December 26, 2007

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Edna Moore of Landenberg, PA has a beef with the Journal. She says it doesn't "treat African-Americans with dignity they deserve":

Just reading the headline of the survey article that appeared in The News Journal Dec. 13, "Poll: U.S. blacks, Hispanics, Asians wary of one another" by a writer for the Washington Post, served as another harsh reminder that African-Americans' struggle for respect is far from over.

It was unfair and bias [sic] to use a low-case noun "blacks" to refer to African-Americans and the proper nouns "Hispanics" and "Asian" to address other ethic groups.

The newspaper has a responsibility to support the rights and dignity of African-Americans. You must put an end to the daily doses of inequality and racism that lurk in many articles in The News Journal.

I'm curious as to how Edna "knows" that "African-American" is the preferred term to use when referring to bla, er, um, African-Americans. I've read myriad articles and journals that use "black" (lower case), "Black" (upper case) and "African-American," just as I've read myriad articles and journals that use "white" (lower case), "White" (upper case) and "Caucasian." Capitalizing "Hispanic" and "Asian" is merely making use of proper grammar while doing so with "black" and/or "white" is actually one of choice -- and of political correctness. (The publication that is most consistent with such capitalization is the NEA Today, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise.)

I do find it fascinating, however, that the [ridiculously] PC News Journal didn't capitalize "black" or better yet, use "African-American" in the article that Ms. Moore references. After all, this is the paper that refuses to publish the race of police suspects due to the PC notion that "race is such an unreliable descriptor." When the Journal does print the race of a suspect, the article writer has to get "special dispensation." The whole ... "process" is so nutty that even lefties like Nancy Willing are fed up!

All of the above serves to undermine Ms. Moore's point about the News Journal being "racist" and "unequal." Couple that with the quantity of positive human interest stories about local African-Americans (see here for one of the latest), and I think Ms. Moore is raising a beef when there's really no reason to. Indeed, some past News Journal human interest stories have stretched the meaning of "interest" to almost glorify criminal behavior.

But Ms. Moore is not alone, at any rate. A letter writer from back in March feels similarly.

Posted by Hube at December 26, 2007 10:30 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Ugh. Asia is not a country, rather a continent the same way that Africa is. And those from Africa within a generation prefer to be identified as Nigerian, Eritrean, Kenyan, Egyptian etc.

Heck if I know where Caucasia is :-P

There are white South African-Americans. Most Americans are such mutts that we don't know the nation of our origin - or that we have so very many that we'd take a week to self-identify.

Just be American for pity's sake!

Posted by: Miss AO at December 26, 2007 01:25 PM

My (white) friend Geoff jokes that he's an African-American, having been born in Johannesberg and then grown up here in the US. I told him he should try checking that box on his grad school application, so he could apply for more student aid. I guess that wouldn't fly with the United NEGRO College Fund...

Posted by: G Rex at December 26, 2007 02:58 PM

I also have a white African-American friend. He loves making jokes about that.

Along with this, I know several blacks that resent being labeled "African-American" because they were not from any country in Africa. They were from Haiti. And these were students. Gives me some hope for the future.

Posted by: That's Elbert at December 27, 2007 08:01 PM