There are no European-Americans

Newbie   Saturday, June 12, 2004, 21:22 GMT
Of course there are, but we do not simply recognize them under this title. We do with African-Americans, though. Why is this? My guess would be that the Africans were brought here with no choice of their own and quickly lost the tribal and family ties because the people in Africa who sold the slvaes to the Europeans split families and tribes up, and then the Europeans did so further once in America, Barbados, Brazil, etc.

But this also has happened to Europeans who came to America. If one was to ask a group of [white] people in America where their ancestors came from, a majority of the group would probably just say "white" or "I do not know."

In anyone's opinion, why isn't there a term "European-American" in use like the term "African-American" is used now?

Also, some African-Americans in the past made Swahili the [un]-offical language of African-Americans. What would be some choces for a European-American language? I would say Esperanto, Latin or Greek for their historical importance over Europe (Latin, Greek) and the melding together of many European languages (Esperanto).

I think Swahili was chosen because of its range over Africa in terms of placces it is spoken. If English was chosen to be this "European-American language," I think it would not be very good to do so because English is only spoken over a tiny bit of Europe, where Swahili is spoken over a larger part of Africa.
Eastie   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 00:46 GMT
"In anyone's opinion, why isn't there a term "European-American" in use like the term "African-American" is used now? "

The overwhelming majority of Americans are of mixed European descent (both currently and historically), thus rendering the term "European-American" unnecessary or even redundant.

The terms "African-American", "Asian-American", "Latino-American", etc. are employed to differentiate these minority groups from the majority-rule white Americans.

In time, as the racial composition of the United States changes so that white Americans become less dominant, maybe the term "European-American" will come into general use.
Jeff   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 01:11 GMT
maybe the answer to your question is that white americans are considered by themselves and almost everyone outside the US to be the true american, while every non-white american gets a subtitle, even when 12% percent of the US population is hispanic and like another 12% is black.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 01:27 GMT
My experience with people in the U.S. recalling their European heritage is different. Very often I've heard people recall that their parents or grandparents are Irish, German, Swedish, Italian, or whatever.

Slave labor applies to much more than the U.S. Britain made slaves of the blacks during the Boer War and institued concentration camps in the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek that were just as nasty as the ones in Nazi Germany (ref. _The Boer War_, Thomas Pakenham).

The Spanish made slaves of the Mayans and other indigenous people of central and south America. Brazil had its own slave trade.

Slavery in one form or another has existed on almost all the continents.
Jordi   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 03:54 GMT
The great main difference about the early Spaniards is that they often married their women slaves (once they had become Catholics, of course) taking them to the church. Their children were therefore born in good old-fashioned wedlock. There are very few --if any-- pure African Blacks in the US but I would imagine nice church marriages didn't happen very often. Do they now?
Damian   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 10:11 GMT
Dulcinea: you are absolutely right...the British were the first to establish "concentration camps" on the lines of the German ones in WW2...British history is definitely NOT something to be proud of in a lot of have to be stupid to think otherwise. However, are you sure the British versions were REALLY as bad as the Nazi ones? Was there mass slaughter in gas chambers? If so, that is worse than I thought..I will attempt to read up on the reference you gave. The thought makes me feel sick after seeing films of WW2.
Newbie   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 11:42 GMT
Thank you David Winters, Easite and Jeff for sticking to the original topic. Though I would be interested in your opinions about the African-Americans having Swahili as their unofficial "heritage" language. If you had to choose a "European heritage language," what language would you choose?
Clark   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 20:25 GMT
If I had to choose a European language, I would choose a stripped-down version of Latin. There is an Artificial language called Latino Sin Flexione created by an Italian mathematician(sp) in 1903 that I would nominate for a "European-American language."

However, I would probably just say Latin as its dominance over Europe for so long would definately make it a good choice for this type of question.

And if a lot of Americans were keen about having a language to have as their "heritage language," I would guess they would not choose or learn Latin because it is so hard.
Eastie   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 21:45 GMT

Although the majority of African-Americans trace their roots to Sub-Saharan West Africa, they adopted Swahili, a language of East Africa, as their heritage language because it was easier to learn than other African languages. These other languages required clicks and other strange sounds that were difficult for native English speakers to produce. Also too, during the 1960s and 70s, African heritage programs were set up in primarily lower income neighborhoods where the literacy rates were low. So Swahili was chosen because of its phonetic and uncomplicated spelling system.

As for a European heritage language, I think Latin would be the best choice since it's had a profound history on European languages, culture, and history. But if you asked me to choose a living language, I'd probably go with English since many continental Europeans already speak it as a second or third language. Or perhaps French because of its traditional status as the language of art, science, philosophy, and diplomacy.
Eastie   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 21:48 GMT
"I think Latin would be the best choice since it's had a profound history on European languages..."

I meant to say "profound INFLUENCE on European languages..."
Newbie   Monday, June 14, 2004, 11:33 GMT
Thank you Easite for your reply. I thought English might be a good choice for a European-American language, and now that I have thought about it a little more, perhaps English is a good choice for those people who do not know their heritage. My guess would be that whites in America who know that their great-grandparnets all spoke English and were not part of a different heritage (like Italian-Americans, African-Americans, etc), that a good portion of their ancestors were some sort of British. So perhaps English would be a good European-American language only for those [whites] who do not know their heritage.
Jeremy   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 03:32 GMT
Okay, as a First Nations student (a Native American student), I have to laugh. Yes, I understand the situation. I'm not going to bother to respond to everybody (I just skimmed).

This is general American usage: (I am in NO WAY ADVOCATING these usages)

"European-American" generally refers to someone who is from Europe. Sometimes, one parent's actually being FROM Europe suffices for a person born and raised in the US. This all depends on the morons judging people and how a person can play it off!

"African-American" tends to refer to descendants of enslaved Africans. Let's notice the interesting difference in usages here.

Let's say that I am from Moçambique (Mozambique), and that I am an American citizen. Am I an "African-American"? We would think so, but, by general American usage, NO, idiotically enough.

Now, here's what I am:

I am culturally Native American. My father is a mixed-blood Native American. His mother is Cherokee/English/Irish (and more, I'm sure, ^_^, knowing history), and his father is Creek/Cherokee/English/Irish.

My grandparents CLAIM that they are "white," yet they are otherwise Native in EVERY WAY. What really happened?

My grandfather's Creek, Creek-speaking family members lived in panhandle Florida. THEN, the US invaded "Spanish" Florida and the American Holocaust reared its ugly head in the Southeast. My family members hid out in caves in Florida Caverns State Park. Native Americans officially no longer existed in Florida. My relatives lived in Jackson County (a LARGE) area, which had a total population of about 4,000 (about the size of my high school), and officially no Native Americans (although, in reality, this area, even TODAY, has one of the highest populations of Native Americans in Florida).

They grabbed some Anglo-Irish-American guy's name and started calling themself English. This is WAY rural America, here--EVERYONE, "white" or "not" was dark. So, my family CONTINUED to lie and assimilate (ha). So, my grandfather's dad was essentially Creek, and my grandmother's mother, mixed-blood Native.

Grandmother's side is Cherokee, Irish, etc.

My mother's side is a completely different (and further complicated) story. Her grandparents came from Lithuania and Slovakia.

So, by ancestry, I am Creek, Cherokee, Irish, Lithuanian, Slovakian, and MANY other things.

Who am I?

Am I a European-American? Am I a Native American?

I *am* a Native American, PERIOD. I speak, live, and breathe the Cherokee and Creek lifestyle (and, yes, I do speak the languages, although my main first language was English, and my skills are improving every day).

My "blood quantum" (an idiotic invention of the WHITE American government in one of the many ways the American government was [and, in some ways, IS] bent on destroying Native culture) is about 1/3 First Nations. In other words, about 1/3 of my ancestors came from the First Nations.

Yet I am "white"? NOT.

See, with idiots ("white" and Native), "being" Native American goes back to your "blood quantum" and being "enrolled" in an official tribal government.

Let's be honest. There are over 7 MILLION people who are ethnically Cherokee in the world. Yet, the official "registered" population is somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000. That leaves AT LEAST 6,500,000 ethnic Cherokees in the world. Many of us speak Cherokee and live Cherokee lifestyles, which has nothing to do with being a "savage" or living without modern technology--being Cherokee, like being ANYTHING, in terms of people, involves culture and worldview. There are PLENTY of people who have no Native ancestry and live as Native Americans, and they are accepted as such. Many of these people do not speak English. Most First Nations people do.

Now, to many idiots, I am "white" (not to put you down if you would consider me white -- you just needed a little education). ^_^ I'm talking about CLUELESS, CLOSED-MINDED MORONS.

Now, let's say that I have my Native American background turned into "African-American" ancestry. Otherwise, same background, same proportions. SUDDENLY, I become AFRICAN-American. Yet, I can't be Native American?

I think not.

Labels are stupid and limiting. Free yourself from the shackles of idiocy and colonialism and be yourself, whatever that is for you. :)

PS: I know my languages, I know my ancestral cultures, far more than most Americans do. Do yourself a favor and learn who you are. :)

PPS: Esperanto would be a great European lingua franca. However, it doesn't work as well for the rest of the non-Indo-European speaking world!

PPPS: (lol) There is more diversity in Native American languages than there has EVER been in Europe. Just look at the following link:

Now, realize that there are over 10 major language families (plus TONS of isolates and unclassified languages). People from virtually identical cultures may speak completely different languages from completely different families (compare England to Finland -- big difference). Now, within the language families, the differences are ENOURMOUS. Cherokee, one of my first languages, is an Iroquoian language. It might bode well to say that, as an Iroquoian language, the differences between English and, say, Mohawk (not geographically so far from Cherokee), might be something like the differences between English and French, or, perhaps, German. Nah. :) The differences are more like the differences between English and Gujarati!

Cheers :)
-- Jeremy
Jeremy   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 03:40 GMT
Oh, a little appendum:

Remember, being "1/64th a Jew" was good enough for Hitler. Think about it!

Take care, :)
Clark   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 04:05 GMT
Well, I am American. I have researched my family tree and know that a majority of my ancestors were European. Therefore, I am a "European-American."

That is all I have to say about that :-P
Damian   Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 07:28 GMT
Hi Clark.......I would like to do some family history research too when I have time. Do you do it all on the net? I never thought about doing it before. Are you sure you don't want to say any more about it? Go on..force yourself! :-) If you went into some sort of regression I wonder what language(s) you found yourself talking? I heard about a woman in the USA who had never even been outside her home State, and spoke with a broad American accent, had an operation, or had an accident of some sort (I really don't know what happened to be honest) but the outcome anyway was that she emerged speaking with a British accent! She is now unable to speak as an American. How do you explain's so weird.