Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation

Stephen Barnard (
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 07:58:13 -0800

Mary Beth Williams wrote:
> First of all, the term *Amerind* is highly offensive to most Indians,
> myself included, so if I'm going to continue to participate in this
> thread, a more appropriate term must be used.

Of course, you have the right to be offended by any word you like. I'm
curious, though, *why* you and most "Indians" are offended by "Amerind".
I was under the impression that "Indian" was an offensive word, and that
Amerind started as an inoffensive -- or at least a less offensive and
more descriptive -- alternative. Have you ever heard "Amerind" being
used in a deliberately offensive way (e.g., "those lazy, stinking
Amerinds")? I haven't.

A similar progression is seen with "Negro", "colored", "black", and
"African American". It's OK, and even flattering, to call someone "a
person of color", but it's offensive to say they are "colored".

I'm more than willing to refer to any ethnic or racial group in whatever
terms they deem acceptable, but the rules keep changing. Sometimes I
get the feeling that people want to be offended.

Steve Barnard