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

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Old 01-22-2004, 02:48 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

Quote:
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, 04:49 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, 05:53 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, 10:05 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, 10:09 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, 10:36 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 01-22-2004, 11:33 PM   #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, 05:32 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, 07:26 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, 08:29 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, 06:29 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, 06:36 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, 08:06 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, 12:04 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, 08:56 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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Old 01-24-2004, 11:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
That is, why is someone who comes from say, France or Sweden, originally, automatically an American by virtue of having white skin,


Could it be because they were

not

lynched?
or denied the right to vote in the South until the 1960s?
or denied public accommodations?

I could go on and on,

I wonder about the environment in which some of you were raised.
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn

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
It is an interesting debate, for ANY "race" I think and I'm not really sure what to think.

Take the above: we will consider Marty Dutch Dutch, but what does that make me? I'm 100% Dutch and I KNOW my family lineage is Dutch as far back as the 1600s, and yet, I'm just "white" "caucasian" or simply "American" b/c I'm not a citizen of the Netherlands and have never been there. But I was born with a Dutch name, raised in a Dutch community among an entirely Dutch family and though English is my first and only fluent language, we often communicate using certain old Dutch phrases that a lot of "Dutch" people in the Netherlands wouldn't understand. Am I wrong to consider myself Dutch?

So what makes us what we are? The color of our skin? Our citizenship? Language? Or our family lineage and how we were raised? I'm not sure....
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:40 PM   #18
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*thank you Angel Of Harlem* for warning U2LB #again# for his poisonous tone.

I just 'met' him first time, just before reading this theard, in the just closed thread U2 & Politx started on racism. U2&PX & Verte if you stop by here again, I'm so sorry you lived anywhere near KKK folks <shivers>!

Racism has been strong in The North as well. And still is. I'd have sited more speciffically [in there] several NYT's specialized surveys they did, which showed institutionalized racism is still alive & well in major areas of Black people's lives [jobs, housing, medicaltreatment] and of of course other people of color as well. We have Klan & neo-nazi White power types up here, too.

In fact [my] New York State was one of /if not the the last Northern State to abolish slavery [before the Civil War]

As for the sociology late 1800's stuff..... sorry i can't remeber who just posted that and on my public netcafe I usually can't bring up a second screen [ i could refer back to] !

I believe this 3 race movement was part of the Eugenics movement of America. which started to officially catagorize people as inferior using physcal differences as one major benchmark.

This stuff eventually made it's way over to Europe, particullarly Germany. It's unfortunately true that the Nazis got a good portion of their horrific views from this American Movement.

Was I horrified [as an American] when i found this out about ? 10 years ago!
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:33 PM   #19
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No prob dazzledbylight it shouldn't be much more of a problem in here now...lol

Interesting question LivLuv. I've wondered about this myself and noticed it is somewhat more common, or perhaps more noticeable in people who's ties are linked to older and at times not so older cultures which vary from the 'typical' western one. I'm not sure how to word this so as not to sound like I'm stereotyping because that's not the point I am trying to make at all, but if our roots are linked back to a certain culture (which coincidently also means a somewhat more physical difference) are we more likely to describe ourselves as that? Like a Chinese Australian. Australian means very little, but the aspect of a person's identity which links them to Chinese culture is worth mentioning because it is not so much related to how the average Australian lives? I'm half English, but would never call myself that because not only do I not see myself as this when asked, but because who cares about an English heritage? It's not *that* different to the Australian one today. Whereas a person who says to me "I'm Chinese Australian" indicates to me there is pride and attachment to their roots of the culture which is not so common place here, in that we don't live many of the aspects which make the Chinese culture what it is.
Insert any example, like African, Japanese, Maori, Aborignal, Indian etc and they're the ones which vary more than say English, American, Dutch even and so on. Is it culture?

Anyway, I'm getting way off track and probably rambling, I hope this makes sense though.
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Old 01-29-2004, 10:07 PM   #20
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styles of emotional differences

AoH- makes sense to me and seems you have a interesting observation.

I have found at times that in America in some places as least, where "WASPY" [white-anglo Protesten ?sp] behavoir is the norm, that is- usually keeping the emotions close and barely revealed, except in more extreme circumstances, that I am very stifled with that.

I was mostly raised around my first generation Greek big family, whose usually quite expressive style was NOT the general norm - especially 35 years ago. It's still not in many places in America.

In fact Ifound the expressive style of many Black Americans [exccept for those who adopted/absorbed the WASP behavior surounding them], much more comfortable to be around. As too, the Irish & the Italians, <and probably middle easterners- if I'd known any when i was in my younger years>.
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