As a marginally autistic OCD ADD type, I cannot convey just how annoying stupid labels are. And the king of them is “African-American”. Sure, any militant pacifist can design something dumber. But those go past “stupid” and sometimes approach “amusing”.
“African-American” is the most irritating label in the history of history. Anyone using it unironically should (regardless of race, creed, age, or gender) be punched in the larynx. Yes, including Best of the Web:
…President Obama is one of them. As his father was from Africa, he is an African-American in every sense of the term.
Dadgummit Taranto, there is no sense of the term. It’s a geography word mashed up with a geopolitical one to serve as a…no, seriously…genetic marker. God that’s so stupid.
Obama has relatives from Africa and is a resident of America, and so what? He’s not an African-American because nobody is. You can’t have dual-citizenship between a state and a non-Australian continent. This ain’t the comic books, people; you don’t get two origin stories.
“Hi! Where were you born?”
“Nairobi and Schnectady.”
“It was a very long delivery.”
When “A-A” caught on, some people complained that it’s unpatriotic to put “American” second. Eh. Maybe. It actually seems pretty imperialistic to me. “Kunta Kinte was an African African-American who became an American African-American against his will.” The arrogance is exceeded only by the idiocy, which is exceeded only by narcissism exceeded only by stupidity.
Yes, yes, “black” is also an inaccurate label. You know why that is? Because it’s a freakin’ label. The map is not the territory. Asses.
I hate everyone so, so much right now. Well, everyone except self-labelled blacks and Negros like Stanley Crouch. The rest of you applauded or permitted the rise of “African-American”, and thus are despised equally and without prejudice.
Taranto referenced the history of ebon labels. Yes, the “n-word” is beyond the pale (er…pun not originally intended). The “n-word” was not self-selected and is steeped in atrocity. It has no modern aspect that isn’t bad and ugly. That’s why it’s also wrong for black people to use it. In fact, only once in all human history will the “n-word” be acceptable.
And that moment has passed:
The word Negro is not pejorative, but it also was not self-selected. So of course it usually offends those who (unlike Mr. Crouch) didn’t adopt it. It’s appalling how humans tag things in lieu of studying them. Oh, it’s funny when you label yourself. Like watching an infant try to eat his own foot. The act loses charm when he starts biting others.
Which brings us to “black”, the least bad of all inaccurate terms. First…it was self-selected. Certainly not unanimously adopted, but that’s what you get with labels. It eventually enjoyed almost universal acceptance in America.
And to a rational person, “black” is as good as a spoken label gets. It’s only one syllable! Lies don’t get more economical than that! Likewise I prefer “white”, since “Caucasian” is about three times more inadequate.
So the Negro community became the black community and told us to use “black” when race needed mention. I was very happy because they finally got to choose their own inaccurate label, just like everyone else. And they trimmed it to one syllable. Beautiful!
Then came Jesse Jackson and the “intelligentsia”. These people all need incessant punches to the larynx for their deadly crime: substituting a seven-syllable lie for a one-syllable one. That’s fine, call yourselves whatever you like. But you also insist that everybody else use it? After insisting on nice, succinct “black”? That is grammatical bullying. Linguistic terrorism!
Honkey don’t play that game. Once he goes black, he never goes back.
So thank you, black non-African-Americans! You’re saving lives! Literally. It takes about one second longer to say “African-American” than “black”. Suppose one or the other is used a billion times a day. That’s a potential savings of about 31.7 person-years. Per day. If America would just go back to black, we’d save the equivalent of 150 babies per year. Babies that Jesse Jackson is currently choking to death with his vanity.
So thanks to all self-labelled black people. Everyone else, please punch yourselves in the larynx for me.