Friday, January 8, 2010

Glenn Beck: "African-American Is A Bogus, PC, Made-Up Term"

Fox host Glenn Beck, who once called President Obama a "racist," has once again offered his insights on racial matters. He and his co-host were discussing the census and the fact that three of the boxes one could check for race are "Black," "African-American" and "Negro." Beck objected to the term "African-American." Listen:

Glenn Beck: African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term. I mean, that's not a race. Your ancestry is from Africa and now you live in America. OK, so you were brought over -- either your family was brought over through the slave trade or you were born here and your family emigrated here or whatever but that is not a race.

So African-Americans should define themselves according to the standards of Glenn Beck.

Think Progress reminds us that Beck has said he doesn't have “a lot of African-American friends, and I think part of it is because I’m afraid that I would be in an open conversation, and I would say something that somebody would take wrong, and then it would be a nightmare.”

Not too difficult to imagine.


Dan said...

I don't believe Beck was being insensative or racist at all. Beck didn't place the choices of "black," "Afican-American," and "Nego" on the census form, Some bureaucrat did. I personally hope the form has a write-in option so can write "none of your Friggin business" in the field.

And I too believe "African-American" is a BS term. People should figure out which side of that hyphen they hold loyalty to, and then go there.

Jeff Tone said...

Dan: The fact that Beck didn't place the choices on the form doesn't mean that his response is beyond criticism. Also, the fact that "some bureaucrat," i.e., someone who works for the government, placed the choices does not mean that the term is inappropriate.

I also do not believe that African-Americans have to make a loyalty choice. The term means African ancestry, American citizenship.

Dan said...


Please explain what was offensive about Beck's reaction to the form.

Jeff Tone said...


First, I don't believe that it is for Glenn Beck or anyone else to determine or mock how a group defines itself.

Second, why is Beck focusing on "African American"? Has he also questioned "Asian Indian," for example?

Third, Beck is ignoring the broad scope involved in the question of race as defined by the Census Bureau: "The Census Bureau recognizes that its “race” question includes both racial classifications and some designations that reflect national origin or cultural groups. The categories generally reflect a social definition of race as the term is recognized in this country. They are not an effort to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically."

"African-American" certainly reflects a national origin," a "cultural group" and a "social definition of race." But Beck doesn't go for complexity. He goes for the simplistic and the outrageous.