Thursday, May 21, 2009

Identity Politics - don't you just love it?

I must say that this tale is hilarious. Not because of the crazy litagous nature of some quarters of the US, but more because it perfectly illustrates the problem identity politics has.

In short, a guy from Mozambique, who happens to be white, and who immigrated tot he US and became naturalised, chose to define himself when asked as "white African-American". he was then punished for it because people found it offensive and now he's going to court over it.

The point here of course is that this guy is from Africa and now he's American, but because he's not got dark skin its apparently wrong for him to make reference to himself as an African-American, even though he is one.
Hat Tip: Charles Crawford


Guy Herbert said...

Reminds me of the story of a US TV interviewer in the 1990s on automatic pilot addressing Nelson Mandela, "As an African-American..." - the PC impulse kicking in to avoid saying "black man". I wish I had a source for that. I want it to be true.

Anonymous said...

My brother in law and both his kids fall into this category too. All white, born in Africa and now with US citizenship. My guess is there are thousands of white African Americans, and all having a quiet chuckle.

Houdini said...

I once had a very heated debate with a Labour politician, an MP, he nearly got chinned by me and others, who was arguing that Africa is for the blacks and whites should get out altogether and apologise for slavery, and Asia is for the Asians and the whites should get out and apologise for the Raj.

He wouldn't though accept that the UK should then be just for whites and blacks and Asians should get out.

They just don't get it do they?

Great Big Billygoat Gruff said...

I once was in a discussion with some people in ARKANSAS, shit rich ones as it happens.

We were sitting on the veranda, after sundown sipping white wine, made in Arkansas, shite it was too.

The servant, honestly, brought out some more ice for the wine and more Mint Julip; no I am not making this up.

The servant was black, and was treated with utmost respect, and apropos of nothing the host asked me if we had in Scotland any Afro Americans.

I didn't know what to say or do and voted silently to piss down my trousers.

Bonetired said...

The old name for the Afrikaaners?

"The White Tribe of Africa"....

Anonymous said...

Keep Britain White!

Anonymous said...

Although born in the UK my family are white and came from Africa.
I encounter often the view from soppy left wing Hoons that white Africans are evil at best and not even African.

Hypocrites like that routinely deny a white identity even exists, while insisting that a cousin marrying goat herder who only speaks Urdu is British becaue they scammed a few forms.

Sam Duncan said...

Guy: My dad claims to have seen that interview. But then that's always the way with these stories.

And Anon: I'm looking out my window right now, and as far as I can make out, this bit of Britain is mainly grey, brown and green. My bathroom's fairly white, if that's any help, although I'm thinking of declaring independence: The Free Principality of Armitage-Shankonia has a certain ring to it. You're welcome to apply for asylum, but you'll have to start out as an indentured serf. The Ajax is under the basin.

Guy Herbert said...

Hypocrites like that routinely deny a white identity even exists... And so do I. I also deny a black identity exists. Individual people have their own identities, and except where social convention or statistical infrequency makes it relevant, don't often consider their skin colour as a big factor in who they are.

As the great PJ O'Rourke wrote, There's no such thing as a race and barely such a thing as an ethnic group. If we were dogs, we'd be the same breed. George Bush and an Australian Aborigine have fewer differences than a Lhasa apso and a toy fox terrier. A Japanese raised in Riyadh would be an Arab. A Zulu raised in New Rochelle would be an orthodontist.

Dual Citizen said...

My (black) dental hygenist told me about her vacation in London, and how strange it was to hear African American people talk with British accents.