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Race and country of origin are different

Dear Editor:

In response to the “Impressions” column last week “Put ‘African-American’ in the ash heap,” I beg to differ.

Nationality and race are two concepts used very often by the media. Though the words have totally different meanings, their use has created doubts in the minds of readers. Whereas nationality pertains to the country you were born in, or are in at present, race is the ethnic group you belong to.

The piece of land you were born in decides your nationality, so if your parents moved to another country just before your birth, you may have a new country for your nationality. The word “race” is used mostly in a negative tone these days to refer to discrimination going on in various parts of the world on the basis of skin color and facial features.

It is true that African-Americans, blacks, Negroes, et all have been called by many names over the past 250 years of American history — everything except a “child of God.” But, more to the point of how the term “African-American” entered the lexicon of American dialogue, consider the ethnic groups that comprise our American society.

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Put ‘African-American’ label in the trash heap

Thank you Gibre George.

If you’ll permit a white guy to write about this subject, how pleasing it is to see that some younger black people aren’t fond of the term “African-American” when referring their race.

If a two-word combo ever equaled the sound of long fingernails dragged down a chalkboard, that is it.

An Associated Press article appearing in Monday’s edition of The Florida Times-Union credited Mr. George, who lives in Hollywood, FL, with starting the Facebook page Don’t Call Me African-American. “It just doesn’t sit well with a younger generation of black people,” the 38-year-old entrepreneur was quoted as saying.

Apparently a lot of people agree, and one can only hope that they are black people, both young and old. It’ll have to be blacks themselves who toss this offensive term into the ash heap.

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Now Boston know all about ‘us folks’

Well, we made it into the Boston Globe.

There it was, in the newspaper’s Saturday edition, a political piece datelined “Macclenny, Fla.”

When was the last time anyone in Boston saw that?

Globe reporter Michael Levenson spent some time last week roaming downtown collecting sentiments on this Tuesday’s GOP primary election.

His conclusion? Newt’s the man — at least in Baker County.

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‘Sense of the board’ needed on cuts in next year’s budget

There’s a time-honored practice used by Congress that conveys the sentiment of a majority of members. It’s not legislation and it’s not binding, merely an expression of the will of members. It puts the House and Senate on record.

It’s call a Sense of Congress resolution.

Now that the new year is underway, it’d be a good time for the Baker County Commission to consider what we’ll call a Sense of the Commission resolution.

The board should go on the record soon, a full half-year before 2012-13 budget deliberations begin, on what it expects from its department chiefs and from the county’s five constitutional officers.

How about this? A ten percent reduction from the 2011-12 budget approved last fall — across the board, every department.

The goal is to avoid a debate again this fall over whether — and how much — the county can dip into a reserve fund that has shrunk from $12 million three years ago to about half that.

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