What's in a name?

The Times of London reports that

HINDUS living in Britain do not want to be described as 'Asian', according to a big study of the community.

Instead, they want to be known as British Indian, Hindu — or even Desi, a Hindi word growing in popularity with the young that means being rooted in one's home country. At the time of the 2001 Census the Hindu population in Britain had reached nearly 550,000. [....]

It found concern about a 'general assumption' that any brown—skinned Asian person was Muslim and shows that Hindus feel neglected, marginalised and misunderstood.

The term "Asian" is so broad, comprising so many starkly different ethnicities as to be all but useless. Koreans, Tajikis, Burmese, and Mongolians are all Asians, but it is hard to see how calling them all "Asians" has any utility.

But of course, here in America The Census Bureau takes it a step further and lumps in Pacific Islanders (Hawaiians, Tahitians, and Maoris, among others) as well. It is all a ploy, of course, aimed at constructing a minority group that is large enough to make a claim on public benefits.

But this is certainly no worse than using the term "Hispanic" as if it were a race. But this term is now shunned by many of the PC crowd in favor of "Latino." I am not entirely sure why, but it may be nothing more than fashion. In my experience, Castillian Spaniards and Guatemalans don't share a lot of racial similarity, not to mention Chileans or Venezuelans.

But that doesn't stop the San Francisco Chronicle from using terms in a report today that is all about race:

Six Asian male juveniles have been arrested for allegedly beating a Latino youth in Chinatown and leaving him unconscious, San Francisco police said.

The attack Friday is being treated as a hate crime because the suspects yelled racial epithets during the attack, police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

Thomas Lifson   7 11 06

The Times of London reports that

HINDUS living in Britain do not want to be described as 'Asian', according to a big study of the community.

Instead, they want to be known as British Indian, Hindu — or even Desi, a Hindi word growing in popularity with the young that means being rooted in one's home country. At the time of the 2001 Census the Hindu population in Britain had reached nearly 550,000. [....]

It found concern about a 'general assumption' that any brown—skinned Asian person was Muslim and shows that Hindus feel neglected, marginalised and misunderstood.

The term "Asian" is so broad, comprising so many starkly different ethnicities as to be all but useless. Koreans, Tajikis, Burmese, and Mongolians are all Asians, but it is hard to see how calling them all "Asians" has any utility.

But of course, here in America The Census Bureau takes it a step further and lumps in Pacific Islanders (Hawaiians, Tahitians, and Maoris, among others) as well. It is all a ploy, of course, aimed at constructing a minority group that is large enough to make a claim on public benefits.

But this is certainly no worse than using the term "Hispanic" as if it were a race. But this term is now shunned by many of the PC crowd in favor of "Latino." I am not entirely sure why, but it may be nothing more than fashion. In my experience, Castillian Spaniards and Guatemalans don't share a lot of racial similarity, not to mention Chileans or Venezuelans.

But that doesn't stop the San Francisco Chronicle from using terms in a report today that is all about race:

Six Asian male juveniles have been arrested for allegedly beating a Latino youth in Chinatown and leaving him unconscious, San Francisco police said.

The attack Friday is being treated as a hate crime because the suspects yelled racial epithets during the attack, police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

Thomas Lifson   7 11 06