Thursday, January 22, 2009
On this day:

State Rep. Alvin Holmes speaks out on the term "African-American"

No doubt about it, Rep. Holmes never fails to speak his mind.

From Tom Gordon at the B'ham News (H/T Flash Point):
Alvin Holmes could not be happier now that Barack Obama has taken the oath.

But you'll get Holmes' dander up if you call Obama an African-American.

"First of all, he's an American who happens to be black," Holmes said. "I don't look at him as African-American. Bob Riley is an American who happens to be white. We're all Americans first."

The veteran Montgomery legislator can't stand hyphenated designations. He has had more than a few arguments with other black leaders on the subject, including Jesse Jackson.

"African-American means anybody from the continent of Africa," Holmes said. "That would include the Egyptians, the Sudanese, and it would include the white people from South Africa. If a white man from South Africa comes to America, he's African-American. I mean, the white people who had the apartheid system, if they come over here, they're African-American.

"I dislike very much anybody using that word African-American," Holmes said.

"The only people who want to use African-American are these pointy headed, briefcase-toting black intellectuals," Holmes said. "I ain't never had nobody in my district support people who called themselves African-American.

"When the police come through there and beat up some of them, they don't ever call me and say, 'Mr. Holmes, you need to come over here and check things out. The police just came through here and beat up a bunch of African-Americans.' They call me and say, 'Mr. Holmes, the police been through here and done beat up a whole bunch of blacks.'"