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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
Azizi 28 Jan 07 - 06:42 AM
Azizi 28 Jan 07 - 07:29 AM
Azizi 28 Jan 07 - 08:25 AM
artbrooks 28 Jan 07 - 08:55 AM
Bainbo 28 Jan 07 - 02:38 PM
wysiwyg 28 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM
Bill D 28 Jan 07 - 04:23 PM
dianavan 28 Jan 07 - 05:56 PM
The Shambles 28 Jan 07 - 06:04 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 28 Jan 07 - 06:23 PM
mg 28 Jan 07 - 06:52 PM
katlaughing 28 Jan 07 - 06:59 PM
GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized 28 Jan 07 - 07:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jan 07 - 07:12 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 28 Jan 07 - 07:17 PM
katlaughing 28 Jan 07 - 07:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jan 07 - 07:35 PM
The Shambles 28 Jan 07 - 09:07 PM
artbrooks 28 Jan 07 - 09:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jan 07 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Bardan 29 Jan 07 - 12:27 AM
The Shambles 29 Jan 07 - 02:55 AM
s&r 29 Jan 07 - 08:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 07 - 09:05 AM
John Hardly 29 Jan 07 - 09:13 AM
Greg F. 29 Jan 07 - 09:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 07 - 09:43 AM
JennyO 29 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM
wysiwyg 29 Jan 07 - 11:42 AM
JennyO 29 Jan 07 - 08:54 PM
DougR 29 Jan 07 - 11:41 PM
robomatic 30 Jan 07 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,KT 30 Jan 07 - 02:39 AM
Bill D 30 Jan 07 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 07 - 10:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jan 07 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Don Last 30 Jan 07 - 11:25 AM
Greg F. 30 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM
GUEST 30 Jan 07 - 12:57 PM
John Hardly 30 Jan 07 - 01:02 PM
Cluin 30 Jan 07 - 06:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jan 07 - 07:09 PM
The Shambles 30 Jan 07 - 07:33 PM
Cluin 30 Jan 07 - 08:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jan 07 - 08:11 PM
GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized 30 Jan 07 - 08:39 PM
The Shambles 30 Jan 07 - 08:55 PM
Cluin 30 Jan 07 - 10:50 PM
dianavan 31 Jan 07 - 03:27 AM
The Shambles 31 Jan 07 - 04:26 AM
GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized 31 Jan 07 - 07:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 07 - 09:39 AM
The Shambles 31 Jan 07 - 10:36 AM
Amos 31 Jan 07 - 10:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 07 - 11:02 AM
The Shambles 31 Jan 07 - 11:30 AM
dick greenhaus 31 Jan 07 - 12:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 07 - 01:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 07 - 01:27 PM
artbrooks 31 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Jan 07 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,crazy little woman 31 Jan 07 - 03:23 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 07 - 02:33 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 07 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,GUEST - Sandling 01 Feb 07 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Feb 07 - 11:11 AM
Cluin 01 Feb 07 - 12:04 PM
Cluin 01 Feb 07 - 12:08 PM
gnu 01 Feb 07 - 01:57 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 08:22 AM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 08:32 AM
Mr Happy 12 Apr 07 - 08:43 AM
Mr Happy 12 Apr 07 - 08:47 AM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 09:29 AM
Mr Happy 12 Apr 07 - 10:30 AM
Bee 12 Apr 07 - 11:02 AM
Little Hawk 12 Apr 07 - 11:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Apr 07 - 06:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Apr 07 - 07:03 PM
Azizi 12 Apr 07 - 07:33 PM
Mr Happy 13 Apr 07 - 07:27 AM
John Hardly 13 Apr 07 - 07:34 AM
Bee 13 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM
Donuel 13 Apr 07 - 08:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Apr 07 - 05:39 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Apr 07 - 07:55 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 07 - 10:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM
John Hardly 14 Apr 07 - 08:46 PM
GUEST,meself 14 Apr 07 - 10:00 PM
Donuel 14 Apr 07 - 10:08 PM
katlaughing 15 Apr 07 - 12:30 AM
Wolfgang 21 Apr 07 - 03:30 PM
Little Hawk 21 Apr 07 - 08:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 07 - 07:33 PM
Mr Happy 23 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM
Bert 24 Apr 07 - 02:03 AM
Bert 24 Apr 07 - 02:07 AM
Mr Happy 24 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Katz 25 Apr 07 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,meself 25 Apr 07 - 07:00 PM
Mickey191 26 Apr 07 - 07:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Apr 07 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,meself 26 Apr 07 - 07:12 PM
John Hardly 26 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM
Mickey191 26 Apr 07 - 07:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Apr 07 - 08:20 PM
Jeri 26 Apr 07 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,meself 26 Apr 07 - 08:48 PM
John Hardly 26 Apr 07 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Katz 07 May 07 - 05:58 PM

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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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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 06:42 AM

"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."

The term "ambiguous ethnicity" addresses my sense that Americans {UnitedStaters} use visual clues as a means of easily if not automatically identifying the racial group of individuals they see. According to my definition, a person is of 'ambiguous ethnicity' when another individual or other individuals have difficulty identifying that person's race or ethnicity {"ethnicity" in the sense of Latino/Latina} based on the use of the visual clues Americans {imo} are informally taught to rely on such as the person's skin color, hair texture, the shape of the eyes, the shape of the nose, and {at least with regard to traditional attire}, the person's clothing.

Imo, the term 'ambiguous ethnicity' is not as important as the attention I sought to give to the dynamics that these children, teens and adults might encounter because their racial and ethnic ancestries seem to be difficult for some other folks to 'categorize'.

If it was unclear to folks reading this, let me try again to be clear- I do not support the use of visual clues to identify individuals. However, because I believe that people used and still use visual clues to racially categorize other individuals, I would be remiss if I did not raise this subject in the context of helping folks discuss issues of self-esteem building and racism. I believed and still believe that the subject of visual clues needs to be addressed.

Fwiw, I coined this phrase in the context of facilitating discussions on promoting self-esteem in transracially adoptive children. At that time {late 1980s to early 1990s} the primary adults who attended these sessions were White adults who were adopting or had adopted children who are non-White. In addition to children of Black/White ancestry, transracial adoptive parents were/had adopted children who had two Black birth parents, children from Asian nations, children from Central & South America, children from American Indian ancestries, and other children. As a result of the feedback that I received on these sessions, my observations, and my gut reactions to these sessions, I believe that the use of this "ambiguous ethnicity" phrase helped raise the awareness of participants in these sessions to this issue and led to emotionally & intellectually challenging, insightful, interesting, and helpful discussions.

I stand by my opinion that being of 'ambiguous ethnicity' can be challenging in a number of ways for those individuals to whom I was referring. However, I do not now, nor did I in the past, advocate that 'ambiguous ethnicity' should be used as a formal or informal racial or ethnic group referent for these persons.

If dianavan and others were insulted by my use of this phrase, I hope that my comments clarify that no insult was intended. If dianavan and others still feel insulted by my use of this phrase, I'm sorry about that, but in the context that I've stated, I intend to continue to use it.

That said, I'm not emotionally invested in that term . If someone wants to use another term such as "American hybrid" to describe this population of individuals {as a means of addressing the issues I raised, or for her or his own reasons}, so be it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 07:29 AM

I also want to address several other points before I leave this conversation:

Early on in this discussion, Shambles mentioned a person being called "White trash". For the record, I consider that term to be offensive, and certainly recognize that Black people can be guilty of playing the race card as well as non-Black people.

With regard to playing the race card, I think that it would be helpful to add this information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_card :

"Playing the race card is an idiomatic phrase, referring to an allegation raised against a person who, the accuser feels, has unnecessarily brought the issue of race or racism into a debate so as to obfuscate the matter. It is a metaphorical reference to card games in which a trump card may be used to gain an advantage. The allegation tends to stir up controversy.

The phrase is used in two contexts. In the first, and more common, context, it alleges that someone has falsely accused another person of being a racist in order to gain some sort of advantage. An example of this use of the term occurred during the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, when critics accused the defense of "playing the race card" ... in trying to present Mark Fuhrman as a racist and thus not a reliable witness against Simpson...

In the second context, it refers to someone exploiting prejudice against another race for political or some other advantage...The use of the southern strategy by a political candidate is said by some to be a version of "playing the race card", such as when former senator Jesse Helms, during his 1990 North Carolina Senate campaign ran an ad showing a black man taking a white man's job, intended as a criticism of the idea of racial quotas. The ad was interpreted by many people as trying to play to racist fears among white voters."
-snip-

It may not be necessary, but I feel compelled to state that I have not nor will I play the race card on Mudcat or elsewhere.

**

Bill D said "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 agree. However, and I don't believe that this specifically refers to Bill D, there are times when a person's discomfort with a point might lead him or her to say that the point is being over-emphasized when it may not be. After all, who determines when a point is being overemphasized?

In online conversations people can't note the race or ethnicity of the 'speaker'. Imo, in these conversations, identifying your race or ethnicity can be helpful as it can add context and/or validity to your remarks.

Let me also address the issue of referring to race/ethnicity in the context of collecting and documenting rhymes and folks songs:
I strongly believe that it is important for collectors to document as much demographical information as they can about the examples of songs & rhymes they are collecting.

My primary area of interest on Mudcat is children's rhymes.
I believe that many collectors-including Iona And Peter Opie to name two highly respected collectors whose work I respect and treasure-have been remiss in not sufficiently documenting the race & ethnicity of their informants. I believe that is to the detriment of this research. I say this because I believe that there definitely appears to be differences in the types of children's rhymes {not just the variantions of a specific rhyme}, and differences in the manner of performing specific rhymes African Americans and White Americans {in general} perform. There also appears to be differences in the meaning of specific words or phrases in these rhymes. Furthermore, the etymological origins meanings of specific words and phrases may be lost if the demographics of the informants of these rhymes was not documented along with the rhyme. However, given the contentiousness of the subject of race, and people's concerns that to even mention race might lead them to be accussed of over-emphasizing race, I can understand why informants {and partipants in online discussiona}are usually reluctant to include information about their race along with other demographical information.

All this to say, when I believe it is appropriate in online discussions, and for the purposes of as fully as possible documenting demographical information about rhymes I collect, I will continue to mention race.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 08:25 AM

One more point I feel the need to say, and then I really will stop posting to this thread {which is my choice, and not because anyone has asked me to}:

In the two years plus some months that I have been a member on Mudcat there have been no other posters who have identified themselves as African Americans and only a few other posters who have identified themselves as being Black.

If there were more Black people who posted on Mudcat, then I would consider it much less necessary for me to respond to questions or comments about African Americans or about race in general. Also, if there were more Black people posting on Mudcat I would not feel the need to initiate comments about this subject or to start threads on Black folk music or to add to the discussion that others had initiated about Black folk music.

I fully admit that I comment and start threads because I like to talk, and I like to write, and because the subjects are of interest to me, and because I like to 'hear' what others are saying, and because I like to learn from others. But even taking all of that into consideration, I believe I would post much less on Mudcat on the subject of African Americans and race if there were other African Americans and more people of color on Mudcat who would also be posting on those subjects.

Of course, if and when Mudcat gets more posters who identify themselves as African American, or Black, or people of color, I'm sure there will be times that I will disagree with some of these posters on specific issues. But still, I look forward to that time.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 08:55 AM

Azizi...we all love you, whatever flavor you are.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bainbo
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 02:38 PM

Phrases that, in themselves, have some value because they express what we mean, can often become devalued because we overuse them without thinking of their meaning.

A trivial example would be "searching with a fine toothcomb". What the hell is a toothcomb? It should be a fine-toothed comb.

I raise this because the British journalist and commentator Simon Hoggart says that he witnessed an American reporter say to Nelson Mandela: "Mr President, as an African American yourself ... "


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM

Like my friend BillD, I try to use terms that serve a REAL purpose... and to be as thinkingly intentional as I can be.

For instance, if one is talking about color-based discrimination, I choose to speak in terms of "people of color" because I may or may not be discussing people with African heritage-- I might be talking about the whole spectrum of racism aimed at people of Asian or Hispanic heritage. What's being discussed there is the reaction to people with skin darker than whoever is aiming the reaction, not other aspects like culture, place of origin, etc. So using the more "politically correct" term in that instance "African American" would be inaccurate.

Similarly, if talking specifically about times when Black Pride was a huge part of the US cultural landscape, I will use the term "black" or "Black," the former being a generic adjective and the latter a proper name, depending on the situation.

When I am talking about culture springing from African roots, I usually choose the term "African." And so forth.

Each of these words and phrases evokes certain truths, and touches upon one or more painful aspects of the American experience in all its grandeur and ugliness; there is always baggage attached because, in my experience, we are such an unhealed people.

What I purposely don't do is use terms that are removed from their accuracy in an effort not to offend, just for the sake of not disturbing a bunch of white/European-American-middle-class-guilt-ridden nicey-nicey people who have never known someone of another culture, deeply, in their lives, and who merely wish to conforrm to another's sense of what's "OK."

I also don't apply today's sensibilities to words or phrases of another time used in ways I can't quite grasp, as if doing that can un-do wrongs that I know were done.

And finally, I don't expect friends and acquaintances "of color" to solve these problems for me by asking them to tell me how to communicate. I don't put them into the position of having to do my homework for me. I don't put them on the spot bty asking them to assume the role of spokesperson for a group I may perceive that they belong to-- any more than I appreciate being called upon in casual, unprepared conversation to speak for all clergy spouses when people are more interested in form than in substance. We are all responsible for educating ourselves. There's plenty of material around to learn from, and of course that includes what people choose to tell me (when they choose to tell me).

In the Spirituals permathread, I confront these issues any time I try to work on the project. I'm sure that I'm smarter and more sensitive on some days than on others; I've revised a few things in there as time and understanding have progressed. But I do not edit a published work when I quote it, to make negro into Negro, to make Black into African American, and so forth.

When I arrange a song for my band, of COURSE I edit, adapt, vernacularize dialect, and so forth, for the way the song will be used and the people with whom we will use it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 04:23 PM

I probably ought to clarify my earlier post. These are sensitive issues, and hurried typing can leave holes.

Since Azizi mentioned my comment about how people react, I should note that I was NOT singling her out...my point about "chip on the shoulder" really referred to everyday life and the many cases where folks of various ethnicities seem to interpret every discussion as if racial concerns were the main issue. There is, of course, no one "...who determines when a point is being overemphasized"...there are just people who have differing opinions. Sometimes hearing a differing opinion can help one clarify, modify and communicate. I KNOW it has happened to me...and a lot since I found Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: dianavan
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 05:56 PM

Azizi - You said, "I hope that my comments clarify that no insult was intended."

I know that it was not intentional. I also know that many people who use terms to describe 'others' do not mean to be insulting. I am one of those who believe that visual references to groups of people are misleading and contribute to misunderstandings. I especially dislike references to 'race'.

Having said that, I understand the importance of identifying African Americans as having a different cultural background than those currently from Somalia or the Sudan or Jamaica or... The commonality of slavery created a sub-culture in America that deserves to be recognized.

In fact, it is the richness of that sub-culture that I miss the most about the U.S. For years I wondered what was missing in B.C. It took awhile for me to realize that it was the contributions of African Americans. I still miss the sounds and textures of the U.S. Its not because of the White folks, its because of the Black folks that the U.S. is so culturally rich.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 06:04 PM

Early on in this discussion, Shambles mentioned a person being called "White trash". For the record, I consider that term to be offensive, and certainly recognize that Black people can be guilty of playing the race card as well as non-Black people.

As a result of the reality TV show earlier referred to - three young girls have been villified by our media and called racist bullys.

None of these were present at tonight's end of show show reunion - after all three were grilled about their attitudes and comments on their eviction night interviews.

Jermaine Jackson, who it was who referred to some of his housemates as 'white trash' was not grilled in the same fashion and this and his other comments were not mentioned or included in a set od clips which was shown and referred to as 'Jermaine's gems'.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 06:23 PM

I have come late to this topic not have I thoroughly read each and every post, so I apologize in advance for repeating thing said above.
First, I think a group should normally be allowed to regard themselves in a way they wish, and within reason we should acknowledge that. So we have used terms like Negro (Nigra, and worse), Colored, Black, Afro-American and African American. But even amongst the those self identifying groups there is no consensus.
If I were the determiner of which word to use, I would prefer Black, even though they are mostly not black, but a shade of brown. Brown, however, seems now to connote Latin Americans of some Indian descent.
Afro- or African American would seem to exclude emigrees from northern
Africa like Egypt, Libya Morocco etc., and long time Europeans of South Africa, Zimbabwe etc. to the United States. Also, what about black Africans who live here, but are not American citizens?
BTW, what hyphenate is used in Great Britain or France, if any? If none, I think them way ahead of us.
Back in the 60s, the term of currency for Caucasians was WASP. I used to object to being so labeled because I had no Anglo-Saxon, nor Protestant forebears, and that is still the case. Now I look on that term as a stupid appelation and just laugh about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: mg
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 06:52 PM

No one but the most ignorant would have called a generic white person a WASP. It refers, as you said, to a minority of white persons in the U.S. It would, I believe, exclude people of German and Scandinavian descent, who make up a pretty good numerical and historical portion of the northern states.

The fact that many people did use the term WASP incorrectly shows how ignorant and insensitive they were, and it was probably some of the same ones trying to prove how sensitive they were on these issues.

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 06:59 PM

Then there's my son-in-law who gets upset when folks assume he is from Jamaica when they hear him speak. He is proudly from Antigua and does have a different accent, but most folks don't hear it.

Not so much, anymore, but it used to be the visual assumption was pervasive based on sex; women have always been dismissed this way.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 07:04 PM

In one's own writing one can be a style manual to oneself. Nonetheless, always capitalizing "white" and "black," when used as racial terms, is not a stylistic norm. Doing so on a large scale could make it seem that the terms have a formal, permanent acceptance that many, including many in the sciences, do not grant them.

If I were to begin always capitalizing "white," I might appear to some to be a white supremacist.

I do not presume that every agency or firm that asks for racial or ethnic self-identification is predisposed to discriminate. But when they all claim that they do not discriminate, yet still ask for the self-identification, what is one to think they're doing with the information?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 07:12 PM

People who gang up and bully other people are acting in a vile way, and do not need to be vilified. That applies whether their prime motive is "race" or anything else. And anyone who finds themselves using racist insults has to recognise that this means that at some level within them they are racist - and this can be very unsettling to recognise.
......................

"White trash" is a peculiarly nasty expression, as is its companion "trailer trash" - they are terms that have never caught on in the UK, and I hope they never will. My impression from TV is that in their home, the USA, these are "equal opportunities" insults. That doesn't make them anyn less distasteful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 07:17 PM

Kat, would most folks who have little contact with Caribbean people know the difference (except for the French speaking islands)? I have become somewhat adept at distinguishing among some Spanish accents from Latin America--especially I can pick out Argentines and Chileans often.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 07:29 PM

Possibly not, John. From what my SIL has said, it is a common mistake and most Antiguans are irritated by it, but I don't think they hold out much hope of folks learning differently.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 07:35 PM

Canadian tourists have the same experience with people thinking they are from the States, and so do New Zealanders who are always taken as being Australians.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 09:07 PM

And anyone who finds themselves using racist insults has to recognise that this means that at some level within them they are racist - and this can be very unsettling to recognise.

No it does not - this only means that they are unwise to choose to be using words that racists use quite intentionally to denegrate others, on the grounds of race.

The use of such words - in the heat of the moment does not alone make anyone a rascist at any level.

This is not to excuse the use of such insults or to excuse any real offence caused by their use but perhaps to make an important distinction that is in danger of being lost.

Footballers call each (and referees) many insulting words like 'cunt' on a fairly regular basis.

Should they not find this insulting behavior equally unsettling?

Or does it only become unsettling when the insulting word 'cunt' is prefixed by a non-insulting word which describes a colour?

In the heat of the moment, any professional football player in our country would be safe to use the insulting word 'cunt' but would be unwise and open themselves up to charges of racism and risk being kicked out of their profession if they insulted anyone by calling them a black cunt.

Prejudice against anyone by reason of sex, class, sexual preference, mental health, physical appearance etc is equally as unacceptable as to do so on grounds of race.

Or is society now saying that racism is worse than these?

If it is - and these labels are to be placed on individuals by our media - then perhaps some agreement should first be reached about what is and is not to be judged as racist.

Our differences, racial, cultural whatever are of interest. Are we to pretend that we do not notice these differences. When for example a Londoner notices these differences and imitates someone speaking with Welsh accent or can't remember or pronounce their name very well we do not jump to lablel them racists.

That is pretty much what we and our media have done to the three girls on this show.

Women like Myra Hyndley and Rosie West who have been accused, tried and convicted in court of murdering children seem to receive a better press than these three girls.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 09:14 PM

In New Mexico, people with beige skintone who have no Hispanic ancestry are called "Anglos." Drives my Scots, Irish, German, French, etc. friends nuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 10:21 PM

The educational websites of the Univ. Virginia and Univ. North Carolina, xroads.virginia.edu and docsouth.unc.edu cover much about the South: Music (e. g. Fenner, Cabin and Plantation Songs, hymnals of the Civil War period) to current history.

The term 'white trash' in its current significance is discussed succinctly in "White Trash: The Construction of an American Scapegoat," at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA97/price/open.htm.
White Trash
Even that article on working class whites is almost out of date. Are the white employees at Walmart the new white trash? Really not applicable, is it?

This term has gone through several stages of meaning since it first appeared in the early 19th c. One of its first uses, if not the first, was by household and craftsmen slaves in the South, to refer to the lowest stratum of whites (drunks, casually employed, etc.), and by black household slaves to refer to white servants (OED, quotes from the 1830s).

By the time of the publication and run-away popularity of the cookbook "White Trash Cooking," by E. M. Mickler, 1985, the term was being applied to bikers and the like and was losing its target and singular meaning.
(Now that it is used in England, it is lost to America).

Migrant white labor has been replaced with immigrant labor or machinery, the mill workers have been fired and moved north or west when Asian mills took over and the mills closed, with compulsory education the kids now are selling cars or real estate and at worst are working at Walmart. That free-form family down the bayou that rents leaky boats to fishermen might be shiftless to some and white trash to a few but most recognize them as 'free souls.'

Where are the people of Steinbeck and Guthrie? Gone, targets no longer.
---------------------------

RED EYE GRAVY
After cooking the breakfast meat (bacon, ham or sausage), remove it from the iron skillet and put it aside. To the drippins, pour 1/3 cup of strong coffee and stir while on the fire. Pour over hot grits or sop up with hot biscuits.
White Trash Cooking, p. 48.
(Available at amazon.com, in its umpteenth edition, but now accompanied by No. 2, More, and a Treasury, of White Trash Cooking. The soul food of Southern whites)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 12:27 AM

a few things

1. Yes 'dark skinned' would be the easy term but they really didn't want to mention skin colour when describing the person, so dithered for ages trying to guess a country.

2. (For whoever asked about French terms to describe race) For white and black I tend to just hear noir and blanc. (It seems to be a bit more acceptable to talk about 'les noirs', 'les blancs' etc than in english, though maybe I was just talking to less up-to-date people. The one they really tip-toe around is people from North Africa. I think d'origine magrebine was the term normally used.

3. Some of the best times are when people are so comfortable with each other that they're able to use even quite pejorative terms jokingly. (I'm thinking of a japanese friend who refered to himslf as nippy. There were others. Vaguely analogously I remember a friend of my dad's used to call him a 'proddy bastard'.)

PS. Might have already been mentioned, but what about white Zimbabwians, South Africans etc...who have children in America.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 02:55 AM

I do not see that Jermaine Jackson use of the term 'white trash' makes him a racist. As any comments must be seen in the context of the show and judged in that light.

But I also don't see the media or the show's makers challenging him over his comments as they have done to others for their's.

But he did bring his attitudes towards racial issues in with him - in the same way as did others.

I think it would be fair to say that these were American attitudes towards this issue and that he was very aware of being the only black man in the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: s&r
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:20 AM

Azizi - at the time of the research undertaken by the Opies in the early fifties the non-white population of most of the UK was very small indeed. Their research is unlikely to have been affected by children from non-white cultures. I think today the research they did would have included ethnic data. For your interest I add a quote from "Race, Immigration and Community Relations in Contemporary London" a paper from the LSE.


"In 1951, the UK's ethnic minority population (which would not have been referred to in these terms) is estimated to have been less than 50,000 . During the 1950s and 1960s, there was a significant growth in immigration from the New Commonwealth. By 1961, the number of London residents born in the 'New Commonwealth' was 242,000, providing a broad approximation of the overall level of the 'ethnic minority' population. This number grew to 583,000 by 1971 and 945,000 by 1981. The 'non-white' population in 1991 was about 1.4 million, increasing to about 2 million in 2001."

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 09:05 AM

s&r is right of course about the situation at the time the Opies did their research.

Defining "ethnic minority population" as "New Commonwealth", as that paper did, is a rather strange definition, excluding significant ethnic minorities such as the Irish. And I'm pretty sure the Opies did take this into account where it was relevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 09:13 AM

Klingo-Americans


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Greg F.
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 09:31 AM

There are a substantial number of folks in the southern U.S. that are proud of being "white trash" and wear the appellation as a badge of honor.

Nowt as queer as folk.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 09:43 AM

There's always been a tradition of people taking up insulting labels and trying to take the sting out of them by using them themselves. Sometimes that works, as with Quakers, but it's a tricky one to get away with, and more often than not it doesn't work.

And often enough people will try to use this tendency as a way of trying to claim that the use of these expressions by others isn't actually intended as insulting and felt as insulting.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: JennyO
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 10:32 AM

John Hardly - I bet you're waiting to see how long it takes before someone has a look at your link ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 11:42 AM

Jenny, that's just a typical Mudcat Gathering photo. :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: JennyO
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:54 PM

Um yes, of course. Well I have seen photos from the Getaway :-) I hope one day (maybe in 2008) to 'getaway' to it.

I think I'd fit right in!


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: DougR
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 11:41 PM

Really, Greg F.? And from what source did you find this wee gem of wisdom?

I don't recall any conversations when discussing individuals here (USofA) that anyone referred to anyone else as "Afro American," "African American," "Irish American", "Chinese American" or anything else. We are just Americans.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: robomatic
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 01:30 AM

National Public Radio had a wonderful news article several months ago about a Chinese immigrant who became a missionary in some Protestant faith and married into an American family of Scots origin. He and his wife were very blessed and now there are absolutely huge family reunions which run the gamut of shades.

I kind of like the way George Bernard Shaw referred to Europeans as 'pink' which is more accurate than white. There was a very nice a cappella group out of Seattle called "The Amazing Pink Things".


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 02:39 AM

Gee, JennyO, I hope the Ducks come that year, too. You'd have instant friends! (Course that's what happens at the Getaway, anyway, but the really special ones have beaks. )


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:09 AM

Gosh, Jenny...you look fine, but we don't appreciate plug-in instruments all that much.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 10:09 AM

I just don't think that English speakers are ever going to put a word with six syllables (Afro-American)into everyday parlance. The tendency to use short words (or acronyms) is simply too powerful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:01 AM

Six syllable labels? No problem.

Fundamentalists.

Episcopalians.

Jehovah's Witnesses - well I know that's two words but then so are the others which have been in discussion.

Presbyterians - well that only five. Make it "strict Presbyterians".

Or "Devout Roman Catholics".

Or "Yellow Dog Democrats"

"Traditional Musicians"


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,Don Last
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:25 AM

The term afro american should not apply when the individual has cycled through more than 2 nations or is distanced from Africa by more than 2 generations.

Basicly it is a transitory term that is part of the evolution of the word Negro that has gone through many permutations, some fine and some despicable. Negro, Shwarta, black, colored, nigra, nigger, afro american etc

I prefer to go with human being.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM

Really, Greg F.? And from what source did you find this wee gem of wisdom?

Yes, really Douggie-boy.

Your ignorance of this particular point hardly surprises me, as your ignorance is pretty much universal. Not source, but sources.Lots of 'em.

But I'm not about to do your work or spoon feed you- take fifteen minutes and do a web search on state anti-miscegenation laws or racial intermarriage laws in the Land Of The Free, or GOD FORBID! read a book or two on Black history or the history of the Civil Rights movement and you'll easily find more on topic than you probably want to know.

Or, stay ignorant & keep on with the puerile comments you seem to think are amusing. Your choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 12:57 PM

John Hardy, You promised to never post my picture!


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 01:02 PM

Uglo-Americans


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 06:22 PM

It is kind of interesting how the fewer syllables there are in a word which refers to any group of people, the more offensive that word is judged to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:09 PM

Men...


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:33 PM

Me


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:08 PM

Depending on who says it. And how.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:11 PM

Ah, but you aren't a group, Shambles.

There's Scots and Swedes and Greens.

And there's folk, of course. Though perhaps that might go to reinforce what Cluin said there.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:39 PM

I find shortcomings in all the racial terms and some of the ethnic ones, but I still at times find myself answering questions that should not be asked.

If I'm asked by a law enforcement officer to describe someone I believe to be a danger to someone, I'm likely to answer questions as to the description of the suspect, including racial/ethnic ones; I've done it.

If I have a significant stake in something I'm applying for, such as medical aid, I'm likely to anwer the race question; I've done that. I might rationalize by thinking, If I don't check a box, some clerk will have to, or possibly get written up.

Doing what I don't believe in does not leave me feeling sufficiently strong.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:55 PM

Ah, but you aren't a group, Shambles.

It can be overlooked that all groups are comprised of a number of people who are all firstly - me.

Often individuals use groups to hide from their individual responsibilty. And often use groups to gang up upon others.

Political correctness is now a bit like the offside rule in football has become. Niether were intended to be used as an offensive weapon by those it was designed to protect.

When it is so used - it is time for it to be addressed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 10:50 PM

Us.

Them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: dianavan
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 03:27 AM

It is not racist to call me American but I prefer to be called Canadian.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 04:26 AM

And anyone who finds themselves using racist insults has to recognise that this means that at some level within them they are racist - and this can be very unsettling to recognise.

I trust that you would include in this those who would address such insults to themselves and others of their racial grouping?

This issue has moved on and become far too complex for such simplistic judgements.

For it is not the use words of the words themselves that are the issue but the context, intent and who it is that is using them.

Thus the same word - 'black' can quite innocently describe a colour, intentionally denigrate an entire racial grouping and be used proudly, for the very opposite reasons.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST, palefaced, uncapitalized
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 07:19 AM

Kidding with racial terms can be ambiguous or misunderstood, or it can be an attempt to veil an insult. Irony can be missed in such as Randy Newman's "Rednecks." Usage of no term can be accurately said to be insulting every time it is used. But the intention to insult with racial or ethnic terminology is usually obvious.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 09:39 AM

If I was decribing someone I'd do so in terms of their appearance and their behaviour, and try to get that as accurate as possible, not in terms of my guesses about their ethnic group or whatever, which might be wildly wrong.

Remember the "surveiilance officer" in the case of Jean Paul Menenzes, the youing man shot dead by London Police while he was being held down in his seat on the Tube after being captured, and how he identified the Brazilian as an Arab on the basis that he had "Mongolian eyes".


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 10:36 AM

But the intention to insult with racial or ethnic terminology is usually obvious.

Then perhaps we need to be more careful and use the word racist only when the intention is clearly that obvious?

But is it always so obvious and clear cut?

If I were call someone the dreaded N word this may be thought an obvious intent to insult them with racial terminology - if one black person calls another this word or refers to himself as this - it is perhaps not so easy?

And in the recent celeb Big Brother TV show, when forming a spoof Jackson 5 tribute band - Jermaine Jackson told the Bollywood actress she need to blacken up her voice..........


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 10:39 AM

The notion that one drop of some kind of blood or other makes one categorizable as part of that group really could put an end to this whole silly run-around.

Like you, I am descended from people like Lucy or Little Lucy from the central African plains. Like the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Mohican and the Algonquin, ancestors of mine walked the land bridge across the Bering Strait.

And I am sure that I have common ancestors with every Japanese, Chinese, Phillipine and Indonesian human alive today. It just depends on where you want to look.

Being, therefore, part of every ethnic group in the species, I am delighted to report that, after due consideration, I can conclude that there is no "they" there.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 11:02 AM

To pay the recent Big Brother more attention than it deserves, "Fuckwallah" is presumably one of those innocuous expressions, and it is quite monstrous that anyone acually suggested it was racist and objected to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 11:30 AM

Is Fuckwallah the name for pink uncooked chicken?

Fuckarada was the word I heard used.

As like all the BB references - they have to be seen in context.

Such comments as these used in the heat of a personal spat are certainly unwise in such a crazy climate as we currently find ourselves in.

One where the use of terms like 'white trash' and 'mentally sub-normal' are not challenged but anything that can be stretched to being a racially motivated insult to an entire race of people is eagerly siezed on.

But as for these edited references really being seen as racist with the benefit of hindsight and taken out of context by many of those who did not watch the show -this is being selective, over-sensitive and irresponsible.

For these are very serious charges when all that was taking place by all parties was what in any other climate would been seen as silly bitching.

Those of us who have never been guilty of doing something unwise at some point in their lives - can cast the first stone.....


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:10 PM

Someone (I think it may have been Lawrence Block), suggeted that ethnic designations acqure more syllables as soon as the previous designation becomes widely used by racial derogators. 'African-American" (7 syllables) is clumsy enough so that rednecks won;t be apt to use it; if it is picked up, a longer and less-wieldy name will appea.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 01:20 PM

Don't worry Shambles - she'll end up all rehabilitated with the tabloids and financially well-off. That's how this branch of show busniness works.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 01:27 PM

I remember 'wallah' in its Anglo-Indian sense from literature on 19th c. India.
In the UK, now it seems to mean a person employed in a certain capacity or connected with a certain activity. In urban India it seems to apply to the lower rungs of employment- I could be wrong- .
From this I would guess that a 'fuckwallah' would be the 'lowest man on the totem pole,' but the word doesn't seem to have come to America.

McGrath, could you please add a bit of explanation?
-------------------
Sorry to see that the 'reality' show has caught on in the UK. Horrible things!
Of course, over here we have no idea what the fuss in the UK was about since we haven't seen the show.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM

Well, it seems to me...that if a "wallah" is a person employed in a certain capacity or connected with a certain activity, then a "fuckwallah"...never kind, forget I spoke.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 03:14 PM

I'm tired of all this "race" stuff. It's mostly a topic that keeps journalists dithering and gives some people (mostly young and male) an excuse to fight. It's also great for marketing.

Take a look at this family.

http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html%3Fin%5Farticle%5Fid=377839%26in%5Fpage%5Fid=1770

(Sorry, my computer doesn't make blue clickies.)


Aren't the kids cute? They are twins. Are they different races? Should one listen to rap while the other plays Bach? Should they have different accents? Associate with different crowds?

Is race real?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 03:23 PM

McGrath, about the six syllable labels you mentioned. They are not what I would call "common parlance." Yes, if A and B are talking, and one is an Episcopalian, then the word will be used. But I just had a chat with an Episcopalian friend about her church, and the E word never came up at all.

Ride the bus, walk the aisles of a supermarket, sit in a restaurant and listen to people, and you will hear very few five or six syllable words. I'm sure that even four syllables are rare.

Gotta run - it's time to wave the guac.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 02:33 AM

To pay the recent Big Brother more attention than it deserves,....

So why do you and most of our media do it.

You appear to want it both ways and wish to judge an expression as monsterous, racist and blow it up out of all proportion - when it is used on a show you judge does not deserve the very attention you are choosing to give certain edited comments from it (whilst ignoring others).

For the show is a reality show. There is no script and anyone watching will know that they risk being offended by what the contestents (for it is a game show) may say or do.

I hope it is not being suggested that such shows should be banned or that they should be scripted.

The point is that many who are objecting do not watch the show and are really objecting to people on a TV show being left to say, do and respond to, pretty much what they wish to.

Yes with that freedom comes some responsibilty and those contestants must accept that they will open themselves up for judgement.

And if anyone on the show was in fact seen to use it as a platform for racism or any form of prejudice - I would be one of the first to object to these comments (but not to the platform offered).

But let any judgement be fair and based on the reality of the show and kept in proportion - not this confused dishonest and jealous over-reaction to a successful show and successful contestants being dressed up as noble defence of political correctness and (certain) minority groups.

BB (not perhaps the celeb version) does show us the way things are - and they may not be the way we would like them to be - but that is its value.

It shows us the real personalities of the housemates and then asks us to make a subjective choice about who we like and don't like.

This version was intersting as we conflict caused by most of the group being prepared to indulge someone who expected to be indulged and didn't really accept anyone who was not prepared to indulge them.

It is just as interesting that if the voting was to be believed - the public did not see this. In the past they have usually been able to distingush between those who are being honest and those who are trying to play a role in order to win.

Perhaps many of those voting this time were not the usual viewers voting on this basis but on some other agenda?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 05:00 AM

To enlarge a little from the view of someone who actually did watch the show. The three girls currently vilified in our media as racist bullys were not showing special treatment of Shilpa because of her race.

But they were guilty of just accepting and treating her as they would any other resident of our multi cutural if confused society. Exactly what they are expected to do and have done all of their lives in this land.

That was perhaps start of their problem.

For Shilpa was not a resident. And made it clear that she was there to represent her country (not she appears to have asked her fellow residents if they feel her qualified for this).

Many the other residents for reasons of their own were prepared to indulge her to the extent of giving in to her insistence of cooking for everyone and of largely deciding what food was obtained.

Even though she was not an experenced cook, thought the grill was the oven and out of this presented an uncooked chicken and then blocked up the toilet by trying to flush the bones away (and then expected someone else to unblock it).

Anyone who did not eat the food she insisted they eat, was being judge to be ungrateful for her efforts. And largely as a result of the others dishonesty, the few who were not prepared to indulge this crontrol freak to the extent of poisoning themselves, were assumed to have darker reasons for not being prepared to indulge Shilpa in this reagrd and in everything else.

Like her insistence in going first and keeping her equally cold and mud-slattered housemates out of the only shower.

Assuming that everyone should indulge her to that extent and that her personality was so loved by the rest of the group and could not possibly be at fault - Shilpa then goes to her fawning group and asks - why do they hate me so much?

To which she gets the answer she expects and wants to hear voiced.

Now why is it OK for Shilpa to make it clear that her home is not in this country but judged to be racist when Danielle wishes she fuck off to that home?

If it were Dirk Benedict (an American) who was expected to fuck off to his home - it may have been thought equally impolite but would not have been judged to be racist.

And even if it were Jermaine Jackson - it would not have been judged to have been racist.

Had Shilpa in fact been a UK resident and acting like one - the thought that this was not Shilpa's home would probably never had occured to Danielle (along with many other things).

What I am suggesting is that what has been evidenced is not our country's racism but its acceptance of all cultures. That it should not being seen to be condemned but celebrated.

That it was the refusal to give special treatment to Shilpa as a representitive of her race and country and treating her as an individual - that was the cause of all this fuss.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,GUEST - Sandling
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 09:29 AM

Halle Berry had an African-American father who, according to the papers, abandoned the family, and was generally a thoroughly bad lot. Her 'Caucasian' mother brought her up single-handed and supported her through her difficult early times as an actress. So why is it she calls herself 'Black'? Just wondered.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 11:11 AM

In my experience, if a person is part black, the black community accepts that person as a full member. Or maybe it's just marketing again.

Sort of like the Irish, who have regional auditions for the All-Ireland Championships in America (and other places, no doubt.) The idea is that if you're partly in, you're in.

Doesn't anybody want to follow my link (above) and see the adorable twin sisters? I admit it's startling.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 12:04 PM

Here's you link as a blicky, leeneia.

A couple of really cute kids.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 12:08 PM

Let's try that again.

I messed something up first time.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: gnu
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 01:57 PM

Awww... ain't they cute?

Fascinating discussion. I am learning a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 07:56 AM

"Please if you wish to bring this subject up again, and I'm sure you will, can you please start a thread about it, or post it in an appropriate thread".

This comment was made in thread.cfm?threadid=100632&messages=69 BS: Where has all the hostility gone ? in response to my post about the possible negative connotations of the word 'black' when used in everyday language.

Rather than start a new thread, I decided to refresh this thread.

Why? Because I would like to continue this discussion.

Why? Because I think it is an important area of consideration for a folk/blues forum and for people living in a multi-racial world and trying to understand each other.

In the hostility thread I commented about the negative connotations in society of the color black. Here's an excerpt of that comment:

..."I'm not interested in starting an argument, but I need to share an opinion that I believe is held by a number of Black people- the use of 'black' as a referent for something bad, or evil has a cumulative, negative hurtful psycho-social effect on black and brown skinned people and also perhaps more indirectly on people who do not have black and brown skin"...
-snip-

The entire comment can be found here.

My conclusions might be right or they might be wrong. But rather than focus on whether my comments were correct, I'd like to focus on the responses on that thread that I received to those comments. In reading the responses to my comment, I believe that folks thought that I was speaking against the use of "Black" as a racial group referent. That was definitely not my intention.

As I am so used to capitalizing 'Black' when using it as a racial referent, I did not think that my comments about the color black would be interpreted [or misinterpreted] that way.

I should have realized that there are many people here and elsewhere-both non-Black and Black- who do not capitalize the word Black when it is used as a racial referent.

Be that as it may, I want to clarify that I consider Black to be an appropriate informal reference for African Americans {meaning those people who are formerly known as "Negro", "Colored people", and
"Afro-Americans"}. "Black Americans" is also an appropriate reference for African Americans.

Note that the referent "African American" is almost always capitalized-especially by African Americans. However, there are differences of opinions among African Americans-and others-as to whether the group referent 'Black' should be capitalized. [For consistency's sake, I also capitalize "White" when it is used as a group referent. Most people don't].

Basically, I've found that people who belong to the two schools of thought on whether Black should be capitalized, don't read anything negative into the fact that some people capitalize the first letter of the word Black and some people don't. However, the subject of whether "Negro" or "African American should be capitalized is a whole different story.

In the 1950s, there were strenuous campaigns mounted by Black Americans to get the print media to routinely capitalize "Negro" as they routinely capitalized other ethnic referents {such as Irish, English, Italian, German, and Russian}. Eventually, these campaigns were successful. Nowadays, the group referent "Negro" has been retired and replaced by "African American" {the formal referent} and by "Black" {the informal referent}. However, from time to time, Black people {and others}may use "negro" with a lower case first letter or with a capital first letter. In doing so, that writer is conveying his or her opinion that the person described as a negro or Negro acts or speaks in a subservient "Uncle Tom" or "Aunt Jemima" manner. In other words, almost always nowadays when an African American uses "Negro" or "negro" to refer to another Black person, that person is being insulted.   

I should also clarify that in my opinion and I believe in the opinion of most African Americans, an African American does not have to have any ancestors who were enslaved.

[And/But] "Black" is a larger group referent then "African American".
The way that I {and I believe many African Americans] use "Black", this group referent refers to all those people in Africa and in the African Diaspora who have [dare I say] "Negroid" ancestry regardless of these people's skin complexion. "Black" also refers to people from Australia who are called Aborigines {my apology if that is not the correct referent} and people who are from nations such as Fiji who have naturally dark skin.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 08:22 AM

For those interested in the subject of Black as a group referent, here's a link to an online article that I recently found:

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/40/063.html

"Black Latina"
By Delina D. Pryce in "Hispanic" magazine, March 1999

Here's a long excerpt from that article:

..."If I received a dollar for every time I heard " You're not black you're Hispanic" or "You're not Hispanic your black." I'd be well on my way to equaling [former major-league baseball player Ruben Sierra]'s small fortune. To a lot of people, and to the majority of the people I've met, "black" and "Latino" are mutually exclusive terms.

Reality couldn't be further from the truth.

Many people don't realize that slave ships dropped Africans off not only in the United States but also in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Blacks in this country share a common history with those in the Caribbean and Latin America. Yet, because historical circumstances have created a variety of cultures within the black community in the Americas, people, including blacks themselves, are quick to make distinctions.

It saddens me that those with an obviously African ancestry refuse to acknowledge it, clinging instead to a lone term, "Hispanic" or "Latino"...

I was born in Costa Rica, moved to Mexico when I was two years old, and have been living in Texas for almost fourteen years. Yes, my upbringing was unlike most of my black friends in the States. Still, I am more like them than I'm like my Hispanic friends from various countries. We listen to the same music, enjoy the same churches, use the same hair stylists, and experience the same strain of racism. In a lot of ways it's easier for my black friends to comprehend that there is an African Diaspora. They see the fact that I speak Spanish as an asset ("Can you help me with my Spanish homework?"). If anything has been harder for me to explain to them, it's that I'm not "mixed with Hispanic."

On the other hand, my Latino friends see my race as a liability. "You're not black, like the African Americans in the United States," one told me recently. It bothers me that to accept me they want to distance me from being black, which carries negative connotations in the Americas. Some even have the audacity to tell me why they despise "those black people."

They even wait for me to agree.

In Peru, blacks are still being used as ornamental images--chauffeurs, pallbearers, valets, and servants. In Brazil, blacks are considered marginal members of society. In countless other Latin American countries, blacks are shut out of government and positions of power. Television shows, news programs, and beauty magazines omit dark faces. The denial of racial diversity in the media, government and business is much like what the United States faced 30 years ago. "We are looking for ways to improve our self-esteem because the society conveys to blacks that we are nothing. We want to let people know that we are not only there to cook and play football "[soccer]" said Piedad Cordoba de Castro, the first black woman to become senator in Colombia, in a 1995 Dallas Morning News article.

This is why I think it is foolish for black Latinos to overlook their blackness and believe they are Hispanic like their countrymen of European ancestry." The effort to build a black consciousness movement in Latin America has been hobbled by the low level of racial identification among blacks," Cordoba de Castro said. A hierarchy exists within Latin American countries. Those of European ancestry are at the top and those of African heritage are at the bottom, one notch below indigenous people. Those of mixed race-mestizos (indigenous and Caucasian) and malattos (indigenous and Negroid)--fall some where in between. Many blacks are eager to point out their Indian blood thus elevating themselves above black.

I realize the inaccuracy and silliness of racial and ethnic categories in this day and age. Contrary to neo-Nazi belief, no one is really any one thing anymore. What still remains, inequality and power, all over the world, is defined and determined in racial terms. For this reason, racial identification should be used to unite and struggle together for equality.

The stupidity of useless racial identification stems from the ignorance of racism. Black Latinos, who don't identify themselves as such, try to be exceptions to the rules and stereotypes that govern blacks. But racists don't care if you're bilingual and international. The very nature of prejudice does not allow for exceptions; it looks at group traits, not at individuals. Racism is prejudice combined with power. Until black Hispanics believe this, they will continue to be happily oppressed, and not even realize it (and even deny it)..."


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 08:32 AM

Fwiw, for the most part I agree with Delina D. Pryce's statement that racial categories and ethnic categories are largely inaccurate and silly in this day and age. For example, I have repeatedly written-on this forum and elsewhere-that it is a racist construct to believe that one drop of 'black blood' makes a person Black. This has long been the social if not the legal definition for who is or is not a Black American. The implication of the 'one drop of black blood' maxim is that Black African ancestry is a highly negative condition; 'Black blood' is so tainted that even one drop pollutes the blood stream in perpetuity.

I have often said-with some degree of facetitiousness but also seriously- that perhaps the only way to eradicate the exclusive definition of the White race is for people who know that they have first and second and third generation White ancestry to insist that they are White-regardless of how dark or light their skin is.

I have also said-on this forum and elsewhere- that-in my opinion, it is the positive and negative values ascribed to races that are the problem and not racial categories as descriptors of individuals and groups of people.

**

Also, fwiw, I don't agree with Delina D. Pryce's statement [that I've read elsewhere] that "Racism is prejudice combined with power".
Generally speaking, Black and Brown people are powerless. Yet there are Black and Brown individuals and groups who act and think in racist ways.

I would agree with Pryce's statement if she had written that institutional racism is prejudice combined with power.

Definitions of Institutional racism on the Web include:

"Those forces, social arrangements, institutions, structures, policies, precedents and systems of social relations that operate to deprive certain racially identified categories equality" .
www.socialpolicy.ca/i.htm

or "structural racial discrimination -- racial discrimination by governments, corporations, or other large organizations. (eg Mary cannot get a job, despite her qualifications, because she is of race Y.)"
www.politicalinformation.net/encyclopedia/Racism.htm

"Institutional racism (or structural racism) is a form of racism that occurs in institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 08:43 AM

I may be called pedantic here, but

'The use of "African" connects us {Black Americans} to a geographical location like "Italian American", "Irish American", "German American" does. '

if this is the case, and as 'Africa' is a continent not a country, perhaps the other groups such as "Italian American", "Irish American", ought to be known as 'European Americans'?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 08:47 AM

or alternatively 'Senegali Americans', 'Djibutian Americans' etc


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:29 AM

I agree with you Mr Happy regarding both of your posts.

I have used "European American" as a general referent. But I certainly don't think its inappropriate to use the the specific ethnic group referent [such as Irish American]. I find it interesting that "English American" doesn't seem to be used as a group referent for those people from England. Instead the term "English" is used by itself. Have other people found this to be so? and why is that, I wonder?

**

Also, I think that people from African nations living in the USA refer to themselves by the name of their nation {for instance, people from Nigeria refer to themselves as Nigerians, not Nigerian Americans...and maybe they actually refer to themselves by the ethnic group they belong to such as Yoruba or Ibo}.

But I think that other people seeing these Black Africans in the USA refer to them as Black people or Black Americans or African Americans.

Is this correct or incorrect? I don't know.

I'm curious as to how Africans in Canada and in the UK refer to themselves and how others refer to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:30 AM

Hiya Azizi!

'I'm curious as to how Africans in Canada and in the UK refer to themselves and how others refer to them.'


I've lazily not waded through all the posts in this thread but if not already mentioned, I feel there's a number of issues connected with 'people labelling'.

I feel it's unusual that of all the places in the world, its predominantly in USA where these terms of 'some origin - American' are used.

In Britain I've never heard folk referred to as 'French- British' etc
but on lots of official forms, such as census, job applications, they often ask ethnic origin questions & terms such as 'British English' , 'British Irish' are used.

Also ask to state racial origins 'white caucasian', 'caribbean' & so on.


A conclusion I draw from this categorisation of people, mainly by governments, is its another method of control & manipulation of populations of 'Citizens of the World' by imposing these labels upon them,& cleverly & cynically persuading them that its pc.

Wot u think?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bee
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 11:02 AM

Regarding Canada, particularly Nova Scotia:

I think there was some attempt to bring into use the term 'African Canadian', some years ago, but it seems to have failed, and in my experience (mostly in Nova Scotia), everyone, including the Black community, uses the term 'Black'. While there are certainly Black people of African descent here, there are also large numbers of people descended from settlers from the West Indies and Jamaica, and many, many recent immigrants from countries of Africa, Jamaica and other places.

In Nova Scotia, there is also some heritage use of the term 'coloured', used by the Black community mainly for historic designations, and sometimes for organizations which include other ethnic derivations, 'Women of Colour', for example. Nova Scotia has some very old, historic Black settlements with deep roots here, and a strong culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 11:16 AM

If I was referring to a Black man and didn't know where he was from, I'd refer to him as a "Black man". If I knew he was from Africa, I'd refer to him as an African. If I knew he was from Nigeria, I'd refer to him as a Nigerian. You go on the basis of how much you know. I would prefer not to call anyone an Afro-American, because I think it's a kind of cumbersome term, and I see no need for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 06:26 PM

In Canada, Blacks seem mostly to use that term as an overall designation, but they prefer, at least in my experience, a name denoting their national origin; Somali, Nigerian, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Haitian, etc. Jamaicans are always Jamaican. As Bee notes, coloured is heard among Blacks in parts of eastern Canada where escaped slaves settled.
North Africans (Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, etc.) in many cases lack black blood; they go by their nationality but some call themselves Muslims.
In other words, Little Hawk's usage would work here. Considering the great difference in origins as well as race, 'African Canadian' would not be acceptable to most of them. Our Governor-General is Haitian-Canadian.

Some Latin-Americans who have settled here who have Negro blood mostly have Indian and white blood as well; hispanic is commonly used, since their language is Spanish mostly, but many say Mexican or whatever country of origin.

Looking at the usage in the New York Times, 'black' often appears, not capitalized (nor do they capitalize white).


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 07:03 PM

"in many cases lack black blood"

When you think of it that's a really strange expression, "black blood" - picking on what is perhaps the most evident human characteristic where it undeniable that colour differences just don't exist.
...............

Curuiously enough Black people in England are much more liable to refer to themselves as "Black British" rather than "Black English" - I suspect that's largely becuase of the alliteration. Over the border in Scotland my impression is that they are more likely to say they are Black Scottish rather than Black British.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 07:33 PM

Thanks for the information about racial referents used outside of the USA.

I think that African Americans use that catch-all referent because most of us don't know which nation or nations our African ancestors came from.

**

If I didn't say it before, I think the main reason why the term Afro-American didn't succeed in being the formal referent for Black Americans {from the USA} is because "Afro" doesn't refer to a geographical place {like German, Irish, Italian etc} does.

But also "Afro" is the name of a hair style.
And who wants to have a formal group referent that is the name of a hair style?

Not me.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:27 AM

& what about the natives of Barnet??


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:34 AM

"And who wants to have a formal group referent that is the name of a hair style?"

Obviously, the Mullet-Americans


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bee
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM

I rather miss the Afro. Not that today's hairstyles aren't sometimes very beautiful, or sleek and tidy, but the Afro makes a lovely cloud of hair around a person's face. Although it can be difficult to look after, especially with children - very tangly after swimming, for example.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 08:29 AM

Nappy American would best be left unsaid


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 05:39 PM

""And who wants to have a formal group referent that is the name of a hair style?""

Skinheads.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 07:55 PM

One of these things is not like the others.
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you guess which thing is not like the others,
Before I finish my song?


African American
Asian American
Native American
Caucasian


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 07 - 10:54 PM

How about Panamerican?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM

Yup. One of them is wearing a very silly label.

African American have something to do with Africa and America.
Asian American have something to do with Asia and America.
Native Americans have something to do with America.
"Caucasians" have nothing whatsoever to do with the Caucasus.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 08:46 PM

How about Parmesan?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:00 PM

"I feel it's unusual that of all the places in the world, its predominantly in USA where these terms of 'some origin - American' are used."

Actually it's a very common and long-established practice in Canada, and in this case, it's NOT due to American influence. It's so accepted that you often hear the term "hyphenated Canadian" in discourse having to do with issues of multiculturalism, immigration, ethnicity, etc. Although, to be sure, it often appears in a negative context, as in someone saying, "I don't want to be a hyphenated-Canadian ... "


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:08 PM

A fricken American?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 12:30 AM

I think I've said it before, but I like how Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center designates people as "American" first, followed by "of (whatever) descent," i.e. "American of African/Irish/Italian (take your pick) descent."


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 03:30 PM

I can't resist...

How about Panamerican? (Little Hawk)

You as the Mudcat experts on chimps should really know that the genus Pan never made it to your continent.

Wolfgang (grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 08:04 PM

You don't think? But...we have such liberal import laws. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 07:33 PM

"...the genus Pan never made it to your continent."

You must be kidding!

What's the difference in principle between talking about "Irish Americans" or "African Americans" and so forth, on the one hand, and "tall Americans" or"red-headed Americans" and so forth on the other hand?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM

........& Amerindians aren't Indians!


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bert
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 02:03 AM

I find that the term 'people' or 'person' suits me well enough to describe somebody regardless of their depth of sun tan.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Bert
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 02:07 AM

Oh, and the tern Friend wroks well too.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM

The Tern friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tern


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,Katz
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 06:40 PM

Why are Hispanic /Latin Americans categorized separately when required to identify race? Neither of these terms are racial identifiers. I know many Hispanics who are white. I know many Hispanics who are black. Is this a way of seperating non- WASPs from the desendents of predominately northern european white people? Or is it way of black people from latin america to seperate themselves from black USAmericans?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 07:00 PM

Sometimes it's worthwhile to read the thread ... :

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

..................................................................
..................................................................

"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.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mickey191
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 07:06 PM

I've noticed a change in the last few months of Suspected criminal's descriptions. They now say 6 feet-200 pounds- dark skinned. They show a sketch of an obviously African/American. Formerly it would have said: black man. Then we see the purp & he's definitely African/American. I think this is damn confusing if a neighborhood is on alert that a thug or rapist is wandering around. You could have a Black Irishman or an Indian selling books come under suspicion. I am nuts??


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 07:10 PM

So why shouldn't it be a Black Irishman?


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 07:12 PM

How do you tell a black Irishman from an African-American? (This is a great set-up for a bad riddle ... ).


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM

Tommy the Canexican

Tommy the Canexican
Vancouver-dwelling Mexican
Staying with his next of kin
and writing those bad checks again
Old Hudson, he protects his men
but makes them scrub those decks again
A mad first mate stands next to him
it's Tommy the Canexican

Traveling round with his moose and donkey
He's part Third World with a twist of honkey
A dashing mix, but don't get him wrong 'cause he's
Tommy the Canexican

He likes hockey and he likes soccer
He thinks real slow, but a really fast talker
Selena's long gone, but Celine needs a stalker
like Tommy the Canexican

Got a brother Jose and another Darryl
one wears a poncho, the other warm apparel
both sing a Spanish "Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald"
for Tommy the Canexican

One likes Dos Equis, the other likes Molsons
One liked Nader, the other Pat Paulson
Both have a crush on those twins called the Olsons
must be cuz they're Canexican

Tommy the Canexican
Vancouver-dwelling Mexican
Staying with his next of kin
and writing those bad checks again
ferrigno showed his pecs to win
Imagine if he flexed at him
The Yukon becomes Texas when
there's Tommy the Canexican

He eats tacos and he eats bacon
five degrees removed from actor Kevin Bacon
He's got seven sisters but all of them are taken
by Tommy the Canexican

He's got no trouble goin north of the border
but crossin to the South he needs a court order
A foosball table, anybody got a quarter?
ask Tommy the Canexican

Tommy the Canexican
Vancouver-dwelling Mexican
Buys his old dog, Rex, a gin
But a good canine rejects a sin
A fat man goes off dexatrim
and gets a bad complex again
he might squeeze in his Lexus and
there's Tommy the Canexican

He fronts a 5 piece from North of Seattle
stuffed 'em in a van and drove 'em like cattle
outside Toronto, they heard something rattle
so they rented a VW Vanagon

He likes girl drinks with a garnish and umbrella
he'll cut himself off when he turns greenish-yella
he'll pass you the check, what a really swell fella
that Tommy the Canexican

Tommy the Canexican
Vancouver-dwelling Mexican
The Great White North- the next to heaven
to Tommy the Canexican

A cute brown canuk singing sensation
really stands out in the church congregation
confuses the hell out of U.S. Immigration
Just cuz he's Canexican

His family up North has snow that's the truest
his family down South has skies that are bluest
They'd be a lot closer if it t'weren't for the U.S.
Poor Tommy the Canexican

Canada's dollar is droppin real low
but it's still doin better than the old peso
If Menudo ever sang with B.T.O
then Tommy'd be in heaven

Mike Clem © 2001 J. Fish Music/ASCAP


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Mickey191
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 07:59 PM

The Black Irish I referred to were Caucasions who had dark skin & Black hair. My Father's cousin was called "Black Dick" & my Dad, who had reddish hair & fair complexion was known as "Red Dick" - both having the same last name- this appelation to distinguish one from the other.

Okay-ready for the riddle!


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 08:20 PM

"Black Irish" in that sense generally tend to have very fair skin.   Whilst there are also a good number of Irish and Irish descended people who also have African ancestors, both in Ireland and in the Irish Diaspora.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 08:36 PM

John Hardly, guy wrote that on a bet, didn't he? (Which circle of Danté's Hell is the one with rhyming?)


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 08:48 PM

"Okay-ready for the riddle!"

Um ... I don't have the answer ... someone out there will have to make it up ..


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 09:44 PM

"John Hardly, guy wrote that on a bet, didn't he? "

If so, I'm rooting for 'im to win. It shows such a sensitive side.


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Subject: RE: BS: The term Afro American?
From: GUEST,Katz
Date: 07 May 07 - 05:58 PM

In response to Mickey191's Message below:
"I've noticed a change in the last few months of Suspected criminal's descriptions. They now say 6 feet-200 pounds- dark skinned. They show a sketch of an obviously African/American. Formerly it would have said: black man. Then we see the purp & he's definitely African/American. I think this is damn confusing if a neighborhood is on alert that a thug or rapist is wandering around. You could have a Black Irishman or an Indian selling books come under suspicion. I am nuts??"

As African/Americans come in many shades it would be pointless simply to say African/American when describing how someone looks. Equally, if you used that system you would have to describe white suspected criminals as
English/American, Irish/American, German/American. These descriptions are not valuable if you need to describe how the person looks.


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