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  #31  
Old 12-14-2013, 06:42 PM
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It can get pretty sticky sometimes.

It doesn't sit well with me to refer to groups of a race by their race. Of course I support them if that's an important part of their identity, but I prefer to think of them as "people" first and "black" or "Chinese" or "Native" last. Occasionally it is relevant, e.g. the Indigenous Peoples are going through a lot of struggles in Canada right now, trying to reclaim their land and their birthrights, so they are acting as a unified group on account of their race. But more frequently, I find that "group labels" are used to generalize about irrelevant aspects of their character. "Blacks are like this" or "Natives are like that." Yech.

Many black people living in the US are not of African descent. I secretly giggle when someone refers to someone who is obviously Jamaican as "African."

Hey, how did Jamaica get full of black people anyway? Geographically, wouldn't it make more sense if they resembled the native populations in Cuba or Columbia?

Many Alaskan Natives only became Alaskan when Canada and the US arbitrarily put up a border. Traditionally, they were nomads, following the herds across barren fields of ice. So genealogically, Alaskan Natives are the same as Canadian Inuits.

We don't have many black people in Canada, and most of them are 1st or 2nd generation immigrants. So if we call them anything, it's Nigerian or Kenyan or Sudanese.

What we do have a lot of is Indigenous Peoples. Colonial genocide was far less effective up here, thankfully. That being said, our government did a real number on their culture.

I'm always surprised that a lot of Natives use the term Indian, and own that label with fierce pride. When I was young, I learned about the misnomer, how the first Europeans thought they'd made it all the way to India. So to me, "Indian" was always the "worst" thing you could call a Native because it was so patently "wrong." But then again, most black people aren't really black, and white people are anything but white.

I also think it's interesting how fiercely Americans guard putting "American" in racial labels. Chinese Americans, African Americans, Native Americans... Rather than "of Chinese descent" etc. But then, Canadians aren't nearly as loud in their patriotism, so I've never been able to relate to that phenomenon.
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  #32  
Old 12-14-2013, 09:26 PM
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Hey Schroedinger-
Also a lot of Alaska Natives are actually from Russian descent. There was a LOT of cross over when the ice was still all of the way across.
Also-Big Diomede and Little Diomede islands; one is Russian and one is US/Alaskan. But there are families that are split between the two-because they are right next to each other.


I also laugh over the African American label because in SO MANY CASES they aren't from Africa (as in the case of several of my friends).
But-I get that in many cases they are.

I also very much agree that too often using race as a label results in overgeneralizations about the group as a whole (which doesn't REALLY exist) when in fact it's only about a small portion of people within the group.

In fact, I was explaining that to someone just last night regarding "poly's"> They had quite a few generalizations about "polys" that they believed. Then, coming to the board, got totally different reactions than they expected and were offended by how all poly's could believe xyz but say/do qrs. I reminded them that there is no such a thing as "all poly's" because we are all different individuals and different ones of us have different things in common, but there isn't a lot of commonalities that we ALL share.
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  #33  
Old 12-15-2013, 12:06 AM
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I should note that I recently encounted "PoC" for any non-Caucasian person. Thoughts?

Labels will always have their advantages and drawbacks. The main advantage being verbal convenience, and the main drawback being the tendency to stereotype (although stereotyping itself has convenience and prejudice as its main advantage and drawback, respectively ...)

I think most of the time racial labels should be avoided, but we can hardly help but use them now and then when talking about racial issues. Just sayin' ...
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  #34  
Old 12-16-2013, 06:54 AM
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When asked for my race on a form of some kind, I always answer "Other" and then if there's a blank beside it, I write "human". When asked for my color, I say "white".

"Race" as a color is a dividing line amongst PEOPLE. There will come a day, one day when the answer to "Race?", from anyone, regardless of skin tone, will be "human". I hope to see it in my lifetime, but I don't think I'll live quite that long.

Kind of like I hope to see people's personal relationships (mono, poly, solo, gay, straight, bi) accepted by EVERYONE, worldwide, without question. It'll happen... eventually.
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  #35  
Old 12-16-2013, 08:35 PM
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This draws my mind somewhat to the relationship anarchist custom of referring to all of the people in one's life as friends.
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  #36  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:21 PM
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I'm a mutt. At least 2 Native American tribes, Irish, and what the family refers to as Black Dutch. I really wouldn't be surprised at anything that could pop up in my family tree. Predominately, my appearance is Irish. I identify personally as mixed, Irish/American Indian. For simplicity's sake I call myself white, mostly because I look freaking arian and no one believes the Native American. I don't really care, though my hubby does for some reason. He's rather defensive of my heritage. Go figure. What do I call decendents of Southern slaves? Southerners. lol When I'm trying to desribe someone I say Black or White, but believe it or not, I'm prone to forget it. "Minnie won't go there! Too many racist rednecks," will suddenly remind me that she is in fact black and that is in fact a bad bar for her to go to even if they do make the best margaritas on the Gulf Coast. I hate that, too. Why can't I take my friend to have a bomb 'rita just because some jerks are going to behave badly about her skin color?

My youngest child probably has it right. That person is brown, that person is tan, that person is white, I'm pink, and they are my best friends.
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  #37  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardInTN View Post
When asked for my color, I say "white".
It would be amusing to answer "skin coloured."
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  #38  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:26 AM
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I'm picturing a box of Crayola crayons with 50 different shades all labeled skin color ...

Best margaritas on the Gulf Coast? Sign me up, I can't say no to that even if it is a racist redneck mixing it ...

"His neck is red as Alabama clay ..."

Alrighty then! (This white devil stuff has gone far enough. Nobody messes with "the do!")
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  #39  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:52 AM
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I'm telling you, Sarah makes a completely to-die-for margarita. Better than any of the local Mexican restaurants. She's not racist, but there are several good ole boy racists there that are very verbal about it. It's very uncomfortable. They're sexist too, but my hubby is a big, bad biker (insert eye roll here) and they stay respectful to me. He tells me their radar is obviously off if they think he's the more dangerous of the two of us. :P I hate that I can't take my friend there. She loves a good margarita almost as much as me.
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  #40  
Old 12-19-2013, 03:49 AM
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That sucks. Too bad they can't bottle it and let you take it home ... d'oh!
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