Main | Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The White, African, American

A New Jersey medical student is suing his school for discrimination for the way they treated him after he described himself as a "white, African, American." Which, as a Mozambique-born Caucasian immigrant, he technically is. But he may also be an asshat, as the school suspended him for continuing to use the expression after being told others found it offensive.
Paulo Serodio said that in 2006, he told a professor and classmates that he was "white, African, American,'' which he says accurately reflects the fact that he was born in Mozambique but later became a U.S. citizen. He said some classmates and staff members at New Jersey Medical School found it offensive that a Caucasian man would call himself "African-American'' and that the fallout led to harassment and eventually his suspension from the school. Serodio, who lives in Newark, said some school employees and students told him not to describe himself as "African-American.'' In the aftermath of his comments, Serodio said, flyers were hung around the school mocking him, he was assaulted and his car was vandalized. His lawyer, Gregg Zeff, said Serodio eventually was suspended for ``conduct unbecoming'' a student. The suspension came directly from his remarks in class, Zeff said.
It seems like an immigrant living in Newark might be more sensitive to this country's concept of "African-American", even if he is a raging pedant.

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