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Old 05-24-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
So African American isn't a racial term?
I've definitely known a ton of black people (I'd say the majority) who don't like being called African-American, and strongly prefer black (considering the AA label something white people say to try and sound polite).

Regardless, within the U.S. experience, black Americans are a race, as that's how they've been socially defined. Genetically speaking, they are a composite of course - on average around 80% West African, 17% European, with a smattering of Native American and Asian ancestry, according to genetic analysis. So in terms of population genetics, they are a racially admixed group, although mostly West African.

All the groups above, genetically speaking, are different races (e.g., discrete populations which diverged tens of thousands of years ago). Many are mixed. For various historical reasons (Bantu migrations, trans-Sahara slave trade, etc) all of the groups have some West African ancestry overlaid. East Africans also have extra admixture from Arabia due to long historic contacts (some Ethiopian groups are up to 40%-45% "white" as a result).

But just as importantly, they don't see each other as being the same race. San, for example, label both blacks and whites as being racial outsiders, but consider themselves to be the same race as the Asians they've seen (who have similar facial features/coloring, but different hair texture). So African both fails as a race in terms of genetics, and self-identification.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:46 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,612,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
But just as importantly, they don't see each other as being the same race. San, for example, label both blacks and whites as being racial outsiders, but consider themselves to be the same race as the Asians they've seen (who have similar facial features/coloring, but different hair texture). So African both fails as a race in terms of genetics, and self-identification.
So just out of curiousity, do the San actually have any cultural/genetic links to ethnic groups in Asia or it's more just a unique ethnic group that is very distinct from a lot of other ethnicities in Southern Africa...

I've always found it interesting(and forgotten or not known by most) that the Malagasy on Madagascar are basically most closely related to people in Borneo(along with East Africans)...
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,633 posts, read 27,052,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I've definitely known a ton of black people (I'd say the majority) who don't like being called African-American, and strongly prefer black (considering the AA label something white people say to try and sound polite).

Regardless, within the U.S. experience, black Americans are a race, as that's how they've been socially defined. Genetically speaking, they are a composite of course - on average around 80% West African, 17% European, with a smattering of Native American and Asian ancestry, according to genetic analysis. So in terms of population genetics, they are a racially admixed group, although mostly West African.

All the groups above, genetically speaking, are different races (e.g., discrete populations which diverged tens of thousands of years ago). Many are mixed. For various historical reasons (Bantu migrations, trans-Sahara slave trade, etc) all of the groups have some West African ancestry overlaid. East Africans also have extra admixture from Arabia due to long historic contacts (some Ethiopian groups are up to 40%-45% "white" as a result).

But just as importantly, they don't see each other as being the same race. San, for example, label both blacks and whites as being racial outsiders, but consider themselves to be the same race as the Asians they've seen (who have similar facial features/coloring, but different hair texture). So African both fails as a race in terms of genetics, and self-identification.
I'm one of them. Do not prefer to be called AA.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
So just out of curiousity, do the San actually have any cultural/genetic links to ethnic groups in Asia or it's more just a unique ethnic group that is very distinct from a lot of other ethnicities in Southern Africa...
No close links. It may be that some of the shared facial features of the San and Asians were actually what "ur-humans" looked like, and the rest of us just lost them however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
I've always found it interesting(and forgotten or not known by most) that the Malagasy on Madagascar are basically most closely related to people in Borneo(along with East Africans)...
Yeah, that was a hell of a boat ride, that's for sure. Now we have access to modern genetic studies, we're discovering potential genetic remnants of other "strange journeys" though. It's been reported that modern Australian Aborigines have around 15% of their DNA which they don't share with people from New Guinea, and seems to have been brought in from India some time during the Bronze Age. There's genetic traces that both the Polynesians and the Ainu may have settled in parts of South and Central America respectively.

But it was different for the ancestors of the Malagasy, because they found and settled an empty island. Bantu peoples came to the island somehow within a few centuries of this settlement, but at that point the Malagasy were well-established enough that people in the highlands are mostly genetically Asian, and even in the lowlands where people are of mostly Bantu descent, they speak the same language as the highlands.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
So African American isn't a racial term?
Sorry, just one more point.

The U.S. census also considers "Asian" to be a race. "Asian" does exclude the Middle East, and Central Asia (people from there are just considered white by the census, like people from North Africa). The arbitrary line is between Afghanistan and Pakistan. A Pashtun from Afghanistan is "white" while one from Pakistan is "Asian"

Obviously this is ridiculous. Hell, talking about Asian as a race in general on these terms is ridiculous, since South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, etc) neither share genetic ancestry with East Asians, nor consider themselves part of the same race.

If the use of "Asian-American" in the U.S. context isn't proper, why should we accept "African-American"? It's a less precise term than just saying black - even if we throw out the obvious case of what do you call someone who was born in the U.S. to white South African parents.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:36 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,612,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Sorry, just one more point.

The U.S. census also considers "Asian" to be a race. "Asian" does exclude the Middle East, and Central Asia (people from there are just considered white by the census, like people from North Africa). The arbitrary line is between Afghanistan and Pakistan. A Pashtun from Afghanistan is "white" while one from Pakistan is "Asian"

Obviously this is ridiculous. Hell, talking about Asian as a race in general on these terms is ridiculous, since South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, etc) neither share genetic ancestry with East Asians, nor consider themselves part of the same race.

If the use of "Asian-American" in the U.S. context isn't proper, why should we accept "African-American"? It's a less precise term than just saying black - even if we throw out the obvious case of what do you call someone who was born in the U.S. to white South African parents.
Well how the US Census defines ethnicity/race is strange to begin with. Asian Indians(which is a diverse mix themselves), Chinese, Fillipinos, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese(along with other Asians) all get their own categories. American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Guamanians or Chamorros, Samoans and other Pacific Islanders are all their own individual categories.

And then everyone else is either white or black. Apparently the census is no more interested in whether someone just moved here from Eritrea vs. a black American whose roots go back 300 years in the US.

I understand that part of how they break out race and ethnicity is political--anyone with roots in a US territory like Guam or Samoa or Puerto Rico--or other groups with strong pres--there's a political reason for counting who claims that ethnicity--but it's such a strange way to define people where it's ultra-specific for some groups and beyond broad for other parts of the world.

Last edited by Deezus; 05-24-2013 at 01:46 PM..
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,464,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
If the use of "Asian-American" in the U.S. context isn't proper, why should we accept "African-American"? It's a less precise term than just saying black - even if we throw out the obvious case of what do you call someone who was born in the U.S. to white South African parents.
They would just be called European or simply "White Americans". Since they are not of African ancestry.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:42 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,612,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
They would just be called European or simply "White Americans". Since they are not of African ancestry.
Although on another note, what would we call someone from Egypt or Morocco who immigrated to the US? They're from "Africa" right? Or someone who has roots in South Africa's long-standing East Indian populations in Durban... Or someone from Madagascar with Malagasy roots(originally from Austronesian cultures).

Last edited by Deezus; 05-24-2013 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,464,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Although on another note, what would we call someone from Egypt or Morocco who immigrated to the US? They're from "Africa" right? Or someone who has roots in South Africa's long-standing East Indian populations in Durban... Or someone from Madagascar with Malagasy roots(originally from Austronesian cultures).
I would have no problem calling them African American as long as they are of indigenous heritage to North Africa. As for they other groups, they would still be considered Indian or Pacific Islander American since their roots originally go back those specific countries. Problem solved.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:50 PM
 
254 posts, read 440,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Sorry, just one more point.

The U.S. census also considers "Asian" to be a race. "Asian" does exclude the Middle East, and Central Asia (people from there are just considered white by the census, like people from North Africa). The arbitrary line is between Afghanistan and Pakistan. A Pashtun from Afghanistan is "white" while one from Pakistan is "Asian"

Obviously this is ridiculous. Hell, talking about Asian as a race in general on these terms is ridiculous, since South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, etc) neither share genetic ancestry with East Asians, nor consider themselves part of the same race.

If the use of "Asian-American" in the U.S. context isn't proper, why should we accept "African-American"? It's a less precise term than just saying black - even if we throw out the obvious case of what do you call someone who was born in the U.S. to white South African parents.
I believe that prior to the 2010 census people of South Asian ancestry (Indians, Pakistanis, etc.) were classified as "white", as they are considered Caucasian people. I agree that the definitions of race provided by the Census Bureau are somewhat arbitrary and tend to be imprecise.

Perhaps, Asians need to be further divided into South Asians and East Asians as far as the Census Bureau is concerned. That probably opens up additional census groupings of "black" and "white."
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