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Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 12:51 AM

One question that comes up for us... Is what do we call our darkest skinned portion of the world?

If you say black, you get into trouble, you say African-American, that might not be true. If you say colored people disagree.

So what do we say?


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 12:57 AM

I say black, but when I was little I said brown.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:00 AM

Calling everyone who is dark skinned ‘African American’ doesn’t make any sense because there are so many other places in the world they could be from.




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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:01 AM

I say black. But if I'm referring to a specific person, like someone in school I'll just say him/her over there or their name.


   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:03 AM

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Originally Posted by Lizzie View Post
Calling everyone who is dark skinned ĎAfrican Americaní doesnít make any sense because there are so many other places in the world they could be from.
My point exactly, what do we call them


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:34 AM

I say black or coloured. Then again they're not really terms I ever need to use since there's only like one black person in my school and very few in my town, but I've never heard of anyone having an issue with the term 'black'?
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:47 AM

I've never upset anyone (that I know of) by calling them black. We're all different colors and it's simply convenient to have widely-accepted words that describes groups of like skin colors. I do believe that "people of color" is currently the most politically appropriate phrase, although this includes anyone that is not caucasian so may be misleading.

I'm not a huge fan of using African American to describe all black people, because I find it very misleading. To me, a person of African decent that is not both African and American is plainly an American. The definition of African American does include all black Americans, but I find it troubling that the definition excludes people of other colors. xD

Like anything else, it depends on who you talk to. Some people will have no aversion to one word, while others may find it offensive. You'll find that sometimes people will reclaim a word within their community (nigger and fag are examples), but that people from outside of the community are discouraged from using it because malicious intent is assumed.

A very wise man once told me "I am not color blind". Modern society spends so much time teaching "differences don't matter" that we have essentially devalued all of our differences (including ancestry). I think the bottom line is just to be sensitive to those around you. As long as we are accepting and respectful, our intentions will be understood.



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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:50 AM

I've always said black, except when in the company of a black person. You never know if they would take offense, so to be safe, I either just don't mention their race (I generally don't need to) but when I do, I say "someone of African decent". Which sounds long and awkward, but hey, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 02:04 AM

The NUS Black Student Campaign feels Black is an empowering word. Lots of Black groups use the word, as far as I know, it's acceptable.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 02:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invert View Post
The NUS Black Student Campaign feels Black is an empowering word. Lots of Black groups use the word, as far as I know, it's acceptable.
They also call each other the "N" word which is acceptable to some.



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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 02:11 AM

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Originally Posted by Darth Cara View Post
I say black. But if I'm referring to a specific person, like someone in school I'll just say him/her over there or their name.
I agree with this. I do not refer people by their race. I use names.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 02:29 AM

If they can refer to us as "white folk" as they usually do, then I can and do refer to them as black. Done and done. I don't think that there is harm on either side of the transaction.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 04:27 AM

I simply call them black or blacks or black people because the term "African-American" assumes they are of course part of that culture or race but if they're not, then it's an incorrect description. Negro seems to be offensive within the black community so that rules that one out, although nigger is used by many blacks so I'm unsure on how that one works. I call them black because it avoids the issue of describing their correct culture or race and, avoids using nigger or negro both of which may seem offensive. It seems to describe such people fairly accurately because they are dark-skinned, there's no debate around that.

Of course, if I know the person then I call them by their name or if there's only one black person who I'm referring to who is present, then I'll refer to the person.

Lastly, many black people call lighter-skinned people as whites, so I see no reason why we should not use the same method of reference. If we accept being called whites, then it's fair enough to call them blacks.

Quote:
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The NUS Black Student Campaign feels Black is an empowering word. Lots of Black groups use the word, as far as I know, it's acceptable.
Does this then mean that calling a black person a nigger is acceptable because many black people call other black people that word, even when not in a time of aggression? Or what about dog or dawg, many black people call each other that, so is that also acceptable?
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 04:30 AM

To me, I don't actually notice skin colour, nor do I refer to it. On my campus, they are simply people. They aren't Black(or White for that matter), their just people. We call people by their names, and the only time skin colour is referred to is in rap lyrics. I mean, you really don't think 'those African-American students', which is often not accurate anyway, you think 'those students from the new apartments' or whatever.

I think skin colour is overrated. It shouldn't matter what we call someones skin anyway, it should only matter that they are people too.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 05:03 AM

I generally say black. Though I hardly ever usually say that cause I don't tend to talk about it in general.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 05:34 AM

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Does this then mean that calling a black person a nigger is acceptable because many black people call other black people that word, even when not in a time of aggression? Or what about dog or dawg, many black people call each other that, so is that also acceptable?
I meant in formal organisation titles. Not informal interpersonal relationships. Sure, if many groups refered to themselves as 'The Nigger Association of Univeristy Students', or 'The Nigger Police Group' or whatever, that might be different. But they don't. If they are making Black as a part of a formal title, for universal usage, they are much less likely to find it offensive. Not to mention, a group establishing themselves with the N word in their title, would probably recieve condemnation from other black organisations.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 06:05 AM

(tl;dr? Summary: we should be proud of our differences, not ashamed. xD)



Quote:
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To me, I don't actually notice skin colour, nor do I refer to it. On my campus, they are simply people. They aren't Black(or White for that matter), their just people. We call people by their names, and the only time skin colour is referred to is in rap lyrics. I mean, you really don't think 'those African-American students', which is often not accurate anyway, you think 'those students from the new apartments' or whatever.

I think skin colour is overrated. It shouldn't matter what we call someones skin anyway, it should only matter that they are people too.
I get where you're coming from, and I totally respect it. I know that what you believe stems from respect for all people, and a belief that all people are equal regardless of the color of their skin. But I think we should value people BECAUSE of who they are, not in spite of it.

Whatever happened to the color of our skin being a good thing? I'm not talking about masking racism with "pride". I'm not even talking about pride. But since when are our differences something to ignore, to hide, to be ashamed of? We are different colors. We are different sizes, different beliefs and different backgrounds. We are different sexualities. And those things are to be cherished. It is okay to be proud of who we are, and where we came from. It is okay that I am white and other people aren't, because when we value these differences we learn from them. And when we turn from them, whether it be by shame or indifference, we're doing no one justice.

Because by ignoring skin color we push people to ignore not only the negatives associated with color, but to devalue the positives. We set the precedent that we are to be ashamed of being black, of being white, of being brown, tan, or any color in between; not because they are bad things, but because we aren't the same we aren't allowed to take note of the difference. And we learn that if we aren't ashamed of our skin color, we should be.

If we follow through with the theory that there are no colors, we must then enforce this line of thinking by opposing/dismantling pride groups and other institutions which serve people of color. Furthermore, we must dismantle or oppose groups which serve queer people and those which serve women, or any minority. We might be able to bypass offing groups which serve youth, by arguing that their age puts them in a unique bracket to adults and the elderly, and perhaps we can support groups that serve medically or financially under-served populations. But goodbye to anything which highlights difference.



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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 08:44 AM

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Originally Posted by Invert View Post
I meant in formal organisation titles. Not informal interpersonal relationships. Sure, if many groups refered to themselves as 'The Nigger Association of Univeristy Students', or 'The Nigger Police Group' or whatever, that might be different. But they don't. If they are making Black as a part of a formal title, for universal usage, they are much less likely to find it offensive. Not to mention, a group establishing themselves with the N word in their title, would probably recieve condemnation from other black organisations.
You're correct on that but the fact that they informally sometimes call each other niggers makes it seem acceptable, which is what my point was.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 12:11 PM

I always say black. I don't think I've ever offended anyone for saying that. The same as I don't get offended if someone called me white.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 01:00 PM

I just call my black friends black... I think if I called them African American they would get offended lol.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 02:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by !!!YOU'RE$NUCKING$FUTZ!!! View Post
You're correct on that but the fact that they informally sometimes call each other niggers makes it seem acceptable, which is what my point was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asylum View Post
Like anything else, it depends on who you talk to. Some people will have no aversion to one word, while others may find it offensive. You'll find that sometimes people will reclaim a word within their community (nigger and fag are examples), but that people from outside of the community are discouraged from using it because malicious intent is assumed.
Sorry, I don't make it habit to quote myself, but the post with this in was rather long so I have a feeling a lot of people haven't read it.



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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 21st 2010, 02:40 PM

i say black. as far as i know i've never offended anyone by using the term 'black.' it's like using the term 'white.' i wouldn't be offended if someone called me white. :/



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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 22nd 2010, 12:34 AM

I used negro.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 22nd 2010, 12:36 AM

Black? I've never met a black person who cared to be honest as long as it wasn't something obviously disrespectful like "n....."


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 22nd 2010, 02:57 AM

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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 02:01 AM

I say black because that's not offensive here. I don't say coloured partially because that refers to anyone who isn't white and partially because I think it implies that white people are different from so called "coloured" people. I've heard before that black is apparently offensive in some parts of the states but then again, apparently in some places "indian" isn't offensive and here if you called a native person that, you would be treated as a racist.

Also, is "latino" offensive? If I say that people tend to act a little like it was.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 02:19 AM

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I say black because that's not offensive here. I don't say coloured partially because that refers to anyone who isn't white and partially because I think it implies that white people are different from so called "coloured" people. I've heard before that black is apparently offensive in some parts of the states but then again, apparently in some places "indian" isn't offensive and here if you called a native person that, you would be treated as a racist.

Also, is "latino" offensive? If I say that people tend to act a little like it was.
Latino which in Spanish means "Latin" but which as an English word is probably a shortening of the Spanish word "latinoamericano" refers more exclusively to persons or communities of Latin American origin. I don't see how anyone would be offended if you called them latino, unless you know where they come from specificity like Mexico "Mexicans" Argentina "Argentinos" etc.
But back to the question, since I do not speak English in my daily life, I usually call them "Negros" blacks in English I think that's the correct term.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 03:55 AM

I just say black. I never even know what's politically correct anymore, though.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 03:56 AM

African-American doesn't make sense because most of them are born in America and have never been to Africa.

Coloured doesn't make sense because that is generally seen as any 'non-white' skin colour.

Negro doesn't make sense because it's old-fashioned.

Just use black. We call white people white and there's no problem with it.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 11:19 AM

I rarely use African-American, but I never really offended anyone by saying black. I live in Atlanta, which is filled with black people, Hispanic, and Asian people and no one has confronted me when I call black people black people so lol.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 08:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cas* View Post
To me, I don't actually notice skin colour, nor do I refer to it. On my campus, they are simply people. They aren't Black(or White for that matter), their just people. We call people by their names, and the only time skin colour is referred to is in rap lyrics. I mean, you really don't think 'those African-American students', which is often not accurate anyway, you think 'those students from the new apartments' or whatever.

I think skin colour is overrated. It shouldn't matter what we call someones skin anyway, it should only matter that they are people too.
I wish more people saw things like you do. I really do. It's the only way we'll ever get passed racism. That, and we have to learn to laugh at ourselves and others. Anyone is is literally afraid to make a black or white or Hispanic joke, is. Well. In a way, racist. Why be afraid to laugh? (ps, there is a difference between a joke, and just being mean.)

But, I think the general term is black. I actually laughed when heard someone say "With those two Negroes in it" thinking they were being politically correct. Not to like, offend anyone here who does. It's just really not what I'm used to. Then again, the guy also had a very redneck accent, and did make some borderline racist comments earlier so...
I'm also the kid who likes to point out that most, if not all, of us probably came from Africa. (which is a whole different topic that we shouldn't get into) So when someone says something about "African Americans" I tend to say "HEY. I'm African too! What, you have to be black to be from Africa? Racist."




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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 08:51 PM

I never really refer to person's race. Where I come from everyone is from all over the world, so racism is not really an issue. I suppose I would say black if referring to someone dark skinned.
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 09:17 PM

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That, and we have to learn to laugh at ourselves and others. Anyone is is literally afraid to make a black or white or Hispanic joke, is. Well. In a way, racist. Why be afraid to laugh? (ps, there is a difference between a joke, and just being mean.)
Sorry but I had to post this when you said that:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbQiSVeQwVQ

(Oh and thanks for answering my question Andrea)


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 25th 2010, 09:20 PM

I mean, the last school I was at people were from all over as well. A lot straight from other countries so they still spoke the language or had a thick accent. But I wouldn't say calling someone by their race is, well racist. I'm white, that doesn't make me racist I don't think, saying that I'm white

I do tend to refer to people by their name or explain whatever they're wearing, but.. Well, in some places going "That one black guy" Doesn't help very much if there are a lot of black people around So you kind of get used to calling people their name or how they act/dress or other little distinguishing features if you're trying to point out a person.

Just wanted to point that out.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 29th 2010, 08:56 AM

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To me, I don't actually notice skin colour, nor do I refer to it. On my campus, they are simply people. They aren't Black(or White for that matter), their just people. We call people by their names, and the only time skin colour is referred to is in rap lyrics. I mean, you really don't think 'those African-American students', which is often not accurate anyway, you think 'those students from the new apartments' or whatever.

I think skin colour is overrated. It shouldn't matter what we call someones skin anyway, it should only matter that they are people too.
I agree that they are just people, but don't you ever use skin colour as an identifying trait? Obviously if you know someone's name, then that would be what you would use. Or if you knew something else about them, but what if you don't?

For example, if I'm trying to point out someone in the street, I would probably use skin colour to identify them if there wasn't anything else I knew about them. Maybe there is a group of street performers dancing or something, and I say "I think that black guy is the best one". Because his skin colour is what sets him apart (as well as the fact that I think he is the best, but that's just my opinion, and I can't really say "the best dancer is the best one".) It's the same as saying "that kid with red hair" or "the girl with glasses" or "the really pale boy". They are just people, but if you don't know them personally, then all you know about them is what you can see.

(And I wasn't meaning to be mean or anything, I'm just interested if you really never use skin colour to identify someone, because I would have trouble with that...)
   
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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 29th 2010, 07:05 PM

Politic correctness is basically what this thread is, something i hate with a passion. People are people, but if someone is black or white, i shall call them black or white.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - March 31st 2010, 11:34 PM

Black. One of my best friends from highschool was black (only 2 out of 98 students in my grade were black). She would always refer to other black people, as that, black.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - April 1st 2010, 01:33 AM

I say black. I think 'negro' and 'African-American' can be more offensive than saying 'black'. Black people call themselves black, so I call them black, too. Political correctness is possibly one of the dumbest double standards ever.


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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - April 1st 2010, 01:38 AM

I always say black. It seems weird to say African American, because I don't consider them African, they're just American.
And negro just seems really offensive to me, although it's basically just saying black in but in Spanish.





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Re: Negro, Black, African American? - April 1st 2010, 01:54 AM

I think it doesn't really matter which word you use because someone out there is going to get offended. My Soc teacher asked some kids about this. Asked them what they preferred. Two said black 1 or 2 said African American. In the end there are always going to be people who are going to be unhappy with the word you choose to use.


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