African-American, Asian-American, Native-American and...


What is wrong with this picture? Does anyone else see the obvious racism in this list? It's not right to say, 'Black person, Yellow person, Red person', so why is it alright to say 'White person'? Does anyone else see the double-standard here?

Have we become too politically correct for our own good? 'Those terms are used in derogatory ways by whites', some will say. And we don't think that 'whites' is derogatory? Or is that the point?

Has the 'white, heterosexual, male' been in power so long that he is seen as public enemy number one? I mean, if you listen to other people, he is blamed for a lot of the problems in the world.  Mind you, this isn't without merit. History is full of his actions.  Even today, there are some Anglo-American males who have just continued the oppression. They feel that they are better than other people because of something as silly as skin color. Some of them are stupid enough to say and think 'foreigners' need to go back to their own country. Seriously? Have they forgotten that everyone other than the Indigenous people of North America are 'foreigners'? Or have they forgotten that a lot of the 'foreigners' were forcibly brought here? And most of those people by their Anglo-American ancestors?  And that, after a hundred years (heck, after the first generation of people born here) those 'foreigners' have become 'authentic' Americans?

Furthermore, it seems that people forget that all people have fought over tribal lands, oppressed other people, and persecuted those people the powers felt threated by or saw as disposable or were just different. This type of 'power' is seen in the non-human creation even among the matriarchal societies (think of ants, for example). Do we think it would be any different if some other people 'group' was in power?

Here's an idea. Let's lay all the cards on the table, shall we? Let's admit that we all have pasts of which we are not proud. And stop pretending that it is okay to call each other names if you are from that same culture. (You probably thought I was going to miss that point, huh?) Then let's realize there is only one race. It is the human race. We are all brothers and sisters. 'From one ancestor [God] made all nations' (Acts 17.26). Those 'nations' are the different cultures we see in the world. No one is better than another based on language or skin or hair or whatever. We are the same race. We are different cultures.

Therefore, let's do one of two things:  Either stop calling Anglo-American people 'white' or start calling us all Americans.  I vote the latter.

Peace be with you.

+ OD


Pinball said…
Good post, Cap'n.

There are a few problems herein that actually help to further make your point:
"Anglo-American" is insufficient for people who came here from France, Germany, Spain, Russia, etc. Our good friend Joe is Russian Jewish. So he's nowhere near "Anglo-American".

Another problem is this: What about black people from England? Or France? We can't call them Americans, 'cause they ain't. So your proposal works well in this country, not so well beyond our borders. (The world is coming to an end. Pseudo-nationalist, semi-isolationist Jim is lecturing globe-hugging Jack about not being Amero-centric. Get ready for the rapture! ;) )

Here's an idea: Let's just stop taking offense where none is intended! Why do we have to be so much more sensitive about skin color than we are about hair color? (I know, I know. No one has ever oppressed anyone for being blond or bald or having black hair. Made fun of, maybe, but not real oppression.) Still, if we are to mature as a HUMAN race -- one race -- then we need to start thinking of skin color as a God-given feature that he has included to display his artistry.
odysseus said…
I guess you could make the same statements regarding my political post yesterday -- it 'only works well in this country'. And that was my point. I was listening to a local news program, not CNN or Fox or some other 'national' news program. That is where this started from.

But, I agree with your last paragraph. That was the point of my final statements. We should celebrate our different cultures (and if we can't celebrate them, at least acknowledge them and try to understand them) but at the same time recognize that we are all humans.
SuperHealthKyle said…
Racism and sexism are ridiculous in any form. However, identifying people by physical characteristics and gender isn't. If I'm pointing someone out, I've gotta identify them with something physical.

If I were an American who is of African lineage, and if my great-grandparents were slaves, and my parents finally won the opportunity to vote not too many decades ago, I think I'd be sensitive to many things. I'm perfectly fine with respecting people's wishes to be identified in whatever way they feel comfortable. I also agree with what PInball said - that it is hard to accurately use an idenfifying word or phrase that properly takes into account one's lineage until you actually know their lineage! In my case, I'm not even sure what to tell people I "am"; There's Italian, Irish, and English, and I'm not sure what else. What do you call me? Just call me white.

The sucky thing is, this whole thing comes from humankind's fallen nature. Oppression of people for any reason is utterly sinful.

Which almost opens up the discussion of the potentially bogus concept of "race". Pigmentation. A physical characteristic of the skin. Dermal layers. People's differences on their skin is so awesome, but something which is so utterly foolish to discriminate against.
granthorton said…
A very good post. Sorry if this comment doesn't equal in length to comments left by others, but I don't have much to say as you have taken the words from my mind, and put them down as I fear I may not have done in such an elegant, but blunt and to the point way. Thank you for realizing a strong point that has been missed by many Americans. Although my religious beliefs differ from yours, I feel the same about the races, we are all just one race, leave it at that.

Thanks for the post, it was great, and I needed to refresh my thinking. I thought I was on crazy pills, or everyone else was taking something...good to hear some logic. I hate when I hear "They need to speak our native language, or go home!" I don't know about you but I don't see any of those "rednecks" speaking cherokee, or any of the mayan languages. That would be more native than english. Heh. Nice post mate.

Talk later, Brother.
odysseus said…
Pinball: In re-reading your got me thinking. A friend of mine said he has a friend you is 'white' and is a native South African. But, in this country, he can't say he's African-American because of his skin color! The whole thing is messed up.

SuperHealthKyle: If I were pointing someone out I might use the color of their shirt or if they had glasses on or their height. We would do that if it was a room full of women or a room full of 'white' guys, so why not use that when describing someone else? But, the context of what that is talking about is different, I think, than what I'm talking about. I'm talking about generalizations. I'm talking about how it seems that it's okay to be offensive to the 'white, heterosexual, male' (and let's not forget Christian), that we can say whatever we want about him and not get in any kind of trouble. I saw a program on Donahue (tells you how old I am!) where this young man started a white male club at his university and it caused all kinds of trouble. He was labeled a racist and part of the KKK and all of that crap. He said (paraphrased): 'Look, I tried to join the African-American League, but they wouldn't let me in because I'm not African-American. I tried joining the Asian-American Women's group, but they wouldn't let me in because I'm not an Asian-American Women. Why am I being labeled the racist and they aren't?' I think that is a brilliant answer.

On the other hand, maybe it's because the 'white, heterosexual, male' is seen all over the place that all the other people groups have to have their own space.

granthorton: Thanks for dropping by and reading my post. Can I ask a question: What brought you to my blog? I checked out your myspace and it looks interesting. I would love to talk to you some more. You seem like a very interesting person. For example, I, too, am into computers. I have some posts on here about Linux and Mac. Just do a search at the top of the screen.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I hope to hear from you again.

Peace be with you all.

+ OD
Ted M. Gossard said…
OD, I think these are cultural issues, but certainly ingrained in them quite often are prejudices and sin. It's good to critique what we mindlessly say or our customs as you are doing here, to point out fallacies and inconsistencies.

American, Cuban, German, Kenyan, etc., all sound good to me, as well. And better yet, human, all from the same God.

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