applications.
Why are Asians discriminated against?


I believe the argument goes that it is demonstrably harder for any particular Asian student to be admitted to a particular institution because these applicants are "competing" against a higher number of also-qualified applicants to fill a soft-capped percentage of the diverse candidate pool that law schools choose to admit:

i.e., Asian Student X is competing against all other Asians because there is a "soft cap" on the percentage of its incoming class an institution will allow to be Asian (or allow to be any particular ethnic group--currently Admissions departments view building a racially diverse class as one of their central admissions goals). Although racially conscious admissions is advantageous to qualified students from some ethnic groups, as a necessary consequence it is disadvantageous to Asian Student X because the percentage of otherwise-qualified Asian applicants tends to be higher than the percentage of Asian students accepted to a particular institution relative to the rates of both white and non-white ethnic groups.

There are further arguments that delve into the history of discrimination in America against Asian immigrants etc., etc., to argue that affirmative action should include, rather than disadvantage, Asian applicants from these certain historically discriminated-against ethnic groups within the "Asian" population.

These sorts of affirmative action debates are playing themselves out in a current lawsuit against Harvard College, and are also echoed in current New York City specialty high school admissions debates.

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby cathy951107 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:17 pm

4LTsPointingNorth wrote:
cathy951107 wrote:
Wild Card wrote:Only those who identify solely as Asian are discriminated against. If you identify as both Hispanic and Asian, schools will treat you as if you were only Hispanic.


Hi, I am new to the whole unwritten rules of applications.
Why are Asians discriminated against?


I believe the argument goes that it is demonstrably harder for any particular Asian student to be admitted to a particular institution because these applicants are "competing" against a higher number of also-qualified applicants to fill a soft-capped percentage of the diverse candidate pool that law schools choose to admit:

i.e., Asian Student X is competing against all other Asians because there is a "soft cap" on the percentage of its incoming class an institution will allow to be Asian (or allow to be any particular ethnic group--currently Admissions departments view building a racially diverse class as one of their central admissions goals). Although racially conscious admissions is advantageous to qualified students from some ethnic groups, as a necessary consequence it is disadvantageous to Asian Student X because the percentage of otherwise-qualified Asian applicants tends to be higher than the percentage of Asian students accepted to a particular institution relative to the rates of both white and non-white ethnic groups.

There are further arguments that delve into the history of discrimination in America against Asian immigrants etc., etc., to argue that affirmative action should include, rather than disadvantage, Asian applicants from these certain historically discriminated-against ethnic groups within the "Asian" population.

These sorts of affirmative action debates are playing themselves out in a current lawsuit against Harvard College, and are also echoed in current New York City specialty high school admissions debates.


Thanks for the explanation. I have to say, as an Asian student, Chinese specifically, this is depressing. But all we can do now is just to try harder than any other race I guess.

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:42 pm

cathy951107 wrote:
4LTsPointingNorth wrote:
cathy951107 wrote:
Wild Card wrote:Only those who identify solely as Asian are discriminated against. If you identify as both Hispanic and Asian, schools will treat you as if you were only Hispanic.


Hi, I am new to the whole unwritten rules of applications.
Why are Asians discriminated against?


I believe the argument goes that it is demonstrably harder for any particular Asian student to be admitted to a particular institution because these applicants are "competing" against a higher number of also-qualified applicants to fill a soft-capped percentage of the diverse candidate pool that law schools choose to admit:

i.e., Asian Student X is competing against all other Asians because there is a "soft cap" on the percentage of its incoming class an institution will allow to be Asian (or allow to be any particular ethnic group--currently Admissions departments view building a racially diverse class as one of their central admissions goals). Although racially conscious admissions is advantageous to qualified students from some ethnic groups, as a necessary consequence it is disadvantageous to Asian Student X because the percentage of otherwise-qualified Asian applicants tends to be higher than the percentage of Asian students accepted to a particular institution relative to the rates of both white and non-white ethnic groups.

There are further arguments that delve into the history of discrimination in America against Asian immigrants etc., etc., to argue that affirmative action should include, rather than disadvantage, Asian applicants from these certain historically discriminated-against ethnic groups within the "Asian" population.

These sorts of affirmative action debates are playing themselves out in a current lawsuit against Harvard College, and are also echoed in current New York City specialty high school admissions debates.


Thanks for the explanation. I have to say, as an Asian student, Chinese specifically, this is depressing. But all we can do now is just to try harder than any other race I guess.


When it comes to something like this, which is purely speculative and entirely out of your control, all you can do is focus on those things you can control. So no use worrying about it, just apply to schools as you otherwise would have applied and hope for the best.

And to avoid hijiacking the original thread: OP of the thread, I echo what previous comments have said. Fully disclose whatever ethnicities you identify with without thought to potential preference or lack thereof. Candor is key. Remember that the contents of your law school application will continue to follow you for many years (particularly in the context of your bar application).

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Zolo Boi Supreme

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby Zolo Boi Supreme » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:35 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses. I decided to check the Chinese box because that will be a major talking point in my application. Hopefully simply checking the Mexican box will be enough to gain that URM boost.

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby tinman » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:00 pm

I’m not sure the advice to list both is right. Is your last name an obvious Asian name, ie, would it seem like a lie to say you are Mexican and ignore your Asian ancestry? Also, if you list a lot of Asian activities on you resume, have a Facebook page plastered with Asian stuff, or you recommenders are likely to discuss your biracial identity, it may be silly to ignore your Asian ancestry when checking boxes.

On the other hand, I don’t see such a moral issue with saying you are Mexican and ignoring your Asian ancestry in your application. You were raised in a spanish-speaking household after all! Would you say Obama was dishonest if he listed “black” or “African-American” on his HLS application despite being raised by his white mother? I wouldn’t. The idea that this decision will follow you after you are admitted doesn’t seem credible to me. It’s not like you are faking about being hispanic.

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4LTsPointingNorth

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:47 pm

tinman wrote:I’m not sure the advice to list both is right. Is your last name an obvious Asian name, ie, would it seem like a lie to say you are Mexican and ignore your Asian ancestry? Also, if you list a lot of Asian activities on you resume, have a Facebook page plastered with Asian stuff, or you recommenders are likely to discuss your biracial identity, it may be silly to ignore your Asian ancestry when checking boxes.

On the other hand, I don’t see such a moral issue with saying you are Mexican and ignoring your Asian ancestry in your application. You were raised in a spanish-speaking household after all! Would you say Obama was dishonest if he listed “black” or “African-American” on his HLS application despite being raised by his white mother? I wouldn’t. The idea that this decision will follow you after you are admitted doesn’t seem credible to me. It’s not like you are faking about being hispanic.


As someone, like OP, who comes 50/50 from two different ethnic backgrounds, the idea of purposefully hiding one of them either to seek advantage or to avoid disadvantage seems extremely distasteful to me. While it may not be morally repugnant to report identifying with only one group (even if you personally identify with both), and although that omission probably won't lead to any future professional consequences, it's still an uncomfortable thing to contemplate doing. Especially if your life has truly been shaped in part by both cultures.

Fortunately, in the context of law schools and law school admissions, being multiracial is a neutral or an advantage. Many law schools report "biracial/multiracial" as an independent metric, and they can also honestly report your URM ethnicity in their metrics (meaning that you will still get the boost in admissions).

So for the OP of this thread, no identity crisis is necessary in the quest to be admitted to the best school possible. S/he can just be honest (and appears to have chosen that path, to their credit).

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Re: 1/2 Chinese and Mexican, should I not say I'm Chinese?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:17 pm

tinman wrote:On the other hand, I don’t see such a moral issue with saying you are Mexican and ignoring your Asian ancestry in your application.


The moral issue arises because OP himself/herself self-identifies as both Mexican and Chinese. Thus, there'd be a lack of candor if OP were to only check the Hispanic box on his/her application.



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