Posted by Bill on June 30, 2003 at 10:26:31:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: isn't this is a good thing? Re: VPO posted by Rick Denney on June 30, 2003 at 09:49:36:
Thanks for your response. I hope I wasn't coming off as belittling, and if I did, js, I am sorry. I wrote the Asian/oriental item because that is standard practice now, and some people do get offended. Even Asian peoples.
I love dictionary.com. The following is from that site: "Usage Note: Asian is now strongly preferred in place of Oriental for persons native to Asia or descended from an Asian people. The usual objection to Oriental - meaning “eastern” - is that it identifies Asian countries and peoples in terms of their location relative to Europe. However, this objection is not generally made of other Eurocentric terms such as Near and Middle Eastern. The real problem with Oriental is more likely its connotations stemming from an earlier era when Europeans viewed the regions east of the Mediterranean as exotic lands full of romance and intrigue, the home of despotic empires and inscrutable customs. At the least these associations can give Oriental a dated feel, and as a noun in contemporary contexts (as in the first Oriental to be elected from the district) it is now widely taken to be offensive. However, Oriental should not be thought of as an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. As with Asiatic, its use other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not usually considered objectionable."
Calling a black person colored is considered objectionable, since none of us are without color. Times change, that's all I was trying to say in that line. No offense intended.
An interesting aside, in Lawrence, KS there is a university called Haskell Indian Nations University. It is run for Native Americans/American Indians. I have gotten into fights with my more liberal than me sister over calling native peoples Indian. I say, if they call themselves Indian, and are not offended by me saying it, I see no wrong in calling them Indians, as long as well are able to avoid confusion with the people from India.
"And labels are tools used by demagogues to divide rather than unite, as a means of consolidating their manipulation and power over people."
And even the devil can quote scripture.
Lables are used by people to feel they belong to a group. I like to call myself a musician. A Presbyterian. 5/8ths-Italian. An American. A man. A husband (that one is new for me and still odd). Lots of labels. Using them does not make me a demagogue (I know you didn't accuse me of that). Use of labels is not wrong. How those labels are used can be wrong. And I don't think my use in the post was inappropriate. Hoping for a day when we all celebrate the end of slavery in this country is a way to unite us, not divide us.