Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 02:00:00 LCL


Subject: Re: who is african american

did anyone else see the article in the chronicle of higher ed a few

months ago about a white guy who checked "african american" on his

application to law school (at johns hopkins, i think)? his paternal

grandparents are white zambians, so he reasoned that he could count

as "african american" since he can trace his family tree, rather

recently, into africa. the school accepted him, then noticed that he

had checked "white" on his financial aid form, found out he was

indeed of european stock, and rescinded his acceptance. he's suing,

claiming that they must've just accepted him because they thought

he was black. they say they'd do the same to anyone who answered

their forms inconsistently. he says it wasn't inconsistent--

"african american" makes no reference to race.



M. Lynne Murphy e-mail: 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Lecturer, Dept. of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340

University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030

Johannesburg 2050 South Africa

"Language without meaning is meaningless." --Roman Jakobson