Thursday, February 19, 2009

African-American

I hate this word. It's a seven syllable word for Black.

This is February. It's not called African-American History Month. James Brown didn't sing a song called, "I'm African-American and I'm Proud." There is no such thing as African-American on African-American crime. Tyler Perry didn't write a play called "Diary of a Mad African-American Woman." There is not a Congressional African-American Caucus. Rod Tidwell didn't tell Jerry Maguire to yell , "I love African-American people."

Using the word "Black" to describe a race of people is not offensive. Black people in Europe are not referred to as African-Europeans. They are Black. Is the term White offensive to describe paler skinned people? No. Then what is the deal with uptight Americans that we need to go to such great lengths to prove our racial sensitivity?

Attorney General Eric Holder hits it on the head. "We are a nation of cowards."

In a recent address, the newly appointed Attorney General speaks on Black History Month and how we as a nation have voluntarily segregated ourselves despite all the hard fought ground gained in the Civil Rights Movement. He challenges Americans to be honest with themselves about the sensitive topic of race and how we contribute to this downward cycle of division. (GOP: See Barack the Magic Negro or a just look at a photo of any RNC convention for the last 100 years.) Some will call this an opportunistic plea for attention, but the truth resonates within the message itself and it wouldn't matter who delivered it.

A White man is only referred to as a Caucasian on police blotters, in census bureaus or when he first fills out paperwork for a new doctor or dentist. A Black man does not BECOME an African-American because he achieves a certain level of status or rank becasue of hard work and commitment. THAT is racist. Assigning a label that implies one excels beyond what limits society has predetermined and set for them. Why can't we just say that we have black lawyers, doctors, professors and now a black president? The PC 90s set back progress on the race issue by forcing this word into the national lexicon (Is this a byproduct of Affirmative Action?). That's why I choose not to use this unneccessary and counterproductive word.

2 comments:

Sal Kilmister said...

Good stuff--Stay mad. You are the next Matt Kramer...or umm, Jim Cramer, you know, from Mad Money!

People of African decent are usually refered to as "Africans" in Europe, not Blacks as you suggest.

Overall I do think we are cowards when it comes to talking race. I blame Bill Cosby and Bradda.

Randal Graves said...

As a Scotch-Irish-English-German-Polish-Albanian-unknown-Caucasian-American, this post offends me.