Question about heritage/ethnicity

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by milos_mommy, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    Cultural Dictionary
    ethnicity [(eth- nis -uh-tee)]

    Identity with or membership in a particular racial, national, or cultural group and observance of that group's customs, beliefs, and language.


    World English Dictionary
    heritage (ˈhɛrɪtɪdʒ)

    — n
    1. something inherited at birth, such as personal characteristics, status, and possessions
    2. anything that has been transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition

    Those are the definitions I found, I think it is a bit confusing using those words.

    However as for what you "call" yourself. IMO, f you are born in America you are American, if you are born in Germany, you are German (excluding cases such as being born to a military family stationed in another country.) If you are German, and you move to America and become a citizen here, you are then German-American.
     
  2. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    Milo's Mommy
    lets say you just met Fernando Obregon from monterrey mexico, what is his ethnicity?
     
  3. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    If you are ethnically German and were born in the States and never lived there you could still be German-American. People who are ethnically African but have never been to Africa are considered African-American.
     
  4. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    I honestly do not understand them being called "African American" when their family has been here for just as many generations, if not more than mine has. Because I am white, I am just American, I'm not considered European American, but because they have darker skin somehow it is important for them to keep the African in front of American? I believe it came about as a PC term, but I do not believe it is accurate. Especially since everyone says they want EQUALITY. Equality is not spewing on about how you are "African American" when you have never been to Africa, neither have your parents, or your grand parents, or great grandparents. If you want equality, than be an American, like everyone else. If you were born in Africa, then came to America and became a citizen, by all means you are an African American. But the color of your skin does not make you "African" any more than speaking French makes me French.
     
  5. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Very much this.

    I get really annoyed when people call me Scottish. I've never set foot in Scotland (though it's on my bucket list, LOL).

    I'm third-generation Canadian with Scottish ancestry. In your friend's case, MM, the ancestry would be where the grandfather was born and who his ancestors were.
     
  6. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    uhm wow, just wow

    Yeah, the term came about as more PC because WHITES kept separating them out in much less "pc" terms

    The term european american is not normally used because we are the majority and its implied. I understand that in a perfect world color and race wouldnt matter, but sadly, it is not a perfect world and it does.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  7. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    I can say there are still a lot of people around here who identify as Italian-American, Irish-American, etc even though there families have been here for generations. I don't know why people get all bothered by how someone else labels themselves or identifies themselves. America is still a young country and full of many different people from many backgrounds. If some want to hold on to it longer or use a label to hold a piece of their heritage so what?
     
  8. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    This. It's not a self identification based on skin color as plenty of brown people in North America aren't of African descent, and plenty of people with African ancestors are pretty light skinned. It based on the fact that their ancestors were brought here from Africa.

    The reason caucasian Americans don't typically self identify as "European American" is because most have the luxury of being able to trace their ancestry to country of origin, or retain direct links to their ancestral land. I look at my family and we're still participating "members" of the same family clan that's been around for over 2,000 years.

    A lot of people of African descent living in North America don't have that luxury. Their ancestors were brought here, they were forced to learn whatever language their master wanted to them speak and not allowed to practice family or cultural customs. They weren't allowed to teach them or pass them down to their descendents. If they had, you'd probably see a lot more people identifying themselves with a specific tribe or geographic area their ancestors came from. If things were reversed and Europeans were brought to Africa in slavery and their culture forcibly erased, you'd probably have people calling themselves European Africans.
     
  9. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    It is one thing, if they actually, study and practice the things from their culture, but to use it just to get special treatment, scholarships, etc....and then complain about wanting equality....sorry, that bothers me.

    It is crazy how people say that it's racist to say that people shouldn't get special scholarships, or whatever because of their color, yet at the same time they sit there and say they want equality. The same people who are all pro-gay marriage for equality, are the exact same people who tell me that I shouldn't be allowed to adopt a black baby or child, because I am white. So hypocritical. If you want to be EQUAL be EQUAL. If you want special treatment, quit asking for EQUALITY! The same people who say that we should be striving for equality, are the same ones that keep saying that race DOES matter.
     
  10. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I would certainly not say I am French or part French or whatever, if French was not actually in my blood. If I had a great-grandparent that simply lived there for a period of time... that does not make me French.

    I don't identify at all with where my family came from, though. I was born in America. I am American. If anyone asked me where my family came from sure I could name a couple countries, but it's not like we just arrived here yesterday and I have never even visited those other countries, so I'm not going to right off the bat tell people "I am Polish and Slovakian and Italian...." Nope, I'm just American. And even if I moved to a different country, I don't think I would ever adopt their label, I'd just be an American who is a citizen of country X.
     
  11. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    when that happened they amalgamated w/ a turko-slavic nation originally from the caucusus mountains residing in egypt & called themselves mamlukes.
     
  12. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    I consider myself Canadian as I am a multigenerational Canadian. My oneset of grandparents are Danish but it doesnt make me Danish. Just of Danish decent. Anyone asking what I am gets told CANADIAN
     
  13. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    What's interesting about that is that slav/slave mamluke/slave linguistic connection.

    It's hard to imagine a modern body of people enslaved and choosing to retain the slave label even after they're freed. Makes me wish I could be a fly on the wall back then and see why they decided on it.
     
  14. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    It's funny because I see it the other way. If your ancestors were Italian... you ARE part Italian. It doesn't mean you have to identify with it, but you're still part Italian.

    It's different from what nationality you identify yourself with. I don't know if I'll ever consider myself American, even after I have citizenship and been in the country for 20 years (I'll let you know in 10 years). But if you ask me I'll say I'm French-American because it's what I'll legally be.

    So... for me there's what you are, what you consider yourself, and what you legally are :D
     
  15. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Yeah, I have absolutely no problem with someone of Italian descent calling themselves "Italian" or "Italian-American" whether or not they were born in Italty.

    Pops, to answer your question, I have no idea who Fernando Obregon from Mexico is or what his implied ethnicity is, but I think I've given enough examples:

    Let's say Fernando Obregon was born, in Mexico, to Irish parents. He would be Mexican of Irish Descent.

    Let's say Fernando was born in Ireland, to Irish parents, then moved to Mexico. He would be Irish, or Irish-Mexican, or Mexican of Irish Descent, depending on which he identified with.

    Let's say Fernando's Irish parents moved to Spain before he was born. They then moved to Mexico, and he was born there. He would be still, Mexican, or Mexican of Irish Descent. Not, as my friend would claim, "Mexican, Irish, and Spanish."

    Zoe08, I know you don't mean it, but your posts in here are honestly some of the most racist things I've ever read on Chaz. Please, take an African American studies class, or an Anthropology class, Race and Gender studies, anything like that if you get the chance.

    Unfortunately, many "African-Americans" are not of African origin at all. I have a lot of friends who are Jamaican, Haitian, whatever, and are still identified as "African American", if not by themselves than by the government. And yes, it was developed as a "PC" term, almost definitely by white Americans trying to make it look like they were doing something about the race problem in this country. I don't know a single black person who was ever offended at being called "black" or "black American". It's becoming a pretty outdated term, though. I never here anyone who works someplace where race is a prominent issue or anyone college educated up here using the term African American - unless they're speaking of someone who is from Africa and identifies heavily with that culture...although in that case it's usually Nigerian-American, Ethiopian-American.
     
  16. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Oh, I want to add: part of the reason "African American" came into common usage after civil rights is because "black" was not originally a term regarding skin color, it originally was a derogatory term for any immigrant in Europe. When the Irish were persecuted in England, they were considered "Black" - which is where the term "Black Irish" comes from, not, as my mother things, from Irish people with dark hair and eyes.
     
  17. GipsyQueen

    GipsyQueen Active Member

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    The only country I've ever been asked where I come from (as in heritage ect.) is in the US. I'm not American, so this would a normal question, except most people didn't mean my country of birth, they ment where my ancestors came from to America. My American friend (her great-grandparents migrated to the US) get's asked the same question often.If she answers American, usually she'll get asked "no no, but where do your ancestors come from". Her great-grands came from Albania, so you can actually SEE her heritage.
    It's always so weird for me, when people (in the US) ask me where we migrated from. :p

    Anywho -
    I'm German through and through. Though apartently I have some Dutch in me, but I don't identify myself as being a German-Dutch. :p
    I will always be German. Even if I one day became an American citizin. My ancestors were all born here, as was I. A piece of paper doens't make me an American - I'd still BE German. Now if my children were infact born in the USA (maybe their dad is American) that would make them German-Americans, but I would still be German, even if my passport said American.
     
  18. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I am an American. I was born here. On my father's side, several generations back were born here. On my mother's side, not too far back, people came from England, Ireland, and Scotland. Some went to Canada. So I'm German, Irish, English, Scottish, one person worth of Spanish and a possible Susquehanna Indian in there. lol. I consider myself both an American by nationality (where I was born and live) and all those things too. (where my ancestors came from...what ethnicity is in my genes) If someone asks me what I "am," I see nothing wrong with or inaccurate in saying that I'm an American of German, Irish, Scottish descent. I'm the type who leaves no stone unturned.:D
     
  19. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I don't care what people identify themselves as. I have a few white friends that identify their ethnicity based on which fun holiday is closest or which tradition/jewelry they like lol
    AKA: They are not even a bit irish until St.Patrick's day rolls around lol oh well. They want to feel special and wear that heart ring thing and drink on st.pattys and feel they are connected to a culture that isn't technically theirs? Lol fine.

    That said, I would invite any of you to take off your judge hats before you whine about the term "African American".just for the simple things, like filling out a **** form, application etc.. There is no "Haitian" "Caribbean" "Jamaican" etc..etc...etc.. YOU GET ONE **** BOX, African American. So of course people start to just kind of accept the term. Not only do you get ONE BOX. Everyone merely assumes that's the term to describe you and you kind of accept it because frankly, there are worse things for people to call you.
    I would love if people would just say "American" but that is a pipe dream. Sadly I still live in a country where everything other than white is "other"...so instead of just being American, you get a dash with something that merely kind of tips it's hat to a sad history.

    Personally? I don't like the term. There are plenty of African-Americans in the united states..they left Africa, have both American cultural traditions and African ones.
    "black" isn't a perfect term either but hey, it works and I prefer it. Not as much as I like Haitian and my actual ethnicity but if people are going to continue to guess or try to fit me in a box on a form, which they will, I prefer black frankly if people could say it without a negative tone but hey, one can dream.

    I'm not saying African American is the perfect term.. but please take a moment to consider that using it isn't exactly a joyous thing, it's not like my friends saying they are Irish to party on St.Pattys, it's something that comes from being forced into that label and forced to check that box over and over and over again. So yes, people do learn to feel that term is a part of them, to think of what their lives could have been, to think of the actual ancestors and history behind the term and some do insist on using it that probably have fewer connections to Africa then one would expect..but how about a little understanding huh?
     
  20. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I've NEVER seen just "African American" on a government form in recent years...not since I was a little kid. Most forms say "black" or "Black OR African American".
     

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