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I'm sorry if I'm repeating the topic, but I tried searching and got hundreds of results, and none in the first couple of pages were relevant.
I am an English student from Bosnia and Herzegovina (south-east Europe), and I'm writing a paper on politically correctness, so I need thoughts from Americans...
It is my opinion that "African American" is not precise. It is limited to citizens of America with African heritage. What about black people in other countries in the world? What about black Americans from Cuba, the Carribeans and so on? "Black people" encompasses all those groups.
Can anyone tell me if it is offensive to use "black person/people", and if so, what is the accepted term which would denote the whole group...
There was a time when only "African-American" would do. My children have been taught that, to the point they don't know any other term - making it absurd when we were in another part of the world and they used the term there.
There are mixed opinions among those with darker skin themselves as to what to call themselves. Some will say Blacks with a capital b, some will say black wih a lower-case b, and some will prefer to use only African-American. One of my daughters has - for the first time - a black teacher and she seems to be teacher a bit more than math, which is great considering you can count the number of black kids in their elementry school on one hand. (Maybe two hands, I haven't actually tried to do it.) It seems Miss R uses the term "black people" for her 9-year-old students.
My good friend at work is black. I don't often find it necessary to refer to race, but I use "black" with her. I would use "African-American" with someone I didn't know very well, so it seems that's still the most politically correct form.
However, the black experience in the US has historically been a very different experience than in other places, so I don't see a problem having two phrases, one for the US and one for other places. if you really felt that you had to be sensitive and wanted to refer to places other than the US, then use "those of African descent."
(Note that simply "Africans" implies that they or their parents are from the US - to be an "African-American" implies generations have been here. Probably more generations than most white Americans.)
You will not fine ONE term that is always right. You will find many terms that are always wrong, however. "Colored" is considered an old-fashioned term and slighly prejudiced. Negro sounds like you're from the 1960s. And the "n-word" is considered so offensive that many people who use the "f-word" without pause but will never use the n-word.
I hear 'people of colour' a lot. Sometimes it seems to be used to refer to all "non-white" people, and other times to "black" people.
You might also be interested in another issue that came up here in Toronto a few weeks ago. One of our councillors referred to Chinese people as 'Orientals'. Some people, including some Chinese -Canadians, complained that this was a racist and offensive term, while othe people, including some Chinese-Canadians, said that it was not.
Best wishes, Clive
I'm interested in some estimates as to how many African Americans would be offended with the term black people, capital B or not - 10, 20, 50, 70%?
Since I am so far away, I can't exactly perform a survey, so I need "inside information"
As for "people of colour", I doubt it is considered any different than "black people", since it isn't different essentially. It sounds as a misguided attempt to be PC...
Aren't all attempts to be PC misguided?
If the use of a phrase were a good idea, you wouldn't call it PC.
For example, I read somewhere that a coffee shop waiter refused to serve a customer who ordered black coffee until they asked for coffee without milk. Or when people frown when someone uses the word renig, which means to go back on a deal and is much much older than "nigger"...
I realize identity is fluid, and that different members of the same group have different opinions, but there has to be some stance majority when it comes to "black person".
I wasn't arguing that the idea behind political correctness is necessarily wrong. I just meant that the term, the words themselves, are considered pejorative. eg
If I think the term 'yyyyyy' is a good idea, I'll say that it is an appropriate and useful term.
But if I don't like the term 'yyyyyy', I'll say that it is politically correct.
Best wishes, Clive
My bad, I took the sound and similarity for granted - maybe an indicator of the white frame of mind
Interesting remarks though... Can I quote you on that?
But I am still without answers as to the majority's view of the term "black people"...
Can I quote you on that? Sure
But I am still without answers as to the majority's view of the term "black people"... I usuually hear this form just as 'blacks'. Seems fine to me.
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