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Re: CHAT: US ancestry [was Re: FWD [OT but interesting] Arctic

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Monday, August 19, 2002, 3:01
Quoting John Cowan <jcowan@...>:

> Thomas R. Wier scripsit: > > > I got those from the US Census website. I looked for other > > kinds of ancestry listed, but I didn't find any then. It may > > well be that all caucasian ancestries are grouped to gather, > > all mongoloid ancestries, etc. Which would still be worrisome, > > since it implies that race *does*, somehow, have meaning. > > Of course it has meaning. Socially constructed meaning, to be sure, > still meaning. [...] For this purpose, at least, being an > African-American is a matter of what other people believe about you, > and its connection with ancestry or appearance is indirect.
Right. I should have been clearer about specifying "biological meaning". My question was why the ancestries seemed to be grouped in terms of inclusion in one or another race, since the ancestries listed there were not all European, but were for the most part all Caucasians (e.g., both English and Iranian, but not Han Chinese). In any event, I didn't mean to suggest that the US government should ignore the phenomenon of race, since it is clearly still important in our society. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier Dept. of Linguistics "Nihil magis praestandum est quam ne pecorum ritu University of Chicago sequamur antecedentium gregem, pergentes non qua 1010 E. 59th Street eundum est, sed qua itur." -- Seneca Chicago, IL 60637


John Cowan <jcowan@...>