black Americans on MeFi? December 30, 2005 12:28 PM   Subscribe

No offense or anything, but I am also curious to know how many black Americans are posting to Metafilter. Someone posted this to Metafilter and it looks like it was deleted. I am also curious. raise yr hand in this thread.
posted by dydecker to MetaFilter-Related at 12:28 PM (126 comments total)

I'm half black.
posted by delmoi at 12:31 PM on December 30, 2005


And what about blacks from other continents?
posted by delmoi at 12:32 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm white, does that count as black?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:34 PM on December 30, 2005


(but not american)
posted by blue_beetle at 12:35 PM on December 30, 2005


Define "black".

I know many African-Americans who consider themselves brown and are insulted when I call them black because they're the same skin tone as me (I'm a light-skinned Indian).

And who cares?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:36 PM on December 30, 2005


Of the top of my head I can think of 8 fairly active prominent posters who have self-identified as at least partly African-American.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on December 30, 2005


And who cares?

It's interesting to see if our demographics lean one way or the other and whether that affects what POV's get the most screentime.
posted by jonmc at 12:37 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm just marveling at a Metatalk thread that starts with "No offense" and actually means it.
posted by cortex at 12:38 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm 100% Irish blood. In the UK, that counts as black.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:40 PM on December 30, 2005


*raises finger*
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:41 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm 100% Irish blood. In the UK, that counts as black.

What does 50% Irish/50% Italian count as?
posted by jonmc at 12:42 PM on December 30, 2005


It's interesting to see if our demographics lean one way or the other

Yeah, and I think this type of knowledge can only be used within ignorant contexts. If this place has a large "black" population, people can claim that their (black) opinion is represented here simply because there are a lot of them. If this place has a "small" population, the opposite conclusion could be made with the same non-foundation.

It's the same as asking how many homos are here, or Jews. What the fuck does it matter? Clearly the knowledge of people's racial background can only be used to propagate ignorant stereotypes. I'm Indian; I certainly don't speak for Indians. I'm also a man; I don't speak for men.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:42 PM on December 30, 2005


SeizeTheDay writes "It's the same as asking how many homos are here, or Jews."

Jews? Jews!? Where? Root them out!
posted by orthogonality at 12:46 PM on December 30, 2005


More theoretically, statistics like these are used to generate stereotypes as to what the "norm" is. It's like playing Family Feud: "We asked a hundred gay men, what's your favorite position?" The majority answer clearly becomes the "norm", even though any given position should be allowed equal attention (freedom of positions and all).

This is quite clearly an American phenomena, our obsession with statistics and the creation of normalcy.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:46 PM on December 30, 2005


SeizeTheDay, there's no room for empathy and understanding? Should we also avoid revealing any other aspect of our persons? Refuse to speak of illnesses? Beliefs? Locales? Experiences?

I agree with your sentiment -- leveraging shallow demographics for rhetorical points is lame. But you're assuming that such is the only thing that can come of this, and there I do not agree with you.
posted by cortex at 12:47 PM on December 30, 2005


What does 50% Irish/50% Italian count as?
posted by jonmc


Guilty. (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 12:54 PM on December 30, 2005


And what about blacks from other continents?

Of course! Actually my question was also piqued from the Google maps thing Matt posted a couple of days ago and I noticed how concentrated the members were in North America and Northern Europe, which got me wondering the demographics of the site. I don't actually have any cheap rhetorical points to make.
posted by dydecker at 12:56 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm 100% Irish blood. In the UK, that counts as black.

"The Irish are the blacks of Europe. Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. The Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. " -Jimmy Rabbitte
posted by keswick at 12:56 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm black inside.
posted by justgary at 12:58 PM on December 30, 2005


100% irish.
posted by quonsar at 12:59 PM on December 30, 2005


but i got rhythm.
posted by quonsar at 12:59 PM on December 30, 2005


I am English by birth. In the EU, that makes me black.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:03 PM on December 30, 2005


I'd love to see some MeFi demographics (I'm more interested in things like education, income, habitation status, political/religious affiliations), but I think getting any meaningful answer out of a simple public question like this is a bit naïve. If 20 people pipe up, what does it say? Are you interested to see if you recognize any usernames? I know of a few, but 20 still numerically very small. You'd need to specifically sample a cross-segment of the userbase and get a "yes" or "no" answer out of each of them.
posted by mkultra at 1:04 PM on December 30, 2005


but i got rhythm.

and I got music. If somebody could judt find my man, I wouldn't ask for anything more.
posted by jonmc at 1:05 PM on December 30, 2005


judt

He's not Irish at all! He's nordic!
posted by cortex at 1:13 PM on December 30, 2005


Not really. My keyboard has been drinking.
posted by jonmc at 1:19 PM on December 30, 2005


Why would asking a person what race they are be offensive?
posted by sic at 1:19 PM on December 30, 2005


I am not black. But if you saw an underexposed photo of my cock, you'd swear that I was.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:24 PM on December 30, 2005


So your keyboard is Irish, at least.
posted by cortex at 1:25 PM on December 30, 2005


Foreign is the new black.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:26 PM on December 30, 2005


In my dreams I am the Wizard Master.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:29 PM on December 30, 2005


I am gay. In my family, that makes me black.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:34 PM on December 30, 2005


Shvartses! Hosti gezen in dayne lebn? They darker than us! Woof!
posted by geoff. at 1:36 PM on December 30, 2005


Actually, I've long been interested in various demographics of MeFites. However, I would never seriously suggest a survey of any sort, because 1000+ people would instantly hop on me and suggest that I was going to use it for some evil marketing purpose or something.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:39 PM on December 30, 2005


well, would you?
posted by hototogisu at 1:43 PM on December 30, 2005


Well, with a name like Afroblanco....
posted by orthogonality at 1:43 PM on December 30, 2005


It's like playing Family Feud: "We asked a hundred gay men, what's your favorite position?"
You misspelled "Freud"

posted by Aknaton at 1:43 PM on December 30, 2005


Well, I like black humour. I don't mean, like, Richard Pryor. Although I like that too.

I can't believe the people who are making a fuss about this simple question. Jesus Christ, it's just interesting, no? Just as it'd be interesting to see how many Russians we have here. Or amputees. Or people over 6'5". Or people with those weird third nipples. Or Welsh people. Actually, forget that last one. Who the hell gives a damn about those Welsh arseholes? They're probably too busy getting pissed and whining about the English to come here.
posted by Decani at 1:54 PM on December 30, 2005


Define "black".
...
And who cares?


Come on, yo. "Black Americans" isn't some vague term. And who isn't interested in demographics?

As for all the whitefolks cracking jokes about their blackness: funny. Real funny. Real, real, real funny.
posted by scarabic at 1:57 PM on December 30, 2005


Yes, geoff., it's twooo. It's twooo.
posted by Gator at 1:59 PM on December 30, 2005


scrabic, I was just riffing off quonsar's "I got rhythm," quip. I didn't mean any offense.
posted by jonmc at 2:07 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm a joke cracker (oops!) because the wording is funny, because this is a surreal question that has already been deleted elsewhere on the site, and because in my circle of friends (where half of us have mixed race kids, and the other half wish) such a question is a gigglestarter.

So, yeah, scarabic - it's funny. Real funny.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:08 PM on December 30, 2005


This makes me tiwawd, so tiwawd!
posted by Mr T at 2:15 PM on December 30, 2005


Not offensive to me. But perhaps to anyone who might want to show up here and be counted. I saw this thread as an invitation for any black MeFites to introduce & identify themselves if they wish. The paleface tomfoolery probably isn't helping with the "if they wish" part.

But then, if they were that turned off by paleface tomfoolery, I guess they wouldn't be here (of course, I'm guessing that, demographically, they AREN'T here, so go figure).

It is kind of offensive to speak for anyone else on a subject like this, so I better shut up.

/honkyzone!
posted by scarabic at 2:18 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm half black. And I can think of one more person who is too. Actually, I find the prevalence of mixededness here far more interesting. Then again, I would.

Also, I think scarabic makes a reasonable point.
posted by dame at 2:19 PM on December 30, 2005


This should really be a contest: The first five Mefites who report to this thread with proof of blackness get to have their picture taken with jonmc.
posted by gigawhat? at 2:22 PM on December 30, 2005


at least a3 already have, gigawhat. Black People Love Me as they say.
posted by jonmc at 2:23 PM on December 30, 2005


8.25% no joke
posted by Dreamghost at 2:25 PM on December 30, 2005


Hey! I'm Welsh, dammit!
posted by yhbc at 2:36 PM on December 30, 2005


well, that explains a lot, commish! ;>
posted by jonmc at 2:37 PM on December 30, 2005


To be serious for just a moment, I think the primary problem with racial/ethnic/gender/sexuality joshing in a forum like this is a function of the differing level of familiarity among the particiapants. You can say things among friends who know where your coming from that simply would not be appropriate among people you've never met, and MeFi is a big mix of both. All of us (including myself) should probably keep that in mind to avoid misunderstandings.
posted by jonmc at 2:41 PM on December 30, 2005


Do interracial relationships count?
posted by fandango_matt at 2:42 PM on December 30, 2005


do interspecies relationships count?
posted by quonsar at 2:48 PM on December 30, 2005


I pretend to be when I play the bass.
posted by snsranch at 2:51 PM on December 30, 2005


do interstitial relationships count?
posted by cortex at 2:58 PM on December 30, 2005


Do interesting relationships count?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:59 PM on December 30, 2005


doh!
posted by scarabic at 2:59 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm about equally divided Irish and German. In high school I was the second-biggest nerd and got into fights with the biggest nerd, who was half-English, half-French. Also, I consider Charlie Daniels in the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" to be the TRUE first white rapper. Now, what were you talking about?
posted by wendell at 3:08 PM on December 30, 2005


Can we just do a MetaFilter survey and get on with it? I could design, host and analyze it. I have the technology. E-mail me if you have any interest Matt. I'm serious too.
posted by panoptican at 3:11 PM on December 30, 2005


do interspecies relationships count?

roffle
posted by Dreamghost at 3:13 PM on December 30, 2005


i'm jynx, the minstrel pokemon, does that count?
posted by suni at 3:13 PM on December 30, 2005


panoptican: Why do you need matt's permision?

We could also define an XML shema for people to put information in their userpages, which could be spidered.
posted by delmoi at 3:17 PM on December 30, 2005


well, would you?

Umm, I don't market things....
posted by Afroblanco at 3:18 PM on December 30, 2005


Well, panopticon, like ThePinkSuperhero said last time it came up, it'd be voluntary and therefore self-selecting and not necessarily useful, at least in the sense that it wouldn't accurately represent, uh, anything.
posted by Gator at 3:19 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm Irish and Jewish, but write from the viewpoint of a black homosexual.
posted by maxsparber at 3:20 PM on December 30, 2005


So, do you find me attractive?
posted by jonmc at 3:21 PM on December 30, 2005


My soul is black. Oh, wait. No, those must be my lungs.
posted by cytherea at 3:21 PM on December 30, 2005


If I had the patience to fuck around with photoshop before heading out to a Hanukkah dinner with my family, I'd photoshop myself into that jonmc picture right about now.

But not when there are dreidels waiting.

Dreidel! Dreidel! Dreidel!
I made it out of clay!
posted by maxsparber at 3:23 PM on December 30, 2005


delmoi: I was thinking a more all-inclusive survey. Something that would be useful to Matt beyond just gathering demographic information. Being that this is his job and all, a little market research might not hurt.

Gator: I doubt it would be that useless. I'd say that we could easily get a 500 sample. And that's even after filtering out all the surveys that quonsar fills out. That's more then plenty for a 25,000 member universe. That is assuming that we'd only survey members though (that would be the easiest in my approximation).

Anyway, the kinda survey I'm thinking of is the sort you'd pay for. I'd do it for free if Matt is interested. I'm curious, ya see?
posted by panoptican at 3:24 PM on December 30, 2005


save me some kugel, maxsparber. ;>
posted by jonmc at 3:24 PM on December 30, 2005


Black people don't exist. Have you ever seen one? Of course not. By definition, they absorb photons. It's their "thing".
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 3:29 PM on December 30, 2005


there was a census, right?
posted by scarabic at 3:38 PM on December 30, 2005


Ya see, I'm made for the job.


/

posted by panoptican at 3:38 PM on December 30, 2005


Yes, scarabic.

On preview, oh my God, a shameful reminder of Gator's Biggest Derail. *blush*
posted by Gator at 3:40 PM on December 30, 2005


It was a nifty derail. Even the boss participated.
posted by panoptican at 3:47 PM on December 30, 2005


It's not easy being blue.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:51 PM on December 30, 2005


If someone really wants to seriously survey the mefi population, they might want to not start out with the words "no offense".

Also, I think scarabic makes a ridiculous point.
posted by justgary at 4:00 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm not black, but I'm thinking about converting.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:07 PM on December 30, 2005


i am also half black. i usually just identify myself as "biracial" unless asked.
posted by mayfly wake at 4:10 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm half green. What am I?
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:30 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm also half turquoise.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:31 PM on December 30, 2005


My grandfather was a Republican.
posted by TimeFactor at 4:39 PM on December 30, 2005


I smoked a Newport with Ted Danson once.
posted by horsewithnoname at 4:55 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm a pale-faced tomfooler which I believe is the new black, plus I have draped myself in black velvet so I guess I am double black...or does double black actually make pink?

Mmmmm Codeine.......
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:08 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm from Skaro. You're from Earth. You'd never understand.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:26 PM on December 30, 2005


I'm black. Or Welsh. One of the two.
posted by cillit bang at 6:03 PM on December 30, 2005


Shvartses! Hosti gezen in dayne lebn? They darker than us!

Blazing Saddles! I'm pretty sure Cleavon Little is/was black.
posted by fixedgear at 6:16 PM on December 30, 2005


cillit, having met you, all I can say is:
your welsh accent is very subtle. Like your 'tan'.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:18 PM on December 30, 2005


A perfectly acceptable question, that I too was interested in. I'm black - no extra snarky comments to add, sorry. I'd love some demographics on the MetaFilter community in general as well, or at least some idea of how many non-WASPs we have.
I should also note that I'm more than willing to be photographed with jonmc to prove my blacktitude.
posted by youarenothere at 6:23 PM on December 30, 2005


Creamy brownish here, with freckles.

Just enough Salish to have a big pile of relatives but enough caucasian/scots-irish to keep me off the tribal registers. My kid looks irish; my brother's kids look native.

I wonder if you're looking for people with a specific cultural focus rather than skin colours?
posted by reflecked at 6:28 PM on December 30, 2005


Just saw The Big MetaFilter User Survey from last April. We should do one of those a year. Granted, its not wholly accurate in the least, but I think it's a good starting point for gathering demographics if people are actually interested.
posted by youarenothere at 6:30 PM on December 30, 2005


Black here, not American though, although i live in the States.
(Technically going by the one drop rule i'm black, even though my mom is half white.)
jonmc, say cheese!
posted by ramix at 6:42 PM on December 30, 2005


cheese, sistah! ;>
posted by jonmc at 7:15 PM on December 30, 2005


your welsh accent is very subtle.

Yes. But I was born in a town with 8 consecutive consonants in its name.
posted by cillit bang at 7:29 PM on December 30, 2005


My bass teacher, who played Coltrane's funeral, used to call me "Little White Brother." Now I play in a country band. Of course, so did Clyde Stubblefield before he got sent up for dealing coke.
posted by stet at 7:31 PM on December 30, 2005


cillit:
That doesn't narrow down the location all that much...
posted by dash_slot- at 7:38 PM on December 30, 2005


Half-German, half-throw-a-dart-at-the-British-Isles.

I was raised by the entire clan on the German side, though, including my immigrant grandparents, so I self-identify with the German half. I could be a little more WASP if I tried, I'm sure.
posted by Ryvar at 8:39 PM on December 30, 2005


Hey White People! What's your ethnic makeup?!

oops... wrong thread...
posted by scarabic at 8:40 PM on December 30, 2005


scarabic: I refuse to let myself be discriminated against just because I didn't have the good fortune to be born black.
posted by Ryvar at 8:55 PM on December 30, 2005


I am not black, I am not really red either. So what's in a name?
posted by Cranberry at 9:06 PM on December 30, 2005


What is wrong with you people? I can't believe that you're effectively derailing the thread.

Did you read the damn question?
posted by Firas at 9:11 PM on December 30, 2005


Half Irish, with contributions from both sides! (Go figure) And bits of French, English and there's a Hungarian in there somewhere. I'm married to an Austrian, Irish and Jewish person, so our kids are > half Irish.
posted by Lynsey at 9:23 PM on December 30, 2005


I can't believe that you're effectively derailing the thread.

I can't believe it either!! Especially in light of how promising it was!
posted by Ryvar at 9:27 PM on December 30, 2005


I use a Macintosh. At work that makes me Black, but on Metafilter I think that makes me White.

No offense or anything, but I'm curious how many Maccers there are on Metafilter. I think this might be a minority majority kind of place.
posted by alms at 9:35 PM on December 30, 2005


What is wrong with you people? I can't believe that you're effectively derailing the thread.

Did you read the damn question?


So....you're new to metatalk, then?
posted by kalimac at 9:35 PM on December 30, 2005


So....you're new to metatalk, then?

No, but a bit of sensitivity is called for. If this was a thread saying 'are you a woman mefite? raise your hand' (Such a thread is not required, of course, because MeFi is full of women. Maybe it could have been a couple years ago.) would it make sense for a bunch of men to saunter in and declare that "I checked; I'm not" or that they'd have been women only if they could, yadda yadda?

I'm a bit shocked, that's all, especially considering that MeFi is populated by the type of people (liberal/lefty) who tend to be sensitive to this kind of issue. Snarkiness is one thing, obnoxiousness is quite another.
posted by Firas at 9:46 PM on December 30, 2005


Ladkas for jonmc.

Oops. Does that count as a derail?
posted by maxsparber at 9:59 PM on December 30, 2005


phuoc hue.
posted by quonsar at 10:04 PM on December 30, 2005


No, but a bit of sensitivity is called for. If this was a thread saying 'are you a woman mefite? raise your hand' (Such a thread is not required, of course, because MeFi is full of women. Maybe it could have been a couple years ago.) would it make sense for a bunch of men to saunter in and declare that "I checked; I'm not" or that they'd have been women only if they could, yadda yadda?

No offense, but raise your hands if you're homosexual, white, southern, etc would have also been a noise thread.

I'm a bit shocked, that's all, especially considering that MeFi is populated by the type of people (liberal/lefty) who tend to be sensitive to this kind of issue. Snarkiness is one thing, obnoxiousness is quite another.

There is no issue.
posted by justgary at 10:05 PM on December 30, 2005


scarabic: I refuse to let myself be discriminated against just because I didn't have the good fortune to be born black.

Uhm... you're a moron. Ooops, am I discriminating against you by saying that? This thread is a shoutout to black people in particular, Ryvar. If you think that's discriminating against you, because some black people got a shout-out and you didn't, then you have the most pathetic case of white-mans-reverse-victim-complex I've ever seen and I'm incredibly sorry for you.

Please tell me you're joking. I would be relieved to hear it.
posted by scarabic at 12:08 AM on December 31, 2005


I'm from Cronulla. That makes me a moron.
posted by sjvilla79 at 2:35 AM on December 31, 2005


Scarabic:
Please tell me you're joking. I would be relieved to hear it.

I thought it would be obvious, but yes, I'm joking. Although, I admit to being a bit petulant that I'm like the thirteenth white person in this thread to list their ancestry, and you singled me out.

Hence the joke.

Are we friends again? Will you be my smooth buddy?
posted by Ryvar at 4:29 AM on December 31, 2005


Hey! I'm Welsh, dammit!

Certainly, sir. DAMN YOUR WELSHNESS! DAMN IT, I SAY!

You're welcome.
posted by Decani at 6:53 AM on December 31, 2005


I have an extremely large penis, so I might be black.
posted by jewzilla at 8:52 AM on December 31, 2005


I used to get called "blackie" by the kids from Appalachia who'd never seen a dark-skinned (ethnic) whitey before....
posted by availablelight at 9:26 AM on December 31, 2005


I use a Macintosh. At work that makes me Black, but on Metafilter I think that makes me White Jewish.
posted by mkultra at 9:29 AM on December 31, 2005


Fucking mongoloids.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:22 AM on December 31, 2005


TAKE IT BACK CAPTAINTRIPP
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:26 AM on December 31, 2005


It's like playing Family Feud

Or Family Freud.

Who cares. One the best things about the online experience has always been that you don't need to know 'who' you're hearing from. There's a rare freedom in that for both the speaker and listener. A rare opportunity for ideas to stand on their own merits.
posted by scheptech at 10:35 AM on December 31, 2005


I use a Macintosh. At work that makes me Black, but on Metafilter I think that makes me White Jewish.

I guess that makes Unix users Zoroastrians, and Linux guys some kind of weird cargo cult.
posted by jonmc at 10:53 AM on December 31, 2005


wanna hear a joke my grandpa told me?
posted by quonsar at 10:58 AM on December 31, 2005


you got me Ryvar
posted by scarabic at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2005


Here's an alternative to fira's and scarabic's view of this thread: if a question like this were posted on a right-wing site, I don't think there'd be a gentle joshing about whether being Irish means one is "black". There'd more likely either be anger or silence.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:28 PM on December 31, 2005


Aren't we groovy.
posted by cillit bang at 4:10 PM on December 31, 2005


Here's an alternative to "it could be better:"

"it could be worse!"

;) Happy New Year, Keith
posted by scarabic at 5:08 PM on December 31, 2005


And to you, too, scarabic!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:19 PM on January 1, 2006


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