I think it's quite a lame example. Personally I don't like term "African-American" at all. They are American. Or they are not. I think this term especially wrong if you were born here: what "African" has to do with it at all then? Because using it clearly mean calling the race.
In fact it always irks me that lots of companies ask to fill that race/ethnicity form. That is the first step to separate people based on their color/appearance. And we talk about being "political correct"!
I find it personally offensive that they ask for this information as well. But companies nowadays have to prove they are not racist by having a certain percentage of minorities. They have to prove they are not withholding employment based on race, gender, etc.
I understand it, to a point. I know the cause is right, and that there hearts are in the right place trying to protect minorities. However, I think it alienates the minorities even more. If a company needs to hire a new employee, and they have say 2 applicants, one is black and one is white. They are both equally qualified, but since the company knows it will look better for them to have more minority status, they hire the black man without digging deeper. Is that racism, or is that promoting a minority? Can one promote a minority without being racist towards a majority?
To me, these sort of things create a double standard. You cannot be equal by promoting a minority necessarily, because you inadvertently put down the other race, the majority.
Of course in a perfect world, the person would be hired based on only their qualifications and what they can do for the company. No gender, sexual orientation, or race. It is hard to do, and its a delicate balance, but I am not in favor of the current system of having to fill out race on college applications, scholarship applications, jobs, etc. I think it irrelevant to ask such questions.