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WhyaDuck

LIttlest Rebel with Shirley Temple makes blacks look stupid

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In my lifetime, there have been at least 5 official terms used to describe people who some now call "African-American." I'm always wondering what's going to come next after people get tired of using that phrase?

 

Preferred terms, in the rough order of chronology....

 

*Colored* (as in the NAACP), founded in 1909 (or 1905 by some accounts)

 

*Negro* with a Capital "N", as opposed to the white press that used "negro"

 

*Afro-American,* as seen by the many early and mid-century newspapers that used that name

 

Euphemisms such as *Ebony, Sepia, Tan, Bronze,* and so on, all of which were (or still are) the names of magazines aimed at whatever you wish to call "them"

 

*Black,* used only sporadically until Willie Ricks and Stokely Carmichael introduced "Black power" to the world in 1966 in the wake of the Meredith march, and quickly made it the preferred term for quite a long while.

 

*African American,* which is a variant on *Afro-American*

 

*People of Color,* which is still mostly a term used by academics and more "political" types

 

And then of course there's *Splib,* which has been around as long as I can remember, but that one I've never seen in print. (smile)

 

IMO just call people by whatever they wish and don't lose any sleep over it. I've been known by everything from "Andy" to "Taxi" to "Psycho", and hey, as long as you spell it right....

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Jewish people have always referred to Blacks as "schvartzes". I guess it's technically derogatory, but the implication is actually more comical, and harmless, than derogatory. Anyone disagree?

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*But another point of contention, at least for me, is the "American" posting second. I DO have some pride in my Polish heritage, but when some twit asks the old question, "What's your NATIONALITY?", I always reply "American".*

 

 

 

*After all, I was born in Wyandotte Michigan, which IS, last I looked, in America. Raised in neighboring Lincoln Park, MI, ALSO in America. Educated here, made my living here, raised MY family here, and STILL live in America. I'll only go so far as to claim being "American-Polish". It all goes to my earlier statement about people "cramming their heritage down our throats".*

 

One thing is for ethnic white groups going by the hyphenated "Irish-American", "Polish-American". etc. However, it is not the same thing when a group chooses to prefer the self-designation "African-American". Forget that, if applied literally, Charlize Theron is one; this term has accepted demarcations. And whatever term blacks choose for themselves, it depends on various evolving factors, including political awareness or consciousness. The bottom line is that it was not imposed by the majority group. The white ethnics do not have a centuries-long, and continuing, struggle against oppression; their terms are more descriptive statements of fact, with little, if any, political overtones, other than a source of nationalistic pride.

 

"Native American" is another term that would not fit the general reasons as those of hyphenated ethnic whites; it also denotes political awareness and consciousness. It is a term to remind everyone on two levels. First, they are the first Americans, the only ones who can say they are native to the New World. Second it is to correct Columbus' error by giving them the misnomer "Indian". Forget whatever dilutions have subterfuted this, where something like one part in sixteen is sufficient for one to self-identify as such. It is a term of preference by another group which has for centuries experienced racism, suppression and oppression. Unless you are part of a group that remains at or near the bottom of the socio-economic totem pole, your preferred term, or your ethnic group's preferred term, does not resonate quite the same.

 

 

Racism is alive and well in the US in this millenium. If one can pretty much negatively characterize, and caricaturize, the President because of his race, you know this is true. And multi-culturalism is a fact; what is wrong with embracing the many threads that make up the American experience? After all, that is what this country has always proudly held up to the world, no matter what the sad truth might have been. Sink or swim was the policy in the past, total immersion and assimilation; well some groups and many individuals would get left behind. Self-loathing and poor self-esteem victimized many individuals who couldn't see how they could fit into the society here, while their roots were forcibly yanked out from under them, leaving them with nothing to stand on. That is the sad reality from a history of forced assimilation, a large racial and economic underclass.

 

 

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Jewish people have always referred to Blacks as "schvartzes". I guess it's technically derogatory, but the implication is actually more comical, and harmless, than derogatory. Anyone disagree?

 

Let's put it this way: I wouldn't be using that "comical" word around a black person if I were them. I've heard that expression since I was a teenager, and other than in a standup comedy routine, I've *never* heard it used in anything other than in a condescending and dismissive way. Which is probably why they generally keep it to themselves, and are wise to do so.

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*"The white ethnics do not have a centuries-long, and continuing, struggle against oppression; their terms are more descriptive statements of fact, with little, if any, political overtones, other than a source of nationalistic pride."* - Arturo

 

No one should confuse terms meant to denote Nationality / Citizenship (American) with terms meant to describe Ethnicity or Heritage (African-American). The two are not interchangeable and shouldn't be considered as the same.

 

*"Native American" is another term that would not fit the general reasons as those of hyphenated ethnic whites; it also denotes political awareness and consciousness. It is a term to remind everyone on two levels. First, they are the first Americans, the only ones who can say they are native to the New World. Second it is to correct Columbus' error by giving them the misnomer "Indian".*

 

I have to give credit to the Canadians for introducing me to the term "First Nations" / "First Native" to describe the natives that lived in North America before the arrival of the Europeans. A very good descriptive term for such persons and groups. I first heard it used during the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics.

 

On a related note, I'm looking forward to watching the first episode of "The Abolitionists" on PBS tonight. It should be edifying (though I hate the "casting" and "re-enactments" in these types of productions.)

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As someone with a familiarity with anthropology, and evolution, I can say conclusively that ALL Americans are "African-Americans."

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OT (slightly): I've just listened to a progam about the great English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. He was part of that wealthy and progressive family which included the Wedgwoods, the Darwins, etc. Ralph allegedly came home from school one day and asked his mother why the fuss about his uncle's book. His mother responded, "Most people think God created the world in six days. Great uncle Charles just thought it took a bit longer."

 

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This is a pretty individual choice. Some people are very interested in their

ancestral identity and others couldn't care. Pride isn't always based on rational

things. Folks usually have some pride in the state or city where they came

from, though that is as much a matter of chance as where their ancestors

came from.

 

The few times I can remember hearing schvartzes in a movie, it was at least

mildly derogatory. I suppose it comes from the German word for black--schwartz.

Don't know if that is ever used in a derogatory manner.

 

 

Fighting to uphold the right of people to own other people. That's quite a feather

in any ethnic groups' cap.

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I had a DNA test (Genome Project). A friend of mine did it, she suggested that I do it since it's easier for a man -- the Y chromosome thing gives more information than the Mitochondrial. It was fascinating, and I was deeply moved by the results.

 

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When I say "comical", I really mean "lighthearted", in a conversation among Jewish people. the expression is almost never used in a pejorative fashion.

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As Bildwasser mentioned, "schwartz" (or "schvartz") is just the German word for "black".

"Negro" is a variation of the Spanish word for black.

How come it's ok to call / refer to an "African-American" as "black" in English, but not in German or Spanish?

 

Of course, what often happens is that the original word for for something may be neutral in itself, but over time, the word becomes associated with negative ideas. "Negro", as I said, the Spanish word for "black" (I'm sure Arturo will correct me if I'm wrong about that) gradually turned into that other word, the "n" word: "n****r". This has now become a totally unacceptable term, treated as a kind of swear word or obscenity. The reason for that is all the horrible connotations around it, the way white people used the word when speaking to or about black people. But the word it originated from, "Negro", was at one time the term favoured by everyone, black and white alike. Now I am almost as uncomfortable saying it, as the word it turned into.

 

 

Another example, although not race-related, is the phrase "mentally ****." It actually just means "mentally slow", which, if we're objectively honest, simply means what it is. It was in no way intended as a derogatory epithet towards those whom we now call "developmentally challenged" (among many other terms.)

But now the word "****" is associated with insult; because it was used as such ( as in "You don't know what you're talking about, you're ****...") it became a derogatory and disrespectful word to use when referring to "developmentally challenged " people.

Now if you work for one of the many organizations dedicated to supporting people with a "developmentally challenged" disability, and you use the word "****", you will probably get fired on the spot.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jan 9, 2013 11:57 AM

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I know that Mel Brooks has made use of the term "schvartzes" either in his films or his routines. If Brooks uses it, that's what I mean by "lighthearted".

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It was my understanding the word "schvartzes" came from the Yiddish, which sounds to me like it's largely based on German anyway. Gabe Kaplan did a routine about how as a kid, he was unfamiliar with the term. One day, all the people in the apartment building he lived in were all upset and worried looking because "the Schvartzes" were coming to look at a recently vacated apartment in his building. Judging by the worried looks on their faces, he assumed some pending disaster was about to strike, so he sat on the front stoop with his football helmet on, looking up at the sky. He noticed a black couple walking up to the building and told them, "You guys better get out of here. The SCHVARTZES are coming!"

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I'm not sure whether most blacks know that the term "schvartzes" applies to them.........If anyone reading this is an African-American, please jump in.

 

Edited by: finance on Jan 9, 2013 10:17 AM

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}When I say "comical", I really mean "lighthearted", in a conversation among Jewish people. the expression is almost never used in a pejorative fashion.

 

You must know a better class of Jewish people than I do, then, because in the private realm, I've never once heard that word used to be anything but a "cute" variation of "****", reeking with contempt and / or condescension. The only exceptions have been when the person using the term was clearly making fun of himself for using it, but those exceptions in my experience have been few and far between, and it's not hard to tell the difference.

 

Just to be clear, this is not the sort of word I hear in 99% of the conversations I've experienced with, or overheard with Jews, but the word itself is no more "humorous" than "cracker", "****", or "****".

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I agree. It's like when Italians use their word for "eggplant" to describe blacks - it's not being used with any measure of respect.

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Has anyone ever notice that people from other countries like India don't seem to have the same problems with their skin color as negros?

 

b215923036.jpg

 

india50.jpg

 

There are a few white people that gets criticised for the color of their skin. LOL!

 

tanning-mom.jpg

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Bildwasser: well I see you understand my POV here since you wrote ',,,though that is as much a matter of chance,,,".

 

George Carlin had a great routine about this related to T-Shirts with "Proud to be Irish'. It was a funny bit but of course being Carlin an intellectual rant as well.

 

I have had discussion with my Laker buddies about this. A few claim they would be Laker fans regardless of where they lived the majority of their lives (my friends and I are from So Cal). One even went as far to say that even if he was born in Boston he would of hated them and loved the Lakers because the Lakers are class and the Celtics were not. I told him that was total BS. If he was born in Boston the odds are great he would hate the Lakers, love the Celtics and have a green car!

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Jan 9, 2013 11:58 AM

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>The German word for black is Schwarz.

 

And ironically, if you add "enegger" to that, it's the German word for "one-note movie star"!!!

 

(...betcha didn't know THAT, did ya Fred!) ;)

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(Notice that this is not directed to anyone in particular; just the OP's name because it comes up when you click "reply to this thread.")

 

At the risk of sounding whiney, I find it frustrating that I offered some thoughts on how words and names which are originally innocuous in themselves can evolve through time and misuse into extremely negative terms that become unacceptable disrespectful, and derogatory. (examples were from"Negro" to "N****r", and from "mentally ****" to "****".)

 

I believe this is indeed what happens in language. It's neither good nor bad in itself, simply the way it is. I thought it was sort of useful to point this out, and am disappointed that no one seems to have much to say in response.

(It's embarrassing for me to say something like this, but it's what I''m thinking, so what the hell...)

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*"Negro", as I said, the Spanish word for "black" (I'm sure Arturo will correct me if I'm wrong about that) gradually turned into that other word, the "n" word: "n****r". This has now become a totally unacceptable term, treated as a kind of swear word or obscenity. The reason for that is all the horrible connotations around it, the way white people used the word when speaking to or about black people.*

 

This reminds me of an incident with a couple of my black coworkers. I overheard them talking about not liking any of the latino workers speaking in spanish amongst ourselves, with them being there, as for instance, on the elevator. One of them said, "...cuz if I hear one of them say one of those "Nigra" words, it's on!" Sorry about my spelling, but that is my approximation of how she said it; she obviously knew "Negro" meant black in spanish, and she would assume the spanish-speakers were talking about her if she heard that word spoken.

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