The Not Mostly "African American" Card

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by faceking, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    So I'm in the DMV today (getting a preview of how Obamacare would operate, if it's allowed to proceed), and there's this older Filipina lady customer screaming out "THIS IS RACISM! THIS IS RACISM!!!" waving some form AV-99577 in the air to the both the African American and Asian American service reps (I think another Filipino.... technically a Pacific Islander, but I'll keep this easy for the East Coasters). Found that amusing, as did the 2 African American teenagers next to me whom did a hilarious reenactment of her accent "DEEESH ESH LRASCISM!". Got me thinking about race, and then wonder why ppl that are not a majority (but partly) of African American tend to identify themselves as such, and/or use it to an advantage, and/or likewise the rest of society does so, often to place them on a Mt Zeus of "advancement of ______,_____" for African American peeps

    For example, in my measure, the greatest African American golfer of all time is... Calvin Peete.

    The greatest Asian American golfer is Tiger Woods (Tiger is of half-Asian, quarter-African), yet he commonly referred to as Afircan American, and rarely, if ever, as an Asian.

    Also, if Obama is the 1st African American president, then should he not also be the 44th white president of the US? Technically speaking?

    I suppose it's appearance, association, upbringing etc vs measure of actual lineage. While I'm at it, I think I've personally met 334,908 ppl to (when running off their ethnic lineage) to espouse 1/16th of some native American Indian tribe (99% of the time the "Hollywood" ones, too - Cherokee or Navajo, and never anything like Mi-Wok or Ohlone or Yupik)... digressing.

    BTW: My local boy Rex does THE seminal Filipino impersonation, for those unfamiliar w/ a Filipino-American accent and the fun one can have thereof. YouTube - Rex Navarette Classique...
     
  2. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Beyond the belittled mentioning of the word Obamacare, this is not even a political subject. What is the point of this?
     
  3. SpeedoMike

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    what caused her to claim racism? did she fail the written test?!!!
     
  4. MercyfulFate

    MercyfulFate New Member

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    African American doesn't even make sense unless you were a resident of some country in Africa during your life.

    The whole hyphenated name thing is PC garbage. A white man from Africa who resides in the US would be African American. A black man who grew up in the US would not be.

    The only people that say it are scared white people who think black is offensive, but will say white for example.
     
  5. nudeyorker

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    If I could actually understand the point of this thread and what conversation the OP intended to illicit I would be more than happy to try to participate but I don't have a good point of reference to start. What was the point of this thread?
     
  6. petite

    petite New Member

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    I'm not really sure.

    Although, I would like to point out a phenomenon that seems to be common among all races and nationalities. When it comes to mixed race people, other people seem to strongly notice what isn't similar, and overemphasize that difference, hence the probable reason why someone who is only partly African American would call themselves black. In Asia, people see me as white. In America, Caucasians see me as Asian. A lot of mixed race people feel stuck in limbo because of that tendency of people to see "other" instead of what makes a person similar to themselves, by which I mean that they don't notice the 8,763 ways a person is just like themselves, but that one thing that stands out that makes someone different: gay, black, Asian, Republican, Catholic, college educated, etc.
     
  7. nudeyorker

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    Good point petite, since I don't really know what this thread is about I don't think I'm derailing it. I was having a conversation with someone last night about something that happened to me in college it involved someone refusing to accept or see a difference.

    I had dated someone for a few weeks and finally a religious discussion came up and he absolutely flipped out when I told him I was jewish. He had really been raised to hate jews. Our breaking up argument consisted mostly of him telling me I was not jewish and my parents were not jewish, because I did not have horns on my upper forehead as he had been taught as a child.

    I've gotten over it but I've never forgotten that conversation.
     
  8. D_Plenty OToole

    D_Plenty OToole New Member

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    Usually the hyphenated identifiers (Italian-American, Irish-American) are used to identify a person's ethnic heritage. BTW Mercyful, I would love to have all Irish-Americans who were born in the USA stop telling me about being Irish, but unless that kind of sweeping unenforceable social reform is what you're talking about, then I think that what you are writing seems like thinly veiled racism. Secondly, you would not call a white person from Africa African-American. Nor would you call a black person from Africa African-American. You would identify them as Zimbabwean-American, or Kenyan-American, etc. I'm sorry that some of you do not think that there should be an appropriate way to identify a large ethnic minority in this country that was forced to come here against their will, have no way of identifying their actual ethnic heritage because all records of it were obliterated by slave traders and owners, and who are responsible for creating much of the wealth that allowed this country to grow and win independence.

    BTW I live in New Jersey and I am quite familiar with Filipino's but thanks for looking out for me;)
     
  9. petite

    petite New Member

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    Wow. I am so sorry you had that experience. Nothing like that has ever happened to me. I would have thought that having gotten to know you, he would have been confronted with the fact that he obviously liked you and that would affect and change his prejudices. Instead he attempted to resolve the cognitive dissonance by believing that you weren't Jewish? :confused:

    Surely you're joking about the horns part, right? I laughed. It's a joke, right? I wouldn't know. I didn't know that there were actually people who were prejudiced against Jews until I grew up, and I still haven't met anyone who is, at least as far as I know. I suppose there could be people like that in my social circle and since the subject has never come up, I'm unaware of their feelings.
     
  10. nudeyorker

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    Thanks for your thoughts; no I was not joking about the horns thing. I actually met someone about 16 years ago who was stupid enough to confess that he was raised to believe that as a child also. I have subsequently become very ambivalent about people who grew up in rural christian communities.
     
  11. D_Plenty OToole

    D_Plenty OToole New Member

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    People can be real assholes. I think the important thing is whether someone wants to change. In America we have all been raised in a racist society. I think it is difficult to extract all of the racist ideas we've been exposed to growing up, if we are not honest with ourselves and if others aren't forgiving. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that you should forgive anybody. And fuck that horns shit. I actually met an older African_American lady once who told me that she was raised to believe that white people were literally the devil. LMAO, I could see how a person of a certain generation could believe that.

    What the hell was I talking about? This is what happens when there is no point to a thread, I guess.

    @Petite. Seriously, I want to friend you but your profile is like Fort Knocks.
     
  12. B_curb

    B_curb New Member

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    It is not always the case that using heritage is a way to dismiss people for their differences. The fact that someone is born in the U.S does not mean that they have only been influenced by that culture alone. This would be an expectation of some Americans that those who enter the country assimilate (worst case scenario) or integrate( best case scenerio) to american culture. By expressing your heritage african american for example offers the opportunity to share an interest and further understanding of cultures that are of their own.
    As well the use of brown skined persons, as appossed to african american, allows the individual not to be grouped by one notion of where brown skined persons come from.
    My point being there is not just one idea of what american is, it is the diversity of cultures that can come toghether sharing parts of each others experiences. Without that it would simply be a country of all one notion and little growth.
     
  13. Countryguy63

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    I'm probably gonna get in trouble for this, but I'm personally sick of race being considered anything but "heritage". That probably doesn't "write" like I'm intending, but I'll see if I can explain.

    When I see a "black" person, I don't see them any different than when I see a "blonde headed" person. I don't see an "Asian" person, any different than I see a "muscled" person.

    Any difference I see, is just a physical characteristic, not a "type of person". It's all people with individual characteristics.

    I dunno, maybe just a dumb hick, but I just don't get it. To me, classifying people by "race" is pin headed :tongue:
     
  14. Daisy

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    Agreed.

    I'm 3/4 of a certain country (father born in that country) and yet I consider myself to be 100% American.

    Playing the race card is lame, esp when described by the OP. I believe that was the point of this thread.
     
  15. D_Plenty OToole

    D_Plenty OToole New Member

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    I'm not going to reply to anyone in particular here, but just state some things that I think are relevant. First, deciding whether someone is playing the "race card" or not is a pretty slippery slope. Using that term seems to deny the fact that racism exists. Secondly, (and I have no idea at all about the backgrounds racially or ethnically of anyone here) deciding whether racism exists in a situation isn't just decided by the people involved. We are raised in a society. Society and it's institutions (Gov, schools, religion, etc.) teach us what to believe. I'm not suggesting that we are brainwashed automatons. Our parents and our own experience informs us too, but just because you can find a brown person to say racism doesn't exist, doesn't make it so.

    Here's my little anecdote. I am half Italian American and the rest is very mixed. I get mistaken for everything:

    Pakistani
    Indian
    Mexican
    Native American
    Puerto Rican
    I'm sure there are others I have forgotten

    Anyway. I grew up in an Italian American neighborhood. I-A People who knew me discriminated because I wasn't "really" I-A. I moved to a pretty much all white town when I was a teen. There was a small PR population there. All the white kids thought I was PR and picked on me and all the PR kids thought was white and picked on me. As an adult I have lived mostly in the urban North Eastern USA. Relatively speaking, most people see me as white. A lot has to do with the way I speak, since I only know English and have no accent. I am pretty brown, but compared to the diverse population here, I am usually white. I moved to Maine for a year. 98% white. I would get followed around department stores by security. And I actually had a store owner in a rural town show me his gun and tell me his store was "closed."

    My point. Saying you don't "see" race doesn't fly. That's you and your experience. Don't try to dictate to other people what their experience is. Also individuals are only part of a continuum. As a society, the USA is a racist sexist place at an institutional level. Look in any board room. The Senate. The House. Governors. There is a tiny percentage of brown people and women in those places. So even if you do not see race, that doesn't mean that some very powerful others don't.
     
  16. Countryguy63

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    Sorry for your experiences, but in my book, that just equates to rude and disrespectful people. It comes from all sides, and it happens to all of us. (believe me)

    If you think that my post is saying that there is no racism, then you totally misunderstood. I've seen it and experienced it. In fact, that's what I'm tired of.

    *edit and added* The "race card" term was used to describe the actions of the lady in the OP
     
    #16 Countryguy63, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  17. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    I thought I was going to avoid posting in this thread, however, given some of the good responses that generated from it I feel like I should contribute. Ultimately, I don't really care what someone decides to call me as long as it's not blatantly derogatory. If they want to call me Black or African American it's fine. Regardless of the term that is used, you can usually tell whether or not a person meant what they say sincerely or maliciously. With so many people having their own preferences as to how they articulate such a thing, it would be crazy of me to expect every single person to greet me (or refer to me) in the same exact fashion. Granted, the more I know & like a person the more I'm willing to accept them addressing me with more "leisurely greetings". But that is also on a case by case basis.

    There's no such thing as someone not seeing race because we all do. Only the blind can't see race. But some people are able to control one's emotions and outbursts despite the visuals, and that's a good thing.
     
  18. SilverTrain

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    Seems to be a very reasonable attitude to adopt.
     
  19. D_Plenty OToole

    D_Plenty OToole New Member

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    That's just silly. Rude and disrespectful, as you see it, is the width and breadth of the entire race problem that exists in the United States. Also, I'm always a little skeptical when a white person wants to decide when the "race card" is being used. The OP admitted that he had no idea what had transpired. All he knew was that a bunch of brown people were standing around, and one was saying that something was racist. Excuse me for not hitching my wagon to his take in things.

    White people will always say how color blind they are if they are in the majority and controlling what is acceptable. Would you feel the same way in Harlem, East LA, or Compton? I bet you'd notice what color everyone was then.
     
  20. petite

    petite New Member

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    Wow. Did this other person 16 years ago still believe that? Because he can't be faulted for having dumb parents. He can only be faulted for being dumb himself.

    There are lots of different kinds of Christians. I was raised Christian, but the Christians who I went to church with never taught me racism against Jews. One of my oldest female friends, she's married to a Christian and she said that they're such a radical sect, if her husband had married a Prostestant or a Catholic, his family would have had a problem with it, but Jews are considered to be God's chosen people, almost better than being Christian, so they've never had a problem with her practicing her religion! We both think that's pretty funny.
    LOL!
    I think you meant that you feel like you're "colorblind" and you feel like everyone should be. If that's what you mean, I agree with you! As Vinylboy said, it's not possible not to notice a person's race, but I don't think you meant not noticing. I think you meant not treating people as inferior or superior based on things like race or nationality. Is that what you meant?
     
    #20 petite, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
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