Too PC or Not Too PC
On a lovely weekday afternoon, I (an American who is Chinese) was talking with a friend (white male) and I made the following statement to describe a newly found eatery I really enjoyed:
“It’s my new favorite BBQ joint, the brothers there know how to throw down some mean BBQ!”
My friend stared at me in disbelief, and then reprimanded me for my use of the word “brother” stating that it was not PC to reference African-American males as “brothers.” I was surprised that he thought “brother” was considered offensive in this context. Thus a debate has begun.
Why should I use “African-American,” a term that was probably created & defined by a group of “let’s-make-up-some-play-it safe-race-words” a-holes. To be honest, the hyphenated American descriptive is quite annoying. I was born and raised in the States….so that makes me an American vs. Asian-American. Are white people called Anglo- or European-American? No, they are “White.” Besides that, I prefer to use the word “Brother” because it has two syllables and “African American” has seven….and I am all about brevity.
And come on, lets say I was PC, my original statement would have been:
“It’s my new favorite BBQ joint, the African-Americans there know how to throw down some mean BBQ!”
It’s just not organic and obstructs the flow.
I asked two black comedians if the word “brother” was offensive to them, and neither one said it was. I do realize two people out of 40+ million is not an accurate sample size. On top of that, comedians have been called a lot worse, so “brother” is probably a compliment in their eyes.
Are Canadians offended by “Canuck?” Do Russians get upset when they hear “Russkie,” do hillbillies load their shotguns when they are called a “redneck” Do the Vietnamese get angry when they are called Zipperheads….oops, bad example with this last one, they would get mad if an Occidental called them that, but I can get away with it…why you may ask?….. Because the Vietnamese are my “brothers.”
Does my friend have a bad case of “white guilt” or am I just a politically incorrect bastard? Has my Midwest upbringing jaded my racial slur-dar,? Is the use of “brother” as a reference to black males really considered racist? Do tell.