Why?

United States
January 22, 2008 5:06am CST
Can anyone explain to me why so much emphasis is placed on the term AFRICAN American? I hear this all the time especially in politics. I am never referred to as a SCOTTISH American or my friend a GERMAN American. Is this used as a complimentary or derogatory term? Are we all not just AMERICANS now? Is it meant to denote one is not quite completely American?
4 people like this
8 responses
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
22 Jan 08
ya got me on that one and when every thing camepolitical polite here this is the term that came up for the Black people dont know why! FOr after all ones born in the 1900 surely are just Americans!
4 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
22 Jan 08
LOL being a Canadian I could never understand that whole African American thing ESPECIALLY since its really NOT accurate if you think about it..For example, I'm black (mixed actually) but IF I were an American refering to me as "african american" would be WRONG....I'm not African! I'm WEST INDIAN...in Canada we just say "black" though thats on the street..I dont know what, if any, the PC term is back home....
3 people like this
• United States
22 Jan 08
I haven't a clue what is PC for my great grandchildren. Their father is African American, mother is German/American, their grandmother is German ( not yet an American) and I am Scottish/Amercan. Poor kids sound like mongrels.
3 people like this
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
23 Jan 08
My daughter is of Aboriginal, Irish, Scottish, English, Spanish & German descent. She is also half Jewish. I am not sure what race predominates, the Jewish half is Spanish/English, but there is Spanish from her non-Jewish side.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
23 Jan 08
Many people thought my daughters father was Arab, but he wasn't! We are mostly all called Australians here, although on rare occassions I am "of Aboriginal descent". I dont really care what I am called.
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
22 Jan 08
AMEN!! THANKYOU!! AMEN!! THANKYOU!! I couldn't have said it better whiteheather!! LOL Good job gal!! I have another one too, why is it ok to have all black schools and not an all white schools? Blacks can do it then why can't whites? Talking about segregation but yet it's the blacks that are angry and yet they start up all black schools. I would appreciate someone explaining that one to me.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jan 08
I love your enthusiasm for my topic. I am afraid I can not give you an explanation as between what is politically correct and illegal aliens getting American benefits for being criminals I am totally confused.
2 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
23 Jan 08
America is GREAT!! They'll take care of us illegal aliens over their own!! Awesome!! (rolling eyes because it's true.)
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
23 Jan 08
I can only assume it has something to do with the early origins of American people, & the different colour & culture of African Americans. I believe their are Indian Americans & Mexican Americans. Not sure why white races dont come into this "rating" category. Could it be how African Americans came to be existing in American society? Then again, I am a direct descendant of a convict, one of the earliest settlers (white) in Australia. Although not slaves, most convicts weren't treated any differently to the original African Americans, and I am not called a "convict Australian"! Many Australians are called Aboriginal Australians. Interesting discussion.
@jennybianca (12918)
• Australia
23 Jan 08
I see my views are a bit different to those above, but as I am Australian, I dont get to experience what the citizens of the US experience. Australia being located where it is, is often being referred to as part of Asia, which many Aussies resent. I do wonder if the term African American is there to define racial origin only. Scottish, & Irish Americans are all part of the same race (that word some people are offended by).
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jan 08
This may be opening a can of worms for you, but I think the term African American is belittling to all Americans. If you are American then so be it, if you have to be special in some way just because of the color of your skin, then you have no business being in America or being American. Supposedly our great strength is our diversity, but being diverse does not give anyone exclusivity.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Jan 08
Great response! I am just a plain proud American by choice.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jan 08
We are still a very racist country. The civil rights era was only 60 years ago.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
27 Jan 08
This question has baffled me through the years as well. I also think it serves to segregate and promotes racist ideologies as well... and how come is it no Caucasians are ever referred to as African Americans? there are a lot of white people in Africa too... and are people of this lineage that are born in malaysia called African malasiians? are there those that go by African Portuguese? I would think that if i were a person of color (not sure what term is to be used anymore) I would not like to be pulled apart to a group identified this way. and how about those who are not of an African lineage - are they called african american solely due to the color of their skin?
@GardenGerty (92211)
• Marion, Kansas
24 Jan 08
As opposed to Native American? I do not know. I also do not know what I would be, as I am many things. Native American, Irish American, German American,but basically red white and blue American. Really, you and I know that that is just a substitute for the N word, in a way. it is still a way of keeping us all separate from each other.