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Subject: Minor language note: Is "African-American" fading in usage? rss

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Rob
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In the build-up to Obama's election and the intervening time to his inauguration, I've noticed a curious trend - and perhaps it's just me. In references to him that also include his ethinicity, probably eight of ten times he's called "black", instead of "African-American". Just curious to know if anyone else has noticed this. I haven't watched the larger trend, though, to see if "-American" is being dropped after Asian, Hispanic, etc.
 
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I've been hearing African American used a lot between last night and this morning. My sample is about eight hours of network and cable news coverage.
 
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Happily, the PC movement has been dying away slowly. Which I find to be a good thing since it was 1) fairly silly in the first place 2) a reason to avoid talking about real issues by instead focusing on labels instead.
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Paul DeStefano
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I think Michael Jackson is the perfect example of African American fading.
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Randy Cox
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I think it all depends on what network/anchor/reporter you are watching.

Personally, I have always preferred "black" to "African American." But what do I know. Until last month, I never knew that "Oriental" was considered a poor choice for those who I am apparently supposed to call "Asians."
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Scott Russell
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To answer OQ, "I certainly hope so!"

I would be sick and tired of being called an British-German-Scandanavian-American or a European-American and I really don't see how African-American would be any better.

Black seems to work, although as a fantasy figure in a (possibly Mercedes Lackey) book said, it's a misnomer. Black is the lack of color and black people are the most colorfully diverse people around.

My favorite PC-ism on African-American was when a skating announcer said Surya Bonale was a French African-American.
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Morgan Dontanville
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African American is silly.

There are a number of Jamaicans that I work with that aren't particularly African.
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sisteray wrote:
African American is silly.

There are a number of Jamaicans that I work with that aren't particularly African.


I think there is a one degree of separation rule. My mothers family are of dutch descent that migrated to South Africa. They don't consider themselves Dutch but Afrikaners.

Jamaicans would be Jamaican.

However this blows up here. As I am not an Afrikaner American, I'm just a Caucasian American.

So does "Caucasian" denotes lineage, color? It's all very confused.
 
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So I'm not a Cracker-American...?
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Jorge Montero
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An African friend liked to remind Americans that he was not an African American, just an African
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Paul DeStefano
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I just checked with one of the guys who works here.

He is dual citizen to Africa and America. And he's a white dude.

What does he get to be called?
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Mike Bourgeois
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Geosphere wrote:
I just checked with one of the guys who works here.

He is dual citizen to Africa and America. And he's a white dude.

What does he get to be called?


Well you could call him Shirley.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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TheLightSarcastic wrote:
'African-American' makes it sound like you're trying too hard. 'Black' is just as inaccurate, but hell, it's shorter.

And I'm an expert on this. To quote a great philosopher, I've fucked more black guys than FEMA.


Wow.

How is 'Black' inaccurate? Should they be called 'Browns'. This whole issue on what to call the different races is ridiculous. How 'bout American (if you are born here or have taken legal steps to become American). To me black, white, etc.. is just a more detail description of the an American when they've commited a crime - otherwise what difference does it make what color or ethnic back ground a person is.
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Isaac Citrom
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Really! One wants to be respectful and inoffensive. But it is increasingly difficult to know what the correct term is at the moment.

Recently in a post I had cause to denote black people, any black people anywhere. I was about to say African American but to my geeky mind that made no sense at all. Thinking about it I didn't know what the analogous term to caucasian was for black people. I hit the Interweb to find out what the correct term was. My research came up with negroid.

Boy was I slammed down. Though it didn't occur to me at the time, I suppose it is because it sounds too much like negro or the worse ni--er. But isn't my usage just like the silly controversies surrounding the word niggardly. It has nothing at all to do with ni--er. It means "stingy" or "miserly." That it sounds like the epithet in question is entirely coincidental.

I was told here that the best term is black, and yet most people I come across who are not American, don't particularly appreciate the term black.

I just wish it would be settled once and for all.
.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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isaacc wrote:

Really! One wants to be respectful and inoffensive. But it is increasingly difficult to know what the correct term is at the moment.

Recently in a post I had cause to denote black people, any black people anywhere. I was about to say African American but to my geeky mind that made no sense at all. Thinking about it I didn't know what the analogous term to caucasian was for black people. I hit the Interweb to find out what the correct term was. My research came up with negroid.

Boy was I slammed down. Though it didn't occur to me at the time, I suppose it is because it sounds too much like negro or the worse ni--er. But isn't my usage just like the silly controversies surrounding the word niggardly. It has nothing at all to do with ni--er. It means "stingy" or "miserly." That it sounds like the epithet in question is entirely coincidental.

I was told here that the best term is black, and yet most people I come across who are not American, don't particularly appreciate the term black.

I just wish it would be settled once and for all.
.


What are they referred to in Canada. African Canadians, African Canooks, or what?
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Tony Allen
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What are Blacks called in Africa: African-Africans?
What are Whites called in Africa: American-Africans?
What are Whites born in Africa now living in the US called: American-African-Americans?
What are Blacks born in America now living in Africa called: African-American-Africans?
What are whites born in America now living in the US called: American-American-Americans?

Labels!? yuk
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Hell even calling someone from the USA an American is silly because someone from Brazil is still from South American, so technically an American. So weird, we usa-ers, need a better identifier.
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spearjr wrote:
Hell even calling someone from the USA an American is silly because someone from Brazil is still from South American, so technically an American. So weird, we usa-ers, need a better identifier.


That's why picking a name for a country is just as important as picking the right name for a baby. Shouldn't be something long and complex like "The United States" and shouldn't rhyme with "butt".




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Jeff Hinrickson
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TheLightSarcastic wrote:
Quote:

Wow.

How is 'Black' inaccurate? Should they be called 'Browns'. This whole issue on what to call the different races is ridiculous. How 'bout American (if you are born here or have taken legal steps to become American). To me black, white, etc.. is just a more detail description of the an American when they've commited a crime - otherwise what difference does it make what color or ethnic back ground a person is.


Hey, I'd love to live in a world where people's skin color wasn't an issue. But unfortunately, there are countless situations where people want to know what color the person was, for reasons noble, malicious, or pointless. It doesn't seem to be going away any time soon, so let's find the most painless way to deal with it and move on.


Which brings me back to my point. Black, White, etc.. are the descriptive elements - African American is just stupid.
 
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Chris R.
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I once read many years ago that the correct term should be Sub-Saharan-American.

The same article mentioned that the correct term for North American Indians, also known as Native Americans, should be Siberian-American.

I've also heard the term Halfrican-American.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Halfrican%20A...

Apparently, the term Afro-American was used immediately before African American. Justice Thurgood Marshall used this term, but critics thought that it sounded too much like a group of people bonded together by a common hair style. Thus this term was given the Shaft.


Certainly no offense intended...
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Mike Bourgeois
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Quote:
What are Whites called in Africa: American-Africans?


I think you might call them a minority.
 
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Mike Bourgeois
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jjloc wrote:
isaacc wrote:

Really! One wants to be respectful and inoffensive. But it is increasingly difficult to know what the correct term is at the moment.

Recently in a post I had cause to denote black people, any black people anywhere. I was about to say African American but to my geeky mind that made no sense at all. Thinking about it I didn't know what the analogous term to caucasian was for black people. I hit the Interweb to find out what the correct term was. My research came up with negroid.

Boy was I slammed down. Though it didn't occur to me at the time, I suppose it is because it sounds too much like negro or the worse ni--er. But isn't my usage just like the silly controversies surrounding the word niggardly. It has nothing at all to do with ni--er. It means "stingy" or "miserly." That it sounds like the epithet in question is entirely coincidental.

I was told here that the best term is black, and yet most people I come across who are not American, don't particularly appreciate the term black.

I just wish it would be settled once and for all.
.


What are they referred to in Canada. African Canadians, African Canooks, or what?


We call them friend as we do all our melting pot brothers and sisters.

 
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My Dad's a retired high school teacher. After retiring he taught in a university teacher-certification program for a few years, placing student teachers in his former district. After that he worked part-time consulting for a textbook publisher. His students of color (teenage and adult) and colleagues in the field of education have been telling him "black" for years.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
isaacc wrote:
My research came up with negroid. Boy was I slammed down.


My research suggests that the correct term for you is "idiot". Hope that helps.
Sigh. Way to constructively add to the discussion there David.
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hibikir wrote:
An African friend liked to remind Americans that he was not an African American, just an African


DUUUUUUDE! my brother-in-law is African. His name is Kwame. Maybe your friend knows him!


please please realize that I'm making a joke.

 
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