A Racial Problem

United States
March 1, 2010 11:44pm CST
Just recently I was talking to a friend who was considering going to court with the company who turned her daughter down for a scholarship. She said that her daughter applied to a scholarship for Irish people, she is a mixed young woman, her mother who was born in Barbados and her father was born in Dublin, Ireland are her parents. The people at the scholarship committee decided her brown coloring meant she was black and that she thus could not be Irish. However after checking it out her lawyer said that they dont say both of your parents have to be Irish nor does it say what percentage of Irish descent she must be, and she was the most qualified academically. This is weird, who chooses what nationality you are. In America there are very few people who are not mixed with something and she has proof that her father was born and raised in Ireland. What would you do if this happened to you?
6 people like this
14 responses
@laglen (19783)
• United States
2 Mar 10
I guess I would be sure that that it why she was turned down. Who did receive it. But bottom line, most scholarships are private and they can turn you down if they choose to.
• United States
2 Mar 10
No the committee originally brought her in to win the scholarship, once her family got there however, she was turned down because they said she was African American and the scholarship was for Irish students. They told her they regret to do this (so they said) and they hope she finds something else. Her father went there and told them who he was and that he was Irish and was able to show proof, records, passports, and the like. Being from a more well to do Irish family in Ireland they were able to maintain all vital records and he was able to produce them. He showed them to the administrator, who said to him, well she doesnt look Irish. He said why not she has red hair and green eyes, then went on to point our that in Ireland people look different all over the place, that they are not all the same, and that may even have more profound differences in some territories but they would not hear of it.
2 people like this
@irishidid (8152)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I really wonder if the committee is afraid that if they let this girl in that more blacks will try to apply and then claim discrimination when they are turned down. It could be a reason they are taking the stance they are. Not trying to excuse it, but maybe an explanation?
2 people like this
• United States
3 Mar 10
I dont think so, I know for a fact that she had proof and all they would have to say to other blacks is that they would have to prove the same. I think these particular people did not want to be associated with a black person, or admit that this black girl was smarter than all the other applicants, because there was simply no other reason. I am black and I would not nor would my children apply for an Irish scholarship and I am also 1/8th Irish as well. But since I am mostly black and none of my immediate family that I can prove were born there, My great grand pa was Irish, so I have no way of proving it. This is something that is a normal thing for African Americans mixed with another culture, hard to prove it. However this was not the case for her, she had proof that was 100% accurate and could be checked out.
@irishidid (8152)
• United States
2 Mar 10
The question to ask is do they make everyone prove they are Irish. Not all of us Irish have red hair and green eyes! If that's the case, then she has no case and should just provide the information to them. If they are just going by the color of her skin, heck yes-take them to court! But make sure you have proof. Hearsay doesn't mean anything. She must have something to back up her claim of discrimination. I honestly don't know what I would do in the situation. I'm told I look Native American (more likely Black Irish) so they would probably give me strange looks too.
2 people like this
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Mar 10
most irish don't. the most authentically celtic look is dark hair. and short. 7 foot redheads are viking immigrants...
2 people like this
@irishidid (8152)
• United States
2 Mar 10
I have heard that. People just associate the reds as Irish and of course Hollywood has to continue that ideal.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 10
Funny thing there, you will laugh she does have green eyes and dark auburn hair.
2 people like this
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
2 Mar 10
Well I think she did the right thing in reporting it. I am really surprised that they are even allowed to grant a scholorship based on one's nationality to begin with. The scholorship itself is very very biased and racist. I would definitly be arguing that one out. If she is qualified academically then that should be all that matters. Her nationality should not come into play at all. With the right lawyer, I'm guessing she has a good case.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 10
There are millions of scholarships in the US that are based on a person's nationality, however because of the fact that this is a huge melting pot, almost everyone is something else. Each nationality does this to ensure that their kinsmen get to go to school and require proof, while I see no problem in this, I do see a problem with not allowing a child of Irish nationality to take part in this process, and my question is if the same child had taken on the light skin of her father would they have let her have the scholarship.
2 people like this
@towongfoo27 (2989)
• United States
2 Mar 10
I would keep fighting to get the scholarship, and keep trying. Yet looking from the financial aspect of spending money on lawyers, I may ot to go for another scholarship, too. Reason being the money spent on lawyers will be a loss when the girl could get more money from another scholarship. Personally I would be upset though, for the scholarship committee's lack of insight. I don't see why they have the right to say who is who based on skin color, for that is ridiculous to me!
• United States
2 Mar 10
Absolutely
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 10
It would not as my family tree goes back 400 years and I am pure Scots. However my great-grandchildren are biracial and we would fight tooth and nail to get them accepted if they were in the same situation.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 10
I so agree thank you
2 people like this
@mr_pearl (5037)
• India
2 Mar 10
Man, this is really disgusting... From what you've written here it seems that the Govt of Ireland is almost promoting Racism!! or at least, their scholarship commitee is doing that... Awful, hateful and ridiculous!! I have been pretty fortunate that I have not had any such experience yet, but if I am treated racially, I will teach that person a nice lesson.. Racism is a dark patch on human society and it should be cleared ASAP...
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 10
Oh no! That is the thing, while the scholarship is for Irish people, it is an American company in America who is promoting racism. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I dont want good Irish people saying that I called them racist. The company however who provides the scholarship has an ownership of the children of first US generation Irishmen, who came here and fought discrimination (which is why this is so really bad) and overcame adversity to make successful lives for their children.
2 people like this
@jb78000 (15178)
2 Mar 10
if this is true then that is ridiculous. so what would an irish person, with irish nationality, born and raised in ireland, with irish parents who were both black be exactly? if the qualification is irish ancestry then she certainly has it. if the qualification is being whatever their stereotype of an irish person is (probably ginger, green eyes, carrying a leprachaun and some semtex) then she wouldn't although people who couldn't trace any ancestors from ireland whatsoever might.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 10
I so agree with you, the thing is she has proof that her father is Irish, he still even speaks with his accent, and they dont want to give it to her because they say she is black (African American)
2 people like this
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
2 Mar 10
I would check if I have a right to fight for this issue. If possible I would try to settle things out of court and try to do it in a friendly manner. If all fails and I am sure that the law is on my side I would make sure to hire a good lawyer and settle things in court. It is stupid that she is not considered as Irish if she is black. People should not be discriminated because of their skin colour.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
3 Mar 10
In Canada this would never happen. We usually go by what the father's nationality is. We have a lady who is part Dutch and part Black, and she looks half and half, but because her father is Dutch, so is she. Oh yes there are those who are part Dutch but born in Borneo, and have that Asian strain, and yet when they come to Canada, they do not claim themselves as of Borneo, but Dutch. Now my father was German Austrian, so even though I have English and Welsh in me, in reality I am a German Canadian. I have a nephew in law who is of Low German descent, his wife is Filipino, and his children would be considered Low German Canadian. It is only in America that they think the darker shade is the shade that you belong to, not the one of your father's and that is wrong.
• United States
3 Mar 10
What if your father is mixed what would you be then. I know that this is silly but in America for the longest time, even if you were caucasion, if you had one drop of black blood that made you a negro. This is also a country where no one is actually a pure blood but many people can still be prejudiced. I remember when I was a child, people would say it didnt matter that I was west Indian, the reason my friends came to me is because I too am West Indian and Irish, but I again could remember that I heard people who thought West Indian meant I wasnt black and they would say really bad things about blacks, and look at me and say well you are not black anyway. This did not happen to me in my home state of Massachusettes but it did happen to me in states further south or in the west of the US. Another thing I learned is that depending on where you were, no one will ever see me as anything but a Black girl, and they would think I was uneducated, I told someone hear I had a Masters and a Doctorate, which can be proven and he goes that he is laughing out loud because he cant believe that. So trust me this country is very prejudiced.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
4 Mar 10
If my father were mixed, but Canadian, I would be a Canadian. But I would be a Canadian of whatever background he was. We still have that hyphenated thing in Canada although there is this official government policy of multi-culturalism, As for being West Indian, I sort of consider people from West India, West Indians, and they do look difference from the African Americans who are mainly from the South of the Sahara, American Indians, with some European here and there. The West Indians appear more European. I think it could be because of those French, English, and Spanish who came there and intermarried. It is true that it depends on where you are, how people think of you. Here it does not matter, but I guess in some of the States they have this past slavery issue and have not grown up yet.
• United States
4 Mar 10
Interesting thank you.
1 person likes this
@finlander60 (1776)
• United States
2 Mar 10
If she is as academically qualified as you say, I would suggest that she try for some other scholarships, and pick the best one out of the bunch that should be a long list of quality offers.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 10
She will but I think her family should fight because she was approved for this before they saw her in person.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Mar 10
This could be one of those situations where, if you choose to fight, nobody wins. The school loses a quality prospective student, and the student's family pays for the expense of a good lawyer. Since the scholarship has, in all likelihood, been already awarded to another student, does it REALLY MAKE SENSE to fight what promises to be a losing battle? I understand fighting just for the principle of the thing, but there has to come a time when one side or the other just decides to quit simply because they can't stand the fighting any longer. Now, if you could find a good lawyer that would take this on just for the publicity that it would garner, that could change my opinion of taking this battle to the court system, and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully, the side that is right will prevail.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 10
The Good news is that the girls brother is a law student and has gained the attention of one of his professors who is also a lawyer so there will not be a large expense to the family.
@RobtheRock (2485)
• United States
3 Mar 10
I would fight it. I've always felt that these racial classifications are a bunch of bunk and definitely not scientific. For example, President Obama has a Black father and White mother. He's classified as Black. Tiger Wood's mother is Asian and his father is Black. Tiger is classified as Black. To show you how sick this is, going back in history we know that Frederick Douglass was Black, although he had a White father and Black mother. At the same time period, one of the all time great writers, a person whose novels have been turned into movies many times over: (The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo)had a White father and Black mother, yet at that time he was called Mullatto. (Douglass was classified as Mullato but was known as Black.) Just like Obama, Woods, Douglass, and Dumas, this girl is both Irish and Black, period! No manmade racial classification can change that.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 10
Powerful Statement!
@urbandekay (18314)
4 Mar 10
Clearly she is not Irish - she is American, get this there are no Irish-Americans, no African-Americans, just Americans. All this dual nationality stuff is non-sense. all the best urban
• United States
4 Mar 10
While I agree with you about the fact that we are all Americans, I dont think because we are american that means we should not have our heritages, but I do think that if you are going to have a scholarship that says you can recieve it because you are a certain background then you should be able to get it if you prove you are that nationality, you have good grades or test scores, and/or you have financial need. That is all the scholarship people should do. As for being called American, you can say it and I agree, but we will always be classified. I heard one person say once, reading my maiden name from another country not too long ago, she must be Irish, and I even had one person say my ancestors must of been slaves (blacks say this) cause you know there is no way you got no Irish folks. I dont care what I am called anyway, my thing is that this Irish girl should get the scholarship if they can find no other way to not give it to her.
@urbandekay (18314)
4 Mar 10
Yes, have your heritage but don't pretend you are of that nationality - you are not. Americans that pretend they are Scots are laughed at when they go there. Consider for a moment; an English American? No, it makes no sense, unless it is to mean an Englishman living in USA . all the best urban
• United States
5 Mar 10
What happens if you have dual citizenship. I am not laughed at when I go home, nor have I been laughed at any where else when I visit, and tons of countries call blacks African American because it is simply easier to recognize that the Africans from Africa are different from the blacks in America. When I visited Ireland I have a cousin there who had never even seen blacks and it helped to understand that while I had some other background I was still American. I dont think that is much of a big deal anyway. I dont care what people decide I am I only care that I am able to be what I think of myself, the same as this young lady, who is proud to be Irish (her father is from Ireland) and West Indian (her mother is from Barbados) she is a first generation American born here in her family.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
10 Mar 10
It may be racist, but going to court won't accomplish anything. Scholarships given by private entities are entirely up to the group giving the actual scholarship. They can be as racist or judgmental as they want. Unless it's a government scholarship, they are under no obligations to be fair.
@Hatley (159671)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Mar 10
pastorkayte If it were me and I was turned down I would raise cain until they straightened it out and let me have the scholarship that I was entitled to. yes here in America we have mixed backgrounds, my gr gr grandparents are Scottish, Irish, and English.so heres to the pride of being from England, Ireland and Scotland. may the Richeys, and the Clarks and McWhorters all live in peace.