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What is African-American?

  1. Feb 4, 2004 #1
    Check out this link


    Firstly, I believe that, ideologically, I'm not rascist and recognise the humour in this affair.

    My view is that the South African guy was just proclaiming that he was the African-American Student of the Year. Having prizes being awarded in such cases really breeds racism rather than encourages intergration.

    Also, it's really disgusting to see that he's been labelled "neo-nazi." It just shows that to these people, racism and prejudice still exist and being PC is just a figment of the imagination.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2004 #2


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    Do you mean that you believe that racism and prejudice do not exist? Because if then, well, er... I'm afraid you are rather mistaken.
  4. Feb 4, 2004 #3


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    Obviously, he is Afrikaan-American.

  5. Feb 4, 2004 #4
    The kid is likely a racist, or maybe just a jackass. He is NOT some smart kid making a point about race relations. That was the lie that the racists made up after the fact.
  6. Feb 4, 2004 #5


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    I don't know, but it must be similar to me being an Italian-American.
  7. Feb 4, 2004 #6
    lol i know people that go to that school and i have been there many times myself! Ill ask around to get the inside scoop.
  8. Feb 4, 2004 #7
    What compels you to make that assumption?
    I think the kid was perfectly right.
    Not only was it clever and well-aimed satire, but there is no reason that he actually shouldn't be considered for this award based solely on his color.
    Wasn't that the real root of King's desire?
    Shouldn't it be ours?

    I think that anyone who takes offense to this is much more of a racist than this kid seems to be (based solely on the facts of this case).
  9. Feb 4, 2004 #8
    Yes, but generally speaking, african-american awards are given because the general african-american student has to overcome adversity to succeed (ex. low income, single parent, racism) If he is from south africa, white, and probably well off, then what adversity has he overcome?
  10. Feb 4, 2004 #9
    I don't think that being PC is a figment of the imagination.
    I do think, however, that the justifications and validations of it are farcical at best.

    This kid should be applauded for what he did.

    If it IS an award for "African Americans", then he should qualify.
    In fact, he is more qualified than the black students at the school.
    a.) He was born in Africa, therefore is more of an "African American" than any of the students born in America.
    b.) Being black-skinned does not necessarily imply that your ancestors came from Africa (anymore than mine did tens of thousands of years ago), and unless you can show proof of your lineage (which this kid CAN), then you really don't know if you are "African American".

    If it is an award for black students only:
    a.) They should be honest and rename it.
    b.) It is racist in origin and encourages segregation and should be abandoned anyway.
  11. Feb 4, 2004 #10
    "African American" or "Black"?
    PC ceases to be a positive helpful device when it is not honest.
  12. Feb 4, 2004 #11
    Good point raven, but I would say that this goes back to the old 'a square is always a rectangle but a rectangle is not always a square.' meaning that the label given to blacks in the US as 'african-americans' is always true(as far as we are concerned) but african-americans are not always black.

    The PC term african american is not wrong in most senses, but has been incorrectly identified in the case of awarding adversly affected blacks.
  13. Feb 4, 2004 #12
    But, like I said above, being black-skinned does not necessarily imply that your ancestors came from Africa (anymore than mine did tens of thousands of years ago).
    Not all dark-skinned people's ancestors came from Africa (except, of course, if you go back to the dawn of humanity, but then we are ALL Africans).
    Adversely affected blacks?
    I wonder...
    Do you mean to apply that to all balcks due to racism and history?
    Or do you mean to apply that to people that have been personally directly affected in their lifetime? As in, the award should be offered to students that have displayed the ability and strength it takes to overcome what obstacles have been placed directly in their path due to racially inspired reasons.
  14. Feb 5, 2004 #13
    Maybe we should just call these people 'former slaves' it seems to me that this is the only term that will fit.
  15. Feb 5, 2004 #14
    If any of them had actually been slaves.
  16. Feb 5, 2004 #15
    I'm betting he didn't mean it as anything but a way to be rude, while having a handy excuse.

    *edited to add* On the other hand, the reaction was a bit overblown, too. He's a smarta$$, not a Nazi.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2004
  17. Feb 5, 2004 #16
    I still believe that they exist - especially after the article. I do get where you are coming from - don't worry. Probably just a micks up with tha engaleesh!

    I hope that this doesn't offend anyone but I think a big probelm is the actual label of "African-American." It has been effectively parodied by this kid from SA and I think for good reason. The problem is actually coming up with a term that correctly identifies the racial group known as "African-Americans."

    Realistically, I believe that all racial terms should be done away with but in reality, they won't go away as there exists a catch-22 becoz by doing away with 'em, your culture is going to suffer but by still having them, segregation will always exist.
  18. Feb 5, 2004 #17


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    Hmm, the black people I know don't seem to have a problem with "black". It doesn't come up much though. I don't generally say things like, "Good morning Ed who is black." or "Hi Black man Phil." I suppose we could call echother caucasoid, negroid and mongoloid, but the mongoloids would probably object.

    Maybe if we call each other the most vile racist slurs imaginable for a generation, we will be desensitized to it, and it won't matter. Then we can get along just fine ... the survivors could anyway.

  19. Feb 6, 2004 #18
    Quit being facetious. Everybody knows that "african-american" means black.

    The fact that somebody would see an award for african american student was ripe for satire says a lot about that person.
  20. Feb 10, 2004 #19

    jimmy p

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    HOWEVER that is NOT the point. The fact that he is ACTUALLY african-american should mean that he is entitled to the award. Probably more so then the blacks who have emigrated. Its like saying that you can only be american if you are a Native American Indian or whatever. You class yourselves as Americans but according to your views you should not be.

    If it were solely supposed to be a 'black' award then the should call it a Black Award. But then they wouldnt be able to include half-castes. I think it is just a racist prejudice because they can get away with it. If they had an award for white people then it would be classed as Racist. People should sort their ideals out, they cant have the best of both worlds.
  21. Feb 11, 2004 #20


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    Isn't afro-american a better word?

    I do think the term is over-sensitive though. I used to work with an 'African-American' lady, and she would get very irritated any time someone would refer to a person to be black (as in: "-who is john? -the black person"). According to her we should be saying African-American How do I know based on skin color what the origin of a person is? Why would that even matter??
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