Becoming black

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The actress Mindy Kaling’s brother Vijay Jojo Chokalingam was determined to get into med school. The only problem was that he had a 3.1 GPA and a 31 MCAT score, which is terrible…for an Indian or Asian applicant. On the other hand, he had heard rumors that affirmative action lowered the bar for people of other races. So he took the old advice: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. He joined ’em by “becoming” black: he shaved his head and became a member of the Organization of Black Students. He got into med school, studied for two years, and then abandoned medicine. He reports that while it was easy to get into med school as a black man, he also dealt with other issues as well:

Not everything worked out as planned. Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me or couldn’t keep their hands off me. What started as a devious ploy to gain admission to medical school turned into twisted social experiment.

This is a bit like Black Like Me, only rather than tanning under a UV lamp, Vijay used his God-given dark skin to pull one over on admissions officers. As I mentioned before, I know someone who did something similar: a white kid born in South Africa claimed he was African American and got into Harvard. If you’re against affirmative racism, it’s a good way to stick it to the Man.

It also led me to think that perhaps we should think more about how race can be fluid. Some Asians are denying their heritage to get past affirmative racism in college admissions. Some actually change their names. So if Asians can change their names to become White and avoid affirmative racism, and if Vijay can become Black in order to avoid affirmative racism, is it possible for black people to become Indian in order to avoid police racism?

I’m joking, of course. Black people do endure real police racism, as evident from the Ferguson e-mails. I don’t think they should have to become Indian to be treated with respect. But increased admissions requirements for Asians is also a form of racism, and Asians shouldn’t have to become non-Asian to also be treated with respect.

Also, let’s dispense with the nonsense that affirmative action doesn’t lower the standards for “underrepresented” minorities, or that it benefits the poor and downtrodden. Vijay and Jojo are the same person. And he’s rich.

(Thanks for the article, GuitarDude.)

55 thoughts on “Becoming black

  1. I thought they were different people because I feared admitting to myself that they looked the same…

  2. I don’t blame the guy. I would have done the same. At least blacks get more respect from other races than Asians, and of course they get laid way more often because of their big Dk stereotype. And they are protected by the NAACP. And cops can’t touch them no more because it would be racism if they do. Whites suck it up to them because of their guilt of slavery. Whenever blacks are in trouble, they just need to cry racism and people will let them get away or the media and NACCP will come to the rescue.

  3. You know this is not the first time I’ve seen fuckfaces coming into this blog and pretty much contributing nothing except nasty/passive-aggressive comments about blacks and jews. It’s always comments about black people and jewish people. It may even be the same individuals just signed up under a different throwaway user name and email address.

    Do you know why they do it? They’re hoping that their throwaway comments can bring more people in to chime in about the same old crap. Even that demented fucker Chr does this.

    They want to discredit this blog with this tactic by filling the comments section with racial odium.

  4. “I thought they were different people because I feared admitting to myself that they looked the same…”

    Why? Because one is fatter? LOL.

  5. “ I would have done the same. At least blacks get more respect from other races than Asians”

    Stop obsessing about Blacks like some Asian American activists. Instead concentrate on Asian American issues, if you are so inclined.

  6. “And they are protected by the NAACP. And cops can’t touch them no more because it wou’ld be racism if they do. Whites suck it up to them because of their guilt of slavery.”

    Its funny how completely white-washed some people are in their selective reading. Notice what was NOT commented on, or even comprehended:

    “Cops harassed me. Store clerks accused me of shoplifting. Women were either scared of me, or couldn’t keep their hands off me.

    And this is all coming from a South Asian guy, not a Black guy, so I’d say it isn’t his overactive imagination.

  7. Most of us here are bothered by policies, forces and events that affect people. That idiot reveals he is essentially bothered by a people.

    Bottom-tier dipshit.

  8. @ Sengge

    $100 says that if I had a magic wand that could turn Kyrie into a Black, he’d BEG me not to use it on him! Yet supposedly Blacks have it so good in America. Lol!

  9. Indian or Asian applicant

    It’s interesting how “race” works in America. India is technically in Asia yet most Americans (Indian or non-Indian) don’t typically consider South Asians as Asians. When people think of Asians, they usually only think of East (or Southeast) Asians. If a Chinese married an Indian, for example, most would view that as an interracial marriage yet the US Census Bureau wouldn’t categorize it as such. Along with Chokolingam’s experiment, this is proof that race is little more than a social construct.

  10. Correction: Chokalingam

    Sorry, I was thinking about chocolate when I looked at him.

  11. @Kiwi,

    “this is proof that race is little more than a social construct.”

    Makes a lot of sense to me. I cannot tell the difference between a South Asian such as ChugaChugaLingam (You get my drift) and an East Asian for the life of me.

  12. The only people who cant tell that dude is south asian are non-asians. He doesn’t look black at all.
    South Asian should be a different race from East and South East Asian, that’s why a marriage between a chinese and an indian is considered interacial. The white people were just so racist back then and they called everybody outside of their known world, that is Europe, Africa and Turkey, Asians, far east and oriental people. They still call native americans indians. You know how it is, we all look the same.
    We are just so insignificant that no one bothers to change the definition, and thus indian looking people are considered asians.

  13. I think the Kyrie has a point here.

    “South Asian should be a different race from East and South East Asian, that’s why a marriage between a chinese and an indian is considered interacial. The white people were just so racist back then and they called everybody outside of their known world, that is Europe, Africa and Turkey, Asians, far east and oriental people.”

    India and the surrounding region seem clearly different than East Asia and even much of Southern Asia.

    I mean this guy…

    http://www.davidyoung-wolff.com/data/photos/543_1r_a_000603webportfolio.jpg

    looks QUITE a bit different than this guy…

    http://cdn.menshairstyletrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Cool-Short-Hairstyles-for-Asian-Men-.jpg

    It seems a bit lazy not to see them clearly as two different peoples. But as we all know there is quite a range of difference even between East Asians. And race is a social construct without sharp edges. But if you want to kind of match the other “racial” divisions it would seem like Indian/Pakistani, Bengali, Bangladesh peoples would fit into their own racial category.

  14. “I think the Kyrie has a point here.”

    No man. I do not see color. Kiwi is right. I can hardly tell the difference between Byron and Chokelingam.

  15. I was quoting attrition rates, not graduation rates, but the data can be used similarly. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find data on race and academics because more and more people would rise up if more light is shed on the racism involved in academics.

  16. “I’m curious about graduation rate. Some how I’ve never met a black doctor in any hospital that I’ve been to.”

    I have 7 Black doctors in my own family, and personally know at least 30 of them, with several being Chiefs of Surgery for their hospital groups. But of course I’m in LA so…

  17. I just read the other Asian American political site. Apparently what Vijay did was “racist.” And he “donned blackface for two years.” You’d think that she never met an Indian American. Many of them are dark. Naturally dark. Without wearing blackface. Really.

    By the way, everyone, I finally picked up Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath. It has lots of great observations about affirmative action and advantages/disadvantages.

  18. guitardude,

    On the AAMC website I posted above, I found total enrollments and graduates. We can estimate graduation rates from those numbers. My estimation is close to the findings in the article you posted.

  19. @ Chinese Mom

    “Wow, your family is full of achievers.”

    Well, the doctor thing seemed to have totally skipped me! But my uncle, cousins, nieces, and nephews, are more than making up for it.

    When I get old, I will force all the young MDs to take care of old Uncle King 🙂
    It’s only proper!

  20. King, if you converted to Confucianism, having 7 doctors in the family is a good start to immortalizing them with plaques of their names in your clan hall.

    We can start thinking of Chinese names now.

    LOL

  21. The plaques are mainly for afterlife veneration. 😀

    They may send you money but if they are not close they may not even visit you often.

    LOL

  22. You have the option of smashing these plaques and displaying their broken pieces on the clan altar with the words “unfilial” scratched on them in Chinese. 😀

    They may come back begging for forgiveness, having crawled all the way in from the front steps on their knees and knocking their foreheads on the ground every three crawls, humbly asking that their name be restored. (This time they will pay for the plaques of course)

    😀

  23. I just read the other Asian American political site. Apparently what Vijay did was “racist.” And he “donned blackface for two years.” You’d think that she never met an Indian American. Many of them are dark. Naturally dark. Without wearing blackface. Really. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2015/04/becoming-black/#comment-301609

    Shouldn’t she be saying “trigger warning” before using the term “blackface”? That’s exactly what she’s doing isn’t she: using “triggers” to induce morons into believing black people are once again under attack.

    Have you read the quality of the comments there? Once the trigger was used and followed by five thousand words of fluffy beat around the bush wall of texts it’s as if the commentors left their brains somewhere else while they proceeded to type out garbage.

  24. Didn’t she used to have intelligent comments? Oh that’s right…those commenters were banned! Banned as they were applauded with jazz hands.

  25. After reading the documents he provided, I don’t think he convinced people that he was black during the interview process. He got a lot of interviews from good schools like Columbia, Yale, Upenn etc., but none of them accepted him. If he were a real black person, he would be accepted to one of those schools.
    http://almostblack.com/documentation-for-almost-black/

  26. Aight, I broke down and posted at Reappropriate. Y’all gotta check out this conversation:

    http://reappropriate.co/?p=8281#comment-1949146742

    Regarding Chokalingam’s combination of GPA and MCAT, Jenn wrote:

    Actually, 17% of Asian Americans with his combination of GPA and MCAT score receive admission to some medical school. So, combined with good reference letters and essays, an applicant could still put together a pretty decent application package that will get them into a medical school.

    Pschotic Vagrant replied:

    what’s the percentage of blacks with the same combinations who get in ?

    Then Jenn replied:

    70%, but these numbers are not adjusted for…

    I fell out of my chair. Seriously, I had to take a breath before reading further. 70% vs. 17%. I didn’t bother to check anyone’s statistic because agreement on that fact alone is MINDBOGGLING. You can just flip the digits and have almost the same number. That is MINDBOGGLING. The fact that she says, “…but…” right after answering the question is even more MINDBLOWING.

    I had to respond. Here was my response:

    Hi Jenn,

    70% acceptances for black students vs. 17% acceptances for Asian students? My goodness, that’s just backward (almost literally…you can just flip the digits)! I have to agree with Psychotic Vagrant here…how can you say that that’s not significant?

    I also had to respond to this, from the [reappropriate’s]OP:

    There’s one problem with that assessment: St. Louis University School of Medicine isn’t that great a medical school (sorry, SLU grads).

    Jenn, there isn’t such thing as a bad med school. You get the same “MD” after your name, regardless of where you graduate. Your theory that they’re just not applying to the same schools fails to take into account their goals–they want to become doctors. I’m seriously doubting that an Asian person with a 3.1 on his MCAT is applying to Hopkins or Harvard as a realistic goal–especially if they know that only 17% of Asian people with that MCAT/GPA combination get in.

    Yeah, I know it’s anecdotal, but even in my podcast with you, I think I mentioned that I know LOTS of doctors. All med schools are good. Many really good doctors even got their education outside of this country. The main thing is just getting the degree.

    Also, do you like Malcolm Gladwell? He has some very interesting things to say about Affirmative Action in David and Goliath.

    Holy Jesus, it might take me the rest of the day to recover from this. Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. Mind…blown. Jazz hands on high alert. She shoulda given me a trigger warning.

  27. I was so mindblown that I didn’t even react with my usual preciseness. 17% of such Asian people get into med school period. NOT to Harvard or Hopkins. Trigger not alerted, but trigger definitely activated.

  28. Oi…she just accused me of not making “scientific” comparisons. Scientific? My god! Who would’ve thought that political debates had the precision of “science.” Not even politicians or even political science majors ever make that claim.

    I need to take a breather. My god, I’ve just been a victim of “violence of the word.”

    So this is what it feels like. Mari Matsuda was right.

  29. “Oi…she just accused me of not making “scientific” comparisons. Scientific? ”

    Jenn is so horrid in logic/math that I am having a hard time biting my fingers down not to post on her website. Biologists are usually ridiculed to be poor in math (all in jest) but Jenn takes the cake.

    Lets say there are 100 medical schools with 2 slots each, and there are 400 comparable applicants.

    Whats the probability of getting into a given school? 0.5%
    Whats the probability of getting into medical school? 50%.

    Jenn, a PhD in biology (from a so-so college) is having a hard time reconciling these two grade school numbers. She is trying to argue the 1-2% number thrown by a commenter with the 17% number. Its like saying 50% above means the 0.5% is not correct.

  30. Byron,

    Go to your happy place. It’s all you can do with these “activists”.

    Where’s reverend Jenkins to bring much needed clarity?

  31. ChineseMom:

    Definitely! Thanks!

    John Doe:

    I’m just baffled that she can’t or WON’T understand that basic math! There’s no way that a fifth grader, let alone a college grad, could believe that the percentage of applicants getting into Harvard vs. getting into any med school should somehow be the same number or the same concept. I’m thinking she’s just throwing that out to “win” the argument. I’m also floored…absolutely mindblowingly floored…that she doesn’t understand how people apply to med school. They do it the same way we all apply to school.

    If I’m a mediocre student who wants to become a doctor, why would I only apply to Harvard, especially knowing that Harvard rejects Asian applicants with low scores? It’s the same exact deal when applying to undergrad: if I’ve only scored a 1200 on my SAT (on the 1600 point scale), would I, as an Asian person whose admission requirements are already higher to begin with, spend time and money applying to Harvard? No! I’d apply to some reach schools, but I’d also apply to safety schools. I can’t imagine any Asian student saying, “Well, I’ve got a 3.1 on my MCAT, and my grades are so-so, but I’ll apply to Hopkins or Harvard, and if I don’t get in, I’ll just become something other than a doctor.” It doesn’t work that way.

    Yun Xu,

    Thanks. Okay, I’ll avoid that site for the rest of the day. It’s driving me crazy.

  32. @Bigwowo,

    “If I’m a mediocre student who wants to become a doctor, why would I only apply to Harvard, especially knowing that Harvard rejects Asian applicants with low scores? ”

    Given the data its not possible to know where Asians applied but it seems about 2000 Asian applicants are accepted in all the four regions for a total of about 9000. This is the year 2015 where most of these data would be available. If I were a medical student, I would know this. So, it would be stupid for an Asian student to only apply in their home state. You would want to apply everywhere.

    Now taking Jenn’s position about geography, about a little less than half Black candidates were in South. For these group to skew the admission rates for the entire group of Blacks including in the more competitive regions, would require an admission rate much higher than 70% for Blacks in the South. They must be growing some damn smart Black folks down South. (Shit I even called a doctor smart) Jenn is playing with our minds.

    In fact, if I roughly assume Blacks are admitted at the same rate as Asians in the rest of the regions at 17%, the math for getting at an over all 70% rates for Blacks becomes crazy unless … you also admit Blacks at rates higher than Asian 17% at the rest of the three regions.

  33. Sorry, Table 10 shows applicants not admitted students. It does show that Asians are applying everywhere and not in their home regions only. Also, Blacks are applying as much in the South as the rest of the country …

  34. Oh, so medical students really DON’T only apply where they live. Imagine that. There goes a whole ‘nother pillar of her argument. And the walls once again came tumbling down.

    You know, it’s really funny. On many of these issues, I’m arguing with gut combined with experience. In this thread, for example, I knew that private school teachers made less, mostly because I hang around teachers and have been involved in many discussions. James argued that I had no data, and then Yun Xu posted the data. Curiously enough, I was right, and James was wrong.

    On Jenn’s site (and on this thread), I did the exact same thing. I put myself in the shoes of a med school applicant. I couldn’t see why a med school applicant, given the competitive admissions of med schools, given the fact that he or she wants to ultimately become a doctor, would limit himself or herself to applying in-state, as Jenn had argued. I had no data, just my gut. And as you’ve just shown with data, they don’t just apply in-state. Once again, I was right.

    Even though I don’t consider myself an emotional debater, it’s possible to use your emotions to learn about people. But I think it has to be combined with experience, and you have to be level-headed rather than consumed with anger.

  35. Why do you guys even bother commenting there? It’s bad enough that we give them the page views.

    You know you’ll just be held to a standard that the blog owner won’t hold themselves to. They’ll accuse you of ad hominems, passive aggressive attacks, repeated questions whatever, when they themselves smear other people as rapists, enablers of rapists, followers of Bill O’Reilly, create straw men by implying adverse motives to what was plainly said, consistently dodge and obfuscate direct questions and requests for clarification. Bottomline is: it’s just a power dynamics game for Bonnie and Clyde. You will not get a truthful answer out of them on their own blog.

    These guys are insignificant. Nobody who gets so easily tripped up on their own position will ever get mainstream coverage and credibility.

  36. It’s like talking to religious fundamentalists. You keep hoping that they’ll acknowledge the obvious. And you keep coming out disappointed.

  37. Holy shit, Iggy Azalea just got accused of wearing “black face”.

    Thinking of speaking ebonics buddy, just because you grew up with friends in the hood?

    YA BETTER NOT CAUSE YOU ARE WEARING BLACKFACE!!!

  38. Why do you guys even bother commenting there? It’s bad enough that we give them the page views. – Sengge

    Because this site lacks material. So much time and effort and energy is spent in this space focused on a blog that takes no interest in any of you. Why? BigWOWO’s an unoriginal, shallow, pedestrian thinker. His only original focus on this blog is his family’s chess hobby.

    It’s sad really. Without liberal Asian American sites, this anonymous little corner of the net would completely lack for content. BigWOWO routinely writes blog posts that crib material from Reappropriate and other sites, to add a psuedo-conservative slant that one can find with better writing and better research almost anywhere else online.

    BigWOWO.com is literally nothing more than an “I hate Reappropriate” site at this point. Seriously, no one over there even notices page views coming from this tiny little place. Maybe one day you guys will mature and come up with your own ideas, but until then it’s just easier for you to comment on whatever Reappropriate was talking about two or three days ago. Pathetic.

  39. For the record, I’m pretty sure I posted this before Reappropriate did, after GuitarDude e-mailed me. I usually post new topics before Reappropriate–you can check the dates. So the content is actually going in the other direction, from here to there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s the way it is.

  40. Also, for the record, MOST of the content here that doesn’t exist on Reappropriate. Hardly any of it exists there. Police Officer Wenjian Liu, the Asian American NYPD cop who was slaughtered in cold blood by a violent Michael Brown supporter, for example, was never mentioned. He was the first NYPD cop killed in the line of duty. The beating by the other group of Michael Brown supporters was never mentioned. Success Academy Charter schools were never mentioned. Shanelle Davis was never mentioned. The Atlanta cheating scandal was never mentioned. She never wrote about the Supermax or Lee Kuan Yew or any of the stuff I find interesting. Actually, I don’t even think there was a separate post on Walter Scott.

    Hey, I’m glad Reappropriate is out there. I won’t lie–I get inspiration from your girlfriend’s posts, knowing that we have a long way to go. Aside from 8Asians and Ben Efsanem, it’s the only other Asian American site I read. But Snoopy, you’d be totally wrong in saying that all the stuff here comes from there or all of the other AA sites. MOST of the stuff here comes from my own reading of just news in general.

  41. @Snoopy,

    “ BigWOWO routinely writes blog posts that crib material from Reappropriate and other sites”

    I actually routinely find Jenn Fang write posts, after it has appeared already on AngryAsianMan. Second, I don’t think you have a blog active blog worth anything. Your only “accomplishment” is simply being associated with Jenn Fang who has a knack for twisting the mundane into an anti-Asian tirade.

    Think about what you have accomplished with your rich privileged life. No, no, you don’t have to explain to me but just self-reflect.

  42. @BigWOWO

    Actually Snoopy is right in one point that you lack themes and material and have problems to think in historical context.

    You need to educate yourself in power transition theory to understand the underlying logic of foreign and domestic policy. The last power transition from the British Empire to the USA was peaceful. Compare it with the violent competition between the British Empire and the German Kaiserreich. Germans and British people are genetically related, the British monarchy is of German blood, whereas the US people are a mixed folk of everything from Europe, Africa, Hispanic America and Asia. In the age of isolationism there were two big immigrant groups who oppose the war against the German Kaiserreich: the Irish-American and the German American, because both hated the British Empire. The US power elite manage to co-opt the Irish American and eliminate German culture on US soil and destroyed German-American identity. German American suffered from ostracism. Compare the further development of German-Americans with Japanese American the diaspora of the 3rd axis power.

    In the 1980s the USA feel a Japanese threat and the USA use various tactics to eliminate the Japanese threat with a combination of finance policy, trade policy and military moves.

    The case of the China threat is very different from the German and the Japanese threat, because the USA and China are very dependen on each other, but nethertheless it is constantly compared with Japan (on racial terms) and Germany (its authorian analogy).

    Asian America must think about how to avoid the old pattern of great power rivalry that destroyed e.g. German American as an recognizable cultural identity and follow the pattern of Irish America or even Jewish America.

    The various groups of Chinese Americans are actually politically divided among US allies (Taiwanese Americans, Singaporean Americans, Indonesian Chinese Americans, Phillipine Chinese Americans) and supporter of PR China and a great mass of unpolitical groups.

    Political discourse and agenda have to provide a set of solutions to the China threat and the power transition discourse that capture the minds of politicians in the USA.

    Asian American feminism and liberals are useless because they lack education in history, politics, military and economics. Cultural studies are useless against deterritorialized cultural industries – identity politis is powerless. Asian America have to restart and reinvent itself.

  43. BigWOWO.com is literally nothing more than an “I hate Reappropriate” site at this point. Seriously, no one over there even notices page views coming from this tiny little place. Maybe one day you guys will mature and come up with your own ideas, but until then it’s just easier for you to comment on whatever Reappropriate was talking about two or three days ago. Pathetic.

    Then why do you post here so much? Now, tell us how you really feel. 😀

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