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ED MCNALLY cruyff at ix.netcom.com
Fri Mar 1 21:34:02 EST 1996

In <4h7kl1$68q at galaxy.ucr.edu> "Nicole M. van Dam"
<nmvandam at mail.ucr.edu> writes: 
>Hi Gert-Jan,
>PC is the abbrevaition for Politically Correct. An example: it is NOT
>to call Afro-Americans "Blacks". I hope you get it, it took me, coming
>from Europe myself, some time to find out what exactly was meant by PC
>and how to obey the rules. There are a lot of nuances, e.g., you will 
>insult Asians if you refer to them as being "Oriental". This term is 
>reserved for the -delicious- food Asians cook. 
>Have a nice weekend yourself!
>Nicole van Dam

    Regarding the term "Afro-American", I have heard many responses
from black people on the use of this term.  Many prefer to be called
"African-American" rather than "Afro-American".  Others, however, have
found either term offensive.  Among this group are those who say that
not all black people have near ancestors who come from Africa; that
those who do have near ancestors from Africa feel little or no kinship
to Africa; that most others who do feel kinships to ancestral lands
identify by country, not continent; "I am American, not African" or I
am an American of African (or some country from the continent) descent.

I happen to agree with th last two statements myself.  I am of Irish
descent, and feel a sense of ethnic pride in that.  However, I am not
Irish by nationality.  I am an American, and I take much greater pride
in this than I do in my ancestral heritage.  I personally wish that
more Americans would take such a sense of pride in the USA, and put
their heritage second behind their citizenship.

By the way, I have found that most students who have ancestral ties to
Asian countries prefer to be referred to by the country name rather
than the continent, and a good number actually preferring the term

I guess you can't say much without offending someone, so intent is
important.  I simply avoid using terms meant to disparage.

Well, I know this thread was away from the topic of women-in-bio a bit,
but I figured I'd throw in my two cents.

                                        Ed McNally
                                    cruyff at ix.netcom.com

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