Archive for October, 2015

African-American. African-American, African-American. We have had that terminology shoved on us for decades now. Can you define it?

Words mean something, so let’s deal with it. The first word to probably draw your attention was “stupid.” According to Dictionary.com:

adjective, stupider, stupidest.
  1. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
  2. characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish;senseless:

    a stupid question.
  3. tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense; inane;pointless:

    a stupid party.
  4. annoying or irritating; troublesome:

    Turn off that stupid radio.
  5. in a state of stupor; stupefied:
    stupid from fatigue.
  6. Slang. excellent; terrific.

For the purpose of this writing, I am intending definition number 3, “tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense; inane;pointless:.” (Hey, it’s my post, I get to choose. If you apply one of the other definitions, that is your responsibility, not mine.)

Now the second word of note. Merriam-Webster.com defines African–American as:
an American who has African and especially black African ancestors.
So, what have we done with that? Does it really make sense? I maintain it is pointless. I have never heard the term “Europeon-American,” yet we seem to have a whole bunch of them around. I believe there is a group of historical societies which trace the ancestry of the Founding Fathers, but I don’t believe I have ever heard the lineage declared to be “English-Americans.”
 
In France, do we have “African-French” or would that be a use for the term “African-European?” Even more baffling, since the purpose of the term “African-American” is to make a distinction, then on the African continent do they have “African-Africans” and “White-Africans,” or again, “European-Africans?” 
 
That seems to demand another question. Why is it not “American-African?” Do “African-Americans” have dual citizenship, one in Africa and one in America? It could make one wonder which is more important to the people who demand this terminology. It could seem that “Africa” is the emphasis of the term yet all of the benefits come from the fact they are Americans..
 
It is obvious the term “African-American” came from some “politically correct” (: agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people – merriam-webster.com) fool who wants to make themselves feel better. What we really need is a term such as “Politician-American” we would have no doubts about their thought processes, however, we already have a shorter term for this group, that is “liar.”

fool – noun \ˈfül\

  1. : a person who lacks good sense or judgment : a stupid or silly person
  2. : a person who enjoys something very much
  3. : a dessert made with cooked fruit and cream or a thick sauce

(merriam-webster.com)

 
Of course we must include a caveat (: an explanation or warning that should be remembered when you are doing or thinking about something – merriam-webster.com) on this discussion because someone will be offended, so if you are offended by the term “African-American” or any other terms in this discussion… get over yourself.
 
Now, when will America have answers to these questions?


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