Wikipedia Unsure Whether African-American Should Be A A, A-A, A-a

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 21 17:50:15 UTC 2008

It's hard to believe, isn't it? That some African-American asshole
could possibly claim thhat Obama is not African-American enough.
Compared to whom? Hillary? John? Sarah? W? Are you familiar with the
animated cartoon, The Boondocks? One of the characters makes an
observation somewhat like the following:

"I probably shouldn't be saying this in front of white people, but
black people are crazy."

Well, what I can tell you? Affirmative Action, originally thought of
as a means to make it easier for black men to get jobs, is now thought
of as a prime example of "reverse discrimination" - a phrase empty of
semantic content - a means to make it more difficult for white men to
get jobs.

As someone that I've lost track of once noted, "If ten percent of
available jobs are set aside for black men, then by what right do
white men demand to have one hundred percent of available jobs?"

I realize that the point that the writer is trying to make, given that
no black man has the ability to do a white man's job and, therefore,
clearly has no right to a white man's job, is hard to wrap one's head
around. Backhoes operated by white men dig ditches and colored Harvard
professors use their intellects to write rap records, instead of using
those intellects to discover what there was before there was anything.
But WTF? Give it a try.


On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:50 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Wikipedia Unsure Whether African-American Should Be A A, A-A,
>              A-a
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I saw only one segment on it on the Daily Show (though there is a lot
> of hits on Google). What I took from it is that not being black enough
> was concerned with the fact that his father is an immigrant so Barack
> hadn't been through the black experience and had nothing to do with
> skin color. This relates to the issue of applied scope of the term
> African-American versus the term black. BB
> On Oct 21, 2008, at 5:27 AM, Doug_Harris wrote:
>> Regarding the 'not black enough' issue, I'm sure you were referring
>> to the
>> likes of his viewpoints, attitudes and so forth, as opposed to
>> pigmentation.
>> There is, though, as you know, diametrically opposed views within the
>> so-called black society, regarding the issue of skin color. On the
>> one hand,
>> there's the view that -- as Cassius Clay said to me one day, before he
>> became Muhammad Ali -- "the blacker the berry, the better the
>> fruit": A
>> prejudice against lighter-skinned blacks. At the same time, some
>> within
>> that community seem to favor people of pinker pigmentation within
>> their
>> community. I believe similar light leanings exist as well in
>> communities
>> where the (pinkish)'white man' isn't a dominating issue. Strange,
>> that.
>> dh
>> Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> After looking back, I see what the problem is. I said that Barack is a
>> recent immigrant when I meant that his immigration roots are fairly
>> recent. I thought that meaning is clear because immigrants are not
>> eligible to become president, but I should have been more careful. Mea
>> culpa.
>> Getting back to the point: The conversation was about African-
>> Americans descended from people from Africa from more than 100 years
>> ago versus recent immigrants from Africa.
>> I said that the term "African-American" more easily accommodates
>> recent immigrants from Africa that the term "black", and another data
>> point that supports this is the people who claim that Barack isn't (or
>> might not be) black enough. This indicates that people feel there is
>> something different between having African roots and being a member of
>> the black community.
>> Expanded disclosure: I have an aunt who use to pal around with
>> Governor Palin several years ago at the gym and I myself have lived in
>> Wasilla, though it was so long ago I can't remember how many "l"s it
>> has. BB
>> On Oct 20, 2008, at 8:42 PM, Doug_Harris wrote:
>>> says:
>>> "The truth is, Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii in
>>> 1961, a
>>> native citizen of the United States of America."
>>> (with about as good a definition as can be had) defines
>>> immigrant thusly:
>>> "A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another."
>>> Barack Obama is _not_ an immigrant -- recent or otherwise.
>>> dh
>>> Benjamin Barrett said:
>>> It was me. Are you saying that Barack Obama's father (and
>>> essentially,
>>> by implication, Barack) isn't a recent immigrant? Barack Obama, Sr.,
>>> came to Hawai'i as a student when he was 23 years old. Since he was
>>> born in 1936 (,_Sr.), that
>>> would be circa 1959, which is *very* recent for immigration.
>>> And I certainly do *not* believe that Barack pals around with
>>> terrorists!  BB
>>> On Oct 20, 2008, at 4:14 PM, Doug_Harris wrote:
>>>> I can't tell from the back-and-forth who said this
>>>> __ African-American also has the potential to include recent
>>>> immigrants such
>>>> as Barack Obama and his father__
>>>> but whichever of you it was, and I'm betting it wasn't Wilson,
>>>> probably also
>>>> believes BO also "pals around with terrorists."
>>>> Come ON!!!! Recent immigrant, my foot!
>>>> dh
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
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>> The American Dialect Society -
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