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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Dakota
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    12,427

    Question/Discussion regarding identifying by nationality and race

    I realize this isn't expressly political, but wasn't seeing a better place to post this. Partly, I've just been curious, but the impetus today is because ABC has been running a blurb regarding minorities going to national parks.

    I live in a very white state...full of people who largely immigrated from northern Europe to farm. In my case, my father's parents came over from Norway while my mother's parents came from Denmark......so I'm in just the 2nd generation of my family born in the US, and like a lot of people...by nationality I'm a 'mutt'. Since I've lived here much of my life, outside a dozen or so years in Oregon/Washington, the primary minorities I come in contact with are Mexicans and Natives, neither of which tend to be 'mutts' in the same way I am.

    So I'm curious....does the typical black person identify with a nationality as well as a race? I mean most may have ancestries traced directly from a country in Africa, but many would also come from other areas of the world before coming to this country. Ancestry is something of a hobby, not because nationality prior to me is of great importance as much as it being interesting to see where my ancestors grew up, what relatives I have in other countries that I've never met, but also to understand some genetics as it relates to medical situations.

    Additionally, it used to be when people referred to a brown person it often meant an Asian, like someone from India. Am I correct that now it is more likely to mean someone with mixed parents, i.e. Obama? Would I also be correct that the majority of those with mixed parents, despite being half white, identify as black?

    Regarding national parks, they were saying like 75% of people going to national parks are white. Which struck me until I realized over 70% of single race people in this country are white, so is that 75% really all that telling? Or is there a real issue with minorities, in particular blacks because of their history here, going to our national parks?

    Anyway, just something additional to possibly talk about on what is likely most people's Friday this week. If you think the thread should be elsewhere, feel free to move it.
    gotta love 'referential' treatment

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    73,681
    Quote Originally Posted by SiteWolf View Post
    So I'm curious....does the typical black person identify with a nationality as well as a race? I mean most may have ancestries traced directly from a country in Africa, but many would also come from other areas of the world before coming to this country. Ancestry is something of a hobby, not because nationality prior to me is of great importance as much as it being interesting to see where my ancestors grew up, what relatives I have in other countries that I've never met, but also to understand some genetics as it relates to medical situations.
    I'm not going to pretend like I can speak for "the typical black person" but yeah, obviously nationality is important to a lot of people, black or otherwise.

    I will point out that tracing ancestry for black people is often much more difficult. Many often have scant knowledge on where there ancestors are from. Obviously slavery is the big reason. There are other reasons too, like African Americans not being listed by name on the Census until after the Civil War. For many, tracing ancestry to a time prior than that is almost impossible. In a way, it makes them far more American than most of us.

    The rest of your post I don't really have any interest in the world about.

    Happy Friday
    HELLO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    12,427
    Yeah, ancestry can be tough enough without hitting walls like a lot of blacks would hit. Even GETTING to ancestry in Africa, there wouldn't be near the records kept as most of Europe. I have enough trouble dealing with the Danish tendency thru the 19th century of children having a last name based on their father's first name so people in the same family don't have the same last name...Peter has a son, son't last name is Peterson even though dad's last name is Hanson...because his dad's name was Hans.

    And you're right...over the years I've had blacks talk to me like I had something to do with slavery...and I tell them their family has likely been in this country longer than mine has, so kinda hard for mine to have been involved- it was 40 years over when 'we' got here!
    gotta love 'referential' treatment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    33,444
    My father was not born in this country, he's from South America, and when I hear it "brown" is often used to include anyone who has a "natural deep tan" but who isn't black. In my case, my family were often called "Mexicans" because everybody from south of the border gets called that, just like some people call all carbonated beverages "coke".

    Race and nationality are entirely and wildly blurred. Some people are proud of their national heritage, some don't care at all. The people who cared most about nationality and race in my experience (and who were by extension the most racist people I've ever known) were Koreans. They often consider people with a heritage that traces back to Korea as superior to all other people.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,043
    Not my experience either, so I cannot comment directly on the question.

    However, I do think that it is important here to note that most scientists concur that race is a social construct without biological meaning. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...entists-argue/). As a construction of society, then, it is on paper roughly akin to nationality.

    This is by no means to say that race does not have a major impact in our culture if anything taking the biology out of the equation makes it more influential because the issue is fundamentally one for society to address without cycling back to biology (once again, would that we listen to the scientists).

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