you can’t say that

tags: ,

conversation soon after first arriving in the US  

Wendy: “he was the shiniest blackest man I’ve ever met

USA people nearby:   ”  __________________________________”

USA person: “Wendy…       … can’t say that

Wendy:   “say what?”

USA Person: “shiny black,   it’s like saying greasy monkey,   its offensive

Wendy: “oh,   can I say shiny without the black or black without the shiny?”

USA person: “you can say  people of color or African Americans

Wendy:   “and shiny?”

USA person:   “best avoided altogether”

USA linguistic correctness is complicated.   More complicated than spelling words with triple vowels.   Apparantly there are white people and people of colour.    White people and everybody-else .   All skin shades lumped into one  category  ‘not-white’.   This is complicated especially if you want to describing  different qualities of non-whiteness,   or even the different shades of white,   which are really colours.   I’m probably repeatedly offending people here all over the shop.   Hopefully they’ll  let me know my social faux pas’  like the above fellow…  

people of color = not-white

you can’t say that
rate wendys scribble

one wonderful muse on “you can’t say that”

  1. Di writes:

    Egads! These days you have to be so much more informed as to what is correct. I worked with people who were of a Native Reserve. In 10 years time the lingo changed from Indian, Native, 1st Nations and….etc. We were constantly correcting ourselves as time changed. The most amusing thing happened one day when one of the elders simple said: “I am an Indian…why are you white people confusing the name?” Guess that says it all:-)



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