Kiwi Camara

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Kiwi Alejandro Danao Camara (born 16 June 1984) is a Filipino-American legal scholar who has been involved in a racial controversy that sparked nationwide attention.

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Background

A native of the Philippines, Camara was born to Enrique Camara and Theresa Danao who are both doctors. A child prodigy, Camara started reading by age 3 and had am extensive vocabulary by age 5, using words like “hallucinating” in conversations. They later moved to Ohio and then to Hawaii when he was 10. He attended Punahou School, one of Hawaii's top college preparatory schools but found himself bored and advanced for the school program. Camara took his SAT test when he was 12 and scored high enough to earn him a state and national recognition.

Camara has contributed original medical research on alternative treatments for inflammatory arthritis to Hawaii Journal of Medicine. He is also a member of Mensa, an elite organization for people with high IQs, and the New York Academy of Science, an invite-only organization.

Because of his SAT scores, one summer, Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) granted a free course of his choice. He liked the class and decided to enroll in another. His father asked him if he wanted to jump from the eight grade to college, which worried his mother because he would technically be a high school dropout. Her mother's biggest concern was how Camara would fit in, given that partying and drinking are the perceived norms in college. His father was worried that Camara would miss the traditional high school activities and the overall character development. He decided to push through with it and took up to 21 credits a semester. At 16, graduated from HPU with a degree in computer science. He was awarded the special dean's award for exemplary academic achievement, having received received straight As in his undergraduate and graduate classes at HPU. His extracurricular activities included being elected in the student government; president of the computer club; attending campus poetry readings; and being a silver-medal standard ballroom dancer.

Before starting law school, Camara worked for the Cades Schutte Fleming and Wright law firm as an information systems specialist and legal researcher.

In 2004, Camara became the youngest person to graduate from Harvard Law School, finishing magna cum laude.

In 2005, Camara was awarded the Presidential Commendation in recognition of his work by the Philippine government. He also taught corporate law at Northwestern University and served as a law clerk to Judge Harris Hartz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He founded Camara & Sibley law firm.


Racial controversy

In 2002, While still in Harvard, Camara posted his notes online for his property class, tagged with a “disclaimer” that the article might contain “racially offensive shorthand”, namely referring to African Americans as “nigs”. On Shelley v. Kraemer, a 1948 Supreme Court decision that prohibited restrictive covenants based on race, Camara wrote: “Nigs buy land with no nig covenant; Q: Enforceable?”

Camara issued an apology saying that “he did not mean to use the racist language as a law student and that it was an isolated instance.”<ref name="Washington Post"> Racist Writing as a Teen Haunted GMU Candidate </ref> He also agreed that the notes should be taken down from the internet.

Michelle Simpson, a student at Harvard, found out about the articles through a friend in their Criminal Law class. Simpson emailed classmates and the section's professors about the article. She also sent a copy of the articles to the members of the Black Law Student's Association (BLSA).

Camara as a GMU candidate

Camara was on his way to becoming an assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington Country when the law school's dean Daniel Polsby publicized his racial controversy, endangering his teaching job and his candidacy. Polsby revealed to hear the students opinions before making his final decision. The dean scheduled a town meeting in order to discuss the situation but it did not push through due to the withdrawal of Camara's application.

References

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Citation

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