When Is An African American Not An African American? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-22-2004, 03:48 PM   #1
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Normal When Is An African American Not An African American?

When he's white (?).

Students disciplined for award campaign

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OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) -- Officials disciplined students who papered their nearly all-white high school with posters advocating a white student from South Africa for the school's "Distinguished African American Student Award."

Peggy Rupprecht, spokeswoman for the Westside Community Schools district, said administrators at Westside High School discovered more than a hundred of the posters throughout the school first thing Monday -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"The content of the posters, they believed, was inappropriate and insensitive to some members of our school community," Rupprecht said.

Citing privacy policies, Rupprecht said she could not specify what the penalties were or how many students were disciplined. But the mother of the boy pictured on the posters said he was suspended for two days.

The award has been given the last eight years to an outstanding black student as part of the school's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, she said.

The poster pictured junior Trevor Richards, 16, smiling and making a thumbs up sign. A message at the top encouraged votes for him for next year's award.

Karen Richards said her son and his friends were not trying to hurt anyone.

"My son is not a racist," she told the Omaha World-Herald. "He has black friends, friends from Bangladesh and Egypt. Color has never been an issue in our home."

"It was a very innocent thing," she said.

Two of her son's friends were disciplined along with him, she said. A fourth student was punished for circulating a petition Tuesday criticizing the practice of recognizing only black student achievement with the award, she said.

Tylena Martin, a junior, said the poster had been on the door to her homeroom class where she is the only black student. She said she felt hurt by the posters and the backlash that ensued.

According to 2002-2003 state statistics, 56 Of Westside's 1,632 students are black.
It is fairly clear that students involved acted in an insensitive and hurtful manner.

But this raises an interesting question. Is the term "African American" the PC version of "Black" or does it refer to anyone whose heritage stems from the African continent?
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:49 PM   #2
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well white africans heritage doesn't stem from africa it stems from somewhere in europe. It would be like one of us claiming to be native american just because we were born in america, we all know that that's not what native american refers to.
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Old 01-22-2004, 06:53 PM   #3
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So, white South Africans who move to America must skip their African heritage and only reference their Dutch heritage?
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Old 01-22-2004, 11:05 PM   #4
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good question nbc
well i suppose if someone asked then where they were from they would say that they were dutch african or something like that, i don't really know. Too bad there is no one here from africa that could give us a better answer. My mother was born in africa to american parents, but moved as a baby so she has never considered herself african. I guess in my original reply i was more refering to racial categorization. They would probably say they were from african instead of refering to themselves as african american so not as to confuse people.
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Old 01-22-2004, 11:09 PM   #5
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This is nothing but people abusing the labels that we place on each other. It's unfortunate that we live with these labels in the first place.
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Old 01-22-2004, 11:36 PM   #6
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One branch of my family has lived in Africa for a hundred years. They consider themselves African, even though they are of a mixed Italian-Croat heritage. My uncle who lives in Namibia is African first. He is 56 years old, and he was born in the desert and never left it. He's got a PhD in geophysics, has lived with the tribes of the Namib for long periods of time and he considers himself to be African. It's hard to tell people how to feel just because we'd like to put them in neat little boxes...
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Old 01-23-2004, 12:33 AM   #7
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Actually, we are all of African descent. Scientist have found the nearest common ancestor for everyone alive today through study of DNA Genealogical map everyone has. An man living in Africa 60,000 years ago has the distinction of being the nearest common ancestor for all humans alive today.
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:32 AM   #8
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I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. One very surprising thing I learned in Sociology is that virtually all sociology professors and related text books claim that there is no such thing as race. It took me a while to understand this but once I did, it was like seeing the world from a different view. The only reason we believe in race is because we have been taught by family, friends, and western society to just accept it. Before the theory of the 3 races was published in the late 1800s, not many people accpeted it then. The reason most Sociologists don't believe in race is because most people base race on biological factors (such as skin color, hair texture, facial features, etc.). These biological factors have been found in every race and no one biological trait has been found to be completely limited to any one group. Therefore, we find "white" people with traits found in "black" people and any other group and vice versa. Its hard to really explain it, but most sociologists believe categorizing people by ethnic origin is much more acurate.
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Old 01-23-2004, 08:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
So, white South Africans who move to America must skip their African heritage and only reference their Dutch heritage?
Or English? But wait, what if they were originally Irish? Or German? Or what if they don't know anymore?

BTW, I'd like you all to refer to me as being Dutch Dutch (although I only know my family lineage from the 1850's onwards, or so).

C ya!

Marty
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Old 01-23-2004, 09:29 AM   #10
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I've never liked that term, though I've used it out of habit now. Not all Africans are black, and not all blacks are from Africa, so it's not a very useful phrase.

SD
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Old 01-23-2004, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
I've never liked that term, though I've used it out of habit now. Not all Africans are black, and not all blacks are from Africa, so it's not a very useful phrase.

SD
I don't like it either. Another useless label if you ask me.
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Old 01-23-2004, 07:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
I've never liked that term, though I've used it out of habit now. Not all Africans are black, and not all blacks are from Africa, so it's not a very useful phrase.

SD
Agreed.

Also, lov12113...that's very interesting. Certainly makes sense to me.

Angela
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Old 01-23-2004, 09:06 PM   #13
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This is a really interesting case. The whole African-American, Asian-American etc thing has always annoyed me for some reason. Why aren't they all just Americans? That is, why is someone who comes from say, France or Sweden, originally, automatically an American by virtue of having white skin, yet someone whose family may have been in America for 200 or 300 years still called African-American just because their skin is still dark?

It reminds me of a quote from the Simpsons ...

Apu: Today, I am no longer an Indian living in America. I am an
Indian-American.
Lisa: You know, in a way, all Americans are immigrants. Except, of course Native Americans.
Homer: Yeah, Native Americans like us.
Lisa: No, I mean American Indians.
Apu: Like me.
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:04 AM   #14
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...

The term African-American is used for people with a skin tone darker than the spice cinnamon. The term "African-American" is usually only used by someone when they are looking for a handout or something for nothing. When this person goes to a shoe store, they call themselves black or in the black community they refer to each other using the 'n' word. Although, when this same black person is looking for an easy way to get into college or to get onto to the welfare roll, this is where suddenly they whip out the term "African-American". It has the same effect as displaying a senior-citizens discount card, it usually helps in an attempt to get to the front of the line and to get a discount, and is only used for those instances.

What I usually like to do when I encounter one of these people in society, I like to question them about Africa, and have them name to me at least 5 countries out of the 52 countries in Africa. Usually this weeds out 99% of them on the spot, then I send them on their way.

I like to ask these so called African-Americans what it's like swimming in Lake Malawi or crossing the Nawib Desert or what it's like to wake up in your bed in the morning with a Goliath beetle in your bed. And once again, 99% of these self-proclaimed African-Americans stare at me and are perplexed, that is when I know that I'm looking at an American who wants something for free, not an African-American.
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:56 AM   #15
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U2LipstickBoy, you have been warned about your racially biased posting. I do not wish for us to contact you again about this. If you choose to not refrain, your access to this forum will be restricted. We can't get more clear.
Stick to your views, but dont pepper your responses with such hatred. You are offending people.

Ok?
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