Racism in the USA - it's probly here to stay

Sounds like 2015, but that was 1964 - over 50 years ago. Same headline. Realize how much else has changed in the last 50 years. But, apparently, not racial bigotry.
Today, we chant, we march, we sigh, we act disgusted - just as we have done for 50 years, over half a century, and still, we do very little.

Today, the Klan distributes recruiting fliers. Police kill young black men. A bigot shoots 9 in Charleston. Will this ever end? Of course not. Some people hate other people. Some people act on that hate. American (or global) society, you and I, cannot end racism or stop it. That's an unreasonable and unattainable goal. To succeed would require changing the attitudes of every person with hatred in their mind.
But, maybe we can make it better - maybe we can work towards a more just and positive culture. For months now, I have asked people, "Is there a problem with racism in America?" I get a resounding and unanimous Yes! Then I ask, "What is the problem; can you state specifically what the problem is?" All I get are pauses, silence, and numerous misdirected observations. One reason no one has yet stated the problem is that there may not be an issue with racism - the issues are more likely with insecure weak people marginalizing others so they can feel more comfortable and feel better about themselves. Narcissism, pride, ignorance.


Honkey cracker students react to 15 year-old Dorothy Counts attending their high school in North Carolina, September 1957

Some definitions of racism, racial discrimination, racial prejudice, xenophobia, bigotry, casteism
Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Some sociologists state that racism has mutated from blatant expressions into covert kinds, which can be considered as embedded in social processes and structures - are more difficult to explore as well as challenge.
Bill Nye says racism is completely pointless - it has no basis in nature. At least, not biologically. Which is why there is absolutely zero justification for a system that privileges white people over people of color (racism).
We're all one species. Our skin tone varies quite a bit, facial features vary, and some of us prefer different types of music, but those are about the biggest differences.
Nye puts it brilliantly: If a guy from Norway and a woman from Zimbabwe get together, and she gets pregnant, it's pretty clear what's going to happen nine months later. All you're gonna get is a human.
Although Nye dismisses racism, he talks about tribalism quite a bit and the very real idea that there's an "us" and a "them."
Tribalism
Beyond racism and sexism is the notion of tribal discrimination.
USA is a warring culture. We defend, protect, nurture, support, and love those in our tribe. Beyond the tribal boundaries, it depends on whether we perceive a member of another tribe as a threat to our own.
Note: not all is great within the tribe, one can still feel threatened by members. Our openness to other tribes is influenced by:
• Competition
• Insecurity
• Labels
• Threats
• Opportunities
David Ropeik of Big Think explains: We identify ourselves as members of all sorts of tribes; our families, political parties, race, gender, social organizations. We even identify tribally just based on where we live. Go Celtics, go Red Sox, go US Olympic team! Evidence shows that humans have an innate tendency to divide the world into in-groups and out-groups. For much of human history, these groups have been largely defined by skin color. Which has led to non-white people getting the short end of the stick.
But there's also evidence that we, as humans, can rise above this. And that changing our culture can help us get there.
We are humans, after all. With brains that think.

Nice image that reminds us of the rainbow of people on this planet


Race together

When this statement was posed to me, I asked,
    "Do you include Hispanics as a different race?"   Yes, we do.
    "What about Native Americans?"   Yes.
Well then, because I don't know the ethnic heritage of many people (where skin color isn't a giveaway), I can't answer the question. Here in Oklahoma, there are many Natives and so many mixed breeds that one can't tell by looking at the person. And, shouldn't we be working towards not being able to tell? If so, then this question is counter-productive. Starbucks may think they're helping. But not in this way.

Wisdom from Seth
I'm not sure the majority of white people know how to talk in a meaningful way about race. No, that's too careful: I don't think the majority of white people, including me, has a freaking clue about race. It's just too psychologically threatening. Other than to, very occasionally, say something more or less glib, or pseudo-profound, and then move on to some other topic, having "dealt" with race. As intense as my upset at what I perceive as the injustice of man's inhumanity to man may be, I'm beginning to think that's very likely just a sign of my only beginning to become dimly aware of the actual reality of race relations in the US, of what other human beings here are going through. As I, to use a chilling phrase, simply stand by. In a car or on the street, I think that the "protective" bubble of our psychological defenses against seeing deeply unpleasant truths about ourselves is a more difficult shield to penetrate than any exterior structural or procedural dynamic.
Those in power rarely ever even think about race, much less talk meaningfully about it, but that people of color think about it constantly. Her point being: We (white folk) have no need to. The matter is not pressing, not urgent. Which, of course, it would be for an entire people that find themselves consistently and predictably getting the short end of the stick, in ways ranging from the minuscule to the appallingly horrific.
...and it can perhaps can be summed up in a cursory way by saying that the wealthy are less empathic, less adept at social interaction because they simply don't have to be, while it's much more of a genuine survival skill for those who are not; for those who are, if you'll follow my extension, without the freedom and power, the various powers, that money bestows.
And I think history is fairly clear on the idea that those in power either themselves act as, or have systems in place which act as, gatekeepers, which among other things protect that power. Wittingly or unwittingly.
Human beings in power, generally speaking, are hard-wired to develop strong psychological defenses designed, consciously or unconsciously, to justify the "rightness" of the situation, and are predisposed to discount points of view which contravene this belief, and it is a belief, of the "rightness" of the situation. Social structures and laws created by those in power reflect those beliefs.

Victimness in America

Above is an ad for a store targeting Howard University students. Most of Howard's students are black - white students make up less than 3% of the student population. Tweets criticizing the ad started appearing soon after publication. The whining included complaints of oppression, persecution, and injustice. A spokesperson for the store said, "Unfortunately, an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad, and we apologize for this oversight. We wish all Howard University students a successful semester."

From a post by Seth Andrews, January 2014
"I'm persecuted. I'm oppressed. I'm hypersensitive, I have skin thinner than rice paper. I live to be outraged. I'll assume your worst intentions, and my passive-aggressive whinefest will spray in all directions. My oxygen is division, attitude and anger. I am {sob} so oppressed."
The problem with these Drama Porn Stars is that they've become the incessant car alarm that nobody listens to anymore. They're the Jerk Who Cried Wolf. Often inaudible beyond their tantrums are the other, genuine instances of hurt, oppression, discrimination and crisis that truly deserve our attention. That's where our attention and energy should be focused, not on those who construct a crisis as a cheap platform from which to appear taller and get noticed. Certainly, we should work for fairness, goodness, equality and healing in this world. But bursting into flame (and flame wars) anytime someone brushes against your delicate sensibilities is no way to live.
Calm your voice. Grow a thicker skin. Realize that it isn't a perfect world. Stop being a wild, reckless, stone-throwing grunt when the important battles require perspective, forethought, strategy and wisdom.
What you consider to be an affront to humanity might just be an honest oversight. Or simple ignorance. Or a misunderstanding. Or a circumstance that can be addressed with a better tactic than name-calling and tantrums. Or perhaps it's just a healthy reminder that you're not the center of the universe.
You might be genuinely oppressed. Or, you might just be a horse's ass. Be self-aware enough to know the difference.

Seth states it well. Have Americans gotten so fragile, insecure, and weak that they feel persecuted and oppressed just from hearing a word or seeing a photo? Instead of crying racism, sexism, and all the other excuses, maybe we should balance that with a bit more toughening up and letting it slide off our backs. We can't control what others say and do we really want the government to monitor and censor speech?

2016: California State University, Los Angeles offers segregated housing for Negro students so they can avoid “racially insensitive remarks” and other “microaggressions.” The new “black living” community is being created in response to the Black Students Union’s demand for a “safe space.” A growing number of colleges, including the University of California, Berkeley, are setting aside special housing for Negro students.
Universities exist to prepare students to cope with a world of diverse attitudes and opinions. When a school shelters students in safe spaces (that exist nowhere else in society) they are depriving the student of valuable experiences. Another option: restore the balance of manning up and growing a tough skin and dealing with adversity as strong self-confident humans.

To address racism, there are some things we can stop doing
Demanding an end to racism does not work. Chanting 'Stop Racism Now' doesn't work. Those are just idle impotent words. Chanting might make the user feel better, but it does very little towards changing someone else's attitude. Groups of people saying it could instill fear - that always seems to work in a paranoid insecure society. Chanting and marching might even be antagonizing the very people that need to be reached.
Telling white people, "You don't get it" doesn't help. Of course they don't, nor do most Black people. Almost everyone, of all colors, has experienced discrimination and unfairness, but we still may not 'get' the depth of what someone else is experiencing.
Generalizing guilt on an entire group based on the actions of a few is not productive. One shouldn't fight stereotyping with stereotyping.
Stop relying on government to solve social and cultural problems. The government and public companies can forbid display or use of racially insensitive symbols, words, and policies. That will help, but the real work must transfer to the individual and social groups.
Rethink the quota notion that representation within a group should mirror the ethnic makeup of the population. Black professors at Oklahoma State University complained that their percentage makeup doesn't match the percentage makeup of the general population. Here's a parallel argument - the NBA determines its starting lineup based on skill, talent, and expertise; not on the percentages of ethnic populations (which would probably require a starting lineup of 2 or 3 white guys, 1 Hispanic, and 1 or 2 from Black, Asian, and Native American populations). Why are we okay with the NBA having racially unbalanced starters? Because we accept that a basketball team wants to win - they don't care about employing the underrepresented - they want to win. In education, apparently, its not about assembling the best, its about providing a jobs service. Apparently, educators don't care as much about 'winning', just fear of reprisals.
Stop using the term African-American - it is just too divisive. Apparently, Americans with ancestral roots in Africa don't qualify to be called American. They are segregated into a separate group and referred to as African-Americans (more on this below).

There are some things we can explore to minimize racism

Take the damn flag down - the Confederate flag has probly always represented the pro-slavery attitude and used as a symbol for intimidation and division. Any pride and heritage associated with it came from a PR effort to soften its negative association. The Stars and Bars symbol now belongs only in museums and history books, certainly not flying over statehouses and government buildings. Those structures should not alienate a segment of tax-paying citizens. Removing the flag may seem like an insignificant thing to do, but racism is ingrained so deeply in our culture that we've got to chip away at the symbols that continue to encourage discrimination and hatred.
Continue to remove racist symbols from government and public tax-supported buildings and events. Now let's address the next divisive icon - the term African-American which is exclusive not inclusive. Either you're an American or you're not.
Diffuse the power of the word nigger. Some in the black community use the word nigger or nigga but then get upset if someone outside the black community uses the exact same word. They acknowledge that permission to use that word is based solely on skin color (racism?) Remove the power of offensiveness from the word, since it's going to be used anyway. What if the black people spoofed the word or embraced it and thereby removed it's power. Like Yankee Doodle, Republican elephant, Democrat jackass.
Rebel Wilson has built a career out of making fat jokes, but tries to make her humor empowering rather than degrading. "If you reclaim a pejorative word, it can no longer be offensive to you. There is power in that."
Acknowledge that, truly, all men are not created equal. That was a nice marketing slogan to help influence people during the formation of a new nation. But, now we know it is just not true. Men (and women) differ in emotions, bone structure, birth defects, illnesses and diseases, size, and much more.
Maybe we should address root causes: criminals, lust, drug laws, prostitution. Work towards improving those areas and that will likely influence and impact racial disparities.
We can acknowledge some observations of the American culture:
• People will be more comfortable with and prefer the company of people like themselves; members of their own tribe.
• The black community prefers separation.
• Some people will dislike or hate other people. Some will show that dislike with words and violence.
• Some people will use the word nigger, faggot, spic, and more. Freedom of Speech will continue to protect that.
• Some people will display racially inappropriate symbols. Freedom of Speech will continue to protect that.
• The government, the wealthy, and those in power seek control of the common person to satisfy their donors and supporters.
• With just 4.4 percent of the world's population, America has locked up a staggering 22 percent of the world's prisoners.
• Corporate greed and legislation still abuses the poor in housing projects, taxes, food stores
• Many Americans use the 'race card' and accusations of racism to silence others.
Improve art and science education - the problem solving process, better rational thinking, skepticism, experimentation. To foster improved reasoning and creative problem solving. Critical thinking, not blind allegiance to heritage or inflammatory 'leaders'.
Seek to understand why people choose to hate and why people are more comfortable with and prefer the company of people like themselves. Is it inherent in our species or tribal DNA?
Greater empathy, walking in someone else's shoes and seeing through their eyes can help one understand oppression.

I share the story of Rosa Parks with my students. December 1, 1955, she defied tradition, the law to keep her seat on the bus. I am unable to comprehend the courage it took for her, a 42 year old seamstress, to defy the law, the tradition, and some of her own people. Sometimes, having empathy means just listening. Black people know a whole lot more about discrimination than white people do.
More of us can participate. We can speak up more often and more loudly. Instead of staying silent, we can say, "Excuse me, that attitude/action is inappropriate."
Find ways to help those with a fragile self identity to improve self-esteem to better deal with adversity. Some Americans are so insecure and weak that they are easily offended by words. Assertions of vulnerability have gotten more aggressive in the last few years. Emotional discomfort is regarded as equivalent to material injury, and all injuries have to be remediated. Young women on campuses - including aspiring intellectuals - seek to induce university powers to shield them from the umbrages of life.
We have no control over what others think of us what names they call us or how they treat us we can control our own attitudes and responses to them and we can minimize negativity know that's not the right word
Acknowledge that much hatred, insecurity, and intolerance is fostered and encouraged by a belief in a specific God or Holy Book that often supports racial segregation.

Segregated history museums in sight of where MLK spoke of his dream

In Washington DC the new African-American War Memorial (no other war memorials are segregated by race) and the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMA-AHC) opened in 2016. The museum traces its roots to 1915 when the Committee of Colored Citizens formed to create "a beautiful building suitable to depict the Negro's contribution to America." In 1990, the museum project began in earnest. But, in 1994, the bill to develop the museum was killed: "Every other minority will want to ask the taxpayers to build a special museum for them."
In the aerial view above, the National Museum of American History is on the right and the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture is on the left. See - two American History Museums, separated by skin color. Should we remove all references and exhibits concerning Negroes in the Museum of American History and other existing non-racist War memorials? Negroes have played a major part in the development and history of the United States and there are vital stories to tell. These contributions should definitely be recognized and included in our national heritage and archives. In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed legislation for a memorial celebrating "the Negro's contributions to the achievements of America." But, a separate museum? Why segregate the Negro's history and contributions? Why not integrate? What did MLK, Rosa Parks and the countless others fight for - segregation and discrimination, or integration and inclusion? What a terrible insult to their suffering. Does it send the subtle message that Negro items are not good enough to be included in the collection of the Museum of American History?

Is the next logical step to build a Museum of Asian-American History and Culture (also NMA-AHC) and a Museum of Hispanic-American History and Culture (NMH-AHC)? Hispanics outnumber Negroes and also suffered discrimination so it makes sense to honor that culture also. Where will this end? The economics alone should scare us from these endeavors. Each museum will have duplicate staffs, directors, curators and each will fight for attendance. What if a significant artifact is discovered, say, Martin Luther King's pulpit - does it belong in the The Museum of American History or in the National Museum of African American History and Culture. If in the NMA-AHC, will it receive the same attention and attendance? Families that are watching their budget may opt for only one history museum - which ones will not be seen? Won't Negro families be likely to visit the NMA-AHC and forgo visiting the NMH-AHC and the NMA-AHC and the Museum of American History. Not a good outcome. Will they get a distorted and biased view of American history?

Defenders and promoters of racial segregation
There are so many examples of racial segregation and discrimination in our society (pageants, museums, the African-American label), that it seems the Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and racist politicians may be trying to keep Negroes in their place by discouraging integration and maintaining a predominately white society. True integration would lower barriers, not raise them. Of course, we must also acknowledge that the Black community is often responsible for these segregated elements. They sought discriminatory pageants and political groups and, it seems, still prefer to maintain these dual-tribe environments.

The dark-skinned community may keep us from King's dream for a long time as they insist on racist segregated beauty pageants, racist segregated media, flaunting the 'race card', and racist segregated discriminatory organizations: Congressional Black Caucus, African-American Scholars, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Black Senators. There are still numerous racially segregated beauty pageants (universities have several pageants - one open to all female students, one for Hispanic women, one for Asian women, and one for Black women). I once met and commended Rosa Parks for her strength and courage and for helping to change history. I would be ashamed if she knew I had taught at a public university that still tolerates, honors, and promotes racial segregation.

One can't deny there are many racists around the world who still use hatred and violence that reflects their own ignorance, fears, and insecurities. Despite legislation to alter attitudes and behavior, the decision to accept a diverse population of inhabitants is a very personal decision that comes from empathy, love, tolerance, appreciation, and acknowledgment.

It will be a great day for humanity when the census, media, job applications, and admission quotas won't address race or ethnicity as we celebrate humanness, not racial heritage. Ethnic heritage should be honored and celebrated by individuals, communities, and neighborhoods, but not so much by governments or corporations.

Racial or ethnic labeling
Not many Americans are of one single race or ethnic background. Almost all of us are mixed breeds. Often, labels are just sorta silly. Are they really necessary? Hopefully, some day, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: we will judge people on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin. Referring to people by their ethnic or racial heritage may someday not be necessary. Nigger
Even though its just a word, too many Negroid people are too fragile and insecure to handle this term. Strong confident people with self respect don't allow letters and words to offend nor insult them. One should be more concerned with the attitudes behind the statements, anyway. Some racists and the media have also made this term too inflammatory. Time magazine is so paranoid they just print 'n_____' which is actually more insulting - the reader fills in the blank which gives the word even more prominence and the code-playing game is just condescending and childish.
Dick Gregory, the groundbreaking black comedian whose 1965 memoir was titled Nigger said,
"Calling it the 'n' word is an insult. It should be just as much an insult to Jews if they started changing concentration camp to the 'c' word and swastika to the 's' word. You just destroyed history." Mr. Gregory, age 75, said he might even walk on stage, hand a copy of his book to a white woman in the front row and say, "Here, madam, take this 'Nigger' to bed with you tonight."
John Ridley, commentator and author, in Time magazine, comments on how the word is used extensively by Negro comedians, politicians, and public figures and asks why we must wipe out the work of satirists, historians, authors and numerous others. Ridley states that efforts to abolish the word are insulting because they suggest Negroes would allow themselves to be cowed "by six letters and two syllables." Unlike the politicians trying to squelch the word, those who embrace it are showing backbone by declaring "we're controlling it, we're owning it." Ridley wants to rob the word of its power, so that should his sons hear it as they grow up, their automatic reaction will be simply to laugh it off. Saying or writing N-word continues to make it a point of division and gives it its powerful potency to offend. Just say nigger and finish the thought.
Revolutionary soldiers embraced the British slur of 'Yankee Doodle' and removed its power and insult. The symbol of the jackass for the Democratic party was introduced in an editorial cartoon as a slur but the Democrats embraced it, as did the Republicans with the intended slur of the plodding slow elephant.
It's not the word, but the fear and insecurity that needs to be put aside.

Sean Carter (Jay-Z) wrote this in his book, Decoded
On the n-word: Oprah, for instance, still can't get past the n-word issue (or the nigga issue, with all apologies to Ms. Winfrey). I can respect her position. To her, it's a matter of acknowledging the deep and painful history of the word. To me, it's just a word, a word whose power is owned by the user and his or her intention. People give words power, so banning a word is futile, really. "Nigga" becomes "porch monkey" becomes "coon" and so on if that's what's in a person's heart. The key is to change the person. And we change people through conversation, not censorship.

Excerpts from the comedian/activist Lenny Bruce
Are there any niggers here tonight? Now what did he say? "Are there any niggers here tonight?" I know there's one nigger, because I see him back there working. Let's see, there's two niggers. And between those two niggers sits a kyke. And there's another kyke - that's two kykes and three niggers. And there's a spic. Right? Hmm? There's another spic. Ooh, there's a wop; there's a polack; and, oh, a couple of greaseballs. And there's three lace-curtain Irish micks. And there's one, hip, thick, hunky, funky, boogie. Boogie boogie.
Well, I was just trying to make a point, and that is that it's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness. Dig: if President Kennedy would just go on television, and say, "I would like to introduce you to all the niggers in my cabinet," and if he'd just say "nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger" to every nigger he saw, "boogie boogie boogie boogie boogie," "nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger" 'til nigger didn't mean anything anymore, then you could never make some six-year-old black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger at school.
- From Julian Barry's screenplay for Lenny - can be heard in Lenny Bruce: Swear to tell the truth
Nigga
Evolved from the derogative term "Nigger"; Tupac best defined the distinction between the two:
 Nigger - a black man with a slavery chain around his neck.
Nigga - a black man with a gold chain on his neck.
Slang term for homie, friend, buddy, bro; used primarily by Negroes but has spread to other races as well. At first, 'Niggas' was said only by Negroes, not by White folks. Because that pointed out the absurdity - discrimination based solely on skin color - that usage rule has eased up some. Unless in an awkward environment, non-Negroes can sometimes say Niggas.
"'Sup my nigga?" "How's it hanging my nigga?" "Yo, nigga wassup?"

This also shows the effect of rap artists and those in the black community who use the word nigger or nigga and then get upset if some white guy uses the exact same word. They acknowledge that permission to use that word is based solely on skin color (is that racism?).
Black
The racial issue may be too simple to refer to simply as black & white. This terms reduce people to basic simple colors and may exclude Hispanics, Asians, Indians, etc. The term likely came from WEB DuBois' 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folks. This does seem to convey the least amount of offensiveness.
Colored people
The origins of this phrase are pretty bizarre. Colored laws were those that were not legally official - like an unwritten code, but not authentic. The 13/14th amendment that gave slaves freedom was tainted because the US Constitution applies equally to everyone and never acknowledged that slaves were not equal. The Supreme Court stated that the amendment, therefore, was a 'colored law' - and the people it referred to were, then, 'colored people'.
Person of color
This never quite caught on during the 'Politically Correct' movement of the 1990s. Many people have such a low regard for politics and politicians that referring to the phrase as politically correct may have ruined the chances of this phrase being accepted into common usage. And its just too long and awkward. And vague: doesn't it include everyone but, maybe, albinos?
African-American
In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate. - Toni Morrison
Africa is a continent with Negroid, Mongoloid, and Caucasian people. It is a continent of diverse cultures - Northern Africa is primarily Middle Eastern in culture and heritage, not Negroid at all. We celebrate being united in America but we can't be united as long as there are hyphenated Americans. The hyphenation denotes refusal to be an 'American' - it is, by its nature, very divisive and non-inclusive. Irish-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, Gay-American, Native American-American. The label 'African-American' conveys one of two messages:
1. Negroes are not good enough to be called Americans - they are in a separate class.
2. Negroes are better than 'Americans' and deserve their own recognition status with its own label.
Neither of these options sounds positive, productive, nor healthy for the USA.

From Louis Gossett Jr.
Feb 2015: Louis Gossett Jr. prefers ‘American Negro,’ not ‘African-American’. “Eventually [labels] will go away. But until that time, the British chose [negro] and that was the word they used. “I call myself an American Negro, not an African-American, I’m an American.”

Words from Raven Symoné
I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I'm tired of being labeled. I'm an American. I'm not an African-American. I'm an American. I don't know where my roots go to. I don't know how far back and I don't know what country in Africa I am from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I am an American. I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with Black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture.
Aren't we all a melting pot in one body? Isn't that what America is supposed to be?

Wisdom from Bill Cosby
They're standing on the corner and they can't speak proper English: Why you ain't, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be.
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. In fact, you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education.
The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? And where is the father? Or who is his father?
We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa. I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid. I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don't have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands. The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa. So stop, already!
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua, and Mohammed and all of that crap. And all of them are in jail. Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different men. We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks, have to do a better job. Someone working at Walmart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard. We cannot blame the white people any longer.'
- William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr, EdD, May 2004, at an NAACP event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision that struck down school segregation.

If we segregate and classify Americans with descriptors, then shouldn't we also segregate buses, theaters, and naberhoods?
Of course not, but if we strive to remove segregation, it follows that we should certainly remove segregation in descriptors and divisions of Americans. There is even an 'African-American' (or the 'A-A word') flag, giving credibility to the notion of the divisive term:

Artist David Hammons created the 'A-A word' flag in 1990, the year in which David Dinkins was elected the first black mayor of New York City and America was deep into its decades' long culture wars. The flag is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Negro
The author and prominent public intellectual, Ralph Ellison, wrote essays, gave speeches, sat on national committees, and was a member of exclusive clubs. He resisted the shift to 'African-American'. "The African content of American Negro life is more fanciful than actual," he said. "I emphasize Negro because it refers specifically to American cultural phenomena."
Jabari Asim, author of The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why, believes the term Negro was quite neutral and first used in 1555.
The term came from within the Negro community. It was used extensively by Negroes during their struggle for civil rights. Using Negro today is a way to pay homage and respect for those brave and honorable citizens. Below: Malcolm X in 1963 (holding up a headline too similar to some in 2014):

The other terms are media labels and came more from the mainstream establishment. Negro carries less baggage, less divisiveness. The term Negro has many positive historical roots:
The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was formed in 1909 and originally called the National Negro Committee and held gatherings called National Negro Conventions. Founders: Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard and William English Wallin
The Negro World newspaper in Harlem, 1916
The Negro State Fair, 1917
The Negro Speaks of Rivers, by Langston Hughes, 1921
The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, by Langston Hughes, 1926

Negro Women's Temperance Union
Oklahoma Negro Teachers Association
The Oklahoma Negro Business League
The Negro World's Fair
in Muskogee
National Council of Negro Women
The Negro Motorist Green-Book
, a guidebook by and for Negroes, by Victor Green:

All-Negro Comics, written and illustrated by Negroes, Philadelphia, 1947
The Negro in Texas History, 1936

Father of Negro Art, Aaron Douglas
Negro Leagues in baseball
Negro Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Opportunity, A Journal of Negro Life
United
(or Universal) Negro Improvement Association, Marcus Garvey
The Negro Problem, contributions by Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and others
American Negro Exposition, in Chicago, 1940

Negro Victory Committee, founded in 1941 by Reverend Clayton Russell, sought to gain employment in defense industries that discriminated against black workers.
Negro was used extensively by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a term of importance, respect, and dignity.
NAACP Branch President Robert F. Williams promoted a combination of nonviolence with armed self-defense, authoring the widely read Negroes With Guns in 1962.
In May, 2008, the director Spike Lee said, "Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen. In his version of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist."

The New Negro and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From Dr. King, Montgomery, Alabama, 1955: E.D. Nixon, a Pullman porter long identified with the NAACP, telephoned me late one night to tell me that Mrs. Rosa Parks had been arrested around seven-thirty that evening when a bus driver demanded that she give up her seat, and she refused - because her feet hurt. Nixon had already bonded Mrs. Parks out of prison. He said, "It's time this stops; we ought to boycott the buses." I agreed and said, "Now." The next night we called a meeting of Negro community leaders to discuss it, and on Saturday and Sunday we appealed to the Negro community, with leaflets and from the pulpits, to boycott the buses on Monday. We had in mind a one-day boycott, and we were banking on 60-percent success. But the boycott saw instantaneous 99-percent success. We were so pleasantly surprised and impressed that we continued, and for the next 381 days the boycott of Montgomery's buses by Negroes was 99 9/10 successful.

From a 1957 interview, MLK: I think I could best answer that question by saying first that the new Negro is a person with a new sense of dignity and destiny. With a new self-respect. Along with that is lack of fear, which once characterized the Negro This willingness to stand up courageously for what he feels is just and what he feels he deserves on the basis of the laws of the land. I think also included would be this self-assertive attitude that you just mentioned. And all of these factors come together to make what seems to me to be the new Negro
I think also I would like to mention this growing honesty which characterizes the Negro today. There was a time that the Negro used duplicity, deception too, rather as a survival technique; although he didn't particularly like conditions - he said he liked them because he felt that the boss wanted to hear that. But now from the housetops, from the kitchens, from the classrooms and from the pulpit, the Negro says in no uncertain terms that he doesn't like the way he's being treated. So at long last the Negro is telling the truth. And I think this is also one of the basic characteristics of the new Negro

After the first World War, there was a huge migration of Negroes from the South. By 1923, the section of Manhattan north of Central Park, Harlem, became predominantly inhabited by Negroes. Harlem's first cultural flowering came in 1919 when a few privileged Negro intellectuals nurtured a period of literary accomplishment that came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance and Harlem became known as the Negro Metropolis'. Writer W.E.B. DuBois and sociologist Charles Johnson shared a vision - that arts and letters might be the path by which Negroes could win some of the civil rights they were routinely denied. They began what they referred to as the 'New Negro Movement'. The two men made philanthropic connections and recruited writers, artists, and musicians - all in the hope of promoting a culture of understanding that would transform a racist nation. Some of the highlights: Langston Hughes published his famous manifesto, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain. Alain Locke, Professor of Philosophy at Howard University, and the first Negro Rhodes scholar, published Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro It was later expanded to become the primer of the Harlem Renaissance: The New Negro Anthology. It New Negro was defined as an enlightened, politically astute, and aesthetically aware person sprung from the progressive race rhetoric of educator Booker T. Washington and women's rights advocate Fannie Barrier Williams. Also published was the magazine Opportunity, The Journal of Negro Life.
During the Harlem Renaissance Negroes generated 26 novels, 10 volumes of poetry, 5 Broadway plays, countless essays and short stories, 3 performed ballets and concerts, and a considerable output of paintings and sculptures.

Then & now, I'm a Negro: The people who used that word gave it majesty
By Stanley Crouch, New York Daily News, Monday, January 11, 2010
As a writer, I find the term African-American unwieldy. I use terms like Negro, black, and am sometimes tempted to use colored because that range of skin tones is so undeniably epic. All of them are no more than words, but there is something far from backward about the sound of Negro and the magnificent people who used that word to describe themselves. They gave it majesty; they made it luminous. They inspired, organized and led what amounted to our most recent civil war. They welcomed all comers as they went about removing the teeth from the Grand Dragons of Southern racism.
America was bettered by those in the nonviolent multiracial civil rights movement. They did not call themselves African-Americans, which is a pretentious term conceived by Jesse Jackson and some black academics. Those so willing to pretend that they are Africans and not Americans, or who claim their Americanness almost as an unavoidable burden, are just caught up in yet another meaningless trend that has been swallowed by the country as a whole. Freedom of choice is finally the point, above all else. We are, after all, Americans.

A healthy label
Now, lets work toward not having to use labeling terms at all. If one must use labeling (and sometimes it does help clarify communication), the term to use is a personal decision. Use what is appropriate, not what insecure people, politicians, nor the media insist be used.
Stop categorizing people with the census list just don't refer to people by group inclusion and exclusion

www.jamesrobertwatson.com/racism.html