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BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix

Donuel 25 Aug 14 - 11:50 AM
Mrrzy 25 Aug 14 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 14 - 05:33 PM
Greg F. 25 Aug 14 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Mrr 25 Aug 14 - 09:30 PM
Azizi 26 Aug 14 - 02:33 AM
Azizi 26 Aug 14 - 03:04 AM
Mrrzy 26 Aug 14 - 11:01 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Aug 14 - 12:39 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 14 - 10:58 PM
GUEST 28 Aug 14 - 04:32 AM
Bill D 28 Aug 14 - 10:42 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Aug 14 - 01:56 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 11:50 AM

We are all literally people of some kind of color, but "people of color" was an early code for the racists who consider anything but white as a savage sub class of inferior tribes that are separate from white people. Today's code is "urban", "welfare families", "cultural" etc..

If you tell a child at age 5 and up that THOSE PEOPLE over there are; lazy, dangerous, kill their own kind, godless, poor on purpose, stupid, etc. , you have then given that child the foundation of racism in a future context in which all later learned characteristics of race are compared and contrasted in a biased poisoned mind set.

In other words, teach your children well.
If it takes a decade or more to unlearn foundational early learning, there will be many years of needless suffering on all sides.

When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.
Some people never learn.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 12:10 PM

My beautiful answer to Who told me blacks can't be racist against whites has vanished into the ether... so I will attempt to recapture some of that there here: It was first an individual at, but then quite a few of my fellow-citizens on the Facebook thing about, the anti-racist cops / solidarity with Ferguson rally we'd all attended, and at which I had minded the apparent racism with which the organizers were asking us to treat individual police officers we might encounter. I *do* support stopping racist practices and individuals, but I do *not* think that treating all cops as racist pigs is the appropriate approach.

A long discussion of racism followed where I held my stance that for people who call themselves black here to treat whites as an indifferentiated mass of negatively-charged membership was just as racist as what they were complaining the cops were doing to them.

It was repeatedly explained to me that I didn't understand, because I was white and had therefore always been immune to discrimination and was also inherently racist, "how racism worked."

However, I finally and, of course, devilishly, quoted the I Have A Dream speech and said that *my* understanding was that everybody should be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, and haven't heard anything back..

(The rest is rant which I didn't put on Facebook.) So hah, run rings round you logically. Never mind my Cherokee ancestry, Holocaust-survivor mother and the killed-by-moslem-terrorists-for-being-thought-a-christian father... sure, immune to prejudice, that's us whities.

En plus, the soi-disant blacks in the conversation are all mixed-race with at least European, African and American (native) ancestry with probably some Asian thrown in, but they don't like to talk about that either... while I at least lived for decades in West Africa where blacks are actually black. And that didn't matter to me, then, when I was a kid. I had to come to the States for college to find out that I wasn't supposed to think of (American) blacks as *people* (like women aren't people either, they are always women, but that is really another thread). Yet the luxury of having a washer-dryer in your house as a standard keeps me living here, but I fight the fight agaist the lack of reason... and fight... and fight... well, argue, argue, argue. I *am* still a pacifist.
Shutting up now,

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:33 PM

Perhaps you already have your answer on the ground, Mrrzy. It may be that the communities concerned aren't prepared to yield their oppressed minority status, the question being why: are they still oppressed, or are they using it to gain advantage? Here in the UK, they are still oppressed: a policeman is on a murder charge for not giving someone with a very similar profile to Michael Brown the opportunity to surrender. As an outsider, it looks very much as though the use of force by the Police is disproportionate, and therefore justifies the oppressed status. Now, it is equally true that the US Police as a whole are heavy-handed, raising the question whether the entire country is an oppressed minority. And that, my friends, is why I have no intention whatsoever of going there: in the UK, we would never accept that level of imposition by the public authority. Indeed, we are starting to get concerned because our Border Agency is being supplemented by FBI, whose norms are not our norms.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 06:48 PM

Its times like this I really wish Azizi hadn't been driven from this forum by the yahoos.

She was the only voice of a Person of Color crying out in the wilderness.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 09:30 PM

Anybody can visit the States, it's living here that is a pain. I do not discourage tourists, even nonpink ones. We are a great place to visit, and the tourists don't have that look...

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 02:33 AM

Thank you GUEST, Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:33 PM for your comment which identifies institutionalized (systemic) racism as the reason for the need for collective terms such as "People of Color".

And thanks to Greg F. for the shout out and for his comment of 24 Aug 14 - 01:05 PM that succiently basically makes that same point.

For what it's worth, I agree with and want to thank a very few additional persons on this thread for their comments. However, I won't list them in case I fail to mention someone whose comments I agree with.

Rather then me attempting to explain in my own words why there is a need for the term "People of Color", here's that Wikipedia page in full (with only one of its references:

"Person of color (plural: people of color, persons of color) is a term used primarily in the United States to describe any person who is not white. The term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism. People of color was introduced as a preferable replacement to both non-white and minority, which are also inclusive, because it frames the subject positively; non-white defines people in terms of what they are not (white), and minority frequently carries a subordinate connotation.[1] Style guides for writing from American Heritage,[2] the Stanford Graduate School of Business,[3] Mount Holyoke College,[4] recommend the term over these alternatives. It may also be used with other collective categories of people such as students of color, men of color and women of color. Person of color typically refers to individuals of non-European heritage.

Although the term citizens of color was used by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963, and other uses date to as early as 1793, people of color did not gain prominence for many years.[7][8] Influenced by radical theorists like Frantz Fanon, racial justice activists in the U.S. began to use the term people of color in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was in wide circulation.[9] Both anti-racist activists and academics sought to move understandings of race beyond the black-white binary then prevalent.[10]

Political significance
According to Stephen Saris, in the United States there are two big racial divides. "First, there is the black-white kind, which is basically anti-black". The second racial divide is the one "between whites and everyone else" with whites being "narrowly construed" and everyone else being called "people of color".[11] Because the term people of color includes vastly different people with only the common distinction of not being white, it draws attention to the fundamental role of racialization in the United States. It acts as "a recognition that certain people are racialized" and serves to emphasize "the importance of coalition" by "making connections between the ways different 'people of color' are racialized."[12] As Joseph Truman explains, the term people of color is attractive because it unites disparate racial and ethnic groups into a larger collective in solidarity with one another.[13]

Furthermore, the term persons of color has been embraced and used to replace the term minority because the term minority could, but not necessarily according to proper context, imply inferiority and disfranchisement.[14]
In addition, people of color constitute the majority population in certain U.S. cities, in most countries, and in the world as a whole."


1.Jump up ^ Christine Clark, Teja Arboleda (1999). Teacher's Guide for in the Shadow of Race: Growing Up As a Multiethnic, Multicultural, and "Multiracial" American. Routledge. p. 17. "The term People of Color emerged in reaction to the terms "non-White" and "minority." … The term people of color attempts to counter the condescension implied in the other two."" [retrieved on August 26, 2014)
Italics were added by me to highlight those sentences.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 03:04 AM

Also, I want to make a friendly correction to Greg F.'s comment that I was "driven from this forum by the yahoos".

After five years of very active posting on Mudcat, in January 2010 I voluntarily chose to stop actively posting here for reasons/concerns that I shared in a comment in the Multicultural Competence thread.

However, as members clicking on my name can notice, the only year that I completely stopped posting on Mudcat was 2010 after that Jan. comment.

Here's a link to that comment if anyone wants to read it.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 11:01 AM

Azizi, people of color as a phrase does define people by what they are not - white - by calling everybody who isn't white colored as if white weren't a color but all other people have one. That is exactly why I am against it. If we are going to divide people by skin color and put one color in category 1, people (nothing specified about color so assumed to be white), and everybody else in another, people of some kind of color, then I really really think we should call African blacks people, and everybody else should be lumped under People of Paleness. They were first, everybody else has lost melanin somewhere.

I really think that it is a very bad idea to perpetuate the fallacy that white is default and everybody else is marked. I use those terms linguistically, like "horse" has default gender, assumed to be male, "stallion" is marked for maleness, and "mare" is marked for femaleness. "Horse" should not be the equivalent for "white" but for "human" or "person" is my argument.

I *do* understand that white is (becoming?) the default in the US and that makes no sense at all, white should only be the default in Europe, where it actually IS the default. There should be no stereotypical color for Americans, we're all mongrels and should embrace that. And I find it horribly racist, and think that the use of terms like people of color makes it more true. Sapir Whorf and all.

It's time for white people like me to realize that they are NOT the default value for humanity, and have no right to lump all others into a category by skin color that excludes them. Only African blacks have an actual, rational, biological reason to do that.

And I am so very glad that rumors of your departure were premature!

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 12:39 PM

The term in the press most frequently used now is "non-white."

In the news today, it is reported that for the first
time this year, in the U. S., the majority of public school students are non-white.

In 2011, the number of white students had decreased to 52%, Hispanics 24%, leaving blacks at 24%.(National Center for Educational Statistics, April, 2014.

(these figures vary regionally; significantly for the West, Black is 5% and Hispanic 41%, white 405, Asian + Pacific islanders 9%).

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 14 - 10:58 PM

Post I was composing when Mudcat crashed...

If you want a glimpse into the complex problem of 'color as identity', read thru this

high-yellow as a cultural determinant

and this:

Because of my activities in the 1960s, I saw many, many examples of this and other types of social class being determined by color... from both sides of the spectrum.


What I wish for is a world where people thought like a woman I knew who worked for awhile as a Head Start field representative who visited homes to help with enrolling children.

She was in the offices one day when someone asked her: "You did an interview with Mrs. 'X' the other day. Is she black?"

Barbara stopped a moment, wrinkled her forehead, thinking... and finally replied, "Oh yes, she is." She simply put racial characteristics lower on her list of important concerns. It's not that she wasn't aware... she just thought about it only when it was relevant. I have tried to emulate that attitude, but it doesn't come automatically like it did to Barbara.... partly because many "people of color" of various hues & shades make their ethnic identity the major aspect of how they present themselves. That is their right & privilege, but it does make it harder (for me) to relate to them as neutrally as possible.

There was a friend of mine who I knew first in high school, then in college and in the political area as a candidate for State Senate in Kansas. He was a tall, quite handsome fellow by any standards, but obviously a 'medium-dark' guy who, in 1960 Kansas would be called 'black'.... but we had never ever discussed race in all the years I knew him.
When I made a trip to Mississippi on a voter registration campaign, the local paper had a small story about it. Andy came up to me and said, "Hey Bill, I see you went to Mississippi. Better you than me- I wouldn't have lasted 2 days down there. I would have whistled at some white girl, and it would have all been over!"
We kinda laughed... but it stuck with me as a prime example of how some people must daily 'think' about what image and class they with to identify with.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 04:32 AM

However, since my ealier posting, the UK has had a bucketload of shit hit the fan.
Because the local authorities in Rotherham, a medium-sized town west of Sheffield, were afraid of being accused of racism, a culture of active child abuse by members of the Muslim community involving an estimated 1400 children became entrenched, and continues. The failure of the community to police itself is being seen with the uttermost gravity, not least because of the concern that if they prioritise their group identity in the face of child abuse, what will they do when faced with jehadism? True, the wider Muslim community is starting to talk about exporting peace to the Middle East, and that far outweighs the local concern, but none the less all that it takes for a bomber to succeed is for one small group to camouflage him.

But that is beyond our pragmatic reach: we must do what we can to improve things on the ground and then we might make another few steps closer towards the wider goal of being able to say we are a global community. But while we have petty chauvinistic nationalism, and communities afraid to integrate, and dictatorships, it's not likely.

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:42 AM

Another story. which I posted in Jan. 2001, regarding how the races view each other:

....I was talking to a friend in Kansas about the situation, and wondering how men could be so mean etc., to allow an entire race to be HE told me about his grandfather......seems the old man was a farmer in Oklahoma, and had black field hands working for him, and had a reputation of being 'too' good to them, giving them decent pay and extra consideration. So...when the civil rights noise started, some neighbors were talking to Mac's grandfather about how to deal with 'uppity' blacks who had the temerity to want to vote and ride in the front of the bus, etc.

"I suppose you are all for givin' 'em equal rights and such", one of the guys said sarcastically to the old man.

"Nope", he replied, "I think we should keep things just like they are."

"Well!", said the questioner, "I thought you were a liberal you agree with the rest of us, huh? I'm glad to hear you don't want the damn N*****S getting too uppity, and........."

At this the old man stopped him..."No, you don't understand. It ain't like I don't think they've been treated unfairly, I just don't want to change things."

"Well, why not?"

"It's simple," said the old man," If somebody had stood on my neck for 300 years, and then stepped back and said,"OK, you can get up now", I know what'd be the first thing I'd do when I got up!" is a rare man who sees that view of the issue...and to this day, it makes me wonder how close to the truth he was.....

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Subject: RE: BS: The term People of Color - Let's Nix
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 01:56 PM

I am reminded of the famous painting "High Yaller" by Reginald Marsh, whose publication in LIFE magazine brought the idea to the nation's attention.

In Caribbean countries, lighter skin color is afforded higher status.
In Mexico, a Spaniard may do business with another Mexican with pronounced Indian admixture but would never invite him into their home.

Digression- Skin-lighteners are used across Central Africa (I think Richard Bridge started a thread on this a while ago).

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