Georgia NeSmith
3 min readApr 22, 2022


"Africa" is not a country. And European colonialist immigrants / land thieves are NOT "African."

That is a slight-of-hand and words by this wily lying Republican.

Everyone knows damn well that when we use the word "African" we are not designating a politically inscribed national government but rather a (socially constructed) race designated by connection to skin color that is rooted in the original, pre-colonial inhabitants of the continent of Africa.

That is why the word "black" has been chosen by many (if not most) as the means of designating any and all persons with some sort of genetic connection to the original inhabitants of the continent of Africa.

There is no way you can call Elon Musk "African," much less "black." To do so is to ignore the whole point of racial designations -- all of which specifically extend well beyond national origins.

Elon Musk's racial origins are derived from the white national origins of his parents. If anything, he is a WHITE South African. The ethnic origins of his South African parents are not mentioned in bios, but clearly they are NOT black South Africans. His Canadian mother is WHITE Canadian, not black Canadian.

We have to get past this idea that national origins as opposed to racial heritage is the primary definitive designation.

"African American" specifically refers to black Americans with cultural inheritance derived from the lineage of slavery. That is why it is NOT suitable as a reference tag for all residents of the USA who have some form of African heritage.

Most Haitian Americans, as with most Haitians, have African (black) racial heritage, but culturally their experience of racism in Haiti, while still present (mostly based on colorism), is hardly the same as the heritage of the descendants of African slaves -- especially since slavery was abolished in Haiti much earlier than in the USA, and Haiti has had a predominantly black government since it was released from colonial governance.

As you note, the term African American designates those Americans descended from African Slaves in what became defined as the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Reiterating: We have called black Americans "African" with reference to the CONTINENT, not with reference to any national identity based on nation/government boundaries.

Thus a white race South African is a descendent of white COLONIALISTS, just as a white American in one way or another is a descendent of white colonialists or free immigrants from countries that were white prior to black migration from the colonies. Period.

In the case of Elon Musk, descendants of colonialists both in South Africa and in Canada. To have the designation "African," Musk would have to be descended from the aboriginal African populations.

This is why the most accurate racial designation for those who experience the effects of our culture of racism is "Black" ... tho that "blackness" can come in a wide variety of shades and national origins.

In terms of reparations for slavery, it seems to me it should be something like (tho different in some ways) the means by which eligibility for residency on a US "Native American" reservation is determined.

That CAN be problematic for many slavery descendants due to the lack of a reliable census of slaves (especially given the way slave families were disrupted). However, that difficulty can be overcome by accepting oral family history as sufficiently authoritative.

Accuracy of label designation is absolutely essential on these matters. I mean, really. My primary heritage is from Scotland, but according to this stupidity, if my family had stolen lands in South Africa before emigrating to the US, would make this ruddy white complected body AFRICAN!

TOTAL insanity. But that is "normal" for GOP.

Apologies for sort of "hijacking" your subject for my own purposes, but I totally saw RED with the mention of Musk as somehow "African"!



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.