'White African-American' Suing N.J. Med School

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Linda7NJ, May 15, 2009.

  1. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ New Member

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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/Story?id=7567291

    Born and raised in Mozambique and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Serodio, 45, has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey medical school, claiming he was harassed and ultimately suspended for identifying himself during a class cultural exercise as a "white African-American."


    "I wouldn't wish this to my worst enemy," he said. "I'm not exaggerating. This has destroyed my life, my career."

    Wayyyy more at above link!

    How stupid people can be????????????
     
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  3. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Curious as to if the person who first complained is African American or not...this completely goes to a very relevant topic which is what is race and is it relevant to society anymore?? I mean, supposedly gone are the days where you HAD to define yourself as African American if there was even a drop in your bloodline...sort of like (although this is a cultural reference) being compelled to define yourself as Jewish if you had any Jewish blood in the 30's and 40's in parts of Europe.

    Personally, I would love it if in our generation there was no "need" to define by race-for the purposes of census', grants, loans, employment etc.

    Sheesh.
     
  4. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    My daughter was sitting in the room when we saw this man's interview on Lou Dobbs last night.

    My three youngest children are multi-ethnic. I have strived to teach them that they and they alone identify themselves.

    They are now in high school and middle school and each child has inherited different characteristics from us that reflect one of the ethnicities that we hold in our gene pool.

    My daughter, the one that was sitting in the livingroom with me is and has always been said by others to have exotic features. Last year, in class, a substitute teacher asked her in front of the class (yes he was male and yes I went up to the school and raised H3LL) "You are so beautiful, where are you from?" She looked at him and said "I'm a military brat, I'm from everywhere".

    Of course, the entire class snickered because all of them are military brats too :) But he kept on..."no, really, what are you?" She said "no really, I'm an american military brat".

    She was upset by that encounter. But what upsets her even more is when she is with new friends and they ask her about her ethnicity and when she tells them what her racial make-up is...

    They will say...No you aren't "...." You don't look like you have any "...." in you. You're "...." because you look like it.

    Really now.

    Given that the number of children who are bi-racial and/or multi-racial has grown exponitially in the last several decades, why do they have to pick and choose what racial identity that they wish to belong to? Why can't they be just who they are?

    My daughter says to deny her "whiteness" is to deny me, and she will never deny her own Mother. That's where her frustration and anger come from. My other two just blow it off LOL
     
  5. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I only skimmed the article because I am too busy to read all of it, but it's sort of fascinating to think about - certainly, being of African descent, it's appropriate for him to identify himself as African-American. What am I missing that this caused such a hullabaloo amongst black students?

    This raises some interesting questions about cultural identity and what that means in the melting pot of the US.
     
  6. Mira

    Mira Country Girl

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    my miss sadie is black, and gets really mad when anyone calls her african. (or 'affican' as she says) shes nearly 100 years old, so i call her black cuz i know whats good for me LOL she is the nearest to a grama ill ever have.
     
  7. Kymistry35

    Kymistry35 It's never to late to be who you could have been

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    My kids are also multi-racial and each of them identifies themselves as something different. When asked (which is rude IMO), my oldest always says he is white, my 10 yr old says he's mixed, my 7 yo will say he is black, and my baby bless his heart says he's tan, lol. I wish people didn't ask them "what are you?" Personally whenever people have asked me what race my kids are, I say human.
     
  8. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    I so get this-in my house Mommy is yellow if she hasn't slept well, other than that she is pink. Gma is peach, this one is caramel, this one is coffee colored, this one is brown...my kids call it as they see it and it is truly colors of the rainbow. FWIW I do not define them when asked by people...I say they are perfect.

    My all time favorite kids book is "the color of skin." I give one to every teacher we have, lol, as an end of the year book and I read it to their classes as my volunteer effort.
     
  9. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I'll have to check out that book, believe.
     
  10. ziggy

    ziggy New Member

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    We have many mixed race kids in our family and they are truly beautiful and I don't blame people for being fascinated about what mix migh produce such a beautiful child, or such a unique child. Some people are just the why and how types and ask those kinds of questions.

    My nephew says he's our mocha latte. He will say he's half black and half white and his step dad, who basically IS Dad, is Mexican! What a funny Cinco de Mayo they have at that house.

    My nieces and cousins with mixed race children just figure the kids need to learn how to answer those questions so they've helped them with answers. One of my nephews is never questioned because he looks black. Some of the kids are irritated by that questions but guess what????

    I have a very UNUSUAL name and don't you think I have to answer "Now where did you get a name like that?" "is that a family name" and on & on, over & over.

    I just take it all in stride. Being irritated is a choice too don't forget. But I get it - people are curious.
     
  11. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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  12. RainbowsAndGumdrops

    RainbowsAndGumdrops New Member

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    I read the story and think that this guy has grounds for a suit (and I never say that).

    Just because other people are offended by what you call yourself (which was a fair description) doesn't mean that you should be suspended.
     
  13. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    I hope this guy wins his lawsuit. How ridiculous to be told not to identify himself as African American when he was born in Africa and is now a naturalized American citizen. I mean, DAMN! He is more truly African American than the vast majority of those who claim that designation.

    I would bet $100 and a box of donuts that every single person who complained was African American. Who else would be offended?

    And I would bet that the administrator who told him never to say it again was white. Who else would be that scared of a lawsuit?

    I think it is hi-freakin'-larious that the NAACP and the ACLU won't even touch this crap. I mean, they will make a lot of dumb arguments, but this is too much for them. They can't figure out which victim to support! Sooooo..."no comment" from either group.

    Just when you think people cannot get more stupid, they go and prove you wrong.
     
  14. RainbowsAndGumdrops

    RainbowsAndGumdrops New Member

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    Your comment made me laugh because I'm sure that is the problem they are having. I think the answer is simple.

    Being offended is a choice. You can chose to be offended or not to be offended. Being offended does not make you the victim.

    I guess that my opinion isn't popular and those groups wouldn't exist if they agreed with my opinion.
     
  15. sillygoose

    sillygoose Member

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    The point of this article was that this man who was born and raised in Africa is told he cannot identify with Africa because he is white. So some kid who has never stepped foot on African soil can claim Africa because his skin is dark, but one who was born and raised there cannot because he is white. Which side is actually racist here? The term African-American is so wrong. Africa is a continent with many nations and races. How can one race claim sole identity with it, when most who claim such have never even been there? I just don't get it.
     
  16. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    I think you are absolutely right. I don't get why people get so bent out of shape when they are asked what they are or what their heritage is. I get that all the time, and I'm part Irish and part Italian. Why is it such a big deal? Not everything is about race.

    Ironically, some of the people who are most easily offended by "personal" questions are the first to call you "clique-y" if you don't take enough of an interest in them. :rolleyes:
     
  17. EmMomma

    EmMomma Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

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    I am almost always anti-lawsuit, but in this case I think the man has EVERY RIGHT to sue.

    I was questioned once about a sticker on my car. It was an Armenian flag. A DOCTOR (hello?!) at the hospital I used to work at said. "You don't LOOK Armenian." I told him to tell my g'pa (who lost most of his family in the genocide) that.

    I'm very muttly (and proud of it). It just so happens that the Irish/German genes took over. :crazy:
    Oh, and I've been known to check "other" on forms that ask my race (because I think it's stupid to ask)...just because I can...and I wonder if throws whatever they're keeping track of off. Lol. :D
     
  18. Lyn1001

    Lyn1001 In constant need of a nap

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    There is a little girl that I know who tells people her mom is white, her dad is black, and that makes her brown! I thought that was very cute.

    It does amaze me how different traits come out in people, I'm 25% Polish, 25% Italian, and the rest is a mix. I have pale (almost see through) skin, and pitch eyebrows, arm hair, etc. I also have blue eyes and my head hair is light brown. I'm an odd little mix! No one ever asks me what I am. DH is something like 1/32 Native American, but he has some fairly significant traits. Until his late 20's he had difficulty growing facial hair, high cheek bones, and tans RED. No one else in his immediate family has those traits as prominately as he does.

    In regards to the law suit, I hope this guy wins!!! What on earth was wrong with what he said??? Grrrrrr.
     
  19. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    I can understand how the black students feel, in a way, because to them, African American means something deep and cultural and special-----to most of them, it means they are descendants of slavery, and have faced discrimination on a daily basis due to the color of their skin."

    I have friends (Caucasian) who have emigrated to USA from what was Zimbabwe. They identify themselves as Africans, because their family had been in Zimbabwe for centuries. Centuries. These people love Africa with their whole hearts and were devastated to have their land confiscated and to be kicked out of the country. That's a whole 'nother story, but I can see this from both points of view, and I'm not convinced anyone is stupid. I think they are just very passionate about the semantics!
     
  20. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    This is a good point and a beautiful way of expressing it, kgeaux, and one I have considered. Still, as a nation, I think it would serve us well not to limit ourselves by these semantics.

    I am not a huge fan of lawsuits of this nature and I am not someone who thinks our culture is being gobbled up by political correctness - but in this instance, I see both.

    I'm sure there's more to the story, but I think it was not cool of the University to tell him to quit identifying himself as an African American.

    The shame here is - did all of these sides ever come together and try to talk this out like human beings? I would think that the black students could learn a lot from HIS experience as a white American from Africa just as HE could learn a lot from the student's feelings about him using that term and what that term means to them.

    So, did these people ever try to sit down and hash this out or was it just a series of complaints being made back and forth through an administrator who wanted to avoid trouble? Can't we do better than that?
     
  21. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    It almost sounds like the student was trying to start a little trouble since he didn't say that he was born an African citizen instead of claiming the race. He probably should stick saying he's the actual racial makeup that the genome project would identify him as. I've had Hispanic social workers (who should know better even if this is Texas) try to say that my grandkids have fetal alcohol syndrome due to all 4 looking Caucasian but having the Cherokee Indian epicanthal eyefolds. It's just ignorance and thinking that everyone should look a certain way. You can't always tell who someone's ancestors are just by skin color alone.
     

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