Originally Posted by Thinker
However, I disagree that self-identifying as a particular ethnic group is the same as marginalising oneself - I don't think the terms 'African American' and 'Coloured' are equivalent. Just from a semantic point of view, the terms 'black' and 'coloured' are more similar.
The term 'African American' may be analogous to British terms for people of non-white ethnic origins. There's 'Afro Carribbean' and 'Asian or Asian British', for instance. But in the UK those kinds of terms tend to be for official purposes - equal opportunities stuff on various forms. It doesn't necessarily mean the person in question is literally an African or Asian immigrant. It's just a PC way to describe the colour of their skin. :)
Usually, like most other British people, when referring to a person's race, I would just say they are 'white', or 'black' or 'Asian' (i.e. brown). Interesting that us Brits tend to group together Asians of Far Eastern descent as 'Chinese'.
As for white people in Africa... maybe there's some Dutch word, I don't know.
As you may be aware, there's a lot of academic literature arguing that notions of race and ethnicity are purely artificial anyway.