Re: Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation
27 Aug 1996 05:11:56 GMT (Matt Silberstein) wrote:
>In sci.archaeology wrote:


>>>The argue that with -the people who are decendants of the people who
>>>lived here when Columbus arrived- who approve of the term "Indian".
>>Well we can continue to paint strips and make chicken
>>salad but I maintain my position that the indigenous people
>>Columbus found were and are still not Indians. It really
>>makes no difference if the word Indian was offensive or not
>>to the people who were here when Columbus arrived. What is
>>important here is how the present decendants feel about how
>>they are referred to.
>Do I understand that your take on this question is that you get to
>decide what to call the people in question?

If you have guessed that it is I who call the shots on how
others are addressed, well you've guessed wrong. I would never
think to take such a liberty.

I have no position on the
>issue at all. You may have noticed that I have gone to great lengths
>to use every name and therefore avoid the issue. But to repeat my
>point above, there are people I know, who are decendents of the people
>who lived in what is now called the United States, who call themselves
>Indians. Are they wrong to do so? If so will you tell them or shall I?
>(Personally I prefer not to.)

For goodness sake. If "Indian" is non-offensive then use it! My
point and point of frustration is that one should not invent
names, assign them to people just because it pleases one. I
think that it is pretty much agreed to that this should not be

>>BTW I find it curious that we do not use any of the early
>>names used by the native people that refer to themselves as a
>Do you not think it a somewhat suspect, if not actually racist, to
>refer to yourselves as human beings to separate yourself from

I'm not quite sure exactly what you mean but I suppose it could
be interpreted as such, however, I did had the occasion to meet
a woman (who is a visual artist) from the Ndebele of Southern
Africa. She was brought into town for only a short time by one
of the museums and did not speak English. I thought that she
might want to see a friendly face from home so I introduced to
her, out of the blue, a very good friend of mine who is also
from South Africa. Of course they got along like family. They
started talking and of course I wanted to know what was being
said. My friend started laughing and laughing hard. She said to
me that the artist said that she had not met any "people" since
she has been here, but the "people" she was referring to were
other "black people". My friend said that she had forgotten
that in this lanuage there was no word for European or even the
concept of "white people" as a "backup word" so to speak. I
guess you can say that Europeans technically do not exist (in
lanuage form) to these people. I know that this experience
has a slightly different spin but now I answer your question
with another question, is this racist? Did the Ndebele set
themselves apart?


>>>>they perceive as an *offensive* reference with an acceptable
>>>Who gets to pick the substitutes?
>>Oh! Take a wild guess.
>>In place of Jew I prefer Grand
>>>Exalted Pooba. But I settle for Matt most of the time.
>>I prefer Paloma.
>I would have guessed you prefered HR57JazzandBlues. ;-)

One for you. None for me!

>>>>But what they did not do was create a cutesy yuppy style,
>>>>white wine and cheese *slang* reference such as Amerind! What the
>>>>h--- is an Amerind?

Oh my! I was p---t.

>>>I accept that Amerind not a prefered word, and do not use it. But for
>>>sheer sound, I like the word. I also like "Inja Indian" spoken in an
>>>upper class Britiah accent.
>>Yeh! It does sound good. Just thinking about the word makes
>>me thirsty. I think I'll have some brie and a glass of
>>Amerind! Chilled of course.
>I never thought of it that way. But you are right, it does sound like
>a wine. That is probably why I like the sound. (I think that should
>have a smilie, but I am not sure it is a joke.)

Well I do have somewhat of a warped sense of humor but it was
just my way of showing the other side of the pancake. :-)


>>>>I do not take your remarks as speaking for white America, however, I
>>>>do feel your comments mirror the smug sentiments of most of white
>>>>America. If you did not intend to give an impression of being smug
>>>>or intolorant may be you should try, if you can, divorcing yourself
>>>>from yourself and listen and hear your own words as if they were
>>>>coming from a stranger. You may be surprised at what you learn.
>>>In they use an irony meter on comments like this. Mine is
>>>broken, but I would guess this post gets at least a 8.5 (on a scale of
>>Oh! Is that all!!!! :-)
>It is a logrithmic scale.

In my best valley girl voice - Oh! ok.


'Don't worry about the changes in the key
just play within the range of the idea"

Charlie Parker