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African american,irish american.why not just american ? - Page 2

post #16 of 46
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
Personally, I think it's a little annoying.

I just use words like Black, Asian, etc to describe race instead of African-American, Asian-American, etc.

When I am not describing race, I just use American.

There are three issues here: nationality, ethnicity ("race"), and culture. It's the last that gains clarification from the hyphenates. "Asian-American" only describes the nationality of a few with dual citizenship, and it's meaningless as an ethnicity, since "American" is meaningless as an ethnicity. Asian-American culture, however, is distinct from both Asian culture and American culture. The same applies to all the other hyphenate-Americans who have any connection with the cultures of their forebears. Yes, all these subcultures are part of the greater fabric of American culture, but they can be"”and frequently are"”discussed separately.

There are also many who find the terms "black" and "white" historically, socially, and politically problematic, since we don't generally refer to other ethnic groups by color except when being derogatory. (It would not go over well to call a group of Chinese-Americans "yellows," or Mexican-Americans "browns.") Using the terms "African-American" and "European-American" can help raise the level of the dialog about race. Awkward and annoying as it may be, the benefits outweigh the detriments.
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig g View Post
d i don't really see the same thing in Europe

Yeah. You just put all your immigrants into the ghettos, deny them educations and jobs, and then constantly remind them that they're not Europeans. They're North Africans, Arabs, Turkish, etc.

For all our faults, we try to integrate people into our society (not always perfectly). Please let your governments know that they should do the same. Thank you.
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
Yeah. You just put all your immigrants into the ghettos, deny them educations and jobs, and then constantly remind them that they're not Europeans. They're North Africans, Arabs, etc.

For all our faults, we try to integrate people into our society (not always perfectly). Please let your governments know that they should do the same. Thank you.

Geez, getting a little defensive, huh?
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Smiley View Post
Geez, getting a little defensive, huh?

What was defensive about it? I also forgot to add that us Americans appreciate European far right parties increasingly gaining influence and flipping out about Polish plumbers stealing jobs. I believe that Vegas odds makers are currently taking bets on which country will have the most riots over the next year.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by pstoller View Post
There are three issues here: nationality, ethnicity ("race"), and culture. It's the last that gains clarification from the hyphenates. "Asian-American" only describes the nationality of a few with dual citizenship, and it's meaningless as an ethnicity, since "American" is meaningless as an ethnicity. Asian-American culture, however, is distinct from both Asian culture and American culture. The same applies to all the other hyphenate-Americans who have any connection with the cultures of their forebears. Yes, all these subcultures are part of the greater fabric of American culture, but they can be"”and frequently are"”discussed separately.
That was beautifully put and I couldn't agree more -- the subcultures of American culture is what defines it most strongly, and any discussion of American culture will require greater specificity at times. If the discussion ended there, I don't think there would be any serious argument about the matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pstoller View Post
There are also many who find the terms "black" and "white" historically, socially, and politically problematic, since we don't generally refer to other ethnic groups by color except when being derogatory. (It would not go over well to call a group of Chinese-Americans "yellows," or Mexican-Americans "browns.")
True; however, I'd claim that the persistence of "black" and "white" descriptors are less a legacy of those 'historical, social, and political' roots than the simple reality that humanity falls into 'more or less Black' and 'more or less White' categories. Chinese people really don't look yellow in tone, nor did Native Americans really look red. But there are darker 'white' people who are still white, though not nearly as white in tone as whole populations in Russia and the former SSRs, just as many 'black' people are really a mid-brown in tone and not nearly as black in tone as many Nigerians or Ghanans. Yet those two descriptors fit most of humanity well and thus will probably always persist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pstoller View Post
Using the terms "African-American" and "European-American" can help raise the level of the dialog about race. Awkward and annoying as it may be, the benefits outweigh the detriments.
Divorced from the comparatively minor role as a cultural descriptor, I think the hyphen-American terms actually lower, if not merely the the level of dialog about race, but the manner in which racial relations are practiced in America, by reinforcing the mindset of a distinct separation other than cultural. Instead of it merely being, "I'm Black, he's White, we're both Americans, both humans," this awkward artifice builds a temple to the notion of The Other, and the more that notion is glorified in such a manner is the more it will serve fear and mistrust and hate, and the less open we will all be to the glory and joys of difference. Regards, Huntsman
post #22 of 46
Honestly, I'd prefer this just "American" thing too. However, WASP Americans and Jews, the two groups that run this country, will never let you forget where you're from. For example, I am of mixed heritage, so I am technically X-Y-American and I really hate this label. I'm sure Tiger Woods' kids are going to have the same problem.
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
Yeah. You just put all your immigrants into the ghettos, deny them educations and jobs, and then constantly remind them that they're not Europeans. They're North Africans, Arabs, Turkish, etc.
You seem incredibly knowledgeable about Europe, as well as being a very nice guy who never gets unduly aggressive. Can I be your best friend?
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Étienne View Post
You seem incredibly knowledgeable about Europe, as well as being a very nice guy who never gets unduly aggressive. Can I be your best friend?

Can I be your ghetto best friend?
post #25 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pstoller View Post
There are three issues here: nationality, ethnicity ("race"), and culture. It's the last that gains clarification from the hyphenates. "Asian-American" only describes the nationality of a few with dual citizenship, and it's meaningless as an ethnicity, since "American" is meaningless as an ethnicity. Asian-American culture, however, is distinct from both Asian culture and American culture. The same applies to all the other hyphenate-Americans who have any connection with the cultures of their forebears. Yes, all these subcultures are part of the greater fabric of American culture, but they can be"”and frequently are"”discussed separately.

There are also many who find the terms "black" and "white" historically, socially, and politically problematic, since we don't generally refer to other ethnic groups by color except when being derogatory. (It would not go over well to call a group of Chinese-Americans "yellows," or Mexican-Americans "browns.") Using the terms "African-American" and "European-American" can help raise the level of the dialog about race. Awkward and annoying as it may be, the benefits outweigh the detriments.

thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
Yeah. You just put all your immigrants into the ghettos, deny them educations and jobs, and then constantly remind them that they're not Europeans. They're North Africans, Arabs, Turkish, etc.

For all our faults, we try to integrate people into our society (not always perfectly). Please let your governments know that they should do the same. Thank you.

who took the jam out of your doughnut ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
What was defensive about it? I also forgot to add that us Americans appreciate European far right parties increasingly gaining influence and flipping out about Polish plumbers stealing jobs. I believe that Vegas odds makers are currently taking bets on which country will have the most riots over the next year.


your joking right
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by pstoller View Post
There are three issues here: nationality, ethnicity ("race"), and culture. It's the last that gains clarification from the hyphenates. "Asian-American" only describes the nationality of a few with dual citizenship, and it's meaningless as an ethnicity, since "American" is meaningless as an ethnicity. Asian-American culture, however, is distinct from both Asian culture and American culture. The same applies to all the other hyphenate-Americans who have any connection with the cultures of their forebears. Yes, all these subcultures are part of the greater fabric of American culture, but they can be"”and frequently are"”discussed separately.

There are also many who find the terms "black" and "white" historically, socially, and politically problematic, since we don't generally refer to other ethnic groups by color except when being derogatory. (It would not go over well to call a group of Chinese-Americans "yellows," or Mexican-Americans "browns.") Using the terms "African-American" and "European-American" can help raise the level of the dialog about race. Awkward and annoying as it may be, the benefits outweigh the detriments.
Great post, I couldn't agree more.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but it seems those that get most upset about hyphenations are likely not in the minority sect. Ironically, these are the same people that believe in strong ethnicity based stereo-types, and seldom venture outside their own culture, unless it's to get Mexican food on Wednesday and Chinese food on Saturday.
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Étienne View Post
You seem incredibly knowledgeable about Europe, as well as being a very nice guy who never gets unduly aggressive. Can I be your best friend?
I appreciate your comments. Please be careful during the next set of riots not to use hyphens when you refer to immigrants in your country. I will now refer to you as mon ami!
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coho View Post
I'm sure Tiger Wood's kids are going to have the same problem.
I can't imagine a scenario under which Tiger Woods' children will have any problem in life.
post #29 of 46
My wife actually dislikes being referred to as an "Asian-American". She says that, for instance, the differences between Japan and VietNam are so great, that to lump them together is silly. Oddly enough, I have always felt the same about the term "white", that to lump the typical phenotypes and cultures of say, Nordic and southern Italian is silly.

I think that really, most attempts at such catch-all labelling is just to give some general indication of a person's physical appearance. It does not always work, i.e. Nordic vs. Mediterranian, but IMO, that is the point of the catch-all.
post #30 of 46
I always use "Canine American " when referring to dogs in my neighborhood.
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