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What are the most diverse law schools?

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Just now, MountainMon said:

What an idiotic statement.

I actually don't think that it is. And I know that I'm arguing up the middle against two sides that are arguing against each other right now, but there can be ignorant extremism on both sides of this issue.

It's unfair and rather sad to assume that white people cannot understand that diversity is important to a racialized person. I like to believe I can understand something like that as true, to riff off my point above, and to incorporate that truth into a framework of advice, information, etc. But that's not what you are quoting.

It's completely fair to state that white people cannot understand why diversity is important to a racialized person. As in, understanding the qualities of the background and experiences that have created that value and led to it. I mean, come on. That's true of so many things and so many experiences. If someone has gone hungry in the past and now insists on keeping the fridge full at all times, I can understand that the feeling is true but I can't fully understand why it's true. It's simply a part of someone else's life experiences that I don't share.

This topic is stupid, and apparently was conceived as such. But despite having my own back up, I don't want to pile stupidity on more stupidity. It's not going to cancel itself out. It just multiplies into more stupidity.

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1 minute ago, Diplock said:

 If someone has gone hungry in the past and now insists on keeping the fridge full at all times, I can understand that the feeling is true but I can't fully understand why it's true.

Can you really not understand why though?

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9 minutes ago, legallybrunette3 said:

Can you really not understand why though?

No. I can't. And maybe language is insufficient to the point we're discussing, but you know what I'm saying is true and just about everyone does, even when phrasing it in a sentence may be difficult.

Someone says, "this is what I experienced, this is how I grew up, this is what I lived through, and so this is why I do this now."

You say, "okay, I understand why you do this now."

They say, "you understand what I just told you as information, but you don't really understand why."

Look. Whether at this point we're talking about the experience of being radicalized, or the experience of living with real, gut-gnawing hunger, or living through a genocide, it's all someone else's life that you haven't lived and someone else's experiences that you haven't shared. No matter how you deploy language, it's arrogant, insulting, and utterly infuriating to suggest that being told about it by other people - that simply hearing the information as a story - gives you the same level of insight into the experience as someone who's lived it. That claim is simply beyond the pale.

So, sure. You may "understand why." But you'll never understand why. And we all need to acknowledge that. Even when we're arguing with someone we disagree with.

Edited by Diplock
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2 minutes ago, Diplock said:

I actually don't think that it is. And I know that I'm arguing up the middle against two sides that are arguing against each other right now, but there can be ignorant extremism on both sides of this issue.

It's unfair and rather sad to assume that white people cannot understand that diversity is important to a racialized person. I like to believe I can understand something like that as true, to riff off my point above, and to incorporate that truth into a framework of advice, information, etc. But that's not what you are quoting.

It's completely fair to state that white people cannot understand why diversity is important to a racialized person. As in, understanding the qualities of the background and experiences that have created that value and led to it. I mean, come on. That's true of so many things and so many experiences. If someone has gone hungry in the past and now insists on keeping the fridge full at all times, I can understand that the feeling is true but I can't fully understand why it's true. It's simply a part of someone else's life experiences that I don't share.

This topic is stupid, and apparently was conceived as such. But despite having my own back up, I don't want to pile stupidity on more stupidity. It's not going to cancel itself out. It just multiplies into more stupidity.

I actually agree with the OP in that I wouldn't want to be the only white guy in a room full of black/brown/asian people so I'm not sure I fall on a particular "side" of this conversation. In fact, I'm not even sure anyone has argued against the idea that diversity is important (for POC in particular or not) though people seem to have built up that strawman here - a fallacy not atypical of a typical undergraduate Arts class I might add.

I'm not really sure I fully understand your second point though as it seems nearly identical to the first. One does not have to experience something to understand it. Perhaps on an individual level I cannot fully comprehend one's psyche, but to suggest that, on the basis of race, one could not possibly understand why something is true is absurd and prejudicial. 

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3 minutes ago, Diplock said:

No. I can't. And maybe language is insufficient to the point we're discussing, but you know what I'm saying is true and just about everyone does, even when phrasing it in a sentence may be difficult.

Someone says, "this is what I experienced, this is how I grew up, this is what I lived through, and so this is why I do this now."

You say, "okay, I understand why you do this now."

They say, "you understand what I just told you as information, but you don't really understand why."

Look. Whether at this point we're talking about the experience of being radicalized, or the experience of living with real, gut-gnawing hunger, or living through a genocide, it's all someone else's life that you haven't lived and someone else's experienced that you haven't shared. Now matter how you deploy language, it's arrogant, insulting, and utterly infuriating to suggest that being told about it by other people - that simply hearing the information as a story - gives you the same level of insight into the experience as someone who's lived it. That claim is simply beyond the pale.

So, sure. You may "understand why." But you'll never understand why. And we all need to acknowledge that. Even when we're arguing with someone we disagree with.

I don't disagree with this at all, but why is it a white/non-white thing? Like since I belong to a minority group (and I do) I can therefore automatically understand  how, for example, black people feel in america, just because i'm not white? I just think there's no reason to single out white people. You could say "those not belonging to the same group".

Edited by legallybrunette3
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Back on the main topic, it's worth your time to look into recent initiatives by law schools too; Western has historically not been great on diversity, but the admin and student body are very engaged on this, especially in light of the current uptick in BLM advocacy and conversations in the law school. Admissions has committed to increased emphasis on overall class diversity and there are multiple initiatives on campus broadly and in the law school specifically to address this.

I'm sure other law schools are doing the same.

Food for thought! 

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1 minute ago, MountainMon said:

I actually agree with the OP in that I wouldn't want to be the only white guy in a room full of black/brown/asian people so I'm not sure I fall on a particular "side" of this conversation. In fact, I'm not even sure anyone has argued against the idea that diversity is important (for POC in particular or not) though people seem to have built up that strawman here - a fallacy not atypical of a typical undergraduate Arts class I might add.

I'm not really sure I fully understand your second point though as it seems nearly identical to the first. One does not have to experience something to understand it. Perhaps on an individual level I cannot fully comprehend one's psyche, but to suggest that, on the basis of race, one could not possibly understand why something is true is absurd and prejudicial. 

You can understand why, but without lived experiences, it is difficult to understand how much weight this would have on any individual racialized person and how it factors into their decision-making process. I would also add that being the only white person in a room full of POCs in North America is different from being the only POC in a room full of white people in North America.

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Taking bets as to how long until this post gets locked. 

I see a lot of presumably white posters arguing that they can understand why diversity might be important to non-white applicants. I think that this is basically good natured. I also think that there is a difference in understanding something intellectually and understanding something from the perspective of lived experience, understanding it viscerally. White folks by and large have never felt what it's like not to belong by virtue of the colour of their skin and as such might be able to conceptually grasp why POC might prefer a diverse atmosphere, but can't really understand it at the level of lived experience. 

I also see a lot of posts either directly belittling the value of diversity in law school or obliquely dismissing it as being an important concern. I'd ask you lot to put yourselves in the shoes of non-white applicants, trying to crack their way into a traditionally white dominated field and consider how  valuable it might be to not just see white faces in your classroom. Creating a sense of belonging in a field attracts a larger quantity of talented applicants who can deliver high quality legal services.

I also think that Diplock is right. While the demographics of legal practice are surely changing, some really great job opportunities might require POC to enter un-diverse spaces. Just because this sucks doesn't make it not true. And like I've posted before, having that information in your back pocket makes means that you're armed with the tools to make prudent decisions. 

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1 minute ago, Aschenbach said:

You can understand why, but without lived experiences, it is difficult to understand how much weight this would have on any individual racialized person and how it factors into their decision-making process. I would also add that being the only white person in a room full of POCs in North America is different from being the only POC in a room full of white people in North America.

Lived experience is the result of infinitely different possibilities. To say that one trait - skin colour - is the ultimate determinant of being able to understand something is absurd when there are a million different factors involved. I didn't state that my hypothetical took place in North America and would agree with your point. 

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Just now, GoblinKing said:

I see a lot of presumably white posters arguing that they can understand why diversity might be important to non-white applicants. I think that this is basically good natured. I also think that there is a difference in understanding something intellectually and understanding something from the perspective of lived experience, understanding it viscerally. White folks by and large have never felt what it's like not to belong by virtue of the colour of their skin and as such might be able to conceptually grasp why POC might prefer a diverse atmosphere, but can't really understand it at the level of lived experience. 

This is a pretty good way to put it and probably the closest I would come to agreeing with the overall sentiment that one cannot truly know what it's like to be in another's shoes which is, at the end of the day, what this entire argument is about. 

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11 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

Lived experience is the result of infinitely different possibilities. To say that one trait - skin colour - is the ultimate determinant of being able to understand something is absurd when there are a million different factors involved. I didn't state that my hypothetical took place in North America and would agree with your point. 

No one is arguing that it is a single determinant. Acting as if it's not a hell of an important determinant is absurd. Not each of these "infinitely different possibilities" (which as a math student I must say is shit notation) have equivalent weights. It's also worth noting that race has an effect on other possible determinants of understanding a person's lived experience like language or SES. Understanding someone else's lived experience does not necessarily require sharing their racial make up, but someone who is radicalized and as a result has an intersection in sets of possible experience (better notation) has a better shot. I personally have conversations with other mixed people that resonate on a deeper level than I do with my white friends, especially when those conversations relate to race. This is also true of conversations with people from my same socio-economic bracket. 

Edited by GoblinKing
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8 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

This is a pretty good way to put it and probably the closest I would come to agreeing with the overall sentiment that one cannot truly know what it's like to be in another's shoes which is, at the end of the day, what this entire argument is about. 

I feel like you're distorting the argument. Understanding someone else is a matter of degree. The argument isn't that just because I'm, say black, I understand another black person completely or even well. It's just that I'm more likely to holding all other factors constant. 

Edited by GoblinKing
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11 minutes ago, GoblinKing said:

I feel like you're distorting the argument. Understanding someone else is a matter of degree. The argument isn't that just because I'm, say black, I understand another black person completely or even well. It's just that I'm more likely to holding all other factors constant. 

This is a really beautiful way of putting it. I still think that saying white people can't is not appreciating the element of "Degree", it feels too strong.

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2 hours ago, GoblinKing said:

As a mixed person, I'd have so many options. When the race war arrives, the mixed will adapt. 

Why do I see the mixed as WWII Italy in this analogy?

Anyway, I don't think TRU has diversity statistics for the law program. They don't collect information on students re: race, gender, or anything else like that. It's been a topic of discussion for a few years as the black student population has dwindled considerably. 

Throughout my time at TRU, we had the largest proportion of South Asian students of any other Canadian school (mostly from Surrey, Abbotsford, and Calgary).

On the topic of limiting options by prioritizing diversity in the "real world." I personally prioritized diversity when job hunting. It did push several firms to the bottom of my list. I've also been open about that aspect of my personal values where relevant, including in job interviews. I wouldn't be surprised if I put off some firms as a result. However, I was confident enough in myself as an applicant that I could take risks in my approach. Not everyone has the luxury of being picky.

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9 minutes ago, GoblinKing said:

No one is arguing that it is a single determinant. Acting as if it's not a hell of an important determinant is absurd. Not each of these "infinitely different possibilities" (which as a math student I must say is shit notation) have equivalent weights. It's also worth noting that race has an effect on other possible determinants of understanding a person's lived experience like language or SES. Understanding someone else's lived experience does not necessarily require sharing their racial make up, but someone who is radicalized and as a result has an intersection in sets of possible experience (better notation) has a better shot. I personally have conversations with other mixed people that resonate on a deeper level than I do with my white friends, especially when those conversations relate to race. This is also true of conversations with people from my same socio-economic bracket. 

No one is arguing that it isn't an important determinant (not me, at least). The initial point amounted to: white people can't understand why POC would feel a certain way. To some degree this is true and to some degree it is false. There's not much else to it. I can't help that you're not good at empathizing with others who share different backgrounds than you, which is essentially what your final point shows. 

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15 minutes ago, GoblinKing said:

I feel like you're distorting the argument. Understanding someone else is a matter of degree. The argument isn't that just because I'm, say black, I understand another black person completely or even well. It's just that I'm more likely to holding all other factors constant. 

I'm not distorting the argument - the original argument made no mention of degree or anything else. It simply took the absolute stance that white people can't understand why POC would feel a certain way. That which I still maintain is an absurd position.

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2 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

No one is arguing that it isn't an important determinant (not me, at least). The initial point amounted to: white people can't understand why POC would feel a certain way. To some degree this is true and to some degree it is false. There's not much else to it. I can't help that you're not good at empathizing with others who share different backgrounds than you, which is essentially what your final point shows. 

Empathy is necessarily self-focused. Studies show that we're better at empathizing with people who are like us and poor at empathizing with those who are not. You might consider yourself the exception, in which case congratulations. I'd still trust my ability to be compassionate towards others while also trusting that I cannot understand their lived experiences on a fundamental level should they be fundamentally different from mine. I choose to believe that listening to people and trusting the inadequacy of my own ability to understand is a better path towards mutual recognition of dignity than just assuming I "get it." 

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9 minutes ago, MountainMon said:

I'm not distorting the argument - the original argument made no mention of degree or anything else. It simply took the absolute stance that white people can't understand why POC would feel a certain way. That which I still maintain is an absurd position.

I don't think that anyone interpreting what people have said in good faith would consider  them absolute stances that white people can't understand anything about why POC would feel a certain way. But for the sake of argument let's say that was the original position. My  modified position is that white people are poor at understanding racialized experiences where those experiences have a direct relation to race. 

Edited by GoblinKing

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Anyways, at this point we're all just banging our heads against proverbial walls here. I for one have had enough of arguing with well intentioned white people for the day.

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