T Nation

What's In a Name?


I just have one question for all "African-Americans" on this forum; what the hell does "African-American" mean? "______-American" used to mean that the person was born in another country and then came to the US. Now we have all these blacks, who have never even been to Africa, stating that they are African-American. Why? What the hell is wrong with just being American? Should every other race go back to their country of racial origin and have a hyphenated name as well? So let's all be "_____-American" instead of just Americans because evidentially being American is just not good enough anymore.

Let's stop the division people. If you are American, then be proud of it and be just American!


dude dont be a d!ckhead


He already is! But damn if he didn't go and show it to everyone in a big coming out kinda way.


You should have called this thread "Fixing the Race thing". I'm not even going to go into the fact that they were brought here against their will, were forced into slavery for four hundred years, and subjected to massive amounts of racism for the remaining 150 after they were "freed". That's a real American dream, right?

Go back to high school, and take your attempts at logic with you. Never return!


Ummmmmmmmm Uhhhhh


I almost called TSB on this one.

African Americans can be proud of being American, and proud of having African ancestry at the same time, guy.


I dont see anything wrong w/ blacks being proud of themselves. Why not whites being proud?? White Pride!

We have done a LOT more than the people out of Africa in their entire span have ever done and should therefore be much prouder. I am proud of having European ancestry and being white; i dare anybody to say that i am wrong for doing so.


Everybody should be proud of their ancestry.


Why? It's not as though we had much to do with it.


Exactly. Why should I brag on where my great, great, great parents came from?


You know, I once referred to someone on my high school basketball team as 'African American.' I was then yelled at because he was Jamaican.


A ha, now you're gonna open a can of worms with this one. Patriotism is just as fallible an idea as ancestral pride. I didn't have anything to do with being born in the US, and yet I am patriotic. WTF?

It doesn't make sense, does it? :slightly_smiling:

Thing is, you can love and be proud of what you are even if you had nothing to do with it. It's when you turn that up a little too much and use your pride as selfishness, and it turns from simple pride into arrogance and xenophobia that this becomes a problem.

My race (white) is notorious for losing control of ourselves when we celebrate our ethnicity, and taking it too far. And I think that's a shame. We don't have a "white history" month because we can't be trusted with it. :slightly_smiling:

But seriously, don't rag on Lorisco too much. He, like many of my white brethren, is obviously quite awkward and very undiplomatic about racial stuff due to the confusion of being an average white male.

Let me explain: If you are white, and don't have a lot of experience in being around other races, then you don't understand what it's like to be different and have society at large treat you differently. Look at the "NOPD most crooked" thread. There's guys posting on there who have never had a bad experience with the police. How freaky is that?

And really, this thread is nothing more than the statement "I don't understand black people". Well... no shit Lorisco. Instead of ragging on him, maybe we can make some suggestions to help the poor guy. He is really missing out on stuff.

Try renting some Paul Mooney stand up comedy. I'm sure there's videos out there somewhere. I got him on audiotape. Watch the Dave Chapelle show. Try some collard greens with a lot of hot sauce. They're good. Stop privately treating black men like boogeymen and locking your car doors when you pull up to an intersection where some dudes are waiting to walk across the street. Unclench those butt cheeks, and walk like you DON'T have a screwdriver up your ass. Anybody got anything else?


Every culture that i can think of has done incredible things and in other instances has been not so noble. Every culture. So yes i am and should be proud of who i am and where i come from but i dont have to be arrogant over my race like the first poster. This pride includes my race as you might say ,but more importantly i feel a special part of my family and things like that- b/c you have to know where you came from to know where you're going.


Ditto this. I am of Scottish descent, so every time I watch Braveheart, I'm like "Coot that Anglishmin's Hed OFFF!!!"

Ethnic pride is something that should be fun. Like wearing a kilt and chugging mass quantities of dark beer and throwing large rocks at each other.


Regarding the patriotism issue: Personally, I consider the notion of being "proud" of my country (or my heritage as a matter of fact) somewhat awkward too. Liking or loving my country for one reason or the other seems more "natural" to me. "Natural" in terms of not creating a superficial sense of community where it doesn't exist, at least not to that extent. That being said, I guess in most cases, people using one of the above mentioned phrases are trying to say the same thing or at least something similar.


Okay, seeing ya there. Let's try this:

Are you proud of being a man? Doing manly things, furtively checking out some girl's rack, the smell of sawdust and freshly mown grass, a cigar while watching the game on ESPN at a sports bar where the waitresses are beautiful, and REQUIRED to wear skintight clothing...

We had no choice in being men, and yet we revel in these things. There is no According to Hoyle "reason" for us to be this way, we just are. Surely you don't feel weird about this, right? There isn't anything artificial or contrived about taking satisfaction in fixing a broken chair (or doing anything involving a power saw and some sand paper for that matter), is there? This is just "guy stuff".

Same thing with being an American. It's okay to be proud of being an American for no other reason than you are one, if you want. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that belonging to a group and enjoying it makes you better than someone else for no other reason. It's like being a MENSA member doesn't automatically make you the smartest person in the room. Win some chess games first... then talk shit. :slight_smile:


Good points. However, am I proud of being a man? No. Neither proud nor ashamed. I'm proud of meeting my standards or at least striving to do so, as well as holding certain values in high regard, though. Many of these standards and values may be shared by most of us on these boards, yet definitely not by the "average" man (being a mere mortal must suck, huh?)... :wink:

I agree, there isn't anything artificial or contrived about taking satisfaction in fixing a broken chair. On the other hand, I would find it rather awkward trying to construe some sort of common entity called "man" based on the above mentioned requirement (and others of course) from which I derive my identity, at least part of it.

In the end, I guess it all boils down to wordings and definitions, and as long as one consciously adopts such a stance, there is no harm done. As it has been pointed out previously, the repercussions of an unconscious and undifferentiated approach in this context are another story and well documented by the history books...


The moment I am looked at and no preconceptions are made based on my race, culture, skin tone, or sex is the moment that no specific labels will be needed. Get back to me when this happens.


Don't forget size.


I don't understand. What does a label like African-American do to offset these preconceptions, if you don't like them?

Those preconceptions will be there no matter how you label yourself. What does the label accomplish exactly?