CHAT: Race, ethnicity, and hyphenization (was Re: PC terminology)
|From:||Tom Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, December 26, 1998, 18:01|
Nik Taylor wrote:
> list James E. Hopkins wrote:
> > I am an Irish-American (that is an American citizen of Irish descent)=. I have
> > never been to Ireland but my heritage is important to me and I have n=o
> > objection to the term :Irish-American.
> That I also have trouble with, any hyphenated American, for that
> matter. To me, a better term might be American of Irish descent or
> Irish American (no hyphen). Why? It seems to me that if you're an
> American citizen, especially if you were born in America, that part is
> more important. The Irish should be an adjective, or better yet, in a
> prepositional phrase like "of Irish descent". I'm descended from Germa=n
> and English ancestry, but I wouldn't call myself German-American or
> English-American, or German-English-American.
I question why anybody feels the need to label themselves as somethingat =
all. I mean, I
surely think it's important to know your roots, and what
kind of culture you have traditionally celebrated, but at base each perso=
is a unique individual, without parallel... so why pretend otherwise?
> > There is however a greater rationale for the adoption of the term "Af=rican-
> > American". After several hundred years of being belittled and conside=red of no
> > account whatsoever many "Black" Americans felt that it was time to av=oid being
> > identified by skin color and instead (as other Americans do) use a te=rm that
> > indicates place and/or ethnicity of origin.
> But Black is a race. It's a rational counterpart to "White", IMHO.
Well, from what I've read, using the concept of "race" to have anyreal me=
aning is more or
less an invention of society, and does not
have any real biological significance. I would prefer to use neither
> don't get me started on "Caucasian". :-) Most "Caucasians" have no
> ancestors from the Caucasus mountains.
Well, I think that has to do with the Indo-European postulated homeland.B=
ut you're right:
even there it's highly doubtful where exactly the IE peoples
originated. (I prefer northeastern Anatolia, myself, because of some int=
matches between the lexical data and the local species found there).
> Actually, perhaps the best terms
> would be something like Negro and Honkey, since those are non-derogator=y
> terms that have no connection (in English) with color.
Where I come from, "honkey" is not only somewhat derogatory andstereotypi=
ng, but it's just
considered to be very crass, and is thrown
into the category with mild curses like "damn", to be avoided in polite
Tom Wier <twier@...>
ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
"S=F4=F0 is gecy=FEed / =FE=E6t mihtig God manna
cynes / w=EAold w=EEde-ferh=F0."
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