Posted by Rick Denney on June 30, 2003 at 09:49:36:
In Reply to: Re: Re: isn't this is a good thing? Re: VPO posted by Bill on June 30, 2003 at 08:16:51:
And labels are tools used by demagogues to divide rather than unite, as a means of consolidating their manipulation and power over people.
(I'm not accusing you of that, but rather hoping you will be sensitive to it in the future so that you won't fall into the trap.)
For example, what do "Native Americans" call each other? "Indians." Why? Because in their languages, they don't have a word for what they are. So, they use the words that anglos use to describe the various tribes (or "Indian" to describe themselves collectively) so they can keep themselves straight. Only the demagogues are offended by this practice, and also elitist anglos who don't actually know any American Indians.
Any term can be distorted and used to insult people, and nobody wants to be insulted. But those who use an appropriately descriptive but non-insulting term in good faith should not be belittled for doing so, it seems to me. That can be just as insulting.
Let's talk about real issues, not whether "oriental" is a word that can be used to describe people.
By the way, during the time of the Irish migration to the U.S., there were vast social problems affecting many more groups than just the Irish. Frankly, the Irish were right in there with everyone else in trying to keep those other groups down to promote their own well-being. Most people have outgrown that at least several generations ago. Why must we look for ways to be victims?
Rick "who doesn't think either 'oriental' or 'Asian' appears in the Japanese language" Denney