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  1. #1
    Clan-Robot Guest

    Post St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Black Americans have been called a lot of names. Within the last century alone, the ever-changing nomenclature has gone from Negro to colored, to black, Afro American and, now, African-American.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    I have an adopted daughter who is African-American. I have figured it this way: her ethnicity is African-American and her race is black (after all, there are black people in Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe; we can't call THEM African-Ameican). If for some reason it comes up (and it rarely does), I usually default to the ethnic, rather than racial designation. Though it doesn't matter that much.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    I actually think labels are very important. For example, I am offended if I am referred to as "Jewish" or a "Jew." I prefer the term "American-Chosen Person."

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Actually AV, i think you are most frequently referred to a The Chose One. Chosen Person infers that there are others in your category, but as we all know, you stand alone as the defender of truth, justice and the american way.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Well, that's true... but I don't like to brag.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    ............................................ GC, now you have gone and done it ......................................


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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Dez, i know its bonus season for the mods and that their year end review is coming up after the pro bowl. I am trying to get in a few kind words in case it influences you to get AV into the seven digit category bonus wise.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Born in America = American...no other label needed. Born in another country but now an American citizen = (Insert country or area here)-American.
    Hell, if we want to get this dang ethnic, I am a Scottish-German-French-Irish-English-Dutch-Native American. (Not in that order).
    Part of the reason racism still exists is because of the self-applied labels that people demand be used.
    My father was born in Texas in 1918, my mother in Missouri in 1920. The kindest words I ever heard them use to describe a black person was "colored" until the 1980's. I can't fault them, they were raised in a time when "Negro" was a proper descriptive term. Funny thing is, my parents were not really prejudiced. They taught me that God created all people, but he made each of us different in some ways. They also taught me that I should not judge a person on race, gender, handicap, or any other physical difference. I was taught that a certain word should never be used to describe a black person, yet I hear comedians and rap artists use the same word to describe other black people. If a white person says that word, it is considered a hate crime, and the person can be arrested. If a black person says it...they should ALSO be arrested. If it is a law applied to everyone except black people, is this not discrimination?

    OK, I will come down from my soapbox.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    My stepfather is from Tobago and is a rather large, very black man. I say this because that is how he describes himself to anyone who has the temerity to describe him as afro-caribbean or afro anything.

    He is proud of being from Tobago and is equally proud of being black. He sees the plethora of other labels as being sops to political correctness and wants nothing to do with them.

    I never met anyone who has dared to utter the "N" word in his presence. As he used to be a professional bodybuilder and now competes on the vets circuit, this doesn't surprise me.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Born in America = American...no other label needed. Born in another country but now an American citizen = (Insert country or area here)-American.
    Hell, if we want to get this dang ethnic, I am a Scottish-German-French-Irish-English-Dutch-Native American. (Not in that order).
    Part of the reason racism still exists is because of the self-applied labels that people demand be used.

    I don't disagree with the sentiment, but oddly, I believe that racism will still be present until we can use these terms when appropriate without thinking better or worse of anybody.

    I don't know of too many people who demand they be called Italian-American or Irish-American. They will typically say Italian or Irish with the American part implied. Does this mean they have not fully acculturated themselves to the United States, not at all. But, I may be telling a story about my Polish(-American) mother cooking Italian for my German-Irish (-American) father, because early on the people in south central Connecticut figured out that the Italian9-AMerican)s cooked better stuff!

    The Mediterranean heritage (Italian, Spanish, Greek) have an earned reputation for artistic greatness, and also for impulsive behaviour. That speaks nothing about any individual Mediterranean, but by and large it bears out. I hope appreciating the developed traits and geniuses of various ethnis heritage doesn't make one a racist. If you yell racist over that type of usage, I believe you cheapen the term.

    Our family is extremely diverse, but we don't hide the ethnic differences, we celebrate them!

    cowboyhater= German/Polish/English/Irish/American Indian
    Mrs. cowboyhater = Dutch/French/Scottish-Canadian (NOT American)
    Agnes cowboyhater=Mexican/Spanish/Russian/Italian
    Mary cowboyhater=African

  11. #11
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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    I hate being called a cracker jk ya it depends. A AfricanAmerican is a black born in america. Other than that there black no pun intended.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    And I am a Scot or Scottish ................ not SCOTCH


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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    CH, you seem to have a good attitude toward this. Maybe I didn't explain myself too well, so let me try again.

    Throughout history, most peoples were segregated by geography. This is still true for the most part. For example, you will rarely see a Huli family (New Guinea) living in Lybia. As time progressed, transportation improved, enabling people to migrate to other areas. However, most people remained in the immediate geographical area of their birth. When migration took place, it was most commonly due to famine, war, or economic reasons, just as it is today.
    As transportation improved, Empires sought to expand their territories. Military conquests resulted in the forced mixing of cultures, such as happened in Europe over the past 2000 years. Former kingdoms were conquered, and the new empire changed boundries that people lived with for centuries. Sometimes, it worked, sometimes not. Had the Roman Empire not expanded into Germany, France, and Britain, the Angles, Gauls, Franks, Celts, and Saxons might still be fighting wars over territory today.
    Most conquests resulted in people being captured for slavery. These people were often removed from their homeland, and taken to serve the wealthy citizens of the conquering empire. This resulted in ethnic groups being spread across much of the known world.
    In America, things happened differently. Exploration for economic advantage was the reason Columbus even found the new world. (Once again, greed is a motivating factor...) Governmental and religious oppression soon led to the influx of various people coming to this country. Early settlers, for the most part, did not oppress the 'savages' already here. In fact, trading with the native people was a way to insure survival. The European governments did not really do much for or against the settlers until they realized the potential for economic gain. That is when they began claiming huge chunks of land 'in the name on the king'. Soon, colonies were formed, with limited authority. Most production and a majority of resources were shipped back to Europe. Taxes were imposed on goods like tea, foodstuffs, etc. Early Americans were seen as a 'captive market' for these goods, and a source of income for the crown. As we all know, the colonists soon got fed up with the way they perceived they were being treated, so revolt took place. European countries, seeking to settle old grudges, soon sided with either the colonists, or with the ruling country. The colonists got lucky...they won. By then, the population was growing, they needed more room, they didn't need the help of the natives, so the Indians were slaughtered or forced to move. Some were taken as slaves.
    This brings me to the next area...the kidnapping of African people to be used for slaves. This was not due to military victory, or even survival. This was all due to greed. Slave ships could be sent to Africa, hundreds of people forced on board, taken to America, and even if half of the potential slaves died, there was still a hefty profit for the traders. Plantation owners in the south found out quickly that a slave was cheap labor for the dirty work in the sugar cane, cotton, and tobacco fields. 90% of the slave traders and owners were cruel, and thought of the slaves as disposable sub-human property.
    Indentured servitude was another method of immigration. many people were so desperate to escape the conditions in their own homeland that they agreed to come to America only to be forced into a form of slavery for a specified time, usually 7-10 years, to pay for the trip. These people, as well as the ones who paid for their trip in other ways, often found themselves in a city where the didn't know the language of most people, so they took jobs that paid little for work no one else would do, lived in clusters of others who spoke their own tongue, usually in slums.
    So far, there is a common theme. Greed. The well-to-do exploited the poor and uneducated, and those who did not have the technology to defend themselves.
    As the 19th century progressed, a majority of Americans realized that slavery was wrong. Soon, slavery was illegal. (No, the Civil War was not about slavery, but State's rights!) However, instead of seeing people of non-white ethnic background as property, they were seen as being less intelligent. Physical differences between whites and non-whites were emphasized to "prove" the inferiority of non-whites, similar to what Hitler did to promote his Aryan ideas. Votes of white male landowners counted as one vote, but non-white citizens only had 3/5ths of a vote. Women and American Indians did not even have this right. Misunderstandings and misinterpretations of traditions and rituals the non-whites had brought with them from their ancestral lands provoked fear in white people. Can you imagine the fear in the eyes of a plantation owner when one of his former slaves expressed his new-found freedom to don a ceremonial tribal mask while wearing body paint and chanting while dancing to the beat of a drum?
    This fear resulted in the forming of groups like the Baldknobbers and the KKK.
    Today, the prejudice toward people is largely due to stereotyping we learned while growing up. In southwest Missouri, there is still a huge percentage of people who think black people all eat chitlins, watermelon, and fried chicken; Mexicans all eat tacos and take siestas; Italians all have bushy mustaches, including the ladies; American Indians all drink firewater; Germans all eat sauerkraut; etc. Most of this is even taught in schools to some extent. (Think about it...don't you see liederhosen in the pictures of Germany in the social studies textbooks?)
    Another reason for prejudice is crime. Watch Cops sometime. 90% or so of the crack cocaine arrests are black people. 90% of the meth arrests are bikers. Then there are shows like Jerry Springer's...did you ever notice how many black transvestites there are on that show? Music is another thing that causes differences. Think of a trailer park, you probably think of a fat old redneck swilling cheap beer while driving his pickup with a rebel flag in the window, his bleached-blond cocktail waitress cousin-wife, hair in curlers, smoking a cigarette.
    Until we can rid ourselves of these pre-judgings (which is a definition of prejudice) there will always be racial problems. While I believe in being proud of one's heritage, the more we apply labels to differentiate ourselves from others the more we drive a wedge between us all. Eliminate the labels, realize we are all one race, the HUMAN race, and things may eventually settle down. Celebrating our ethnic differences is cool. Using our ethnic differences as a means to differentiate ourselves for some advantage, social, economic, or otherwise, is not.

  14. #14
    cowboyhater's Avatar
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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Votes of white male landowners counted as one vote, but non-white citizens only had 3/5ths of a vote.

    You had a lot in there to respond to, and you got the history mostly right, however I just wanted to clarify the above line.

    The 3/5's rule in the Constitution had nothing to do with individual voting rights, it had to do with congressional apportionment, NOT to how much a vote counts.

    Example:

    If Virginia had 300,000 people including 50,000 slaves according to the census, their population for purposes of determining representation in the House of Representatives would be 250,000 + (3/5 * 50,000) or 280,000. The slaves counted as 3/5's of a person for representation purposes, but of course were not allowed to vote.

    The land ownership requirement more or less faded away after the Constitution, though the several states certainly had restrictions that made it easier for land-owners.

    Before the Articles of Confederation, some states even allowed one-man several votes, if he had property in more than one jurisdiction. The land-owner would get in his carriage and spend the day voting.

    One other note, of the various stereotypes you mention, I find most of them innocuous even if largely true. As a VERY pale little boy I LOVED watermelon and fried chicken even before I knew it was a black thing. In college I was lucky ebough to be introduced to Harold's Chicken Shack (extra hot sauce please, see other thread) and Leon's Bar-B-Q. What's wrong with liking good food? I'll take that over boiled British cuisine and all the herring laden Swedish stuff any day! (and the Brits and Swedes I know agree!) I have also found that certain types of ethnic humour cause no harm. I have never met a Scot or a Dutchman who was at all offended over a joke implying that they are cheapskates. They laugh, are proud of the fact, and return with an even funnier joke along the same lines. I'm part Polish, and I do not take umbrage at some of the Polish jokes. If I really had any doubt about brains in Poland, I would review the list of all-time great Polish-born physicists. The list includes Gabriel Fahrenheit (yeah, THAT Fahrenheit) and Madame Curie. The jokes that poke fun at African-Americans are much more often mean-spirited, and served a different (and nefarious) purpose. They also generally concentrate on a small segment of only one sub-culture among all the various kinds of black people in America. Because these jokes are so often different in kind, they are best avoided altogether.

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    Re: St Louis News Who is African-American?

    Celebrating our ethnic differences is cool. Using our ethnic differences as a means to differentiate ourselves for some advantage, social, economic, or otherwise, is not.

    Excellent two line summary.

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