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Author Topic: What qualifies one as African American?  (Read 6309 times)

Jolie Was Here

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2006, 08:22:36 PM »
It just strikes me as disingenuous at best. 

I mean, "African" and "African American" are very different concepts.  Correctly or incorrectly, we use the term African American to describe any person who appears to be dark-skinned enough.  I have a proud Haitian friend who practically screams every time someone slaps the label on her, because a) she's not technically American at all and b) even if she chooses to become a citizen, she'd consider herself Caribbean American, not African American. 

My point is, it's generally understood that African American does not refer to your parents' countries of origin.  OP, I'll say this as gently as possible: I don't think the ad comms care about your parents' countries of origin, any more than they care about mine.  I will, however, give you credit for owning your less-than-noble, completely self-serving motives. 

That's a self-reported statistic, so no one's gonna kick you out of the sandbox if you check the wrong box.  But...holy hell!  You wouldn't be asking if you didn't know the right answer.
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

DougLlewellyn

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2006, 08:25:11 PM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.

Deloggio is an idiot. 

A Caucasian who grew up in Zimbabwe is more African than a black person who's been in the United States since the 17th Century. 

  
Who here doesn't know that African American, as it is used in this country, = black?  I've always thought that this term is a bit contrived and imprecise, but it seems to have stuck for better or, in my opinion, worse.  The people who are now called African American were in earlier eras called black, negro, and colored among other names.  

The box that people check asks about ethnicity, not nationality.  American blacks (the same population that the politically correct call African American) are African in their ancestry.  

Googler

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2006, 08:26:04 PM »
It just strikes me as disingenuous at best. 

I mean, "African" and "African American" are very different concepts.  Correctly or incorrectly, we use the term African American to describe any person who appears to be dark-skinned enough.  I have a proud Haitian friend who practically screams every time someone slaps the label on her, because a) she's not technically American at all and b) even if she chooses to become a citizen, she'd consider herself Caribbean American, not African American. 

My point is, it's generally understood that African American does not refer to your parents' countries of origin.  OP, I'll say this as gently as possible: I don't think the ad comms care about your parents' countries of origin, any more than they care about mine.  I will, however, give you credit for owning your less-than-noble, completely self-serving motives. 

That's a self-reported statistic, so no one's gonna kick you out of the sandbox if you check the wrong box.  But...holy hell!  You wouldn't be asking if you didn't know the right answer.

Isn't anybody who checks anything other than "decline to respond" ignoble and/or self-serving, in that case?

Little anecdote, a guy I know in my college at Cornell went to Student Services and asked to be changed to "African-American."  They didn't ask any questions, they just did it.  He started getting all the emails from MILR (student organization for minorities) and other groups. 

Googler

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2006, 08:28:36 PM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.

Deloggio is an idiot. 

A Caucasian who grew up in Zimbabwe is more African than a black person who's been in the United States since the 17th Century. 

 
Who here doesn't know that African American, as it is used in this country, = black?  I've always thought that this term is a bit contrived and imprecise, but it seems to have stuck for better or, in my opinion, worse.  The people who are now called African American were in earlier eras called black, negro, and colored among other names. 

The box that people check asks about ethnicity, not nationality.  American blacks (the same population that the politically correct call African American) are African in their ancestry. 


I've always argued that the term is incredibly asinine.  But if we're going to insist on using it, people have every right to use it as it is.  Someone who was born in South Africa IS African by ancestry. 

Ethnic (from dictionary.com): "Of or relating to a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage."


pikey

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2006, 09:29:23 AM »
To quote Deloggio: 

NOTE that "African American" does not apply to Caucasian or Semitic people who happen to live in Africa (just as "Hispanic" does not apply to people of German ancestry who happen to live in South America).  "African American" is a subset of black; if you are not black, you are not African American.

Deloggio is an idiot. 

A Caucasian who grew up in Zimbabwe is more African than a black person who's been in the United States since the 17th Century. 

 
Who here doesn't know that African American, as it is used in this country, = black?  I've always thought that this term is a bit contrived and imprecise, but it seems to have stuck for better or, in my opinion, worse.  The people who are now called African American were in earlier eras called black, negro, and colored among other names. 

The box that people check asks about ethnicity, not nationality.  American blacks (the same population that the politically correct call African American) are African in their ancestry. 


I've always argued that the term is incredibly asinine.  But if we're going to insist on using it, people have every right to use it as it is.  Someone who was born in South Africa IS African by ancestry. 

Ethnic (from dictionary.com): "Of or relating to a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage."



Clearly that is not what the terms refers to.  For better or worse, African American = Black.  I prefer not to use the term because I'm not American, but clearly I recognise that term refers to a specific group of people of African descent in America, not anyone of any race who happens to be from Africa.  If you don't like the term don't use it.  Your feelings about it don't allow you to misuse it.  A South African of European heritage is an African in America, but he is not African-American.
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jnc18

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2006, 10:32:06 AM »
How would you immediately react if a white man walked up and called you a n-word?

A) Angry and outraged by his racism, personally identifying yourself with the term
B) Indignant or confused at being mistaken for a negro
C) Amused by his ignorance
D) Perpelexed by this term you've never heard
E) Surprised that such racism continues to exist

If you are truly honest with yourself and answered anything other than (A), you a not an African American.

mivida2k

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2006, 10:47:03 AM »
DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS

black     ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (blk)
adj. black·er, black·est
Being of the color black, producing or reflecting comparatively little light and having no predominant hue.
Having little or no light: a black, moonless night.
often Black
Of or belonging to a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin: the Black population of South Africa.
Of or belonging to an American ethnic group descended from African peoples having dark skin; African-American.
Very dark in color: rich black soil; black, wavy hair.
Soiled, as from soot; dirty: feet black from playing outdoors.
Evil; wicked: the pirates' black deeds. Cheerless and depressing; gloomy: black thoughts.
Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor: a black comedy.
Marked by anger or sullenness: gave me a black look.
Attended with disaster; calamitous: a black day; the stock market crash on Black Friday.
Deserving of, indicating, or incurring censure or dishonor: “Man... has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands” (Rachel Carson).
Wearing clothing of the darkest visual hue: the black knight.
Served without milk or cream: black coffee.
Appearing to emanate from a source other than the actual point of origin. Used chiefly of intelligence operations: black propaganda; black radio transmissions.
Disclosed, for reasons of security, only to an extremely limited number of authorized persons; very highly classified: black programs in the Defense Department; the Pentagon's black budget.
Chiefly British. Boycotted as part of a labor union action.


White

Being of the color white; devoid of hue, as new snow.
Approaching the color white, as:
Weakly colored; almost colorless; pale: white wine.
Pale gray; silvery and lustrous: white hair.
Bloodless; blanched.
Light or whitish in color or having light or whitish parts. Used with animal and plant names.
also White Of or belonging to a racial group having light skin coloration, especially one of European origin: voting patterns within the white population.
Not written or printed on; blank.
Unsullied; pure.
Habited in white: white nuns.
Accompanied by or mantled with snow: a white Christmas.

Incandescent: white flames.
Intensely heated; impassioned: white with fury.
Ultraconservative or reactionary.
With milk added. Used of tea or coffee.

We can agree that neither definition applies.  Jolie, African-Americans and Africans come in all hues.  "white" people are darker than many Africans and african-americans. 

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Jolie Was Here

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2006, 11:32:31 AM »
DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS

black     ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (blk)
adj. black·er, black·est
Being of the color black, producing or reflecting comparatively little light and having no predominant hue.
Having little or no light: a black, moonless night.
often Black
Of or belonging to a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin: the Black population of South Africa.
Of or belonging to an American ethnic group descended from African peoples having dark skin; African-American.
Very dark in color: rich black soil; black, wavy hair.
Soiled, as from soot; dirty: feet black from playing outdoors.
Evil; wicked: the pirates' black deeds. Cheerless and depressing; gloomy: black thoughts.
Being or characterized by morbid or grimly satiric humor: a black comedy.
Marked by anger or sullenness: gave me a black look.
Attended with disaster; calamitous: a black day; the stock market crash on Black Friday.
Deserving of, indicating, or incurring censure or dishonor: “Man... has written one of his blackest records as a destroyer on the oceanic islands” (Rachel Carson).
Wearing clothing of the darkest visual hue: the black knight.
Served without milk or cream: black coffee.
Appearing to emanate from a source other than the actual point of origin. Used chiefly of intelligence operations: black propaganda; black radio transmissions.
Disclosed, for reasons of security, only to an extremely limited number of authorized persons; very highly classified: black programs in the Defense Department; the Pentagon's black budget.
Chiefly British. Boycotted as part of a labor union action.


White

Being of the color white; devoid of hue, as new snow.
Approaching the color white, as:
Weakly colored; almost colorless; pale: white wine.
Pale gray; silvery and lustrous: white hair.
Bloodless; blanched.
Light or whitish in color or having light or whitish parts. Used with animal and plant names.
also White Of or belonging to a racial group having light skin coloration, especially one of European origin: voting patterns within the white population.
Not written or printed on; blank.
Unsullied; pure.
Habited in white: white nuns.
Accompanied by or mantled with snow: a white Christmas.

Incandescent: white flames.
Intensely heated; impassioned: white with fury.
Ultraconservative or reactionary.
With milk added. Used of tea or coffee.

We can agree that neither definition applies.  Jolie, African-Americans and Africans come in all hues.  "white" people are darker than many Africans and african-americans. 



I apologize if I mispoke or wasn't clear about my meaning.  I realize that hue is not an appropriate classifier and that many Caucasians have darker skin than many people of African or Caribbean descent.  My paternal grandfather was Sicilian, with dark skin and tightly curled black hair.

I was trying to convey my perception of how the American public uses the term African-American.  Maybe I didn't flesh the thought out enough in my post.

In any event, it's certainly not my intention to offend.  I think that one of the reasons that race relations still suck in this country is that we have very few venues where we actually engage in frank and open discussions about this stuff, where people respectfully call one another out on their misperceptions. I appreciate your taking me to task.
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

2Lacoste

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2006, 11:51:10 AM »
Mets will take the NL Pennant.

cui bono?

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Re: What qualifies one as African American?
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2006, 11:52:09 AM »
lacoste, LOL.

but wow mivida- u went malcolm X on that one!
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King