Monday, August 08, 2005

So, I guess I'm Anglo-British?


In what must be one of the dumbest ideas I've seen in a while, the government seems to be considering inflicting its population with similar to the often misued xxx-American ones.

The story "British Minorities Slam Proposed Labels" on Yahoo! today really made me rant like I haven't ranted in a while.

The idea is to apply xxx-British labels to people based on their ancestry. How far this should go back, it doesn't say, but to me going back more than, say, one generation is often too far.

One of the interviews summed it up:
Inayat Bunglawala was born in northwest England, speaks English as his native language and only once visited his ancestral homeland, India.

That makes him bridle at a proposal being floated in the government to give members of minorities hyphenated identities — he would be Indian-British — to strengthen their bond to Britain.

The idea "simply makes no sense," the 36-year-old said. "I am 100 percent British."
And that is what is so wrong with the idea and the whole principle of applying labels. From a government point of view it helps to stereotype minorities by applying labels to them. In the US, the Hispanics have it the worst - they're not even considered American. I bet they wish it was at least Spanish-American, but no - they get their own special label. I'm wondering which Brit population will get that treatment? Probably the Brummies (I'm one so I'm allowed to say that).

There is also the question of exactly how "ethnicity" is calculated. I haven't seen an equation for this, but there are many xxx-Americans that choose that label because its convenient. Take Halle Berry for instance. Black father, caucasian mother. Chooses to be African-American. Why? Because she can be more successful that way. If she marries a white guy, are her kids still labeled the same way? And so on.

My daughter is part British (actually English-Scottish-Welsh), part Indian and part Portugese? How should she be labeled? There is no (as far as I'm aware) British-American. Asian-American doesn't make sense. And would Portugese be Hispanic? I've heard say that its based on the fathers ethnicity (how truly PC), which really doesn't make sense genetically. So, I guess she's stuck with mixed. Here, that would be Mixed-American. And Mixed-British in the UK.

I'm hoping that the UK doesn't import this brain-dead idea. If they do, some British-Indian guy there will have to think up the next American Idol just to exact revenge.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, "Anglo-British" is an accepted term with a long history of use to refer to the ethnically English and/or those of mixed English and other British ancestry, i.e. someone of English and Scottish or English and Welsh extraction; or as a way of combining historical "cultural ethnicity" with the wider British designation, i.e. Anglo-British as opposed to Celto-British (or, these days, Asian-British, Afro-British, whatever).

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