Monday, January 22, 2007

BTW, It's Two Black Coaches Meeting in the Superbowl

Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are the first Black head coaches meeting in the Super Bowl. Not African-American.

In case you didn't know, generally speaking, Black people do not refer to themselves as African-American. Jesse Jackson just kind of popularized the word and everybody ran with it. I was watching Shannon Sharpe on NFL Today yesterday and he "corrected" himself, saying "Black, uh, African-American head coaches." Silly man.

"African-American" is a silly phrase for many reasons, but it is not offensive. Neither is "Black." However, White people seem to prefer saying "African-American" and so some Black people adopt the term when they are around White people. If you want to say all those syllables, knock yourself out. I'm staying Black.


bosshog said...

white people in general are silly. they are deathly afraid of being labeled racist, so they walk on egg shells to not offend anybody. That's why they call black people 'african-american'- for some reason they think black people think 'black' is offensive. Jesse should play a trick on all white people. If he went on tv and said 'african-american' is offensive, that same day white people would stop using that lame term.

Vegan Viking said...

Group labeling makes for fascinating sociological study. What one group calls another group, what one group calls itself, how what one group calls another group can get "owned" by the other group, etc. It all seems sort of silly, but of course it's not trivial at all and can have serious ramifications. People who say "African-American" are at least on some level saying, "I don't want to offend you," and are hopefully saying "I respect you as a person and want to make sure you know that."
I think I switch back and forth between "African-American" and "black" in teaching and conversation, but like a lot of liberal white guys, I'm always slightly uncomfortable and not sure what I'm "supposed" to be saying. If anything, the use of terms shows the level of discomfort and confusion people have about this sort of thing (the example of a black man correcting himself from "black" to "African-American" is a good example--was Sharpe in some production meetings where producers reminded everybody, "remember, it's 'African-American,' not 'black'? Who knows).

Badcock said...

I find that whenever dealing with any ethnic, religious or racial minority, simply saying "you people" gets the idea across.