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White Person Born in South Africa as "African-American"?

John.Smith007John.Smith007 - Posts: 42 Junior Member
edited December 2007 in College Admissions
One of my friends was born in South Africa, so she put African American on her application. She is white though--100% white. African American race on college apps in generally intended to give advantages to minorites, so would admissions people get mad if they found at that she is at no actual disadvantage and is not a minority? I have heard that is true, what do you guys think?
Post edited by John.Smith007 on

Replies to: White Person Born in South Africa as "African-American"?

  • Handyandy58Handyandy58 Registered User Posts: 755 Member
    I think it's legit.
  • brillarbrillar Registered User Posts: 1,089 Senior Member
    She put African American, technically- not black, so it wasn't a lie. She's from South Africa and that makes her African American, I guess. Maybe she should have explained it a bit more thoroughly in the extra information box... that way everything is perfectly clear and they would have no reason to be angry.
  • enderkinenderkin Registered User Posts: 1,667 Senior Member
    i think the question is meant to refer to ethnicity, not origin.

    but hey. her risk of getting offers rescinded/rejected/etc.
  • stewystewy Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    They have no reason to be angry over what skin color she is.
    That sounds like a correction description of her race
  • noobcakenoobcake Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    Not as bad as getting into college through AA while living in 300k+ families.
  • John.Smith007John.Smith007 - Posts: 42 Junior Member
    yeah i think its definately intended to refer to ethnicity. techinically she is correct, but in the origin of the question of ethnicity, she is not challenged as other people of a different ethnicity may be. she may be one of the smartest kids in our grade and i think its more of an unfair advantage. she was born there, and lived there for 2 months before moving here... what do you guys think
  • Little_DuckLittle_Duck Registered User Posts: 982 Member
    they wont reject her for that, give me a break
  • John.Smith007John.Smith007 - Posts: 42 Junior Member
    i dont think its a quesiton of skin color here, i think its a question of disadvantaged students / ethnicity.
  • flybyzephyrflybyzephyr Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    here's my theory: if they put that question in there because they wanted to make sure they admitted black kids, they should've put that down. they didn't ask for skin color, they asked for race. technically that's hers. she answered their question honestly, and if it's not the answer they wanted then they asked the wrong question.
  • hpamdu89hpamdu89 Registered User Posts: 420 Member
    white=Caucasian even if you are from Africa.
  • JunglebrainJunglebrain Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    This is like referring to yourself as Native American (American Indian, whatever) because you were born in America. White South Africans were European colonists, the same as White Americans are. My dad is a white Australian. I don't include "Australian" in ethnic origins, because it was not a native origin, which is the point of the question.

    It's the difference between being from a group of people stolen from their homes, stuck on ships, beaten, chained, sold into slavery, whipped, released into oppressive poverty and Jim Crow laws, and forced to struggle to for equality...compared to a group that dominated the native black population through brutal apartheid and economic exploitation to further their own wealth. Hmmm...Yeah, that's pretty much the same. I see no difference.
  • Handyandy58Handyandy58 Registered User Posts: 755 Member
    Well, obviously her ancestors are from Europe as well(likely Britain), so she is of European(Caucasian) descent by way of Africa. It's not the best descriptor of her ethnicity, but it's not entirely inaccurate.

    But then again, don't all our evolutionary ancestors at some time or another hail from Africa. Guess if we want to be really specific, we all have African descent
  • hpa10hpa10 Registered User Posts: 1,906 Senior Member
    ^nice comparison. its not right that she put down african american.
  • notthatgood4notthatgood4 . Posts: 543 Member
    I am a white South African. I've joked about doing that with my friends, but never seriously considered it.

    It just seems very self pretentious. I know the term African-American is garbage political correct mumbo jumbo, but to mislead admissions officers isn't exactly the most morally correct thing to do. Making jokes about it in an essay is fine, but to try and manipulate it to your advantage is a very immature thing to do.

    Especially when you consider the history of Apartheid in the nation and the terrible ways my fellow caucasians treated the native blacks. To use this oppressive history to your advantage so you can get an edge in college admissions really shows what kind of character you have.
  • fa-la-la-lenafa-la-la-lena Registered User Posts: 2,844 Senior Member
    I don't think this is fair; whoever does this isn't properly representing themselves. Birthplace and citizenship mean nothing when it comes to ethnicity/race. Colleges might like that someone is well traveled, and has experienced many different cultures, but just because someone are born in Africa by no means labels their ethnicity "african-American." That is completely misleading, and really isn't truthful.

    It is literally impossible to be African American for nationality/origin IF you are fully caucasian by ethnicity. As for nationality goes, you are either African (having citizenship in an African country), or American (having citizenship in America). There is NO in-between (unless you have a dual-citizenship). African-American only applies to those who are American Citizens/residents, of African ethnicity. It's like saying, "my ethnicity is American." There's no such thing, unless you are referring to Native American. Even if she is an African citizen, it doesn't matter; she's not African-American by ethnicity (and that's what matters), plain and simple.
This discussion has been closed.