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Is the term "African-American" rasict.
Why or why not.
Thoughtful, intelligent replies requested.

Freespirit64 8 Sep 11

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If a term is racist or not often depends on how and by whom it is used. If only the kkk said 'African-American' and everyone else said 'dark-skinned people' then someone using 'African-American' would be a clear indicator of racism. The problem of course it that people who are not racist could use it by accident. This dilemma is often used by "certain groups" to dogwhistle and to change the boundaries of what is acceptable.
If enough people say 'African-American' in a way where it is clear that they mean it in a derogatory way the term might also become racist just because it is used in that way too often. I think that is the reason why the term to describe this part of the population changed/changes so often.
So a word itself is seldom racist and often changes from not being racist to being racist.

Dietl Level 7 Sep 11, 2019

i can't tell you if that term is racist. What I can tell you is that you go with the term that a black person wants to be called and you are never wrong even if that term changes over time.


I don't know. If any of our Black American users answer, consider me to agree with what they say.

Jnei Level 8 Sep 11, 2019

Whether it is or not lies in the eye of the beholder. The term was adopted by the American Black community, itself.


“As for myself I don’t like being called ‘black American’, because it so often implies less American. And I absolutely despise being called ‘African-American.’ I am not an African. I am an American.” Albert Murray

No matter what description you use, some people will see it as racist.

I propose respect and love for all of our citizens. Maybe it would be better if we got away from referring to people’s ancestry at all. There are thousands of ways of dividing people into classifications but in the end we are all the same thing.



I am never sure why anyone has to have any ethnic label attached to them apart from maybe on a police wanted poster of course.


It’s a ‘politically correct’ term that’s been untrue and unnecessary for decades now…

Varn Level 8 Sep 11, 2019

If origin is to matter, is something that need be stated, what is an American?
I think any word or set of words may be used or perceived as a slur by someone at sometime.
It would actually depend on the intent of the user.


Whatever black people wish to be called. As with Hispanic people in this part of the country, what they wish to be called has changed more than once in my lifetime. I suppose it is a generational thing.

I've seen that


Cannot remember using the term African-American previously, and have not thought about it being racist. I think it is racist, either coincidentally or on purpose, except when used in reference to an African who immigrated to the Americas regardless of cultural background. For example, one might say Elon Musk is an African-American; though, the conversational context could make it derogatory or racist. It's best to avoid its use.


First the term was "colored." Then it became "Negro," then "black," then "African American." The history of each of these terms follows a similar pattern. First it is used as a simple descriptor, but, since the majority culture always denigrates and "others" the minority culture, it is only a matter of time before the descriptor begins to become a pejorative, a marker for "them." The problem is not the term itself, but the thinking process of the majority culture that invariably "others" the minority group.


Seems like an unnecessary term, but I guess it came about as an attempt at some correctness. But that doesn't make any sense to me. If one was born in America, then one is American. If you wanted to add heritage then technically we are all African Americans, since that is where all humans started.

I have remote ancestors that were born in other countries. What does it matter, really?


If used in the same context as Irish American or Italian American, simply to indicated ancestry and heritage I see nothing wrong with it.


I feel that it is racist, in the same way that MOBO awards is racist; so many other 'institutions are set up for one or other 'minority' group. All of these are based on a precept of 'difference' ... yet if you aim for equality everything should focus on what we all have in common. You are all American ... whether your family initially arrived with the mayflower, slave from Africa, poverty driven Irish .... you all now sit on what should be the greatest nation in the world, but squander too much effort in self harming the country.


Sometimes there is a need in order to single a person out we say the woman with glasses or the long haired guy or the black girl. Most people don't take offence with that. My wife is a Filipina and when someone calls and asks for her and she says, who is it, I say they sound Filipino. I know of nobody in that community who takes that as an offence. On the other hand if the motive is to separate people into us/them groups then it does become raciest. That is my opinion anyway.

gearl Level 7 Sep 11, 2019

It is what they themselves, in most cases, have selected. Unlike "boy" or the "n" word........


I wonder if many of the other countries in the world have double-names? Are there African-British, Somali-French, American-Canadian, American-Japanese? Is this phenomenon only in America? I guess most white people in America are European-American. I never hear Cuban-American or Spanish American. I do hear Latino-American sometimes.
Scientifically speaking, there is only one race, the human race. I don't know why humans are so infatuated with the way other people look.

Other countries do indeed have names like this. "Afro-Cuban" comes to mind. If you lived in these other countries you might hear more of them.


Well, I am a Viking-German- American. Does that give you enough clues? I wish, all African Americans would specify even more where they came from. Tuareg-African-American would be a nice conversation starter, or Soweto-African- American.
As it stands here and now, African American is code for black and former slave. So, it's your turn to make this your own. Add more detail. Make it more interesting. Make people look up Mali on their phones.

Black people who are descended from slaves generally do not know from what countries their ancestors were from.

@itsmedammit Are you assuming that?

@Spinliesel no many black americans have stated as much and it was an intentional thing done by slave owners to not teach the new generation of slaves to hear any stories of their parents'/grandparents' motherlands.


why would it be racist? racist means showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another... how does that term denote or connote superiority to you? Hence, no, it is not racist.


white privilege includes living on stolen land of red skin people....getting into discussion of skin color, racist culture, reparations and civil rights is a moving target for all people of good will.....blind Ray Charles could not escape from pressure on all sides when "his people" were still called colored, negro and worse.....religion leaves Sunday the most racist day of the week ....abolitionists called the slave trade "man stealing" a step up from kidnapping Africans onto ships chained and packed like dying sardines alive in a giant can....bound for Charleston Harbor sold by Jewish ship owners to white xian buyers of human flesh.....I recommend staying out of such discussions until you have several friends who agree with you speaking the same exact words.... go as a group standing for diversity and the human race....if there are Confederate Monuments near you....good luck in that minefield bound to blow up with red necks and kkklaners itching for a fight

I'm laughing at this because I'm fresh from a fight about this very thing. And the thing was, it was just posted as a question. Just a question. Like I'm doing with you all. Because on the whole, you lot are more elevated in knowledge and intellect than the assholes I was just dealing with. So I decided to bounce it around here. The others were so hostile that it really made me think that the term is indeed racist. It's just that our society has normalized it. You never hear the term African-Canadian or African-British, do you? So yeah, it made me think about the way we've normalized a lot of harmful behavior.


Missouri was a slave state and the Dred Scott decision handed down the steps of the MR LOUIS FEDERAL COURTHOUSE aside the Mississippi River

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