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Peripheral Racial Naming Problems

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At the time of its English appearance in 1393 the word "Periphery" referred to the layer of atmosphere around the earth. Here, it refers to words just outside the boundary of those related directly to: "What Shall We Call Ourselves?" Because for centuries Black people have been victims of cruel racial persecution, most are quite sensitive about racial Appellations (name-calling) and Epithets (descriptive expressions).

An example of a "Peripheral" epithet having a bad connotation with many Black people is the term "Ghetto"--despite it being an Italian term designating local European cultural areas arising voluntarily or built up by the most disadvantaged people. Because it was applied to the Slave Quarters and to all post-slavery struggling Black people, the associated concepts "Ghetto" conveys are mental images to be avoided.

The reason I sometimes use "Ghetto" is because it is fixed by the customs of its time and conveys a certain atmosphere and image setting that is hard to convey with any other terms--thus making for ease of discussion. In no way do I intend it to be derogatory.

In writing by book on Dwarfs, there were similar "Naming" problems. Although the name "Achondroplasia" was wrong medically, it was so well established in history that for me to change it would have created more confusion in understanding. Second, in referring to Black people a recent trend substitutes the word "Enslaved" for the controversial term "Slave." However, historically "Slave" is well-established and to try to make such a change in a word so entrenched in the minds of people would not be in the best interest of historical reality; would be difficult to always substitute in the writing of history; and would confuse later historians.

During slavery, when “black”, “colored” and “negro” were in respectful use, it was (and is) an expression of White people asserting their inhumanity to fellow humans. For example, to reinforce the demeaning nature of these words, particularly those which started with an “N,” Whites would write them with a non-capital. Each time these and offensive things regarding their names would happen, Blacks would feel vilified (spoken evil of) individually and as a "race.” Of all the peripheral terms, “Nigger” is by far the most emotionally charged. Still other terms included as denigratory terminology in reference to African culture, heritage, or identity are: ‘Tribe’ ("Ethnic Group" now preferred); ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’; ‘Negroid’; "Colored"; and ‘black Africa.’

Spurred by the respect for the African Retention of ones Selfmeaning, Mission, and/or Destiny being encapsulated in the name of each Afrocentric person, many African descendants in the Americas strongly advocate returning to African names. However, the terms they select in different time periods conform to the changing times of the Americas--with the changes being based upon what seems most reasonable (but emotionally charged) to them at the time. That implies they will change again in the near future.

Also, someone will object to anything because "it doesn't seem right!" and they are as entitled to that opinion as anyone with contrary opinions. Unfortunately, many feel that by objecting they are showing a sense of power--a power display being better than heading toward a solution. Is it not best to deal with serious business concerned with "lifting while climbing" than with blocking progress by disagreeing?

Website: www.jablifeskills.com

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0 # Guest 2010-12-08 15:17
Suggest the author of this article look up the word gecynde and its relationship to natural and Kind.

He will find Obama is not a natural born citizen. A natural born citizen is required by the Constitution to be President.

The author should research the Law of Nations chapter XIX, he will find Obama is violating the Law of Nations.

Obama is not born to citizen parents. The US Supreme Court has stated the Law of Nations is a part of the law of the land.

Lets not waste time dwelling on past slavery terms..lets find out if Obama is a legal President.

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