“People of Color” — Meaning What?

people-of-color

“People of Color”, sometimes abbreviated with the acronym PoC,  is a catch-all term for all non-white people or people not of predominantly European ancestry.  More significantly, people of color is often used to allude to a sense of unity and shared experience between non-white persons in majority white, discriminatory societies.

People of Color is a generally acceptable term among people of all backgrounds, but does anyone ever stop to think about its true meaning and implications? The term never caught on with me because, for several reasons, “People of Color” as a description of all non-white people seems not only shallow, but misleading and useless as a concept:

1. “People of Color” describes a unity and shared experience that does not exist

In order to be considered a “person of color”, one simply needs to be perceived as any race/ethnicity but white. Thus, “people of color” is actually a vast and varied group of people, many of which have no true connection to each other. In other words, non-white people are not a monolithic group of people who identify with each other for the mere fact that they are not seen as white.

“People of Color” have diverse backgrounds. An Asian-American man may not see any similarity between himself and a Mexican immigrant. Further, their life experiences likely have been very different. Who can say that their experience and views on race are anything alike? Or that they don’t relate more to people who are not “of color”? Being “of color” doesn’t create a certain destiny.

2. “People of Color” ignores racial complexities

Implicit in the phrase “people of color” is the joint experience of racial discrimination faced by non-white people in majority white societies. But what exactly is the experience of discrimination and who faces it?

Fact: Racism and discrimination have never been equal opportunity. In general, non-white people are affected by discrimination in different ways and to different extents. This is well-documented, but when all non-white people are lumped together under “people of color” this crucial fact goes unnoticed or is determined to be irrelevant.

In addition, racism doesn’t merely consist of whites discriminating against non-whites. Non-white people can and do discriminate against each other. “People of color” depicts a sense of alliance between non-whites which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

3. “People of Color” creates whiteness as a central factor of life

To use the phrase “people of color” you must necessarily see (lack of) whiteness as a determining factor in a person’s life, mindset, and fate. If it weren’t then why would the term be used to differentiate whites from non-whites? Most people who often use the term “People of Color” would disagree with the idea of whiteness as a key factor in life, so why use it?

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62 thoughts on ““People of Color” — Meaning What?

  1. It’s interesting you say “People of Colour” implies some sort of unity between all the people labeled as such. I never took it that way. I understand it to mean exact the same thing as “non-whites”, but that it’s more PC to say it, because it doesn’t contain the word “whites” in it.

  2. Mira,

    Re: unity, that’s implied by the name. With the term non-whites, you have the acknowledgment of various, diverse people. With PoC, their being “of color” is the most important aspect. Also, the term was first used in relation to the commonality of white racism/discrimination against non-whites.

    I think the woman standing in front of the mural is white, but the people depicted are “people of color” of various backgrounds. I might need to change or remove the caption.

  3. Alee,

    I meant on the people depicted on the mural. I didn’t even notice someone standing in front of it.

    In any case, I think this is another of those things I don’t really understand about the Americans. It seems like pushing semantics instead of fighting for more important issues. Now, I suppose it’s not about pure semantics (perhaps it’s about the way language shapes our experience and world view?), but it’s sure one of those American things I don’t fully understand.

  4. Vonnie,

    “#3 has always given me pause, as if white is always the de-facto situation and everyone else is an aberration.”

    Exactly. “People of Color” puts the focus on whites/whiteness as if they are the default people — the “difference” maker.

    Mira,

    Oh, okay. Well, I know the Hispanics in the photo you’d probably see as white.

    On one hand you can see it as just wording, but words have power. And connotations. With the popularity of the term “People of Color” came the whole idea that non-whites are (or are supposed to be) unified against the discrimination they all face. And the several problems with this idea get swept under the rug.

  5. I kinda get where you are going with point 3, but I don’t think many POC in Cali consider non-whiteness as a central part of their life, even when this term is applied to them in the media. It is kinda just a political term used to organize democrats (as if) without excluding whites, isn’t it? Is there a better term that you are aware of? I like the mural. It has a white woman and white is a color.

  6. I didn’t make myself clear. I do know words have power. More than that, words shape our view of the world, and, some claim, our existence.

    But if you already living in one culture, changing semantics can’t help. It’s just a shell, and it doesn’t help things progress. It’s like kids today who laugh at “special education” children just like their parents laughed at “retarded” children. I am not an advocate of using offensive words, especially not in a way to be “edgy” (hipster racism/hate is yet another serious issues).

    I am just surprised that in America (or so it seems to me, I could be wrong, so pardon my ignorance), in America it seems, the first thing that is done to solve a problem of this kind (hate, discrimination) is to change semantics. It just seems a strange way to start, even if I’m aware of the power words have and the way they shape people’s world.

    Also, since dominant group is often quick to adopt the new semantics (using words such as African-American, disabled, etc.) it seems to me semantics is often used as a quick solution. Let’s stop using the terms “they” find offensive and everything’s going to be fine, right? Riiiight!

    As I understand, the term “people of colour” wasn’t invented by whites, right? But still, it seems to me that it’s part of the same way of thinking, the semantics approach. And while I do think words need to be changed, I believe changing them doesn’t automatically change the way people perceive things.

    PS- The boy, the man with a mustache and the old woman on the mural all seem white to me. Are they all supposed to be Hispanics?

  7. Tim,

    Do you use the word PoC?

    “It is kinda just a political term used to organize democrats (as if) without excluding whites, isn’t it?”

    Not exactly. Here’s what the all-knowing Wikipedia has to say about “People of Color”:

    “term used, primarily in the United States, to describe all people who are not white. The term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism…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.”

    It’s pretty common among Democrats and liberals though.

    “…white is a color.”

    LOL. Indeed, white is a color. In fact, it is the combination of all colors. (Let’s not extend that to racial terms). 😀

  8. >>Do you use the word PoC?
    Not really. At work I am in the minority by far (software dev), in my town I am minority by far, even in my own home whites only make up 50% share! But this is one of those terms I only really see in print.

    >>Technically, white ISN’T a colour. Nor is black
    Hmm not sure, I think this site is saying white is a color but black isn’t http://www.colormatters.com/vis_bk_white.html But if the shop clerk asks you what color shirt you are looking for and you tell them white or black they know what you mean!

    I’m pretty sure the PoC term was chosen because so many white people would be confused and go “me too, right? white is a color, no? what do you mean? oh I don’t care I’m just voting like I always did.”

  9. Mira,

    White being a combination of all colors is good enough for me. Black, on the other hand…

    “…changing semantics can’t help. It’s just a shell, and it doesn’t help things progress.”

    I know changing words around won’t do anything to deal with the underlying situation. I just prefer words to make things clearer, not obscure or change them.

    The term PoC wasn’t coined by whites. I don’t actually think it was coined as an inoffensive alternative, but as a way to unify non-whites against racism. However, some its popularity is due to the former reason.

    “PS- The boy, the man with a mustache and the old woman on the mural all seem white to me. Are they all supposed to be Hispanics?”

    The old woman is white, yes. Sorry, I forgot to include that in my original response. The mural is in my hometown, and is supposed to show our ethnic diversity. The boy and the man are non-white Hispanic, I’m fairly sure. The muralist (not shown) is also Hispanic.

  10. In general, I like to focus on things that unite us, because we can figure out pretty easily the things that separate us, so people of color is cool with me. As long as we respect the fact that folks have to focus some of the time on their special circumstances, I think the term is fine.

  11. One thing ive noticed at least in my experiences is that “people of color” who are not black do not consider themselves people of color and use that phrase strictly for black people especially east asian people. Your right also that the term implies some kind of unity of all non white people even though many non white people discriminate against each other. Sometimes its even more in your face because they tend to be less politically correct about those kinda things than white people. I think that black people’s situation in the united states is very unique and I dont feel I relate on that level with other minorities.

  12. Tim,

    “At work I am in the minority by far (software dev), in my town I am minority by far, even in my own home whites only make up 50% share!”

    Oh, how so?

    “But this is one of those terms I only really see in print.”

    Yes, it’s common in print, but it’s also common when people are discussing race and its effects on TV, radio, etc.

    Sherry,

    “As long as we respect the fact that folks have to focus some of the time on their special circumstances, I think the term is fine.”

    That’s what is lost sometimes when people use the term. They focus on the shared circumstances and forget (or purposely exclude) the individual ones.

  13. Jessica,

    You’re right that there are some clear divisions in the way that non-white view and treat each other vs. the ideal way they are portrayed by many who use the term PoC. Some people like to ignore it or it say that non-whites who discriminate against each other learned that from a discriminatory society, but it doesn’t change the facts.

  14. Alee, because my wife is Asian. I know, I know it is like number #11 on the list of stuff white people like http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/full-list-of-stuff-white-people-like/ 🙂
    I’ve dated other races and I was laughing at what CC says in awkwardblackgirl.com about white/black being the extreme of interracial dating (or something like that)! Dancing with your black girl friend in a black club in oakland you know you are in the superbowl of interracial dating and the other team is fierce! maybe things are different now.

  15. Tim,

    “my wife is Asian.”

    Oh, I’m so surprised. (ha, you should hear me say that in person, it’s pretty funny. :P)

    I guessed that, you being from the Bay Area and all. But I had to make sure.

    “Dancing with your black girl friend in a black club in oakland you know you are in the superbowl of interracial dating and the other team is fierce! maybe things are different now.”

    We should ask Jasmin and Zek about this! 🙂

  16. I’m in a crowded resturant so i’ll make it quick. People of colour is stupid. What the heck do i have in common with an asian? This so called unity is so false and fake.

    It annoys me to no end when asian and others think they have the same experience as black. There’s one asian girl commenter that annoys me to no end at one ‘race’ blog that I used to read. Keeps talking like she’s the most oppressed person in the world. Like asian never had a racist thought against blacks.

  17. Nkosazana,

    “What the heck do i have in common with an asian?”

    You’re both not white and (maybe, probably) have faced discrimination based on your perceived race/ethnicity? 🙂

    “There’s one asian girl commenter that annoys me to no end at one ‘race’ blog that I used to read.”

    I think I know which one you’re talking about…

  18. However, when it comes to racism… I do think PoC/Non-whites have a lot in common, even if they hate each other and discriminate against each other. But the problem is, the ONLY people who see “PoC” as PoC are whites. Whites are the only ones who make a clear distinction between white and everybody else. While they might have different ideas about different non-white races, they are the only ones who make a clear distinction this way. So the only people united with this term are whites… or so it seem.

    Now, if people prefer the term I have no problem with this. But I don’t really see that many people who use it (maybe I don’t look at right places?) But if people want to be called that way, by all means, do it. Though the problem is, the people in question are not quite happy with the term and think it’s misleading.

    PS- I’ve been taught that black and white aren’t colours the way other colours are.

  19. You’re both not white and (maybe, probably) have faced discrimination based on your perceived race/ethnicity

    Not in the same way at all. Maybe it’s because i’m south african that I don’t see us equal the experience at all. And don’t think i never met any asians. Durban got the highest number of indians outside india. If india would disapear the new india would be Durban. KwaZulu-natal should be renamed kwazulu natal with piri piri on the side. King Shaka is turning in his grave..

    I think I know which one you’re talking about…

    ah you recognised my discription of her lol.

    Mira I know you have read alot of these blogs and might have encoutered alot of that. But you never met a reallife chinese for example, it’s all about us and them with them. That banding together thingy is not unique to white people. Not even on ‘racial lines’ check the koreans they are like super racist with pureblood crap and all that. They might not use poc but they think the same way.

    Excuses my poor spelling on this post i’m on my iPhone in a taxi with swedish autocorretion on. Btw egyptian food is crap.

  20. Nkosazana,

    Oh, I know there’s no real unity between PoC. But it’s not mine to talk about it or discuss it. I’m just saying that, while some whites dislike certain non-whites less than others, whites are the only group who see “PoC” as unified group, at least in one aspect: they aren’t white.

    Now, I do think that non-whites could grow stronger if they do form some sort of unity. But I don’t see it happening. And yes, one of the reasons is that they, too, can be racist towards each other. But like I said, I don’t want to go into that because I’ve only observed it from the distance (online), and I sure don’t want to pretend I know what I’m talking about.

    PS- I think in America, Indians aren’t seen as “Asian” (Americans, correct me if I’m wrong). I think Asia = Eastern Asia.

  21. Do whites in america even see east asian as POC? Thats another reason why I would have a hard time lumping asian with that. From my view they are pratically accepted as white people. Darker south asian like Indian and Pakistani maybe another thing but eastern asians got it pretty good when it comes to that. If black people have anything in common with another ethnicity based on discrimination for not being white, I would say non white hispanics would be the main one. Not that their discrimination is to the extent ours is but there are some commonalities. For instance a mexican girl (one that cant pass for white but the browner native looking ones) I can relate to much MUCH faster than an east asian girl.

    East asian culture gets made fun of somewhat in the media and im sure some of them get that in real life too but by far and wide they are respected by white people even looked up to. Their not being feared and called terrorists (like arabs and darker south asians), their not being pulled over and harassed by the police (like black and non white hispanics). Plus the stereotypes they do have are often positive like being smart and the “model minority”. As far as im concerned, socially speaking they might as well be white.

  22. Mira, you’re right sort of correct on whites being the main ones who see “PoC” as “PoC”. But whites aren’t the only ones; certain non-whites make that distinction as well.

    You haven’t seen PoC used on the sites you visit? I have.

    Black and white aren’t colors like other colors, but since we can visually perceive them, they are considered colors.

  23. Nkosazana,

    Mira’s right that Asian in the U.S. usually refers to East (and Southeast) Asians. Indians are just…Indians. But of course we understand they are located on the continent called Asia.

    From what I’ve seen “People of Color” have no issue throwing other “People of Color” under the bus if it serves their own self- interest. And this applies to ethnicity as well as race — blacks of various ethnicities play the us and them game — black Americans vs. Africans vs. West Indians. As well as Asians of various ethnicities, etc.

  24. But whites aren’t the only ones; certain non-whites make that distinction as well.

    I see. I guess these people do believe in PoC unity? Nothing wrong with that, if it’s truly possible to exist.

    You haven’t seen PoC used on the sites you visit? I have.

    I’ve seen it. But rarely. Only one or two people use the term.

    Oh, and on a sidenote:

    Jessica,

    If you were the one who commented on my website I must apologize for not approving your comment earlier. I didn’t get an email notifying me there’s a comment in moderation.

  25. Jessica, I think whites do view Asians as PoC. Just in a different way. I wouldn’t say they are viewed as white by far, but they do have a greater degree of acceptance than other “People of Color”.

    However some Asians have a reputation of trying to be accepted/assimilated into white society much more than other non-whites. So that also seems to be part of the reason.

  26. Mira, not always unity, but definitely commonality.

    @Jessica, there is also a (strong) regional component re: Asians. The way they are viewed in New England and most of the East is not similar to how they are seen on the West Coast and especially Cali. Cali appears to be its own world as far as Asians go. (I know you’re not from Cali.)

  27. Might add the different kinds of ‘PoC’ Who I’ve seen uses it.

    1. The (black) person who wishes she had an Asian man (and maybe secretly a white guy) but she’s too ugly to get one. So she talks about ‘unity’ between blacks and Asians in a vain and desperate attempt to get someone to love her.

    2. The Asian person who wishes she was black and kisses the asses of the ‘big boys’ and is like look at me, I’m oppressed too! Last week I had a WHITE guy dare to hit on me. I’m sure he had some Asian girl fetish!
    Now give me some of that Mandingo sausage.

    3. The all around black American/British ‘Afrocentric’ man. Speaks a lot about Africa but have never been there and don’t really know that much. Except it’s paradise apparently.

    All in all this might work in America but should not be used outside the US.

  28. “Speaks a lot about Africa but have never been there and don’t really know that much.”

    I guess this is an issue in its own right.

  29. I guess this is an issue in its own right.

    I don’t get that at all. I think people in America reads a lot of crappy books about Africa written by people who haven’t even been to Africa themselves and it’s not like just because you have been to Africa once or twice your all the sudden an expert.. Something that kinda weird me out is when people goes on about how ‘Africa’ yes the continent not even a specific culture or country is matriarchal and there were no patriarchal cultures before white people showed up.. I’m like o rly? People bring that up all the time.

    Seriously I know Afrikaners who does not care about African culture at all who know more than these self proclaimed experts.

  30. It’s because, to them, it’s not really about Africa or its cultures. It’s about them building their own identity.

  31. It’s because, to them, it’s not really about Africa or its cultures. It’s about them building their own identity.

    Well, maybe. But don’t they got one identity in being ‘African American’?

    If you want to ‘claim’ Africa then at least be informed. I wouldn’t claim too know that much about what’s it’s like in US, I can only give my often uninformed opinion as stupid as it might be..

  32. Mira, Exactly! Thats why I can understand it, its about building their own identity which is understandable given black history in America although me personally I dont have much interest in africa. I think im guilty of what I saw on your blog Mira. Im one of those americans that never really had much interest in other parts of world. I have had experiences where I became fascinated with a foreigner I met and became more interested in their cultures because of them but thats about it. I think unless im directly exposed to it through a person, I dont care much. I think Americans are like that because of our media more than anything. Everyone we see on our tv screens is american and every artist they play on the radio is american with of course some exceptions over the years (mainly british exceptions) That list you had imo were not stereotypes but FACTS haha.

    Alee, Not from cali but been there and yes Asians are runnin the show out there. The women are seen as the very top more so than white at least thats what it seemed like. Seemed like every guy I saw was with an asian girl and not just white guys. Lots of black and hispanic guys also with asian girls.

  33. Bwah ha, I love how Nkosazana put half of the blog world on blast. (I see what you did there…)

    To answer the Tim/Alee exchange way upthread, when Z and I go out, most of the men there think that we just met and he picked me up at the club/bar, so they have all of this admiration for him. (One guy literally gave him a thumbs up once.) I think it’s hilarious, and I like to pretend that we did just meet in order to play a little joke on the guys that hit on me as soon as I’m by myself.

    Back on topic, I don’t really feel strongly either way about PoC. I use the term sometimes, out of habit (just like I use African-American in conversation sometimes, even though I prefer Black), and it’s apt in some situations (more often when I’m talking to a Latin@), but I most often hear it in the PC, “we-are-family” way from White people, tbh.

  34. Jasmin, that is good story. I have seen things like the thumbs up as well. People are mostly cool and the ones that stress really had no impact on our relationship. She moved away for medical school.
    Jessica, you have a direct and passionate way of putting things! What sign are u, aries? 🙂
    I think it would be news to asian women that they are running the show. If they are immigrants they probably see white and black americans as being more alike than different so the poc term is one more thing confusing about america.
    I remember the first time I met a black american in hong kong and realizing how much we had in common.
    Alee, yes there is a difference between east coast and west. Maybe most different for filipinos.

  35. Tim, not an aries (and dont get me started on aries men, what a headache). Im a gemini. Angelina Jolie shares my birthday not that it means anything lol.

  36. Jessica,

    Oh, don’t feel bad about “stereotypes about Americans”. I don’t think Americans are ignorant by nature, even if some of these stereotypes are true. I think the American culture is dominant in the world and therefore everybody knows at least a bit about it, and due to globalization, it has become everybody’s culture, at least a little. But the opposite isn’t true. That’s why Americans often know less about other cultures than the non-Americans.

    PS- I’m a gemini too!

    Tim,

    From an outsider’s point of view, there IS a common American culture that all the Americans, regardless of race, share. But that’s a common effect: when looking from the outside, all those little differences seem irrelevant. But they are relevant for the people inside.

    So I’d say Americans of different races are culturally more similar than they think, but are more different than outsiders perceive them to be.

    Of course, it’s not about the Americans only. Many outsiders, for example, see all of Eastern Europe (or Balkans) as being “basically the same”. While Balkan people disagree and think there are huge differences between them. That’s how it goes.

  37. Jasmin, ha, funny story. I love how you always just play along with other people’s obliviousness. 😉

    May “People of Color” never become as popular as “African-American”.

    @Jessica and Mira,

    You know I love learning about other cultures, right? Particularly the sort of information you can’t learn in books. Just letting you guys know, in case you have some info you can share. 🙂

    P.S. Ewww, Geminis.

  38. Just letting you guys know, in case you have some info you can share. 🙂

    Oh, I’d love to share. You just need to tell me what sort of info you need.

    P.S. Ewww, Geminis.

    ?!?

    Re: topic: I don’t think PoC is a popular term, (yet), but what do I know?

  39. Mira,

    “?!?”

    Just kidding… kind of. 😉

    PoC is not as popular as other terms, but it might be getting there. I’ve heard several (non-white) people use it offline recently. All in the “we are one/we get each other” way.

  40. Gemini’s are the best just like people who are born in my birth year 1981. I started paying attention to all the celebs born in 1981. Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Keisha Cole, Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Meagan Good, Timberlake, Britney Spears and the list goes on. Its safe to say God shined on that year cause theres so many talented damn good looking people born in 81 lol

    My problem with aries men (and Leo’s) is that every one that I have known from family to guys ive dated are/were huge ego maniacs who thought they knew everything. Also very territioral and self centered. They think their the party and everyone else is the guest list haha.

  41. Jessica,

    “God shined on that year…”

    Lol.

    Well, you almost had me convinced with K.Row.

    P.S. We’re discussing this in the Clouds. I’d love for you to make your entrance. 🙂

  42. People of color, people of color, glad I don’t do any social work I hear it a lot when it comes to doing social things here in the U.S. and political. As an American I have nothing in common with ppl from Africa, I’m American but even in that Africa is a continent with lots of countries each with it’s own separate culture. Heck I’m from North America and I wouldn’t say that all North Americans have things in common. I don’t use POC, don’t have a reason to use. I learned a good lesson in college about grouping ppl that I keep till this day, I had friend who was from Mexico and I called her Hispanic one day, man she got mad. She told me ‘I’m Hispanic, I’m Mexican, I’m from Mexico’. That taught me if I wasn’t sure how to refer to ppl I asked the ppl how they wanted to be referred to. Made things easier, didn’t get me into trouble for being insensitive and stupid. I think as an American, I have more in common in Americans that’s why when I did IR dating I didn’t regularly date people from other countries, nothing personal but just b/c a guy and myself are the same skin color doesn’t mean we have things in common. It always seemed easier to date an American. Skin color or non-whitness does not equal same experience. Among black Americans there is no monolith of experience but we’re seen as a group in America. It would be nice if ppl would be nice to be an individual sometimes.

  43. Jasmin, you have an inner hoochie? Let’s just keep that from Zek… 😉

    Eugenia, ha, you don’t have anything in common with anyone. You’re just special. 😛

  44. Jessica,
    Gemini, huh I wasn’t even that close. Gemini are easy to talk with. They say if you invite at least two Gemini to a party it will be a good party! What sign was your avoidant?

  45. Tim, My avoidant was an aries. He was actually born on Aprils Fools day which figures cause what a joke he was/is. Yes Im bitter…

  46. So he is an Aries/Ox and you are a Gemini/Rooster? That is an interesting match. I’m sure he misses you but he has a big ego. It is really hard for anyone to drop the ego and have a healthy relationship.
    I should know! (that’s a joke, kinda)

  47. Tim, he has a very big ego. I was just looking up traits of Aries/ox’s and it described him to a T:
    An Aries Ox is not big on giving compliments or being romantic in relationships however they are passionate and extremely loving. They may want to lead the way in the relationship but this will not be intentional or overpowering. It is just their tiny insecurity that makes them need to feel in control of situations. They can be a little bossy and they seem to expect everyone to have the same high standards of endurance and efficiency as their own. To befriend an Aries Ox you will need to be on their level. These are not highly sociable personalities, who although not bashful, will rarely be the first to initiate a friendship. The close friends they do have will probably be the ones they acquired in childhood. The Aries Ox’s proneness to be stubborn beyond reason is one of the two main weakness in their personality. The other is their tendency to be sometimes rather impulsive and take unnecessary risks. Occasionally these people will be tempted to gamble or risk everything for the sake of one thing.

    That is definitely my ex. The last part especially. Stubborn beyond reason and very impuslive. I worried about him so much because of all the idiotic risks he would take. He might miss me but I can see him in his stubborness convincing himself he doesnt. I probably wont fully get over him until I find a replacement but that could be a while.

  48. She even has a name! (That I won’t share, lol.) Z wishes I would act like that more often, since I’m pretty square. 😛

  49. As a white man, I see “People of Color” as a rascist term to mean: “anybody, but those G’damned whites”. From the description (above), we read this:

    “…. In addition, racism doesn’t merely consist of whites discriminating against non-whites. Non-white people can and do discriminate against each other. “People of color” depicts a sense of alliance between non-whites which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.”

    That’s fine. That’s great…swell…….but there is also a hefty amount of racism by non-whites aimed at whites, as well. I know. I’ve experienced it, firsthand. In fact; my first supervisor (and man of Japanese heritage) had no problem at all saying racist crap to my face (that’s just one example). He was PROUD to do so and nobody in authority at my work place would take any action against him. That’s right; the double standard is in effect.

    When I hear someone mention “people of color” I like to remind them that Mohamed Atta was also a “person of color”, as he flew a jetliner full of innocent people into a building full of innocent people on September 11, 2001. It’s fun to watch their ignorant jaws drop open and see their brains fall out onto ther floor as they scramble to somehow ‘blame the white man’ for that one.

    Now, can we just talk about people and stop worrying about the external ‘paint job’ that God gave them? Is that too much to ask? As a white man, I don’t feel like becoming like a Jew living in Hitler’s Germany in 1938 being blamed for everyone else’s own personal problems and failures. With President Obama in the White House trying to stir up racial tension at every opportunity, everyday in the US it’s feeling more and more like that’s what’s happening. He’s becoming more and more like a Robert Mugabe in a silk suit with ‘penny loafer’ shoes.

  50. Steve,

    Yes, “people of color” can/are be racist towards whites, but since this post is about what people of color means, as a concept, I didn’t touch on that because it’s not relevant.

    “Now, can we just talk about people and stop worrying about the external ‘paint job’ that God gave them?”

    The thing I find so funny about some people who wish for “colorblindness” and pretend like race is silly to discuss is that most of them are hardly colorblind.

    “With President Obama in the White House trying to stir up racial tension at every opportunity”

    ….I don’t know about that. Barack has shown himself to be a pretty fair person.

  51. For one, Mohamed Atta was Caucasian. So I hope your jaw is the one that is dropping and your brains are the ones on the floor.
    And secondly, President Obama is going out of his way to reduce racial tensions.

    But yes, I agree that we should move beyond race. How likely that is too happen is debatable as racism is still a large problem.

  52. Off-topic comments deleted. (Froggie, sorry hun, that includes yours too.)

    The topic of discussion is not Barack Obama’s golf excursions. Have a great day, though.

  53. It’s also frequently applied to or claimed by people and groups who have historically been regarded as (and benefited by being regarded as) white. The most obvious example would be Spaniards, descendants of one of the principle white racist European colonial powers, who have been sloppily conflated by the left (mostly in the US) with those descended in part or in whole from Mesoamerican Indians or black Africans.

    Increasingly Caucasian Middle Easterners are regarded as “PoC” and in some instances – particularly in Australia – even Italians, Greeks, and Yugoslavs. This on effect amounts to a progressive left form of Nordicism (i.e. only pale nordics are white, all else are ‘coloreds’ etc.).

  54. Well, to me, Person of Color is the most ridiculous term ever invented. Why?

    1) Everyone has a color, else they would be invisible. I also don’t like the terms “black” and “white”, because they aren’t true. Blacks are more brown really, and whites are definitely not white. At least compared to a wifebeater or a business shirt. Why can’t we just use the “5 types of humans by color” thingie we all learned in elementary school?

    2) Strictly speaking, black is not a color, it’s actually the absence of color, so the “People of Color” phrase is basically excluding “black” people.

    I think Political Correctness is the worst aberration the U.S. of A. has ever unleashed upon this Earth.

  55. I always thought person of color meant someone who was rich or upperclass. meaning someone who was a high status non-white. I never thought it was deragatory or offensive. I guess it just means how you take it. but to “Jessica” no whites do not look up to east asians or consider them white, in fact most americans find east asians to be the least attractive nonwhite race and only white guys who date these women are white men who are low in status or not educated.

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