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Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:49 PM

A post I made on Yahoo on story "Some blacks insist: 'I'm not African-American'"

Saw a story on Yahoo while I was watching the Super Bowl yesterday.
It was an Associated Press story called Some blacks insist: 'I'm not African-American'
http://news.yahoo.com/blacks-insist-im-not-african-american-181257715.html

Excerpts like the following bothered me a little bit. I'm a Black man myself, by the way.

"I prefer to be called black," said Shawn Smith, an accountant from Houston. "How I really feel is, I'm American."

"I don't like African-American. It denotes something else to me than who I am," said Smith, whose parents are from Mississippi and North Carolina. "I can't recall any of them telling me anything about Africa. They told me a whole lot about where they grew up in Macomb County and Shelby, N.C."

Gibré George, an entrepreneur from Miami, started a Facebook page called "Don't Call Me African-American" on a whim. It now has about 300 "likes."

"We respect our African heritage, but that term is not really us," George said. "We're several generations down the line. If anyone were to ship us back to Africa, we'd be like fish out of water."

"It just doesn't sit well with a younger generation of black people," continued George, who is 38. "Africa was a long time ago. Are we always going to be tethered to Africa? Spiritually I'm American. When the war starts, I'm fighting for America."


I knew the story would be full of confusion as most stories on "race" are. I'm not personally comfortable in relegating Africa as "the past". Like it's something us Black folks should shove into the attic. I also understood the confusion from people on the outside looking in. I can hear people saying, "Well doggone! What the hell do you people want us to call you?! Make up your mind for goodness sake!"

So I made a post to clarify & educate everybody. Black folks & everybody else on the outside looking in.
Yahoo sucks of course & the post wouldn't show up no matter how many times I posted it. I finally got it to post just now long after the story left the Yahoo home page feature story promotion.
So I brought it here where perhaps better discussion & insight can be had. Let me know what you think about it.

************************************************************************************

OK to clarify. I'm Black & there's nothing wrong with the descriptives of African-American, Negro, Black or Colored in my eyes. I refer to myself as "Black" because it's just simpler to say. Less syllables than the 7-syllable African-American. That just takes too long to say. BUT I love the feel of African-American because we ARE connected to Africa. I think that is VERY important. The phrase of the African Diaspora to represent all those semi-recent descendants of Africa spread around the world.

The words Negro & Black mean the same thing—the color black. And African people were named this because of their dark skins which were so deeply brown that they appeared virtually black. But for the descendants who to differing degrees are mixed with White (Europeans), Native Americans, Asians, & who knows, what's "black" about their skins? They're more tan or brown or bronze or beige or even sometimes peach! Some "Black" people have skin colors more close to "White" people. That's why the word Colored or People of Color makes more sense in this instance. But then is People of Color inclusive OF those Asians, Polynesians, Native Americans, Hispanics, Indians (India), Middle Easterners, basically anybody with a significant degree of melanin in their skin? It CAN. So that's not always the best name to signify those African descendants.

The way I see Black is shorthand code for Africans and those of MODERN African descent (since originally we're ALL descended from Africa). Black covers not only the skin color of the original Africans but the facial features, hair textures of those of modern African descent. Even with light beige skins, some of the African hair textures & facial contours may still show. However, Africa is a continent & there are many Black/Negroid type of faces. You can see how the Whites, Asians, & all other groups may have descended & evolved when you look at the phenotypes in Africa.

Outside of this Black AND African-American also can be a coverall term to specify the various cultural practices of those African descendants. The music, the food, the languages, the dialects, the religions, the political views. Some African-Americans are Americans who descended from the African slaves in the United States. Some are descendants of African slaves in the American continents, North & South America like Jamaicans, Bahamians, Haitians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Panamanians, & Brazillians. Some are (non-American slave descended) African immigrants to America from Sudan, Kenya, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa.
But the best term for this in my opinion is Pan-African. African from Africa & Beyond.

At the end of the day, all of these descriptions are incomplete. No label is all-encompassing. Human beings are multi-faceted & are many things at once. In case of doubt, just refer to us with respect when you talk to us or about us. Like every other human being. We got Black History Month, the United Negro College Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and African-American studies at colleges. It's all the same thing. The whole thing is about respect.
John Lucas

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Reply A post I made on Yahoo on story "Some blacks insist: 'I'm not African-American'" (Original post)
johnlucas Feb 2012 OP
tblue Feb 2012 #1
johnlucas Feb 2012 #6
ZombieHorde Feb 2012 #2
Major Hogwash Feb 2012 #9
johnlucas Feb 2012 #14
provis99 Feb 2012 #3
johnlucas Feb 2012 #12
Archae Feb 2012 #4
johnlucas Feb 2012 #8
Archae Feb 2012 #16
Nikia Feb 2012 #10
johnlucas Feb 2012 #13
Archae Feb 2012 #17
unblock Feb 2012 #5
csziggy Feb 2012 #7
REP Feb 2012 #11
Johnny Rico Feb 2012 #15

Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:04 PM

1. I was an "Afro-American Studies" major

in college, many moons ago. And I update that name to fit the times on, say, a resume. NO ONE says "Afro American" anymore.

I appreciate your thoughts, and I love this kind of discussion. I am black and Asian and I don't have a problem with Black or African American—or Blasian or Blackanese for that matter!

Couple years ago I read a book of essays by mixed people of various ethnicities. Every one of the writers had a different way of identifying. It was really fascinating. Some said, "I'm part black so I'm black." Others said, "I'm part Filipino and part Black and part Persian, and I don't choose between my cultures." Some said, "I am a mix. I'm not just one thing or the other."

So I guess the moral is: Everyone is an individual and has their own sensibilities and sensitivities, so it's fair to say everybody gets to decide for him or herself what they'd like to be called or known as. No one wants to be labeled something they feel doesn't fit them. But likewise it's helpful if we respect those who are respectfully attempting to understand who we are— i.e., if someone calls you African American when you'd rather be called Black, just tell them, enlighten them, without taking offense.

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Response to tblue (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:36 PM

6. And that's the problem with labels

Human beings by design cannot understand any concept without making a label for it. A set of sounds called a word, a set of scribbles or gestures called a symbol. It's the way we're designed to be, programmed to be.

But each label we produce always misses the entirety of the concept.
Take a common orange.

Oranges are round? Yes. Oranges are spherical? Yes. Oranges are sour? Yes. Oranges are sweet? Yes. Oranges are orange? Yes. Oranges are yellow? Yes. Oranges have textured peels? Yes. Oranges are fruit? Yes. Oranges are seeds? Yes. Orange are reproductive organs? Oranges are life? Yes. Oranges are food? Yes. Oranges are drink? Yes. Oranges are cleansers? Yes. Oranges are makeshift baseballs to hit with a stick? Oranges are toys? Yes. Oranges are business? Yes. Yes. Oranges are cheap...in price? Yes. Oranges are cheap...in quality? Yes. Oranges are plentiful? Yes. Oranges are lightweight? Yes. Oranges are heavyweight? Yes (if they fall on your head). Oranges are paperweights? Yes. Oranges are fragrant? Yes. Oranges are smelly? Yes. Oranges are natural? Yes. Oranges are bio-engineered? Yes. Oranges are healthy for you? Yes, Oranges are unhealthy for you? Yes. Oranges are tangerines? Sort of.

With all the examples I gave there are even more truisms about a simple orange that one label simply cannot encompass.

Like I said in the original post, we ALL descend from Africa. All of humanity originated in Africa so EVERYBODY's technically African. But that doesn't help us when we need to distinguish one group from another. The Africans who migrated to Europe eons ago gaining light skins, light straight hairs, light eyes, & narrower sharper facial features; The Africans who migrated to Asia eons ago gaining somewhat lighter skins, dark straight hairs, hooded eyes & wider flatter facial features; The Africans who stayed in Africa maintaining their dark skins, dark curled hairs, & broader rounder facial features. Does the label 'African' capture all of these realities simultaneously?

In fact, does the label 'African' even capture all of the realities of the dark people OF Africa? Because with each of those groups who migrated away eons ago, you see the lineage represented in the diverse gene pools & phenotypes seen in Africa. There are full-blood Africans with narrower facial features, there are full-blood Africans with flat faces & hooded eyes. You could deduce how a certain group with a certain set of phenotypes migrated away & concentrated their features as the outside environments they moved to shaped their features even further.

So we got the labels of "European" & "Asian". But do THESE labels capture the reality of those under this classification? The slightly tanned Spaniards, Italians, & Greeks along with the nearly albino pale Norwegians, Swedes, & Danes? And wait some of those Europeans have curly hair too! The Chinese, Koreans, & Japanese along with the Filipinos, Indonesians, & Vietnamese? Some of those Asians have skins almost as "white" as the Europeans while some of those Asians have skins as brown & bronze as some Africans? And then what about the Indians from India? They live in the continent of Asia yet have dark skins, dark straight hairs, & sharper facial features. What about the Israelis, Persians, & Afghanis? They live in Asia but they don't resemble the Chinese or the Filipinos very much. What about the Russians & the rest from the former Soviet Union? They live in Asia but some look like the Europeans they directly descended from while others look more like the Asians with their hooded eyes & wide flat faces. And Mongolia is right next door. That's where those typically "Asian" features are said to come from, those Mongloid features as they once called them.

The one-drop rule is bull. In biological reality, you are the offspring of EVERYONE who made up your ancestry. Genes do their own thing & sometimes the stereotypical features of a "race" may not show up on the surface. But those genes are part of your biological makeup nevertheless. Biologically Tiger Woods is not being false when he calls himself "Cablinasian".

Socially though, what you appear to look like is what you will most likely be treated as by outsiders. Barack Obama having a "Black" father from Kenya & a "White" mother from Kansas came out with a tan skin tone, curly hair, and broadness in his nose. The educated eye could see the "White" in him on his features but without knowledge of his background, he would be treated like an everyday Black American. The Black Americans known to be mixed somewhere down the line with multiple heritages.
The social category in my opinion is less than the biological category but since social overlaps with political for obvious reasons, it's no surprise that the first "multiracial" multiethnic President of the United States is often claimed by Blacks (and others too) as the first Black President of the United States.

You being Black & Asian (formerly called Oriental) are biologically BOTH. Not one instead of the other. But I bet you're treated as one or the other based on how people see you in their personal classification system.
If you have thick African-type curly hair naturally (whether straightened artificially or not) & a skin tone about peanut butter color or darker, I bet most people see you as just "Black".
BUT if your eyes have that Asian 'hooded-eyes' appearance, your skin is in that ambiguously brown area (see TVTropes.org) & your hair is sort of curly but sort of straight/sort of thick but sort of thin, you probably throw off a lot of people's classification systems & they say "What ARE you?" "Where are you from?" "What's your background?" "Are you Latino?" "Is your mother {fill-in-the-blank}?" "Is your father {fill-in-the-blank}?

That's what makes the issue so confusing. It's because the labels applied are not fully understood & furthermore not understood to be incomplete by definition. Most people don't have the time to sit down & have hour long discussion on the ins & outs of this issue if they have no interest in it. They just want a simple quick label to signify somebody.

To me, that shows distance. They WANT to be strangers & don't WISH to learn about people's intricacies. All of our "racial" labels while defining a group's kinship & similarities also erects barriers between those not considered part of that group.
The movie called "White Men Can't Jump". How do you know that? And if there IS a White man who can jump does it shatter the whole belief system? Will this rare White man now be considered Black because he CAN jump.
"White folks can't dance" "White folks can't sing soul" & then we get Teena Marie turning out Fire & Desire with Rick James.
"Black folks are dumb" "Black men are sex crazed & have the largest penises" & then we get this prudish Urkel-like rocket scientist who's a little small downstairs.

The quick label is just the beginning of the conversation. We SHOULD want to know about others. All Southerners are not racists. All Southerners are not rednecks. All Southerners are not rural. All Southerners are not Bible Belt religious. All Southerners are not back-asswards & regressive. There's something wrong with being a racist but is there something wrong with being rural? No. That rural Southerner may be religious living in the so-called Bible Belt but does that make the Southerner back-asswards & regressive? No, not necessarily. That Southerner may be a reformer or even progressive in his/her community wanting to change his/her church. And does redneck necessarily equal racist? Wasn't redneck a term applied to poor White farmers who opposed the elite White bourgeousie? Basically laborers fighting the aristocracy?

Lester Maddox, the once-governor of Georgia, was a segregationist racist. Jimmy Carter, his successor, was EVERYTHING EXCEPT a segregationist racist. And that's quite a feat considering some of his ancestors fought on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War.
Lester Maddox was born in Atlanta, GA, Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, GA. Both Georgians, both Southerners but with totally different views about the world.
While it does exists strongly here, The South does not necessarily equal love for the Confederate Flag & the legacy it represents.

We can't come to those conclusions if we just stop at the quick label "White" "from the South".
We can't understand what "Black" "African-American" "Colored" "Negro" mean & why they came to be if we just stop at the quick label. The label is just the beginning of the discussion.

Even the label of "human being" is incomplete. No label captures it all.
John Lucas

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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:16 PM

2. African-American is fine for history, but it is impractable for today's usage.

I think African-American is impracticable because we don't often know where someone lives, and their lineages. President Obama is African-Irish-American. Calling him African-American denies half his lineage.

I live in Montana, which is one the Canadian border. If I see a black person, I shouldn't assume he or she is American. Years ago, I met a black guy in Montana from France. We could label him African-French, but what if he had no French lineage? What if he had a half-brother who's mother was African and father was French? African-French would mean two different things in this regard.

On a more personal note, my family was split apart because of ethnic identity. Half my family is Irish, and half my family is Hungarian. My Hungarian grandfather tried to convince his grandchildren that we were mostly Hungarian, and this completely outraged my Irish relatives. Their strong, ethnic identity caused a riff in my family that never healed. This has caused me to have a strong distaste for ethnic identity, though I completely understand why oppressed, ethnic minorities feel strongly for ethnic identity.

I wonder what would happen to the Israel/Palestine conflict if they no longer identified as Jews and Palestinians. If they chose to only identity as humans, or as living beings, would they treat each other more humanely? I think they might.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:40 PM

9. Obama is a . . .

. . Hawaiian!!!

Man, that is sooo 21st century!!!

Black is beautiful. This conversation caused quite a stir on the old DU2 forum when President Obama was running the first time.

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Response to Major Hogwash (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:22 PM

14. You are correct again!

That's another reason why Obama's presidency is so important.
This country is one day truly going to live up to the notion of "Melting Pot".
Many people from many cultures. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, One.

Everybody's gonna be all mixed up & throw the race category system all off track.
We're probably going to convert to Brazil's system of merely calling you by what you look like on the surface: Tan, Brown, Beige, Black, White, Peach, Yellow, Pink.

The main thing I hope for is that people of all those categories get treated with equal due respect.
The best thing that can happen to this place is the end of the color (& culture) hierarchy.
John Lucas

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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:25 PM

3. you noted one of the key problems with "black"

 

these two gentlemen are "black".

Homer Plessy, of the famous Plessy v. Ferguson court case


Walter White, former head of the NAACP

I've met plenty of white looking people in Louisiana and Mississippi who insist they are "black".

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Response to provis99 (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 10:27 PM

12. Yep. And Michael Jackson's children highlight this issue as well.

Because Michael Jackson's kids (particularly the oldest 2, Prince & Paris) are so light-skinned with straighter hair (with lighter eyes in the case of Paris the girl) & more "European"-leaning facial features, many people doubt that these are his biological children.
It breaks down their classification system & beliefs in that system. It destroys their perception of "Race". Which with a guy like Michael who by surgery (nose jobs) & by the hands of nature (his vitiligo skin disease) doesn't make it any easier to deal with. This guy who blurred the categories & even put out a song saying "It don't matter if you're Black or White".

Technically Michael Jackson is White too based on his heritage on both his mother's & father's side of the family.


Mother Katherine has a father or grandfather who was listed as "Mulatto" in the U.S. Census. Mulatto is President Obama, mulatto is a child of a Black parent & a White parent. Katherine also is said to have Native American ancestry (Cherokee) but is said to even have Asian ancestry which would explain her almond eyes a little better. Chocolate skin but with diverse heritage.


Father Joe, a light-skinned Black man with blue/green eyes already, has a Choctaw ancestor named July Gale, a shaman/medicine man. July Gale's nickname was 'Jack' & he had a child by a Black slave woman. The name of the child was called Israel & when everybody referred to the child they always said "Jack's Son". That's where the Jackson name came from in his family. NOT a slave name as you might expect. I saw a picture of Joe's mother in one of those Jackson biographies & she was light-skinned too. It's a pretty safe bet than Joe definitely had European White ancestors as well. That would explain the blue/green eyes no doubt.
And look at LaToya who was much lighter-skinned than all of the other siblings before Michael's vitiligo.


Gene expression is the phrase of the day.
Michael Jackson, an African/European/Native American man, a Black/White/Red man...


...had children with a blonde haired (natural not bottle-blonde), blue-eyed, pink-skinned White woman named Debbie Rowe...


...and they're surprised the kids come out looking like THIS?!


THIS?!




and THIS?!



And as for the youngest one Blanket?



'Nuff said.

It hasn't been made public who Blanket's mother is but her ethnicity can at least be deduced based on how much of a clone he is to his father.

In a day not so far away, Michael's kids (speaking primarily of Prince & Paris) would be able to "Pass" much like part-Black Carol Channing did when she was on the performing scene.


It's the limitation of labels. What do you with the people who are in-between? What do you with the people who straddle the categories? Do you come with a new label & what happened someone else goes in-between those?
Maybe it means that Race is an arbitrary system that is only useful as a shorthand grouper of peoples. It's not based in true biology.
Biology defies strict classification. I mean how else do you explain the platypus?
John Lucas

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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:26 PM

4. What can you call me?

I'm German, Russian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Irish.

Now you see why I prefer the term "mutt."

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Response to Archae (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:07 PM

8. I can call you many things

I can call you all of the labels you put forth individually OR collectively.
Example: You're German. You're Russian. You're Dutch. You're Danish. You're Swedish. You're Irish.
Example: You're German AND Russian AND Dutch AND Danish AND Swedish AND Irish all at once.

I can break down the origins of those labels & call you the origin of those labels individually or collectively.

Example: Who ARE the Germans? More specifically Who ARE the Deutsch? German is what the Romans called the Deutsch. And basically isn't Dutch & Deutsch really the same thing? Different tribes of the Dutchies running around. Some were called Angles (Engles), some were called Saxons, some were called Jutes, some went north way & became the people of Norway, Sweden, & Denmark (the Danes). Some settled around some Alp-like mountains & became the Scandinavians. Some mixed in with those Celt folk (the Irish being part of these) who came from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal) long ago & gave 'em their super pale skins & orangey red hair.
As for those Russians. Are we talking about the White Russians connected to the Slavic folks or those Russians who look more like Genghis Khan-ish Mongolians or those Russians who are Jews descended from West Asia or those Russians connected somehow to the Armenians, Turks, Lebanese, Persians, Kurds, Arabians, Afghanis, etc.?
Yeah, you're EACH of those and you're ALL of those.

I can call simply call you "mostly European based".
I can call you generically "White".
I can call you insightful.
I can call you kind.
I can call you Archae.
I can call you a human being.
I can call you a starchild made from stardust.
I can call you living matter.
I can call you a resident on this biosphere called Planet Earth, Planet Terra.
I can call you a terrestrial, an intra-terrestrial as opposed to an extra-terrestrial.
I can call you a parcel of the solar system.
I can call you a pixel of the universe.
I can call you by telephone even!

No label is complete. But I like your label of "mutt" 'cause it's funny!
John Lucas

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Response to johnlucas (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:47 AM

16. Another good term is "Heinz 57."

That's what we call dogs that have about 3-10 breeds mixed in, I love dogs like that.

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Response to Archae (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:48 PM

10. I don't like mutt because it reminds me of

"Half caste" and "half breed" which I consider derogatory. "Mutt" seems derogatory to me especially since it is comparing a person to a dog.
"Multiethnic" seems more appropriate and a nicer word.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 10:50 PM

13. I feel you on that one

It all depends on how you take the word.
Some may take offense, while others may not see it as a big deal.
I felt the spirit of what Archae meant by "mutt" so I took it as funny. Archae was light-hearted about it so I followed Archae's lead.
And I'm a dog lover who doesn't see anything wrong with mutts. I would always take a mutt from the pound instead of paying through the nose for a "pure breed".
Nevertheless I understand your stance on the matter.

Mixed is another way of saying it & easier to pronounce. I use Multiethnic because it's more accurate than saying Multiracial (which itself is more accurate than Biracial). Ethnicity covers all those little groups within the "races".

But things get problematic when ethnicity & nationality collide.
There are people who are ethnically German—meaning their ancestors formed their gene pools/phenotypes/cultures in that region over centuries.
Then there are people who are German by nationality—meaning they were just born there.
There are people who ethnically Sudanese who are born in Germany. This would make them German by nationality but Sudanese by ethnicity.

Lots of British-by-nationality, Indian-by-ethnicity folks over in the U.K.

In America, there's the situation with the ethnically Chinese, American-born folks vs. the ethnically Chinese, American-immigrated folks vs. the ethnically Chinese, American-born back 4 generations folks. The ABCs American-born Chinese, the FOBs Fresh Off the Boat, & those whose roots in America go back to the 1800s & the railroads. Some of them may not speak Chinese anymore or even carry Chinese first names while others speak virtually ONLY Chinese with limited English & live only in Chinatowns while others may be bilingual with Chinese & English carrying both Chinese first & last names. Some may see a connection between all of those groups while others may be distancing themselves culturally from their ethnic Chinese roots. It's complicated.

Add more fuel to the fire if one of those Chinese is mixed with Whites or Blacks or different types of Asians or the already mutliethnic Hispanics.

Biologically you are what you are end of story.
Socially you will be classified based on how others perceive you.
Personally you may have your own interpretation of your identity independent of the biological or socio-political realities.
There're so many answers. This is what makes the issue so highly charged.
John Lucas

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Response to johnlucas (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:52 AM

17. Thanks.

I don't really take what ethnic groups I belong to seriously, I mean, it's not that important.

One thing I do like saying is with my ethnic background, I keep invading myself.

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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:44 PM

5. while i generally respect anyone's wishes in terms of self-designation, this term is imprecise.

"african-american" is problematic for me because both my wife and my boss are caucasians born in africa who now live in american and are now american citizens. i don't think anyone would say they were meant to be included in the designation.

this is the obvious flip side of blacks who have been in america for umpteen generations before even maybe being able to trace their ancestry back to africa. somehow the term "african-american" is meant to encompass them, but not my wife and my boss?

the division, it seems to me, is based on a cluster of certain expressed genes more than heritage or location. that said, once the division has been drawn, one's location and heritage are often determined by the social rules regarding the arbitrary division along certain expressed genetic lines.

the whole thing seems silly, and an historical accident. why do we discriminate on the basis of skin color, etc., and why is the dividing line where it is? why not discriminate, if it is necessary to discriminate at all, on the basis of eye color or hair color or (more explicitly) on the basis of height, e.g.?

personally, i don't get it, never have, never will.

i'm dying for a presidential candidate to say "too many people see reasons to divide us; i see reasons to unite us. too many people see blacks, whites, hispanics; men, women; gays, straights; able-bodied and physically- or mentally-challenged; jews, muslims, christians, atheists. i see only americans".





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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:48 PM

7. "In case of doubt, just refer to us with respect when you talk to us or about us."

To me that is the most important sentence in the entire message, followed by "The whole thing is about respect."

I've lived long enough I've seen all the various names mentioned in this last paragraph used. Any of those words can be used respectfully or disrespectfully. And since I've lived in the South all my life, believe me, I've heard all the usages.

We need to treat each other with respect - always.

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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:56 PM

11. I prefer to call people by their names :-)

I know that sounds flippant, but it isn't meant to be.

While I believe race/ethnicity is a very important part of who an individual is, that more often than not, it's used to cause false divisions to keep us all diverted from common goals and needs. Everyone needs food, shelter, healthcare, etc - but so often it's framed as though "some" are trying to take from "others," when we're all being screwed by the same things.

I probably didn't word this exactly right, and I hope it came across the way it was intended: we're all in this together

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Response to johnlucas (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:42 AM

15. Definition of African-American: A citizen of the United States who has a least partial ancestry

 

with any native population of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fact: the ancestors of every human alive, Americans included, originated in Sub-Saharan Africa (Homo Habilis).

Thus, we are all African-Americans.

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