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Old 01-22-2004, 07:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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African American? You betcha!

Quote:
Student Caught In Racial Controversy
Flyers Promote White Student For African-American Award



OMAHA, Neb. -- Four Westside High School students are suspended for promoting a white student for an African-American award.

More than 150 flyers were distributed throughout the school Monday. They featured junior Trevor Richards, A South African native who moved to the United States in 1997.

Westside officials say the flyers were were quickly removed because they were inappropriate and insensitive to black students.

Trevor said he is as African as anyone else.

"I had no intent of hurting anyone or offending anyone. I wasn't trying to make a statement. I was just running for the award, but i guess the administration felt differently," Richards said.

Richards was suspended for two days.

Two other students were disciplined for putting up the posters and another student was punished for starting a petition to promote Richards.
Well, what do we have here? It seems as though a few enterprising young minds have found a loophole in the system to show us all how stupid we're being. Bravo for them, says I. What the article failed to mention was that the award centers around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke with compassion about the brutal truth that America faced during the fight for Civil Rights. He did not mince words. In his famous speech he gave in August of 1963 he said "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" This sure sounds like what he wanted, and rightfully so...color to be a non-issue in our everyday life.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Suspended for 2 days?
For publicly and truthfully displaying his heritage?
I predict that, immediately following a meeting of lawyers, the student will be readmitted, with apologies.

Along the same lines - I was born in the United States. Anyone know of any Native American contest I can enter?
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Asinine, pure asinine.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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just more proof that it's all a game. Let's see what we can get the white guys to call us this week. At first, black was offensive, negro was what we should use. then negro was offensive and black was not. Then it was "people of color" and if you said black, you were racist, even though last week if you DIDN'T say black, you were racist. Now it's african-american, which is the stupidest of them all. I actually got chewed out for not referring to a black guy as an african american. Never mind the fact that he was from Jamaica. Until we stop focusing on all this politically correct bullshit, we'll continue to have huge race problems in this country.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oy.

I can see rolling your eyes and taking the fliers down, but suspending the students? That seems a bit much.

They (the PC school administration) can't have it both ways - calling it African-American but meaning Black.

When I get upset about stuff like this, I remember that we're one, maybe two generations out from the civil rights movement, and we're still negotiating a lot of boundaries and trying to figure out how to be deal with issues of race and identity. We may just have to go through this foolishness to get to the other side.

This raises interesting questions about how you acknowledge legitimate differences in culture and experience without erasing commonality? It's a tricky border to negotiate. And I agree, good for these students for pointing out the line and how absurdly we behave trying to pretend it's not there.
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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10 points for creativity. Now, the questions that arise in my mind are:

Was he serious when he wanted the award?
Was he trying to prove a point?
Or, Was he just trying to be a jerk?


And oh yeah.....Hoorah for loopholes
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i'm an American - period!!!
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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go to www.blackamericaweb.com if you want to know what black people call each other.

and give me a freakin' break, PC police
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Must we drain all the color out of the world so the masses can see things more clearly? I think so!
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not an Irish American, Polish American or the many places that my ancestors came from. I'm American period. This labeling has to stop.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't get why there was competition only open to black people in the first place...

I mean, imagine the uproar that would be caused if someone started a "White Person of the Year Award".

"Reverse Racism" (dumbest phrase in the history of language) is still racism.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by CSflim
I don't get why there was competition only open to black people in the first place...

I mean, imagine the uproar that would be caused if someone started a "White Person of the Year Award".

"Reverse Racism" (dumbest phrase in the history of language) is still racism.
I think that was the point of why these little "juvenile delinquents" did what they did. It is well beyond the point of ridiculous.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hanxter
i'm an American - period!!!
100% thru and thru
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think its pretty simple. If you live in the U.S. you are an American.
If you want to be called anything else move there. I'm not trying to be insensitive to anyone but I do not try to pawn myself off as Euro-American because my family originates from Europe.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Political Correctness does nothing but promote unspoken racism, both ways. By opening the door to just one skin color, you close the door to all others - isn't that what racial segregation is all about?

This is just an example of "African" being a term associated with "Black", and since this kid is "White", he is blocked from participation on that basis alone - on the basis of skin color.

This is dumber than dumb, and is insulting to everyone involved. If they just said outright that this was a "Black award", not an "African-American award", perhaps much embarassment would have been prevented. Or would that sound too non-PC?
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Labels are constantly changing. Someday maybe we won't need them anymore. They become offensive eventually. All labels wear out over time and people feel the need to update them. Its just silly. Then groups will also invent new labels and pretend that the group has never existed before:

Metrosexuals
Quirkyalones
PoMoSexuals
Brights

etc.

Labels are getting ridiculous. When a label becomes offensive it perhaps shows us our insecurities. Being called a black guy becomes offensive when it conjours up unfair stereotypes. So we change black to African-American as if it will erase unfair stereotypes. As soon as that label becomes tainted by some bad stereotypes, we'll have to find a new label, as if that will get rid of racism.

For better or worse I brain functions on stereotypes. It is how we organize our thoughts, how we assess situations, and survive on an instinctual level. Pretending that we can acheive some level where we will no longer judge someone on past experiences with like individuals, does the cause no good. We will always do it. We will always inherently pre-judge. What we won't always do is condemn based on our prejudices. We can use stereotypes to make guesses about people, but what we need to move to is the idea that "yes these are only guesses". Racism comes from thinking these "guesses" are "facts". Playing the label game is an attempt to stay ahead of the racism game, when in reality its nipping at your heels all the time. Its running from a shadow. Instead of changing a label from black to African-American, just keep proving that black is something positive and the negative stereotypes will eventually show that they were just "guesses" all along.

Does a label change a human being?
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've often wondered what 'black' people are called / want to be called in other countries. I doubt they lable themselves / are labled African - Fillinthecountry. It's just stupid. Either you're American or you aren't. I mean, you can be black and from the Carribian, Africa, Europe, anywhere, same goes for every other skin color.
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Old 01-22-2004, 10:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by LittleOralAnnie
Must we drain all the color out of the world so the masses can see things more clearly? I think so!
We'd just argue over shades of grey. *sigh*
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Old 01-22-2004, 11:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I always got a kick out of this wonderful aspect of our society. My room-mate was from South Africa, but was never allowed to claim African heritage or any of those benefits due to his caucasion skin.
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have mentioned this on another similar thread. When I was in High School, they had the Latino Club, Chinese Club, Indian Club, African American Club, etc.......a good friend of mine wanted to prove a point, so she tried to start the Aryan Club, but was forced to resign her ideas or be expelled from school, permanently. Her point was not to ruffle feathers of the other clubs, but to prove that the clubs thay had in place were reverse racism. Yes, white people were allowed to join the other clubs, but they weren't allowed to create their own forum. Interesting how oversensitive administrators continue to try and NOT be racist, but pull shit like this....
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
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He's more "African" than any Black American born here. Sounds like the school needs to update their designation of the award for black people to keep up. I mean they have the Unite Negro College Fund. I don't see anyone bitching about that. They have the Black Caucus. They have the NAACP. three different names for black organizations describing black people. No wonder you can't figure it out...they can't even agree!
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 01-22-2004, 03:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What about people from the Arabic parts of Africa such as Egypt who have lighter skin? Would they still be African-Americans in this case? Or would they be lumped into the "Middle-Eastern" category? They should say what they really mean, even if it means being "Politically Incorrect". If they mean the "Black people from Africa Award" then say it, but if they say African-American then it's blatant racial discrimination against anyone from Africa who's not black.

Hell, if I was that South African-American student I'd sue the school for two things:
a) Racial discrimination
b) Being suspended without a good cause, which caused him to miss out on valuable learning time

If the school wants to be assholes, two can play at that game I say.
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I really liked the part in the movie Bullworth when the character bullworth said during a tv interview that we should all just fuck each other till there isn't anymore seperation of race, we'll be all mixed in together. (not an exact quote, the movie was much funnier and poignant)
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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If we're all americans, what does that make people from canada, mexico, central and south america?? they are all americans in the strictest sense of word as well...
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Old 01-22-2004, 04:41 PM   #26 (permalink)
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(Edit: after re-reading (or perhaps just plain reading) BoR's original post, I noted that I misunderstood his intent.)

Creating an award to celebrate a black persons achievments is all fine and good, but let's call it what it is. Is Trevor not an african american? He is a south african native who is now an american, thus an african american. By disallowing Trevor to take part in this award is segregating this award.

In a perfect world, awards would not be needed in specific social groups, they would be open to any and all. I feel King's ultimate goal is not that black people be treated the same as white people but that *all* people be treated equally, and the high-school is not helping this at all.
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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What gets to me most.. is... When I say I'm american do you think White? Do you think Grey? Do you think Brown? Do you think Yellow with blue squares and green poka dots? NO!!! You don't!! So why the hell do you have to think BLACK (even though technically you're a pinkish color or a bown color..) when its Africa? Where you are born is your culture, and that person is culterally an african now american. You CAN be an African White Guy.... it doesn't make a damn fucking difference.

The guy who said he wanted to enter Native American contests? Sorry man, but I do recall we didn't JOIN them Native Americans but pushed them out of our way as we wanted their land... Beyond that, this is the United States, not Native America.... the kid was from Africa... so he entered something that dealt with his homeland... Africa.

Also, I too find it disturbing that it was an MLK event and they suspended a person for their color.. that goes against the entire thing in the first place.

On a further note, my neighbor is black and his wife is white.. they have two daughters.. one is a tan color.. the other is 'whiter' than I am.. and her dad is black. She has more background to "blacks" (ugh I hate having to put it this way) than I do.. even though in a color sense.. I am darker than her (even though I'm obviously a "cracker") ((I'm allowed to make fun of myself here, so blehg! ))

On a further Further note (This would be edited add-in number 2 ), If we can call every person a HUMAN BEING.. how the fuck do we discriminate somone as "lesser".. you're human.. they're human... I don't see a difference.
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:52 PM   #28 (permalink)
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A few years ago I saw a news story on TV about race in other countries. They actually referred to a black man in London as an African-American. I think that was when I lost all hope in the future.

Whenever I am filling in a form that asks for race I write in "human." (except for medical forms where race on very rare occasions can be relevent)
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:59 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The sad thing is this kind of racism is accepted, and some of us with an open mind might close the door a little bit more every time something like this happens. It's stuff like this that makes me wish people would just relax and stop being such pricks about life.
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Old 01-22-2004, 06:41 PM   #30 (permalink)
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i dotn see why after all this time the black community is still bugged by things like this, I dont see anythign wrong with what was done, and noone should have taken offence
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Old 01-22-2004, 06:49 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I'm a mutt.

I think a lot of people are.

Reverse discrimination is WAAAAY wrong.

Can't we all just get along?
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Old 01-22-2004, 06:57 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I'm not White.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:17 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cynthetiq
avenue q song:

Everyone's A Little Bit Racist
Hey! I was going to give a link to the song as well, after reading this. 20 cool points to Cyn.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:24 PM   #34 (permalink)
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it should have been called Black, not African American. I have a friend that got pissed off whenever someone referred to her as an African American because she was Jamaican.
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Old 01-22-2004, 07:37 PM   #35 (permalink)
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can you post the link to this news article? thanks
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:35 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Ok, so the general consensus in here is that the whole "reverse discrimination" issue is bullshit, and that special privledges to any non-white is bullshit, and that what happened in the school is bullshit. A few weeks ago a similar thread broke out on Fark and of the hundreds of comments submitted, most if not all were of the same mind as people here.

So, why is it that if you say any of this stuff outside the sanctity of an internet message board, you get blasted from all sides?

TFP and Fark are very diverse communities, so you'd think we'd get at least SOME resistance to our opinions, but we aren't. That indicates, to me anyway, that our way of thinking is gaining popularity amongst the population (something I predicted would happen 20 years ago when Affirmative Action started being misused), yet so far very few people have been willing to say it out loud, in public. I find that interesting. . .
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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In my personal experience, whenever there's descrimination against a caucasian, it's never called 'racism'. Racism, apparently, is only when it's against a visible minority. Silly, huh.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:10 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Affirmative ACtion is fucking bullshit. Unbelievable that something like this can actually take place.
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Old 01-22-2004, 10:50 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Uh. Why was the kid suspended? Last time I checked South Africa was still in Africa. That kid and his parents should sue the school system and/or state.
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Old 01-22-2004, 11:11 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by omega2K4
Uh. Why was the kid suspended? Last time I checked South Africa was still in Africa. That kid and his parents should sue the school system and/or state.
Exactly, they were totally unjustified in suspending him. I can accept making him take down the fliers, but they are totally unjustified in suspending him. He should get them back by suing the fuckers for emotional damage or something equally stupid.
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