Suffering

You don’t know what suffering is if you haven’t tried to explain to a graduate student from Africa why it’s not OK to say “colored people” but a great idea to say “people of color.”

3 thoughts on “Suffering

  1. Isn’t that the same discussion that you’d have with a Russian person talking about that negro over there?

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    1. “a Russian person talking about that negro ”

      It’s worse in Russian as a common non-pejorative word for ‘black person’ sounds remarkably like the n-word in English.

      Though also it’s hard because the African won’t have the same set of hang ups and problems with words that African Americans have (they have their own…) but wokesters mostly see only race and assume all non-whites feel exactly the same about everything (magic and racial essentialist thinking).

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  2. When I was a kid, “colored person” and “negro” were the acceptable terms. “Person of color” existed as an expression, but it was clunky and hifalutin and seldom used. By the time I was in my teens, “black” had become the acceptable term. It struck me as a gross exaggeration — when was the last time you saw someone who could fairly be described as “black”? — but it had the advantage of being short and simple. Then somewhere along the way, Jesse Jackson decided that “black” was no longer acceptable, and decreed that henceforth all people formerly known as “black” were to be called “African-American.” It’s a term I never use — never have, never will — because I don’t take orders from Jesse Jackson. (Also because it implies that there are no white Africans, which is just silly.) Now apparently we’re back to “person of color,” which remains clunky and hifalutin — not to mention kind of insulting to people like me, whom nature did not bless with a lot of melanin, but who are hardly colorless.

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