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View Diary: "Y-Chromosomal Adam" possibly farther back in time than thought (237 comments)

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  •  It's "African" because most do not know where (7+ / 0-)

    ...they came originated in Africa. It's easy to say "Irish", or 'Italian" if you know that is where you folks left to come to America. Not so much the case if your ancestors came chained in the bottom of a ship with sewage floating around.

    As for Native Americans, they aren't "Indian" and they are native to land though many seem to forget that little fact.

    I still don't get why these things bother people, usually those of European extraction though not exclusively by any measure?

    To me, calling people "black", when their skin color is brown or lighter, seems inappropriate but far less offensive than "Negro"(for those of recent generations), or other labels.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:33:32 PM PDT

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    •  I agree that it is difficult to put a label... (5+ / 0-)

      on people.  What am I?  I'm not white and I do not even know what caucasian means.  I have no known paternal history so that makes me a light, tannish color skinned person of unknown origin.  

      I do know this though, I was born in Columbus Ohio and that makes me a citizen of the United States of American (also simply called an American).  I also know that my friend Kieth was born in West Virginia and he too is an American even though his skin pigmentation is slightly darker than mine.  Neither one of us have ever been to Africa or Europe.  I realize that Native Americans who descended from the great tribes that inhabited this continent prior to the European invasion are not Indians.  Most have never been to India and there are special rights that they rightfully have in this country but if I am not a native here then where exactly do I belong?

      Words matter and if we are going to put labels on people we have to understand that they will end up segragating people from others with different labels.  

      I think we should abandon the labels.  If we want to differentiate at all, we could describe the color of skin in the same manner we describe hair color or reference a place of origin that he or she appears to be descended from but it should not be the first and foremost label we use for someone.  We should not be defined by our skin color nor should we be segregated by the birthplace of our ancestors.  

      Our cultures, our heritage, our roots are all important but like religion, it is personal and should not be a mold in which we are supposed to fit.  If we stop trying to figure out how to label our differences, maybe we will start seeing one another as more alike and share empathy and compassion with one another.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 12:57:33 PM PDT

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      •  Second generation American born here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell

        I think there's a natural curiosity inherent in that status and less of a tendency to take many things for granted.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:54:36 PM PDT

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      •  "if we are going to put labels on people" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell

        pretty much many Americans use the label that the people in the group choose
        First it was Negro, then Black, then African American (roughtly)

        I call people what they want to be called, how they catagorize themself. If you dont' want to be personally catagorized as it seems, that's fine. But why'd you (seemlingly) object to how someone else wants to be labeled?

        Group identity is natural to human beings and it often feels good. For example, Irish Americans are Americans first but Irish is an adjective that modifies American...ie it's a KIND of American. Americans who's ancestors were from Ireland choose to wear the Irish American label with pride and a sense of belonging.

        It feels like you have a thing for all labels for everyone (not just you) because of your own individual personal experience not knowing who your biological father was and it not being obvious what particular group you might group yourself in, for sure (?)

        It's valid to feel that way but numerous other people feel differently and they are equally right to want to and enjoy being part of, ,say, the African American community..

        Maybe if you thought of it as it really is: African is a modifier of American. We have tall Americans short Americans old Americans young American Irish Americans and African Americans. In English adjectives precede the noun they describe.
        It's just a subset, a KIND of American.

    •  I know many American Indians (4+ / 0-)

      I am married to one. Most of them called themselves Indian or American Indian, not Native American.  Have you actually talked to people whose ancestry is different from yours and asked them how they want to be described?

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