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Misinformation about race - Page 2

post #21 of 26
USAmama and EdnaMarie- is there something wrong with saying "dots or feathers"?

Because where I live, people say that all.the.time.

Indigenous Americans are the #1 minority group here, and our area has recently experienced an influx of new immigrants from the Indian Subcontinent. "Native American" never really caught on here- Indigenous Americans call themselves Indians. (The tribal gov'ts are here are the Keewenaw Bay Indian Community and the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.)

So, if it comes up, people ask "dots or feathers", I guess because it's less cumbersome than "What kind of Indian?"

However, *I* will stop saying it if there is a danger of offending people.
post #22 of 26
As a kid I used to get really annoyed when I told people my parents were from El Salvador and it turned into this:

Them: Where's that?

Me: Central America

Them: Oh you're from the states?

Me (drawing maps, playing charades)

Them: So do you speak Mexican?



So it later changed to me answering "where's that?" with...South of Mexico, I speak Spanish, and no I'm not Spanish.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerlyKnownAs View Post
USAmama and EdnaMarie- is there something wrong with saying "dots or feathers"?

Because where I live, people say that all.the.time.

Indigenous Americans are the #1 minority group here, and our area has recently experienced an influx of new immigrants from the Indian Subcontinent. "Native American" never really caught on here- Indigenous Americans call themselves Indians. (The tribal gov'ts are here are the Keewenaw Bay Indian Community and the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.)

So, if it comes up, people ask "dots or feathers", I guess because it's less cumbersome than "What kind of Indian?"

However, *I* will stop saying it if there is a danger of offending people.
Here is what bugs me. Not all Native Americans wear or ever wore feathers- that is only a few tribes, and definitely not the tribe I am descended from- and certainly not all Indians are Hindu! Many are Muslim, Zoroastrian, and even Christian (and Sikh, duh, forgot, I knew I forgot one of the major ones...). If someone says they are Indian, and you are curious, I would ask, "Native American or from the Indian subcontinent?"

Actually of the maybe 50 Indians I know personally, all are Muslim. It is through my work. None of them have ancestors who wore "dots". Also not all Hindus still use the caste system, even.
post #24 of 26
Oh and to say Native American, is just geographical for me. But if you think that might offend them as they might take it as being corrected for their own terminology, you can say, "From the Americas or from the Indian subcontinent"?
post #25 of 26

African-American??

I have one that bothers me, and I have never known how to ask about it, so forgive me if this comes off as clumsy—I am asking the question so that I don’t offend in the future; hopefully I don’t offend too much just by asking.

I am confused about the term "African American". It seems to be generally accepted as a "polite" term--replacing "black" in most Americans' vocabularies, although I still hear both terms in the media, etc). However, I have also heard many people use the term to describe ALL "black" people, no matter where they are from. Like "black" people who are from France or Cuba or Canada--or even if they are just from Africa (as in "Nelson Mandela was the first African-American President of South Africa"). In reality, they aren't African-American at all, but the speaker calls them that as if they are somehow being polite??? It completely bugs the pants off me . . . but at the same time, I wonder what are we supposed to call these people (assuming we needed to use any term for some purpose)--Franco-Africans? African-Canadians?

Is it offensive to just say "black"? I don’t want to sound like my racist aunt-in-law who still says “colored” (or worse), but at the same time, I am unsure that I’d be able to define all nationalities of “black” people accurately (again, assuming I had some purpose for doing this).:
post #26 of 26
Queethebeen, we recently moved from South Africa to Canada. i still consider myself African (my families has been been in Africa since 1700). It irks me that I can't describe myself as an African because I'm not black. My adoptive son is black, but I have no idea from which tribe, so I'm never quite sure what to say when people ask me....
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