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Old 11-25-2013, 09:28 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Default What Should We Call the Descendants of Southern-States Slaves? etc.

Re (from london):
Quote:
"As a half-black person, I'll tell you one thing us ethnics get pissed off about and that's white people deciding what is racist and what isn't. You know, the ones who say don't say this or don't say that are usually the ones who make the most derogatory comments out of sheer ignorance."
With that in mind: What moniker would you prefer for your own race/color/culture? since belonging to that race/color/culture is the only thing that gives you the right to express such an opinon.

And yet, since it's become such a looming hot-button topic, do you (if you're not a member of the ethnic now referred to) dare to share an opinion of what you think the descendants of Southern-States slaves (in the United States) ought to be called? What do you consider the most appropriate and least hurtful label?

If you are a descendant of Southern-States slaves, then you've already answered all the above questions simultaneously. But if you're not, then I at least for one am willing to hear what your opinion is on the matter of labeling the descendants of Southern-States Slaves (in the United States).

Naming your own race/color/culture is "easy." You've an inborn right to do that, so let your voice be heard on that matter at least, I encourage you.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:32 PM
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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?

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:54 PM
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I'm half Jamaican and half white European. I say I am mixed race. Many of my Jamaican family live in the US. They say they are black or African-American. Usually black though, especially those who weren't born in the US. My Jamaican family in the UK just say they are black or black Caribbean or black British on forms.

Last edited by london; 11-26-2013 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:57 PM
london london is offline
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I refer to people by their country of origin, mainly. We tend to call people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Asian rather than people from East Asia. We call a Chinese person, Chinese. Someone who looks Indian, Asian.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
And yet, since it's become such a looming hot-button topic, do you (if you're not a member of the ethnic now referred to) dare to share an opinion of what you think the descendants of Southern-States slaves (in the United States) ought to be called? What do you consider the most appropriate and least hurtful label?
Whatever they as INDIVIDUALS (not a group) prefer.
Which-is where it gets sticky.
SOME of them have a preference for black, others a preference for brown, others a preference for African American, others prefer colored, others prefer..... the list could go on for ages.

When dealing with an individual-or a group small enough to actually address personally, whatever it is that they prefer.
So-my group of black friends prefer black. When I speak of them, that is what I call them.

On the other hand, one of them dated a lady from New York City and she found that VERY VERY offensive. She prefers African American. She tried to push that I needed to refer to THEM as what SHE prefers. That is inappropriate. They and she are in fact individuals and because SHE prefers African American, it's most appropriate to use that term in addressing her race. HOWEVER-that isn't their preference, theirs is black and therefore, it's most appropriate to use black in addressing their race.

Which-is WHOLLY unhelpful when dealing with a conversation on a board like this-where you have people who may or may not share the same or similar races; but absolutely have different preferences.

In that case-you use what you know, and they need to be willing to politely state their personal preference when being addressed personally. THEN you use their preference when dealing addressing things pertinent directly to them.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:02 AM
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Re:
Quote:
"When dealing with a conversation on a board like this -- where you have people who may or may not share the same or similar races; but absolutely have different preferences ...
In that case -- you use what you know, and they need to be willing to *politely state their personal preference* when being addressed personally. *Then* you use their preference when dealing addressing things pertinent directly to them."
Sounds right to me. [Note the added "politely state" emphasis.]

P.S. Observe the thread title: "What Should We Call the Descendants of Southern-States Slaves? etc."

About that "etc." part: I consider a big chunk of it to be this question: How would you like your own race/color/culture to be treated, especially if you're of a minority race/color/culture, and the person/s "treating" you are of the majority race/color/culture?

And if some Caucasians (or other majority group) want to describe what they consider the best way to treat this or that minority race, I won't complain (but can't promise you won't get the evil eye from london if you do! ).

@ london ... your choices and preferences make sense and illustrate the unpretentious, logical approach to "the nomenclature problem."
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:05 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Slavery was legal in all of the United States for centuries. So narrowing down the category to descendants of southern states actually excludes many people whose ancestors were enslaved outside of the South. I suggest 'descendants of slaves' instead.

And now back to discussion. Sorry, my inner historian had to be heard!

And descendants of people enslaved outside of the US - the Caribbean, Brazil, other parts of Latin America - have a different cultural background than those whose ancestors were enslaved here.

I have heard a few African immigrant acquaintances say they were ambiguous about the term 'African American'. They are indeed African, and are now American. However African American refers to the collective experience and history of the descendants of people from Africa who were brought to the US centuries ago and enslaved. It is not a good 'fit' for people who recently immigrated from Africa to the US - their ancestors were not slaves and their historical background and cultures are very different from how African American is typically understood. Of course, this is a tiny, anecdotal sample and can't be assumed to be representative.

But, yeah, ultimately it boils down to 'politely ask preferences and then use said preferences'.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:36 PM
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I'm only a minority when I'm in certain places.
I refer to myself as a mutt. I LOOK white. So most people make that assumption and don't ask. Which is fine.

I honestly don't care what people refer to me as in regards to race.
I also don't care what color labels people use for the various races that I am related to (my kids are 3 different races, my grandsons are a 4th and my nephews are a 5th and my nieces are all a 6th).
I think the color labels take out a lot of the vitriol that comes with other designations. For example "Latino". Our PR family HATE being referred to as Latino OR Mexican OR Spanish. They prefer to stick to PR, but other people feel differently. My group of friends hates being referred to as African American, but others feel differently. My nephews don't care but their parents are bothered by "Eskimo" because that's only ONE of like 9 Alaska Native groups and it isn't' theirs. (My close friend who is also my ex boyfriend finds that one VERY annoying too. He's Aleut.)

On the other hand, my son-in-law is one or another American Indian-he simply doesn't tell anyone which and keeps it simple by leaving it at American Indian. So my grandsons are in the same boat (I'm sure we could find out if we wanted to-but why?).

GG and our daughter are Chinese. He prefers not to acknowledge or address it at all. He feels that since he can slide under the radar, it's better for him TO slide under the radar. But his mom and grandmother-could not. Their features are obvious. They don't like "oriental". They prefer specifically "Chinese". My daughter doesn't give a damn at this point and honestly-probably never will. We talk about it, she thinks it's very cool that she is part Chinese, but our family and social group are just so lax about terminology and everyone is accepted-so it's not a big defensive topic for her.

My nieces are black. They prefer to be referred to as black, not suprising as their parents and grandparents are the same way. But-again-they aren't living in an environment that has a lot of reminders or left over overt behaviors of racism towards blacks. They DO see A LOT of racism towards Alaska Natives (we all do) and it shows up in how defensively the different Alaska Native Groups react to being called by a different groups name (Aleut, Inupiat, Tlinkit, Eskimo, Athabaskan...). Most often it's people new to our area who do that. The people who have lived here the longest usually don't use specific designations like that without actually knowing the person.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:47 PM
EdmCouple EdmCouple is offline
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I generally just call them people.
Although we may look different. Take away the skin and we are all the same.
I really feel the longer people keep debating on what to call one race or another we are just perpetuating racism. We are all people. Just my .02
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:28 AM
london london is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdmCouple View Post
I generally just call them people.
Although we may look different. Take away the skin and we are all the same.
I really feel the longer people keep debating on what to call one race or another we are just perpetuating racism. We are all people. Just my .02
Many people feel their race is a positive part of their identity and would like it acknowledged. But youve just decided that their race is irrelevant.
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