I, personally, am pretty easygoing about how you refer to my ethnicity. I hereby grant you permission to call me Caucasian, white, honky, cracker, or whatever floats your boat. Just say it nicely (and I consider a poke in my ribs to be nice)! That's all I ask.
Re: the real hot-button topic here ... I personally prefer "blacks" (and "whites" when comparing the races), due to its convenience if not its literal accuracy. It offends some "blacks" but pleases others. Thus I think it's the closest we'll get to "pleasing everyone."
On the other hand, you will often hear me say "African American" because I think that a number of African Americans hate the word "blacks" (and colored folks, and Negroes, and certainly "the N word" even though I acknowledge African Americans' inferred right to use the N word to describe each other if they so desire) and I characteristically try to offend the least number of people possible.
I really don't have a "personal preference" about what word I use to describe "them." I'd be more than happy if they could tell me a word (or words) that they could stand/live with. Then I'd use that word (or words) from now on. But I fear that the ethnic in question isn't unified in the area of what they themselves should be called.
Which makes me kind of sad.
But, when have semantic contraversies ever let us poor polyamorists alone? It should surprise no one that this particular semantic contraversy has come to haunt us here.
So ... what do *you*
think of all this?