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BS: The term Afro American?

The Shambles 27 Jan 07 - 03:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 06:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 06:53 AM
Cluin 27 Jan 07 - 06:57 AM
GUEST, anthroshards 27 Jan 07 - 07:07 AM
freda underhill 27 Jan 07 - 07:19 AM
freda underhill 27 Jan 07 - 07:22 AM
Wolfgang 27 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM
John Hardly 27 Jan 07 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,Bardan 27 Jan 07 - 08:00 AM
jeffp 27 Jan 07 - 09:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 09:58 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 27 Jan 07 - 10:00 AM
John Hardly 27 Jan 07 - 10:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 10:13 AM
Riginslinger 27 Jan 07 - 10:18 AM
Azizi 27 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM
John Hardly 27 Jan 07 - 10:38 AM
GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized 27 Jan 07 - 11:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 11:13 AM
John Hardly 27 Jan 07 - 11:17 AM
katlaughing 27 Jan 07 - 11:24 AM
Greg F. 27 Jan 07 - 11:27 AM
Cluin 27 Jan 07 - 11:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 11:36 AM
artbrooks 27 Jan 07 - 12:17 PM
Azizi 27 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM
jeffp 27 Jan 07 - 02:18 PM
The Shambles 27 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM
Azizi 27 Jan 07 - 03:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 03:43 PM
Azizi 27 Jan 07 - 04:37 PM
Azizi 27 Jan 07 - 04:46 PM
artbrooks 27 Jan 07 - 06:10 PM
Rapparee 27 Jan 07 - 06:14 PM
artbrooks 27 Jan 07 - 06:17 PM
Azizi 27 Jan 07 - 06:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 07:20 PM
The Shambles 27 Jan 07 - 07:33 PM
The Shambles 27 Jan 07 - 07:38 PM
mg 27 Jan 07 - 07:39 PM
catspaw49 27 Jan 07 - 07:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM
John Hardly 27 Jan 07 - 08:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 07 - 08:35 PM
catspaw49 27 Jan 07 - 09:52 PM
Bill D 28 Jan 07 - 12:12 AM
heric 28 Jan 07 - 01:18 AM
The Shambles 28 Jan 07 - 02:54 AM
dianavan 28 Jan 07 - 03:42 AM
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Subject: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 03:56 AM

As a non-American - I would prefer not make a distincion on the grounds of race and refer only to Americans.

Is it racist of me to avoid the use of this term or is it racist for others to insist that I do use the term?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:31 AM

If you're talking about Americans in general obviously you wouldn't use the term. If you were talking about one section of Americans specifically, it might. Just as you might say "New Yorkers" or "Texans", or "Irish Americans".


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:53 AM

Though of course it'd be quite possible to have someone who was at the same time a Texan, a New Yorker, an Irish-American and an Afro American...


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:57 AM

FWIW, a Wikipedia entry on the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST, anthroshards
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:07 AM

Usage or non-usage of the term is only racist if one means it to be. Insisting that a racial definition be used evidences a concern with "race," but is based in misunderstanding of pertinent facts and issues.

America in the early and broadest sense comprises what are now North America, Central America, and South America. My opinion seems to be in the minority, but I am disssatisfied by the making of America and United States of America synonymous, although I am a citizen of the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:19 AM

The term Afro American is significant because it's a term taken by black Americans to describe themselves in terms of their cultural and historical roots, just as Irish Americans acknowledge their cultural and historical roots in the same way. In Australia people refer to Greek Australians, Vietnamese Australians etc.

These terms describe a cultural reality. We live in societies comprised of many people of different backgrounds. As an Australian writer said recently, we don't want to be blended (into juice or a smoothie) - we're a fruit salad.


freda


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:22 AM

and as those great Australian musicians, the Wiggles, say, "fruit salad, yummy yummy" ..


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM

Well, Shambles, as it has been said, the intention counts more than what is actually said. Having said that, the thread title looks a bit suspicious to me for it singles out the term African American out of many possible terms like Irish American.

The idea to say USAmerican (my preference too) to describe a person and not to make a further distinction by referring to racial background is a good one. If I bring a friend or a visitor to a party no one needs to know in advance what shade of skin to expect.

However, there are situations in which a reference to racial background makes sense (describing a perpetrator, referring to differential admission quota,...). What term would suggest to use in these situations instead of African American, Shambles?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:46 AM

Afro American? Did we just step into a time warp?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 08:00 AM

An american family i know had a friend from somewhere in africa. (Can't remember exactly where now.) Anyway, apparently some woman who needed to put his race on a form wouldn't accept 'african'. She was like 'african american?' and somehow couldn't come to terms with the idea of a black person who wasn't american.
I personally feel that the whole PC thing has gone too far these days. (And I'm not just reffering to what to call black people.) I'm quite happy to be called white or beige or European or anything else really, and my feeling is that so long as blatantly offensive terms are avoided, (eg, n****r, f****t etc) people shouldn't make such a fuss. The worst is watching people trying to describe someone who has darkish skin but there not sure whether he's from india, an arab state, even southern mediteranean. (And before people jump on me, I'm not suggesting that they're 'all the same' or something.)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: jeffp
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 09:27 AM

I hear African American far more often than I hear Afro-American. I hear Black about as often as African American. That is, of course, when I hear anyone making any distinction at all, which is fairly seldom any more. Folks is folks where I live.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 09:58 AM

"...people trying to describe someone who has darkish skin but there not sure whether he's from India, an Arab state, even southern Mediterranean."

I'd have thought "darkish skinned" would be more helpful when describing appearance. Using the country of origin as a way of indicating colour of skin in this case would be about as helpful as saying that someone "looked American". Indians, Arabs, and people living round the Mediterranean come in all colours, the same way Americans do.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:00 AM

The US is unique among Western Hemisphere countries in that, until very recently, intermarriage among the "races" has been very uncommon. By contrast, intermarriage has been so common in Mexico, Central America, and South America that racial distinctions have largely disappeared.

As Warren Beatty said in Bulworth:

All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til they're all the same color.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:08 AM

I've always thought that "Bulworth" philosophy to be quite worthy. Unfortunatley, those most insistant upon the right nomenclature are the same ones selling us the bill of goods called "diversity" which is, essentially, not the celebration of our differences, but rather, the re-institutionalizing of those differences, lest we melt into one whole and weaken the political structure that gains power by exploiting our differences.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:13 AM

I gather on March 17th virtually all Americans come out as Irish Americans. I'd hope some day the same will be true on other equvalent celebrations. That's the right way to celebrate diversity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:18 AM

Amen to that, Brother Hardly.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM

As I believe was the intention of John Hardly's 27 Jan 07 - 07:46 AM
post, it should be noted that "Afro-American" and "African American" refer to the same groups of people but they are not the same referents.

As the Wikipedia article on "African American" indicates, since the late 1960s "African American" {not "Afro-American"} is the formal group referent for people who used to be called "Negroes" and "Colored people".

Here is a direct quote from that Wikipedia article:
"Previously acceptable terms that are now viewed as archaic (and, outside of historical contexts, even insulting) include Negro and Colored; today, the most common term is probably African American, with Black also commonly accepted since the late 1960s"...

-snip-

Fwiw, the term "African-American" was first written with a hyphen.
I believe this practice {and all other hyphenated referents}was dropped because of Americans preference for simplicity.

**

It should also be noted that the term "African" was used for Black Americans prior to the late 1960s, 1970s as reflected in historical documents as well as African American church denominations as "African Methodist Episcopal" and African Methodist Episcopal Zion".

I believe that the pride Black Americans felt in the 1960s because a number of Afican nations became independent of European colonization during that decade gave a great deal of impetus to the referent change from "Colored people" to "African American". However, fwiw, the term "colored people" is still found in the name of the civil rights orginization NAACP {National Association for The Advancement of Colored People}.

The use of "African" connects us {Black Americans} to a geographical location like "Italian American", "Irish American", "German American" does. Imo, a major reason why the term "Afro American" lost to "African American" was the fact that Afro" was used widely used during the 1960s-1970s as a natural hair style for Black people.

**

For your information, "Black" is an appropriate informal referent for people who are African American. Because I grew up during the time when Afican Americans waged vigorous efforts to get the word "Negro" capitalized {as was the case with other racial referents}, when "Black" is used, I prefer it capitalized and used along with "people" {such as "Black Americans", "Black people", "Black women", "Black man", and not "The Blacks"}. I use the referent "White" the same way.

**

Who determines what is appropriate or inappropriate? The people who the term refers to, that's who.

According to kujichagulia {self-determination},rthe second principle of Kwanzaa, we have the right and obligation "to name ourselves, and speak for ourselves, rather than being named, and spoken for by others". {definition from Maulana Karenga-creator of Kwanzaa}

**

Also, for your information, since at least the 1980s, the term "people of color" {not "colored people"} has also been widely used {by African Americans and others} to refer to all people throughout the world who are non-White.

I prefer that the goal be a world where race & ethnicity has no positive or negative valuation. I'm not a proponent of a color blind world that denies differences in race & ethnicity.

Having said that, I recognise the inherent racism in the social {if no longer legal} rule that "one drop of Black blood" makes a person Black. For example, I believe that no matter what he {or she} looks like, a person who has White ancestry and Black ancestry should be able to racially identify himself {or herself} as either White or Black. However, since race is largely a social construct, and since people have been informally taught to use visual clues to determine their and other persons'racial identity, if a person with dark skin color and other physical features-including hair texture- that are used to identify a person as "African American" calls himself {or herself} White, he better prepare himself for significant challenges on most {if not on all fronts}.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 10:38 AM

I like the proposed law to make it illegal to put referrence to race on any kind of application -- employment, school, housing, etc.

So far they've not passed yet, but I long for the day when they do.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:05 AM

The contention that the object group of a referent term can determine appropriateness of everyone's terminology for the group is not universally valid. Moreover, there are differences within any large ethnically or racially named group as to which term is preferable. I, for instance, am not fond of being termed "white" or "Caucasian" or "European." I've notice that many in broadcast media use both "African-American" and "black" within a single news segment or commentary piece, apparently in the effort to be as inoffensive as possible.

Many now use Latino or Hispanic (capitalized or not) as a racial description although either is an ethnic description.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:13 AM

Of course it is now generally agreed, by the people who study such things, that we are all of us descended from Africans, wherever we live. It's just a matter of when our ancestors left the continent of our origin.

"Black" and "White" are peculiarly inappropriate terms in this context, since there are relatively few people for whom either decription is accurate. It's rather as if the term "giant" was used to refer to everyone who had a tall ancestor, regardless of whether it bore any realtion to their actual height.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:17 AM

"It's rather as if the term "giant" was used to refer to everyone who had a tall ancestor, regardless of whether it bore any realtion to their actual height. "

They would be the "Nephilim-Americans" and soon all US housing code would be modified to accommodate for 13 foot entrance/door heights.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:24 AM

I like Morris Dees' of the Southern Poverty Law Center solution: he refers to Americans as Americans, first, sometimes followed by "of Irish origin" or "African origin," i.e. "American of German origin," etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:27 AM

The US is unique among Western Hemisphere countries in that, until very recently, intermarriage among the "races" has been very uncommon.

Not only uncommon, but in many states illegal as late as the 1950's.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:28 AM

I wish to be referred to as "Melanin-challenged".


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 11:36 AM

Or in some cases, for example, "of Irish, African and German origin" etc.
...............
I'd prefer to be called a Paleface, Cluin. Particularly this time of year.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: artbrooks
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 12:17 PM

There is, of course, no such thing as a "white/White" person (and if you disagree, put your hand down on a piece of computer paper), unless that person is an albino. Likewise, there are no "black/Black" people, although there are some African residents/groups/tribes who have little or no brown in their skin color and might be best described as very very dark grey. Regardless of a person's skin color, nobody can absolutely guarantee that their ancestry is 100% anything, and the less important that becomes to people, IMO, the better off we are all going to be. There are those who disagree and, as long as their opinion does not come down to the detriment of someone else, they are certainly entitled to it.

"Hispanic" is another interesting descriptor. I can't put my finger on the exact date, but sometime in the '60s a small group of Federal employees were called together to come up with a term that would bring together the various Chicano(a)/Latino(a)/Hispano(a) terminology. What they came up with was "Hispanic," and defined it to include Spain and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Americas...and omitted Portugal and Brazil and the other non-Spanish speaking countries next door. Oddly enough, these individuals all had ancestry deriving from Spanish-speaking Central and South America. As an acquaintance, who is a Spanish teacher and professor of Spanish linguistics, reminded me recently, "Hispanic" describes a cultural group, not a ethnic or racial one. The King of Spain, President Chavez of Venezuela (who claims to be 100% Indio) and Alberto Fujimori, former President of Peru, are all Hispanic.

As a former Federal personnal person, I can remember when all racial/gender descriptors were taken off of government application forms, only to be restored (on a separate form) a few years later in the name of affirmative action and diversity. Too bad, and a step in the wrong direction, IMHO.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM

"I've notice that many in broadcast media use both "African-American" and "black" within a single news segment or commentary piece, apparently in the effort to be as inoffensive as possible".

Both "African American" and "Black" are appropriate nowadays to refer to those people who used to be called Negroes. Imo, African American is more formal than Black. However, both can be used in ways that can be considered wrong-such as "The Black community" or the African American community. We are not a homogeneous group of people. For example, there are still Black folks [in the USA and elsewhere, too] who don't want to be called Black. And there are still African Americans that don't want to be called "African".

As to the term "Black" and "White" not being consistent with skin color, yes that's true.

Given the fact that for centuries persons who others consider to be {and who consider themselves to be} African Americans have ranged in skin complexion from lily white to blue black, and given not to mention the negative associations the color black has in Western societies, it's no surprise that Black was not selected as the formal group referent for African Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: jeffp
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 02:18 PM

I remember as recently as the mid-70s when I got out of college, I got a job in Sears personnel where, as part of my job I entered new-hire information into the system. Among the information was the COINS code. Caucasian, Oriental, Indian, Negro, or Spanish. Most of those terms have now been replaced by others. It's interesting that they hung on that long.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 03:17 PM

Who determines what is appropriate or inappropriate? The people who the term refers to, that's who.

That's why I asked.

And I was mainly asking Americans for their opinions - but it appears that you are telling us all what terms we must use.

For do you contend that Afican Americans are not American or that Non African Americans do not have a say in what term refers to them?

And if I still prefer not to make a distinction between Americans am I wrong or being racist? Do I not have a choice?

If the concept of all this political correctness is to try to avoid giving offence by the use of the wrong term - it is an understandable aim but do you not think that telling people (who have no intention of causing offence) what terms thay have to use is probably going to prove counter-productive?

Mainly as language is naturally evolving quicker than political correctness can catch up and even those who are in favour of political correctness cannot all agree on what are the correct terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 03:33 PM

I suppose Shambles last post was directed at me though he didn't specifically say so.

Folks who want to believe that I am telling people what they must post or what they must say or what they must sing or which terms they must use are going to believe any or all of that even if I say once or if I repeatedly say that none of that is so.

But let me try again- we all have to make our own decisions. I'm just sharing information from my perspective and my experiences as all other folks here do. No more. No less.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 03:43 PM

I wouldn't worry about it Azizi. Shambles has a tendency to try to stir things up like that. Sometime that makes sense, but I'd say this thread is lively enough without it.

One thing that interests me is how people with multiple ethnic etc backgrounds pick and choose between them, or in some cases how other people do the picking. (eg "'one drop of Black blood' makes a person Black.") How far people hold on to one identity and drop the others, and how far do they try to keep them all in play?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 04:37 PM

When I worked in adoption, I coined the phase "ambiguous ethnicity" to refer to individuals whose racial or ethnic identity was not clear cut to other people who saw them.

Some of these people may be of first generation mixed racial ancestry and some may not be. I know African Americans who "look White" and some of these individuals had a Black birthmother and a Black birth father. Usually their Black birthparents were both light skinned, but that was not always the case.

This is off topic from your point about "how far people [of multiple ethnic {I suppose you meant racial?] backgrounds hold on to one identity and drop the others, and how far do they try to keep them all in play?"

Here's my thoughts on that question:

Each racially mixed person has to find his or her way, hopefully by learning as much as they can about each of the cultures in their background, accepting & embracing both {all} of those backgrounds as part of his or her ancestry, and-preferably-directly experiencing as much as they can of these cultures.

However, what I am suggesting is that in the United States, if not in other countries, although an individual can self-identify his or her race for purposes of the census, public school enrollment, and other times, if this racial identity clashes with society's social definition of that race then that person is probably going to have considerable difficulties as a result of that decision.

For instance, in the United States, as far as I can tell, "White" has always been an exclusive race. If a person can be part-White and part some other race/ethnic group {such as Latino/a}, then that is a new development.

I have read about White Americans indicating that they have some American Indian ancestry, but this is often in geographical areas that don't have large populations of American Indians {and thus removed from the discrimination/racism against Native Americans}.

Let us say that a man has a known African American ancestor. My understanding is that would mean that this man would be considered African American, according to state laws and/or societal practices [I'm not clear if there still are laws that determine racial identity in the USA, but there certainly were such laws]. Let's say that this same man declared himself to be White. Let us also say that that man's skin color is brown and his hair texture is naturally tightly curled, meaning his skin color and hair texture is different than what American society has been told that White people look like. Will American society accept that he is White? If so, then the way American society views race has significantly changed.

That doesn't mean that the mixed race person who doesn't "look White" but has White ancestry, shouldn't assert that he is White.   Indeed, I have thought for some time that one way to end the strict definition of who is or is not White in the United States, is for a number of brown skinned first generation mixed adults to assert that they are White.

However, imo, those who would do this should be prepared for considerable static from White people {who would recognize this as a challenge to the traditional exclusive definition of who is White}. I also believe that persons who would do this would also get considerable static from non-White people who would interprete that racial identification as a rejection of that person's Black ancestry.

There are people struggling with this every day. This subject is much more than an intellectual discussion for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 04:46 PM

Let me also add to my statement about the Black people I've known and I know who are light enough to "pass" for White. There's no question that these people were of mixed racial ancestry, but in some cases each of these individual's birthparents and birth grandparents were African American.

Many-if not most- of us {African Americans} are a mixed race people after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: artbrooks
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:10 PM

Just a few tidbits to chew on, from my own experience:

* I had a friend who was basically chocolate-brown in complexion, who went to a family reunion (one of those extended family things). When he came back, he told me that there was a large segment of his family who were very light complected and who had been, in his words, "marrying white" for generations. That is, they had been selecting partners based at least in part upon their skin color. Until fairly recently, "passing" as white wasn't unusual among very light complected people of partially African descent (I've always wondered if the woman who entered my family tree from Georgia in 1866 may have been a member of this group).

* When I worked at the VA hospital in Tacoma, WA in the early '80s, we received a racial/ethnic printout that said, among other things, that we had no Black (the term then in use) physicians. I went to one doctor that we had who was from Ethiopia (and whose skin tone was very dark and asked him to fill out the necessary form (Federal govt.-a form for every purpose) to correct this. He told me, in somewhat over-direct language, that "Black" meant "Negro", that term referred only to individuals from sub-Saharan Africa and he, as a direct descendant of the Queen of Sheba, was considered Caucasian. I slunk back into my bureaucratic hole.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:14 PM

I took a course called "Race Relations" in college. After learning that "one drop of Black or Indian blood" made you, for the purposes of the US Census, Black or Indian, I innocently raised my hand and asked, "What did they do about Hawaii?"

The prof responded, "They gave up."


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: artbrooks
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:17 PM

Rapaire, the categories now include "Asian American/Pacific Islander."


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 06:51 PM

Yes, these categories are crazy, aren't they. There are East Indians who are categorized as White who are far darker than a number of African Americans who are categorized as Black. And in addition to people from Ethiopia, people from the Sudan which means land of the blacks are supposedly categorized as White because the Sudan isn't sub-Saharan...

Then there is the South African definitions of Coloured people which is not the same as the US definition of Colored people or the the contemporary definition of 'people of color".

etc etc etc

I believe that group esteem is an important part of self-esteem and people should accept and feel good about all of their ancestry, no matter what referent they or others use.

But my bottom line is that race and ethnicity shouldn't be that important anyway.

I hope that we don't have to wait for a hostile invasion of
non-humans from out of space to come upon us before we realize this.
My assumption is that such an invasion would compell all humans regardless of race & ethnicity to unite and work together for the greater good. But I might be mistaken that even that would make people realize how unimportant except as descriptors race and enthnicity should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:20 PM

A variant on "passing" was Sacha Baron Cohen's character "Ali G", where one of the running jokes was this guy trying to pass for Black.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:33 PM

There are people struggling with this every day. This subject is much more than an intellectual discussion for them.

We all struggle with this.

And we will all struggle even more if it is accepted that this subject is only one that certain groups suffer from and they are the only ones who can talk with any authority on the subject or dictate to others what terms are acceptable or not.

I started this thread because recently our press has been full of accusations of racism being displayed on a reality TV show. This reached the extent of questions being asked in Paliament and diplomatic relations with another country being strained.

It has shown how confused we are and how totally disprortionate our reactions are to displays of alleged prejudice on grounds of race have become when compared to displays of prejudice on other grounds.

On the same show - attitudes towards and comments made about people's mental health, their social class and being referred to as 'white trash' by one of the African Americans - have passed without much comment.

But the show has received thousands of complaints trying to claim that one of the show's contestants was the subject of racist bullying. With the front pages of our newspapers carrying acusations about certain contestants being racist bullys.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:38 PM

Jade (UK TV show character)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: mg
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:39 PM

In the broadest term I can think of, geographically, America also refers to Greenland. Welcome aboard one and all. America is a concept as well as a name or a place and a pretty good one at that. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 07:55 PM

I notice that some folks are having a hard time with some of the terms based more on scan and flow than anything else. I think I have the answer here. What we need to do is evaluate which term referring to a specific group scans better or simply flows better and more easily off the tongue when combined with "fuckin'." Let's try it!

Which has the better flow?   That "fuckin' Italian American" OR "that fuckin' Dago?" Or does "that fuckin' Guinea" OR "that fuckin' Wop" trip more lightly off the tongue. Try them for yourself. And ask yourself which is the smoother scanner here, "that big fuckin' Irish American" OR "that big fuckin' Mick?" What about "that fuckin' German American" OR "that fuckin' Kraut?"

Personally, I think we need to put all of our ideas to the fuckin' test!

Spaw---Fuckin' Dago saddened by how slowly we change and how bigoted we still are.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM

Not pertinent but for general interest-

Current U. S. A. Census major groupings:
White
Black or African American
American Indian and Alaskan Native
Asian
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
Some other race
Two or more races

Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

CANADA Census- long form
Language- French, English or both

North American Indian
Metis
Inuit

White
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipino
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Japanese
Korean
Other

Member of a First Nation
Treaty or registered Indian

(Most police blotters I know use Caucasian rather than White)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 08:06 PM

At least caucasians can caucus.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 08:35 PM

Would "buggered if I know" be allowed?

I used to have someone who worked with us who would have had to answer that. Well she was brownish, but she'd been abandoned as a kid and had no idea what kind of ancestry she had. Could have fitted in about half a dozen of that catalogue Q gave us.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Jan 07 - 09:52 PM

That's a thought Kevin. Maybe they could add a new box to all the forms labeled "Damifino."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 12:12 AM

I sat in some NAACP meetings in the mid-60s when darkish complexioned folks of various hues were arguing among themselves about what they wanted to be called. The opinion changed every few months...and those of us with vaguely pinkish complexions had to be VERY careful to keep up with the latest majority. *wry grin*...It really got kind of silly.

A friend of mine (white, but very 'in' with ethnic communities)_told me of attending a BIG outdoor meeting in Wichita, Kansas.. with lots of speeches by local leaders of the black community. At one point Dan ****** mumbled out loud.."sure are a lot of 'high yeller ni***** up there talkin' 'bout "black power"!"

It ain't easy folks, to find easy ways to refer to situations that are not terribly comfortable for anyone.

It would be MY preference to just call citizens "American" unless one NEEDED to describe someone by a hue for identification purposes. I really think that continued references to "the *first* African-American to be 2nd asst. secretary of what-ever" just keeps us divided....and now Latinos are being singeled out. It's fine to learn about one's heritage and to honor it...but to emphasize it and wear it like a chip on the shoulder gets tedious.

I will try to use terms that serve a REAL purpose...not just for propaganda & political ends.....


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: heric
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 01:18 AM

Six letters? Quayle. Rather. Akroyd.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 02:54 AM

I think the recent storm in a tea cup does show how dangerous well-intentioned ideas can be.

It appears that the UK public have no idea what racism, or a what a racist really is. It appears that the media here has encouraged just about every British Asian to expose their own racist attitudes as if openly displaying their fuzzy and selective concept of what racism is - were acceptable.

The concept encouraged by our media is that it is than some lind of fuzzy idea that goes about as far as white people saying things that may offend black people.

To the point where it is becoming difficult just to treat all individuals objectivly. A point which is currently being exploited by those with agendas of their own and where it is acceptable for some members of one group to blatently play the race card.

The most important consideration is that if more care is not taken with the use of these terms - there will be a backlash reaction to all this, that no one in our country will benefit from.

The individual on the show concerned did choose to play this card - and quite intentionally in my view - in order to win the game.

I suggest that what first needs to be accepted that not to be seen to be politically correct or to fall out with a member of an ethnic group, does not make anyone a racist.

And that many people are now becoming terrified of expressing an objective view - for fear of being publicly labelled a racist. Which only feeds the real racist underbelly that exists everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: dianavan
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 03:42 AM

"ambiguous ethnicity"??? Now that is insulting. I prefer American hybrid. When I was growing up, the White folks called me a 'breed' and my Indian cousins called me 'blood'. None of those terms refer to colour but it was all in the way it was said.

In my class, I have a variety of colour crayons of different skin colours. While the students (a small group of six year olds) were drawing faces, one of the little girls told me her mother had said she was yellow but the crayon colour didn't match her skin. She was baffled. I looked closely and saw pink cheeks, and a very white throat. We decided she was Peach. Her drawing was beautiful and included black, almond eyes.

Another girl was drawing me and wanted a closer look at my eyes. She actually stepped back in surprize. My eyes are green with yellow speckles and a brown rim. She thought that eyes were either black, brown, or blue. None of this discussion was uncomfortable for any of us. Its all about intent.

Am I Indian, Aboriginal or First Nations or Metis? No, I'm blood. That means I'm a relative. I prefer to called a hybrid.


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