Thursday, May 10, 2007

America, Somalia, and Africa

I meant to have some fun with the use of the term "African American," but not applying it to Somalis. Which continent is Somalia located in, anyway? What color are Somalis?

The first reference is in my post on the Hopkins School District from this week. The second is from a story on a Minnesota high school "Diversity Team" with this quote:

The Asian students hang out in the upper C hallway. Black students hang out in the nurse's foyer, Somali students in the English foyer, and white kids at the senior stair.

* * *

For years, the Diversity Team would give four all-school performances annually: one each on African, African-American, Hispanic and Asian culture. Performances included dancing, music, spoken word and other acts.

The third is from a story about another Minnesota high school:

To visit the Roosevelt cafeteria is to witness the cultural apartheid. Somali girls gather on one side of the room, apart from the Somali boys, the Asian kids, the whites and the African-Americans.

I was going to use this story about violence at the Mall of America. As recently as 8:16PM on Saturday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune website story read thusly:

And in April 2001, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in the chest in Camp Snoopy during a fight between African-American and Somali teens.

However, the final story carried no reference to race or nationality.

And in April 2001, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in a fight in Camp Snoopy.

Ordinarily, I would tweak the Minneapolis newspaper for its political correctness. But in this case, the specific race of the victim and assailants was not relevant. However, they could have stated that it was racially/ethnically motivated, which would suggest a greater danger or seriousness of the problem at the mall.



Blogger Derek said...

May 11, 2007 12:17 AM  

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