Multiracial Identity and Affirmative Action
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
April 1, 2007
UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2007
This article examines the relationship between a categorical, box-checking race classification system and the diversity-based, higher education affirmative action regime approved by the Supreme Court. It concludes that the two systems are inconsistent: the mere act of checking a box does not indicate anything about the diversity that an applicant might or might not bring to a school.
Moreover, the article concludes that box-checking classifications systems are inconsistent with multiracial identity itself. Sociological research collected in the article suggests that multiracial identity is fluid and nuanced; it cannot be captured by the mere act of checking a box on a form. Forcing multiracial applicants to describe their racial identity in this way is both tyrannical, and, ultimately, inaccurate.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: multiracial, race, affirmative action, education, box-checking, race classification
Date posted: December 15, 2008 ; Last revised: September 9, 2012