Affro american / black person

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mantat, May 18, 2004.

  1. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #1
    A guy I know who is working in a call center is having some problem right now because he said to an american customer that the person he was referencing to was a black person (he had to describe him for a reason x).

    This resulted in a lot of frustration from the client (who was obviously black) who called his manager and called him a racist, KKK, etc... And put a lot of pressure on the manager to fire my friend. I dont think my friend will get fired but it came to him as a shock to be called a racist when he is obviously not.

    Thats when my friend learned that in US, there are no BLACK person, only affro-americans.

    Here in Canada its common to say black and I never heard anyone complain about it. So I was wondering how it can be such an insult in the US and not here. Is it the same in the rest of the world? Was the guy complaining only a minority in the US or is this generalised?
     
  2. dopefiend macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #2
    I say black...Never in my life will I say African-American unless I know that that person is from Africa and it pertains to the conversation. He was probably not a minority though :rolleyes: Whole damn PC thing in the U.S. is pretty annoying.
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    people here in the USA are supposed to be Politically Correct, but thats a load of crap if you ask me, it sounds like this guy is making a big deal out of nothing if you ask me, but then again i dont know the whole story. Personally i know quite a few 'black' people or african americans or whatever and they dont really care, its really just another way to describe a person, i get called white but im really yellow, i dont seem to care, ahhh im ranting so im gonna stop here....
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #4
    i call them black, they dont care. i even have some close black friends and for fun we call them nig or whatever, they don't care. i become most racist when im drunk. i dont have anything against black people, its just when im drinking i have lots of racial jokes to say, which my black friends find hilarious.

    iJon
     
  5. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #5
    sounds rather worrying. You should see the Spike Lee film 'Bamboozled'


    However, with regards to the original post - it sounds like an overreaction
     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #6
    I don't think it matters to most people--there have been so many transitions and so many names.

    When the white folks weren't around, no one I knew worked too hard at being at either extreme. However, I don't know of anyone who still uses Afro-American. It was born in the late 1960s and was supplanted, perhaps in the late 1980s with African-American.

    During my time doing telephone support, several people went out of their way to demand respect. It sounds as though the person you've described is simply one of those types.
     
  7. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #7
    The problem with african american is that there are a lot of people who are dark skinned whose ancestors haven't seen Africa since Noah finished his 3 month round the world cruise. Melanesians, Australian Aborigines, people from Southern India.

    Black is the preferred term in my mind.
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #8
    I say black as well... I don't think it's a derogatory remark, and none of the black people I know take offence from it.

    However that customers behaviour could be called into question. :rolleyes: Calling somebody a racist is certainly a disparaging remark.
     
  9. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #9
    I'm African American - born in Africa, my dad is American, my mom African and I'm living in America, been a citizen from birth. No one would call me 'black', I'm white. Its all a matter of perspective - and if someone wants to take exception to a name, that's unfortunate.

    Although, no non-african american can use the 'n' word without problems.

    I think its all ridiculously overblown - regardless what the label it can all be considered racist. I think context should play a bigger role in determining if its derogatory, rather than the word itself. Race is always going to be one way to describe people, and there are more than a few different races of humans.

    Blah!

    D
     
  10. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #10
    Really sad. But thre is an incredibly big amount of people who call themselves "African American" or "Black" when they are not it. Whereas I .. who more or less am considered a 'white person' in most of the cases, am 50 % of the year darker skinned than some of these 'blacks'.

    I think personally that Black is a neutral term. And then, if your parents and grand and grand grand parents were born here, and only hundreds of years ago your ancestry came from Africa, how is that then 'African American' ?? No White American is called European American .. they are 'just' Americans ?? Black, White, Asia, Latin, are only descriptions of skin color (and partially culture), and .. sometimes a Latin can be White or Black ..

    What next? I will start to sue every single person who dares to say I look like East European ..
     
  11. Mantat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #11
    Thanks for the infos guys, I just wanted to know how much this afro-american thing was common to prevent further mistake from my part.
     
  12. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #12
    But aren't we all from Africa to begin with, scientists believe that everyone migrated from Africa at one point or another. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Remember when NAACP was an acronym? Once upon a time, the word colored was an acceptable word for black. African-American replaced it but was not always accurate. Brother and sister used to be informal terms for black too. Today, black is most common.

    Bottom line: It is most respectful to call people what they choose to be called. When you have to guess, it's natural to choose the most common term.

    Mantat, there will always be people with a chip on their shoulder and people who are behind the times with currently usage. But in this case, your friend did nothing wrong and the assumption that black is improper is mistaken and possibly completely backwards. I hope the manager realizes this now or learns it soon.
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #14
    You're right that no one says European American. They say Italian American, German American, Hungarian American, Polish American, etc.
     
  15. MorganX macrumors 6502a

    MorganX

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    Midwest
    #15
    We may all be from Africa but definitely not from the same tribe. The only thing Africans have in common is dark skin, otherwise they're as different as Bosnians and Serbians, all white skin but different languages, religion, and history.

    Blacks, descendants of African slaves are the only people defined by the color of their skin. There is no country or language black. Their captors used that to segregate them from "humans."

    Having said that, it's too late to change now. If a person makes their preference known that should be respected but the person in Canada shouldn't be fired or even disciplined in any way.

    Canada was a safe-haven for runaway slaves and is known for its ethnic diversity and tolerance. Isn't everyone in Canada mixed with a little French, black, european. Did the caller know he was talking to a Canadian? If it wasn't for Canada, American slaves would have had even less hope.

    Anyway, American men and women, despite how racist the country is, have never let that stand in the way of love and sex. So hopefully 50 years from now it won't be an issue.
     
  16. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #16
    i have no problem calling an immigrant from africa and afircan-american.

    i will not call an american born black person, a-a. would you call me a german-italian-american, or just white?

    pc is stupid.
     
  17. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #17
    I want to be called german-italian-american. if you ever meet me, be sure to call me that, and not white.


    edit: what ever happend to simply "American"?

    edit 2: i have a white friend who was born in africa. he is getting married to an american girl, and will be living here, in america. should he be counted with blacks for the census? or, should he mark white? or, how about man of european decent?

    better call him a white african american of european decent. WAAED

    or, once he is married and a citizen, American.
     
  18. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    #18
    When you say you will not call an American born Black person an Afro-American you must realize that Black is any person with any known African black ancestry. This definition reflects the long experience with slavery and later with Jim Crow laws. In the south of the country it became known as the one-drop rule, meaning that a single drop of "black blood" makes a person black. Some courts have called it the "traceable amount rule", and anthropologists call it the "hypo-descent rule", meaning that racially mixed persons are assigned the status of the subordinate group. This definition emerged from the American South to become the American's definition, generally accepted by whites and blacks. So anyone with African heritage that is a resident in the United States should be considered an Afro-American.
    Personally I have no reason to want to offend anyone of any race so if the general "Black" community wants to be refered to as Afro-Americans then we should accept that, it's not up to anyone else to decide whether or not it is stupid. Plus so would do well to use proper terminology because believe it not racism is alive and well and is a sensitive issue and anyone can end up like the unfortunate colleague who was fired.
    I think the biggest issue is categorizing people by the colour in general, I hear it all the time especially living in the South. It's often "there was some black dude" yet it's never "there was some white dude...."
     
  19. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    at the edge
    #19
    From the Associated Press style manual (the rules of usage most American newspapers follow):

    So, by this rule, if race was somehow important to the conversation then the caller must have identified the race in question using one term or another and your friend should have used the same term.

    On the other hand the details of your story sound a little fishy to me. I have a hard time believing anyone would go ballistic over use of the term "black." Rather, I question whether race was truly essential to the topic at hand. Unless you're talking about a cosmetic product that works differently on those of different skin color or hair type, I have a hard time believing that race was important. Could it be that your friend made a mistaken assumption that offended the caller—that this has precious little to do with word choice?

    I know I would be a little miffed if, in a business transaction, someone brought up race when it had nothing to do with the topic at hand. I would consider that to be thoroughly unprofessional and I might mention it to a manager.

    I don't mean to jump to conclusions. I could be wrong—perhaps race was indeed relevant. The story just sounds very fishy to me.
     
  20. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #20
    So, am I to ask every black person if their ancestors came over as a slave or as an immigrant. Then, if they are of slave ancestry I am to call them A-f, and if not, black? I am sure that will help solve problems.

    In other words, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SLAVERY. It has something to do with common sense. If you call any black person A-a, that is just foolish. Black people come from more then just Africa these days. (Crazy, huh?)

    What do you call a British black person in America?

    What do you call a white person from Africa?

    In situations that necessitate race, such as a census, black, white, asian, latino... are used. If race is not needed, then refer to someone as American, or wherever they are from.

    Also- I would bet that a black person would say "some white dude". Just as an Asian would do... Not saying it is correct to catergorize by race that way, but it is not just white people that say "some (race) dude"
     
  21. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #21
    So me being called white is because of my... um.... the white of my eye?

    What about when Native Americans are called redskins? Asians yellow?
     
  22. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Louisville
    #22
    One of my good friends in high school is a black guy. One day we got into a discussion about what to call eachother. I told him that "white" or "American" were fine.

    When I asked him what he liked to be called, he related the following story... His mom is a programmer, and a black woman from Africa transferred to their office. his mom approached her, and being the ONLY black woman in the office, she said "It's good to see another African-american in here. The lady, after inquiring into her origin, proceeded to lecture her on how offensive she thought it was that black Americans call themselves African's!!! His mom told him and his brothers not to go by african american anymore. Anyway, when I asked him what he liked to be called, he said..... "Just call me Mark".

    this is sort of related, but to acheive equality in America, the best thing to do is remove the "race box" from EVERY FORM!!! How are we supposed to look past it, when every form we fill out reminds us that there are different races!!! Replace it with an ethnicity box. Then we could check American, Mexican, canadian, etc.
     
  23. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
  24. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #24
    i dont get why ppl are so hung up on terms...
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #25
    The fact is that we are all the same, Its called evolution. We all came from the same fungus a billion years ago.
     

Share This Page