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Re: CHAT: PC terminology

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Sunday, December 27, 1998, 0:05
On Sat, 26 Dec 1998 17:14:47 -0600 Eric Christopherson <eric@...>
>Nik Taylor wrote: >> > There is however a greater rationale for the adoption of the term >"African- >> > American". After several hundred years of being belittled and >considered of no >> > account whatsoever many "Black" Americans felt that it was time to >avoid being >> > identified by skin color and instead (as other Americans do) use a >term that indicates place and/or ethnicity of origin.
>> But Black is a race. It's a rational counterpart to "White", IMHO. >And >> don't get me started on "Caucasian". :-) Most "Caucasians" have no >> ancestors from the Caucasus mountains. Actually, perhaps the best >terms >> would be something like Negro and Honkey, since those are >non-derogatory >> terms that have no connection (in English) with color. Black and >White >> are problematic because of the many other associations of those >colors (e.g., white=good, black=evil).
>Except that the theory of biological race (as opposed to sociological) >has been discounted. On the subject of "caucasian," I read a few years >ago in Discover magazine that the man who came up with the names of >races such as "caucasian," "negroid," and "mongoloid" called whites >"caucasian" because he thought the people of the Caucasus were the >most beautiful in the world, thus a fitting label for whites.
The problem with all the different classifications of "races" is that they're all so vague, both in their own systems and when compared to others. For instance, i classify Jews, Arabs, and the other Semitic peoples of the Middle East and North-Africa as "caucasian", but *not* as "white". "White" always makes me think of American WASPs and other people of European derivation. Talking about race, it always annoys me when forms that ask to check off an ethnicity always have about 3 or more types of Hispanics and Asians, but only one "White" box. And i can never figure out whether to check off "white" or "other". -Stephen (Steg) ___________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]