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Nexus
02-01-2012, 01:32 AM
I am simply curious why this term is used so flippantly. If someone came from Africa, regardless of their reason or color, then I would call them African-Americans.

If someone was born in America and are citizens, they are Americans.

It's as silly in my opinion to lump every black person in this group than it is to call someone an Irish-American, Polish-American, Japanese-American... which I have never heard anyone say, unless they are actually referring to people that were born there and emigrated.

So should we start calling people, Irish-Polish-Possibly Swedish-Americans based on their supposed lineage? Instead of calling them white? That would be fair wouldn't it?

Or should we just start referring to each other as, say... humans that happen to reflect the suns rays differently, making the illusion of a color and therefore some other differences too?

I our species thrives on acting like we are different than one another. The whole point of civil rights and why we are equal is lost to me when we do so dang much to classify each other and point out each other's differences.

This is just one tiny aspect of that silent, invasive, counter-civil rights idea that seems to be slowing progress down (labeling).

All my opinion, of course.

Corinne Duyvis
02-01-2012, 02:00 AM
I have seen those other terms used, actually...


The whole point of civil rights and why we are equal is lost to me when we do so dang much to classify each other and point out each other's differences.

Well, being equal doesn't mean you have to erase all differences. We can acknowledge and celebrate our differences. It's not a bad thing. I am white. I am also female, cis, young, queer, disabled, thin, a writer, an artist, short-haired, a cat lover, atheist, bilingual, Dutch. They're not labels, they're aspects of my identity that inform my life and how people treat me. Why does that slow progress down? Why should I have to keep quiet about any of that?

Usually color-blindness and similar cries of "why do people have to distinguish themselves like this!!" come from majority groups who don't see how deeply unconscious racism and bias play a part in people's lives. It's dangerous to ignore differences because it also makes you ignore the problems that relate to and arise from it.

Moreover, these terms will usually be used in situations where they're relevant. If you're discussing race, it's kinda hard to do that without using terms that, well, describe people based on their race.


This is not exactly related, but it did remind me of a different pet peeve of mine, which is to label every black person African-American.

1) Not all black people are from Africa. Negritos, Melenasians, etc.

2) Not all black people are American! If there's black people in England or the Netherlands or wherever, there's a good chance they don't identify as African-American. (Depending, they might not even identify as African. Most black people here in the Netherlands are Surinamese and that's what they'll call themselves, end of story.)

Of course, nothing is as astounding as calling black people in Africa AA, which I've also seen done.

End derail!

Nexus
02-01-2012, 02:11 AM
Usually color-blindness and similar cries of "why do people have to distinguish themselves like this!!" come from majority groups who don't see how deeply unconscious racism and bias play a part in people's lives. It's dangerous to ignore differences because it also makes you ignore the problems that relate to and arise from it.



Indeed, but a huge problem is bringing up things such as race, hair color, gender when they have absolutely nothing to do with anything at hand. Whether it be a job or when choosing a political candidate to vote for.

How can you possibly convince me that I should vote for someone because the other candidate is a gay, black, woman... What does that have to do with the important issue, like the candidates personality? (hypothetical question not directed at you).

Yes, your sexuality is important to your identity, so is your race and culture. But how is that relevant in the way you should be treated. You should be helped because you are poor, not because you are black and poor.

You should be able to be married because you are a human, not because you are straight or gay.

And that attitude might suite your outlook on life, Corinne, as you have cultivated it well and in an intelligent manner, but I think that attitude fails to actually try to step out of your own shoes, and imagine the world from outside of the shoes you were dealt (lot in life).





This is not exactly related, but it did remind me of a different pet peeve of mine, which is to label every black person African-American.


End derail!
That's not a derail, that is exactly the point I was trying to talk about when I made this thread.

Corinne Duyvis
02-01-2012, 02:31 AM
How can you possibly convince me that I should vote for someone because the other candidate is a gay, black, woman... What does that have to do with the important issue, like the candidates personality? (hypothetical question not directed at you).

Because if a candidate is queer, I can be a lot more secure in the knowledge that they're going to be progressive on queer issues, whereas a lot of straight candidates may just be paying me lip service. Since queer issues affect me directly, just as much as economics might, it's an incredibly valid reason to vote for them.

Whereas if a candidate is a person of color, they might be a lot less likely to push through ridiculous regulations like what's happening in Arizona lately.

I thought the same way you did a couple of years ago, but minority groups are grossly underrepresented in politics and get shafted ALL THE TIME as a result of having a bunch of straight white rich men making decisions for them. This is exactly what I mean when I say that ignoring labels results in ignoring related issues.


Yes, your sexuality is important to your identity, so is your race and culture. But how is that relevant in the way you should be treated. You should be helped because you are poor, not because you are black and poor.

That's very easy to say, but THE ENTIRE WORLD will still treat people differently based on those traits. I think it's more important to blame them for doing that than to tell minorities that they can't take pride in who they are because it emphasizes difference and differences are BAD. Those minorities aren't saying they should be treated differently--they're saying they are treated differently, and that should be acknowledged.


And that attitude might suite your outlook on life, Corinne, as you have cultivated it well and in an intelligent manner, but I think that attitude fails to actually try to step out of your own shoes, and imagine the world from outside of the shoes you were dealt (lot in life).

Uhh, how so? It seems like the exact opposite to me. If you don't acknowledge difference, how on earth can you expect to understand other people's experiences? For the record, I'm actually pretty awesome at imagining what life is like for other people. It's an important part of being a writer. I don't understand your logic here.


That's not a derail, that is exactly the point I was trying to talk about when I made this thread.

No, it's not -- I'm not saying that people shouldn't acknowledge differences, I'm saying that people should take care to be correct when they do so.

Nexus
02-01-2012, 02:42 AM
Because if a candidate is queer, I can be a lot more secure in the knowledge that they're going to be progressive on queer issues, whereas a lot of straight candidates may just be paying me lip service. Since queer issues affect me directly, just as much as economics might, it's an incredibly valid reason to vote for them.

Whereas if a candidate is a person of color, they might be a lot less likely to push through ridiculous regulations like what's happening in Arizona lately.

I thought the same way you did a couple of years ago, but minority groups are grossly underrepresented in politics and get shafted ALL THE TIME as a result of having a bunch of straight white rich men making decisions for them. This is exactly what I mean when I say that ignoring labels results in ignoring related issues.




And that view expressed in the first two paragraphs is exactly the definition of prejudice. I don't mean that as an insult by the way.

But that is the basis from which racist opinions come from. Statistics for an area might show that black people far and away commit the most crimes.

It is not because they are black, but the largest portion of poor people in that area are black. It is not because of their color, but the culture prevalent among those poor people in that area that leads to crime... and it just happens that the vast majority of them in this hypothetical area are black.

So it would technically be safe to assume, although hardly fair, that the majority of crimes in the future will be committed by blacks in this area.

Yes, but what should be focused on is not their color, but their culture and personality. People that behave suspiciously (broad definition to this) are more likely to commit a crime - that is a fairer statement in this instance.

So to say that a homosexual will have more homosexual rights or a black person will have more minority rights in mind is very much likely, but not a given simply because they are black or gay. It is a prejudiced statement, whether it is right a lot more than it is wrong or not.

I will conclude my concerns with this point... prejudice happens when people see people of a certain label doing something a lot more than they don't do it (in many instances - not all [see terrorism]).

But that is how a lot of prejudices occur. It's frustrating, but understandable, but still frustrating.

FoamyRules
02-01-2012, 06:19 AM
Well Nexus you bring up a good argument. I personally don't know any black people who refers to themselves as African Americans. I mean the United States is the only country who is racially divided (Japanese Americans, Latino Americans, etc.) and those terms are labeled to people who aren't white regardless if they were born here or not.
I mean, it's no secret that black people ancestors are from Africa just like it's no secret that if you're white than your ancestors are from Europe and so on. The slave trade is one reason why there are black people in the Caribbeans, Europe, and South America. The original peoples of South America were neither white nor were they black they were Ameridians just like the original people of the Caribbeans were Tainos. But those were back in those days, we are living in today's times and I feel that even though I'm colored I'm an American because I was born here and so were my parents and their parents and so forth. My ancestors may have come from Africa but that doesn't mean I have any roots there. Even though I'm 25% Native 25% black and 50% white I'm still labeled as an African American. And if you want to get technical with it everyone's ancestors are from Africa since that's where life began. The oldest traces of human were found in approximately what is known as Ethiopia. So all in all, there is only one race and that's the human race.

Kitty Pryde
02-01-2012, 06:47 AM
Indeed, but a huge problem is bringing up things such as race, hair color, gender when they have absolutely nothing to do with anything at hand. Whether it be a job or when choosing a political candidate to vote for.

Yes, your sexuality is important to your identity, so is your race and culture. But how is that relevant in the way you should be treated.

And that attitude might suite your outlook on life, Corinne, as you have cultivated it well and in an intelligent manner, but I think that attitude fails to actually try to step out of your own shoes, and imagine the world from outside of the shoes you were dealt (lot in life).


Nope. You're confusing two things: Striving to live in a non-bigoted society, and PRETENDING we live in a non-bigoted society. If one is white and straight and a guy and not disabled and not poor, it can work to pretend that our differences don't matter. But right now in 2012 in almost every nation in the world, our differences still matter a great deal. In the US in particular, there is still a great deal of inequality based on skin color, perceived "race", country of origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and more.

MLK's dream has not been achieved, period. There's still a great deal of racial inequality in the hearts and minds of people and institutions, even if the US has made many forms of discrimination illegal. That's why things like the color of our skin and perceived and self-identified concepts like race are still extremely relevant.

It's like saying "No kid should ever go hungry!" and then concluding "Therefore we have no need to talk about how much food various kids are getting."

FoamyRules
02-01-2012, 06:57 AM
Nope. You're confusing two things: Striving to live in a non-bigoted society, and PRETENDING we live in a non-bigoted society. If one is white and straight and a guy and not disabled and not poor, it can work to pretend that our differences don't matter. But right now in 2012 in almost every nation in the world, our differences still matter a great deal. In the US in particular, there is still a great deal of inequality based on skin color, perceived "race", country of origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and more.

MLK's dream has not been achieved, period. There's still a great deal of racial inequality in the hearts and minds of people and institutions, even if the US has made many forms of discrimination illegal. That's why things like the color of our skin and perceived and self-identified concepts like race are still extremely relevant.

It's like saying "No kid should ever go hungry!" and then concluding "Therefore we have no need to talk about how much food various kids are getting."
I couldn't have said that better myself. Great points.

Kitty27
02-01-2012, 09:38 AM
I call myself African American as a way to honor my ancestors. I can't go back more than a few generations to trace my family tree due to slavery and the total lack of historical records.

I can't look through my family records or Ellis Island immigration records.

But I do know my ancestors came from Africa. I don't know their names or what part they came from. I don't know if a woman or man began my family. So I call myself African-American as a tribute. I know full well that I am American but there are still people in this country who consider American to be white,Protestant,and straight. Anything else is un-American in their eyes and this attitude is very well known.


We can sing Kumbaya and color is just a crayon in a box all day long. But it isn't reality. Race and sexuality DO matter and while you may not judge people by either,plenty of folks do. This isn't a post racial America. There is too much racism and prejudice still going on.Homophobia is still rampant. Just because it isn't socially acceptable to be openly racist or homophobic doesn't mean this kind of ignorance has disappeared.

No one is color blind. We all notice different skin tones. It's what you feel and do about those differences that reveal how you really think about people.

AKyber36
02-01-2012, 09:53 AM
I know my family told me never to knock the 'Chinese' out of 'Chinese-American' because while I am an American, I should never be ashamed of my heritage. It's not a category that boxes me in but a double badge of pride in who I am. Having the 'Chinese' in that label means I'm proud to be Chinese (it doesn't mean I hail from mainland China - being born in Taiwan, I'm more of an ABC-MIT (American-born Chinese - Made in Taiwan, lol) and I'm also damn well proud to be American. That never changes. =)

It's not dissimilar I think from the 'Irish-American' label. They never want to forget where their origin started from, even if their descendants were born in America. Their family tree begins in Ireland, and that's not something one turns their back on when it comes to their identity.

thebloodfiend
02-01-2012, 09:59 AM
I call myself African American as a way to honor my ancestors. I can't go back more than a few generations to trace my family tree due to slavery and the total lack of historical records.

I can't look through my family records or Ellis Island immigration records.

But I do know my ancestors came from Africa. I don't know their names or what part they came from. I don't know if a woman or man began my family. So I call myself African-American as a tribute. I know full well that I am American but there are still people in this country who consider American to be white,Protestant,and straight. Anything else is un-American in their eyes and this attitude is very well known.

Ditto. I can't go back past my great-great-great-grandfather on my dad's side. I can't go past my great-grandmother on my mom's side. I know I'm 1/8th Choctaw, but as for the other? I'd be interested in doing one of those DNA test things to trace my origins.

FoamyRules
02-01-2012, 10:31 AM
All dark skinned people regardless of where they live now ancestors came from Africa. There's nothing wrong with calling yourself an African American.

missesdash
02-01-2012, 11:13 AM
As someone who lives in a country where it's illegal to collect statistics based on race, I definitely disagree with the OP. labeling everyone "American" is great for the Olympics and the world cup. But when you want to go through crime records and figure out whether or not an African American is more likely to get jail time on a first offense you need those labels.

To address how African American children are treated in classroom settings, we need that label. Barack Obama's race is extremely significant as an indicator of a shift in consciousness within the American people.

Today marks the first day of African American history month in the US. As someone else pointed out, the label is also a point of pride.

I get a lot of questions from French people about our different labels (saying what state you're from) but France is the size of Texas and it's majority population is indigenous to the area. The US is a very young country and an overwhelming majority of us have ancestors that come from elsewhere. One of the ways we make multiculturalism work I by allowing people to hold on to that individual cultural identity while still identifying as American.

Anyway, calling us all "American" would solve zero problems. It would just paint a prettier picture and make it impossible for us to really gauge our progress as far as civil right and equality are concerned.

Excuse my typos. I'm iPhoning it.

missesdash
02-01-2012, 11:14 AM
Also, head up to Boston and talk to some "Irish-Americans." Or upstate New York and talk to Italian-Americans. I'm not sure where you're from, but the examples you gave can be found all over the US and are regulariy used by non-immigrant whites.

backslashbaby
02-01-2012, 11:00 PM
I'm proud of all of my heritages, so you can call me by them, sure. I'm mixed (like most Americans) so it gets cumbersome :) But there are both white and PoC in there, and I don't hear German as sounding different than Indian (NA).

I agree with the great --more political and cultural-- points made above, but also keep in mind that African-American is the same as German-American. Italian-Puerto-Rican American makes complete sense, too. The PoC ethnicities are the same as the white ones. Use them if you like :)

MeretSeger
02-04-2012, 08:28 PM
It also seems to me that people whose ancestors came here through adversity and had a harsh life are more likely to attach an ethnicity to 'American'. My Irish ancestors were adamantly Irish-American, but not the Danes.

As for the term "African-American": I was teaching an anthro class and brought in one of those ethnicity surveys from a Major University's HR department. There were many choices, but no blank for self-identification. "African-American" was the only option for applicants of African descent. My legal-resident but not-citizen Nigerian student was appalled. There was literally no "category" for him. Then the multi-ethnic students realized they didn't have a box either.

I hope they have fixed that.

Mara
02-04-2012, 08:53 PM
Nexus, I notice you comment a lot about the causes of prejudice, and use those beliefs to justify your belief on how people should address the subject. Do you have any peer-reviewed sources to back that up? Because I've got a basement library shelf full of peer-reviewed sources that say that you're incorrect. (EDIT: Okay, that was really elitist sounding and I apologize.)

I'd also point out that Stephen Colbert, when parodying a stereotypical ignorant conservative talking head, constantly uses "I don't see race" as one of his comedy bits. And for a very good reason.

Yes, the world _should_ be better, but pretending that it already is would actively prevent it from becoming better.

ViolettaVane
02-14-2012, 09:14 PM
Generally speaking, "black" is used to refer more to race and "African-American" is used to refer more to ethnicity. This is a general rule, not all people follow it and the best course is always to respect people's self-identification. For example, I know some people use "Black" with a capital B to refer to their race AND ethnicity simultaneously.

Most black people in the United States may identify as African-American by ethnicity. That is, they have a common history in this country over the last several hundred years with shared tragedies and triumphs, have a shared cultural heritage, are native English speakers with some similar patterns of speaking, and so on.

Other black people do prefer not to call themselves African-American because they have a different ethnicity. They might, instead, be Nigerian-American or Jamaican-American or Venezuelan-American. Many Latinos are black and many black people are Latinos because Latino is an ethnicity, not a race.

Names like "African-American" are not a problem. They DO become a problem when outsiders refuse to accept other people's self-identification. This refusal is patronizing, disrespectful, entitled and rude.

Marya
02-15-2012, 09:14 AM
Just coming in from a Third World perspective -- I'm from Zimbabwe.

Those whose parents or grand-parents emigrated to the UK, Europe and the United States after WWII often prefer to call themselves Afropolitan following the influentiual essay published by Taiye Selasi in 2005, and I see that this term was taken up most recently at the Jaipur Literary conference by Ben Okri and Teju Cole as well.

From Taiye Selasi:

They (read: we) are Afropolitans – the newest generation of African emigrants, coming soon or collected already at a law firm/chem lab/jazz lounge near you. You’ll know us by our funny blend of London fashion, New York jargon, African ethics, and academic successes. Some of us are ethnic mixes, e.g. Ghanaian and Canadian, Nigerian and Swiss; others merely cultural mutts: American accent, European affect, African ethos. Most of us are multilingual: in addition to English and a Romantic or two, we understand some indigenous tongue and speak a few urban vernaculars. There is at least one place on The African Continent to which we tie our sense of self: be it a nation-state (Ethiopia), a city (Ibadan), or an auntie’s kitchen. Then there’s the G8 city or two (or three) that we know like the backs of our hands, and the various institutions that know us for our famed focus. We are Afropolitans: not citizens, but Africans of the world.

http://thelip.robertsharp.co.uk/?p=76

And a link to Jaipur Literary Conference:

http://www.india-forums.com/news/art-culture/385302-homeless-afropolitans-strike-roots-in-jaipur.htm

backslashbaby
02-15-2012, 11:23 PM
Thank you so much for an international perspective! I did not know that term, although I know many Afropolitan friends from school, then (Oxford). None of them had ever been to the US, as it turns out, so it would be very odd to call them African-American, indeed ;)

FoamyRules
02-16-2012, 01:02 AM
Thanks for that as well :) I can go by either British American, African American, and Native American and do so at random.

QuantumIguana
02-16-2012, 07:12 AM
I often drive past the Sons of Norway building and the Swedish-American Institute. Funny no one has a problem with those.

missesdash
02-16-2012, 07:24 AM
Thanks for that as well :) I can go by either British American, African American, and Native American and do so at random.

Were you born in the UK? "British American" is typically used to describe a British citizen who has American citizenship.

backslashbaby
02-16-2012, 08:43 AM
We need better words! Irish-Americans don't have to be born in Ireland, so I'd think British-American could mean either, along the same lines.

The whole thing is kind of confusing. That may be one good motive, actually, for humans to lean toward simple descriptions. But obviously, those are very problematic.

FoamyRules
02-16-2012, 09:00 AM
Were you born in the UK? "British American" is typically used to describe a British citizen who has American citizenship.
My dad is from the UK and that's how he'd describe the both of us. He'd get irritated when people would call me half white and be like, "She's half British. Don't call her half white!" so I guess the term fits even though I wasn't born there, but I do travel there a lot to visit relatives.

Kitty Pryde
02-16-2012, 09:06 AM
My friend C. was born in Africa to one African parent and one African-American parent, and raised mostly in the US. So that makes him African-African-American? I think he self-identified as "half" one and "half" the other. My other friend D. is an immigrated US citizen from South Africa. Is he African-American? Does it matter that he's white (of German Jewish descent)? But yes. Labels. They are problematic, semantically and otherwise.

Clueless
02-16-2012, 09:09 AM
Well, stereotypes are a psychological defense mechanismthat the brain uses. Without it, we wouldn't be able to handle as many relationships as we are able to. Also, it doesn't just apply to people. Studies have shown that the same parts of the brain are used when seperating different groups of people by stereotypes (including clothes, accents, skin-color and types of jewelry used) as when seperating different colors. People are defined by stereotyopes because they define their world through stereotypes.

Marya
02-16-2012, 09:21 AM
Each of these terms (Irish American, African American, British American) is freighted with a particular cultural history, wouldn’t you say? Irish American would once have had derogatory undertones, but now means nothing more than someone who is proud of their Irish roots.
The key issue has to do with racial privilege although that in turn intersects with gender, homophobia, lack of educational opportunity, class issues.
When I am travelling in South Africa these days race is far less an issue for me than homophobia, especially in light of ‘corrective rape’ against lesbians – so while I would identify as ‘queer’ in the UK or US, I would call myself lesbian in South Africa in solidarity with those lesbian women afraid of being raped or killed as lesbians.

missesdash
02-17-2012, 04:01 AM
My dad is from the UK and that's how he'd describe the both of us. He'd get irritated when people would call me half white and be like, "She's half British. Don't call her half white!" so I guess the term fits even though I wasn't born there, but I do travel there a lot to visit relatives.

I guess it's because I don't think of "british" as white. I think of it as a nationality and people can't really be half of a nationality (Well, the US doesn't recognize dual nationality, so I guess it depends). One of my Parisian friends told me he was "half American" and I explained that "half american" is completely useless in terms of describing ethnic background.

Sort of related: There's a model I like who is ethnically, half white and half korean. She was born in the US however and currently living in Japan. It took me forever to finds this out because they call her a "japanese model." And when you ask for specifics they say she's "half korean and half american."

I'm always interested in people's mixes because it's kind like that game where you taste a dish and guess its ingredients haha. That's why I don't like when people say my ethnicity is "mixed."

SPECIFICITY PEOPLE, SPECIFICITY

Shadow Dragon
02-17-2012, 04:29 AM
I usually say black instead of african american and just viewed that term more as a type of nationality; as in someone born in Africa that moved to America or someone who has a parent from Africa (like Obama). Same goes for Irish Americans and Italian Americans. If I were to say their ethnicity, I would just say white. Besides the fact that there are arab and white African Americans, complicates the term when you're trying to use it as a race label.

backslashbaby
02-17-2012, 05:03 AM
Yeah, none of my friends from Africa would fit the term African-American as it's used, even if they became citizens here, imho. A few are white, and I call them Afrikaners (all the white Africans I know are, so it's convenient), and the others I call South African or Kenyan, etc.

Then there's the Londoner, though! I could see him liking African-British as a term, maybe. I didn't know his parents were recent immigrants for a long time, because his London accent is so clearly home-grown :) He calls himself Black and a Brit.

Mac H.
02-17-2012, 05:23 AM
Of course the term is silly.

But it's the English language. If you want to get annoyed that the English Language doesn't make any sense then you have a big job ahead of you!

The issue applies to ALL race descriptions.

eg: Around here we've traditionally used the term 'Anglo-Saxon' for a white person - which makes very little sense either. (The Anglos & Saxons weren't exactly on good terms with each other)

What about the alternative word - 'Caucasian' ? That literally means someone from the region of Azerbaijan. At least 'Anglo-Saxon' gets the rough region right!

And 'Aryan' ? That's even worse - it's basically a Middle-Eastern word for a Persian! (I just oversimplified the heck out that description)

The local 'slang' equivalent is 'skip' ... which you have to understand a certain TV program from the 1970s to appreciate...

Is there a single race description which makes sense when you think about it?

Mac

Shadow Dragon
02-17-2012, 05:44 AM
eg: Around here we've traditionally used the term 'Anglo-Saxon' for a white person - which makes very little sense either. (The Anglos & Saxons weren't exactly on good terms with each other)
That's kinda odd. I've only heard Anglo-Saxon to mean of English descent or culture that's based on the English/British culture. I've never heard it meant for the entire white race.

missesdash
02-17-2012, 06:59 AM
I think we should all start identifying by our closest corresponding number on the Von Luschan chromatic scale

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/Felix_von_Luschan_Skin_Color_chart.svg/300px-Felix_von_Luschan_Skin_Color_chart.svg.png

FoamyRules
02-17-2012, 10:22 PM
I guess it's because I don't think of "british" as white. I think of it as a nationality and people can't really be half of a nationality (Well, the US doesn't recognize dual nationality, so I guess it depends). One of my Parisian friends told me he was "half American" and I explained that "half american" is completely useless in terms of describing ethnic background.

Sort of related: There's a model I like who is ethnically, half white and half korean. She was born in the US however and currently living in Japan. It took me forever to finds this out because they call her a "japanese model." And when you ask for specifics they say she's "half korean and half american."

I'm always interested in people's mixes because it's kind like that game where you taste a dish and guess its ingredients haha. That's why I don't like when people say my ethnicity is "mixed."

SPECIFICITY PEOPLE, SPECIFICITY
That makes a lot of sense. Race and nationality are two completely different things, but there's something about being called white that ticks my dad off even though he is. I am half white and part black and Native American. I'm also part Filipino because my dad's paternal grandmother was Filipino. But I'm often labeled as being African American or black.

backslashbaby
02-17-2012, 11:11 PM
I think we should all start identifying by our closest corresponding number on the Von Luschan chromatic scale

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/Felix_von_Luschan_Skin_Color_chart.svg/300px-Felix_von_Luschan_Skin_Color_chart.svg.png

I'm not on there, because of the yellow. Always the yellow/pink question with the very pale tones. Is every woman here thinking about buying makeup, or is it just me ? ;)

[I love Asian-targeted foundations. Finally very pale, non-pink choices! ]

missesdash
02-18-2012, 08:34 AM
I'm not on there, because of the yellow. Always the yellow/pink question with the very pale tones. Is every woman here thinking about buying makeup, or is it just me ? ;)

[I love Asian-targeted foundations. Finally very pale, non-pink choices! ]

The undertones are always the issue. I JUST found a liquid make up that gets my yellow right. I want to buy 15 tubes of it in case they ever stop making it. But I can't buy cheaper make up, it doesn't come in my color. The browns have yellow undertones, but they're always too dark. And the lighter colors are too pink.

Haha, I could talk about this forever. I got Iman's The Beauty of Color make up book when I was in high school and I'm so grateful because it taught me how to work with skin of color.

Ew, I should stop. I love make up haha.

JSSchley
02-20-2012, 09:49 AM
I think we should all start identifying by our closest corresponding number on the Von Luschan chromatic scale

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/Felix_von_Luschan_Skin_Color_chart.svg/300px-Felix_von_Luschan_Skin_Color_chart.svg.png

I like it! From now on, I would prefer to be referred to as "23."

I'm not entirely certain what question the OP was asking--whether PoCs should identify by their race, or whether that race should be called African American. For me, those are two different questions. I think to ignore the very salient reality of race in the US is an act of silencing, and one about which we have to be very careful not to obscure in all the talk of "be colorblind."

At the same time, the term African American ignores people who are dark-skinned but not of African descent, mixed-race people who can't clearly identify one way or the other, and whites of African descent. So it's a difficult term, even though it's a vast improvement over the associations with "colored" or "Negro" which it replaced.

I'm mixed and raised by my adoptive white parents who very carefully always referred to me as "biracial" or "multiracial" or "African American." It took me a very long time to self-apply the in-group label of "black" and that's the term I prefer to use.