Use of the term People of Color (POC)

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 1 day, 18 hours ago.

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  • #38320

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    [I transfered all posts from @unseen‘s topic Are they all just grifters? to this topic.]

    • This topic was modified 4 days, 16 hours ago by  PopeBeanie.
    • This topic was modified 4 days, 15 hours ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: chg'd from an "I will do this" to "it's done now"
    #38228

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I have previously expressed my dislike err disgust over the label, people of color.

    So i have come up with ideas to replace the old and bring in the new.

    COLORFULS….COLOR-CHALLENGED…BLANDS…INSIPIDS

    #38229

    Autumn
    Participant

    COLORFULS….COLOR-CHALLENGED…BLANDS…INSIPIDS

    One of the changes in terminology over recent decades has been increased emphasis on personhood. Much of terminology has been adapted to explicitly use either the term ‘person’ or ‘people’.  The ‘people’ in ‘people of colour’ emphasizes that we are talking about people. The ‘colour’ clarifies which people we are talking about when ethnicity/ race is contextually relevant.

    Tongue-in-cheek or not, taking the ‘people’ out is probably a step backward in most cases.

    #38231

    jakelafort
    Participant

    People of color is just an ugly expansion of the former racist label, Coloreds; it is a euphemism or apology for pigment that offends Whites. And it is strictly from the vantage or perspective of Whites who only see color in others and not in themselves. It is a ridiculous fiction that ought to be repudiated and defenestrated as it is the badge of separation in the eyes of the dominant group.

    If you are asserting that adding…PEOPLE OF… to Coloreds gives humanity by acknowledging that it is a reference to actual people then i say it is utterly humiliating to perpetuate the racist ideology while making the slight concession that nonwhites are actually people.

    #38235

    Autumn
    Participant

    People of color is just an ugly expansion of the former racist label, Coloreds; it is a euphemism or apology for pigment that offends Whites. And it is strictly from the vantage or perspective of Whites who only see color in others and not in themselves.

    BIPOC and POC are preferred and self-adopted terms for many individuals and groups who fall under those umbrella acronyms—groups who aren’t trying to erase or hide that differences exist, and that those differences have contributed to certain life experiences.

    While the term is not above reproach and is not without its complications, it’s bizarre that you are making it all about what white people think. There isn’t going to be a term that assists in the discussion of white prejudices and bigotry that erases the very target of that bigotry.

    If you are asserting that adding…PEOPLE OF… to Coloreds gives humanity by acknowledging that it is a reference to actual people then i say it is utterly humiliating to perpetuate the racist ideology while making the slight concession that nonwhites are actually people.

    It is not that I am asserting. That has been the shift, and not just with regard to race. The point was not that ‘colour’ is saved by ‘people’. It was unambiguously don’t arbitrarily remove ‘people’ or ‘person’ from terminology in use.

    #38239

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn i was not even aware of BIPOC.
    You wrote…While the term is not above reproach and is not without its complications, it’s bizarre that you are making it all about what white people think. There isn’t going to be a term that assists in the discussion of white prejudices and bigotry that erases the very target of that bigotry.

    I appreciate that the term is self adopted but can those few who adopted POC be charged with having made a mistake? I am doing the opposite of what you say-making it all about what white people think. It is Whites that coined the pejorative term (slightly less offensive than Nigger) Coloreds. The term itself is a juxtaposition to Whites and is meaningless in the absence of Whites. Any terms to describe large groups ought to be consonant with the dominant group. How much more fucked up can it be to call caucasians Whites ( a color!) but POC are the ones who have color?

    I can’t argue that a term can erase white bigotry-that would be one grand case of legerdemain. On the other hand utilizing a term that perpetuates the good ole boys vision is asinine and hurtful. When little kids look at dolls and know the black dolls or dolls of color are the bad ones we ought to STOP the madness and use terms that are equivalent. Black is fine as long as we use White. People of color only brings emphasis to the rejected and base colors and groups disparate peoples in terms of race, ethnicity and culture into one barrel of shit.

    You wrote…It is not that I am asserting. That has been the shift, and not just with regard to race. The point was not that ‘colour’ is saved by ‘people’. It was unambiguously don’t arbitrarily remove ‘people’ or ‘person’ from terminology in use.

    The intentions in adding PO were good i assume. But that does not rectify the mistake. There is nothing arbitrary in me wanting to remove People of from POC. We are obviously referring to people. Adding the unnecessary verbiage only brings attention and adds emphasis to the color of nonwhites. Surely our pigment is one of the least important aspects of our existence.

    #38240

    Autumn
    Participant

    The intentions in adding PO were good i assume. But that does not rectify the mistake.

    This carries the presumption of a mistake as opposed to a conscientious decision. None of the terminology around skin colour ever made much sense. Though colour is not the worst descriptive here seeing as ‘white’ skin in European populations is a result of less eumelanin.

    You are making it about what white people think since the key value you attribute to the term ‘colour’ in this scenario is white bigotry rather than the numerous positive values people associate with the term. You phrase it like people just took the word ‘coloured’, dropped the ‘-ed’ and added ‘people’ to it. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty that’s not the progression, especially since ‘colour’ in ‘People of Colour’ isn’t the same as ‘coloured’ in terms of meaning. The latter, to my knowledge, referred predominately to Black people, while the former is used in situations where the speaker wants to highlight solidarity or commonality amongst people who have been oppressed on the basis of skin colour.

    There is nothing arbitrary in me wanting to remove People of from POC. We are obviously referring to people.

    There is process of dehumanization that readily occurs when we’re talking about various peoples, so no, it isn’t obvious. While the words ‘people’ and ‘person’ don’t absolutely prevent that, they do serve as a more prominent reminder against reducing people to statistics, stereotypes, and the ‘other’.

    Adding the unnecessary verbiage only brings attention and adds emphasis to the color of nonwhites. Surely our pigment is one of the least important aspects of our existence.

    That’s a nice ideal, but it isn’t the present state. Terms like POC and BIPOC exist in context. That context is often one in which marginalization and inequality are common, and ‘colour-blindness’ tends to be counterproductive at best.

    #38241

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn, it is not a presumption of a mistake. It is MY ASSESSMENT. In fact i have acknowledged implicitly that it is a conscientious decision by saying good intentions. The ole boys knew nothing about eumelanin or melanin or even watermelon. Well maybe watermelon… And it has been said the road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

    I am not making it about what White people think. History does that. Current events do that. And the term itself stupidly and incredibly perpetuates the second class and subordinate connotations of Colored. Again it is a FICTION to depict the dominant group as White and yet not fitting under the term people of color. Thus it is that when we use POC to describe nonwhites we are perpetuating the march of folly. Lets bury the mythology and the ugly history by insisting that terms are consonant and congruous.

    I stand by my not arbitrary comment. I have given this topic some thought. And i have no idea how you can think that PO in POC is the sine qua non of denoting a certain group of people. I am nearly certain all people know who is being identified by either Colored or POC. In terms of dehumanizing it is the term POC that does that. Lets just lump all nonwhites into a big pile of color. Whites are not people of color even though we identify them by their color.

    I am not sure if an experiment has been conducted but i would be surprised if White bigots/racists don’t have a physiological response to seeing POC. The one thing that so strongly has been identified with an oppressed people is the thing that is being retained and even given emphasis by adding the PO. And if that is not bad enough the term POC and BIPOC makes it even more comprehensive in lumping other groups of nonwhites. It is despicable. POC applies to all of us. Lets use terms that do not depend on their relation to Whites for fucks sake.

    #38242

    Autumn
    Participant

    I am not making it about what White people think. History does that. Current events do that. And the term itself stupidly and incredibly perpetuates the second class and subordinate connotations of Colored.

    You are perpetuating the connotations of ‘colored’, here in this thread. Millions of other people have been able to use ‘People of Colour’ as a distinct term with distinct meaning. Why is it you won’t allow the distinction? Or do you think it’s an example of taking the word back’?

    I stand by my not arbitrary comment. I have given this topic some thought. And i have no idea how you can think that PO in POC is the sine qua non of denoting a certain group of people. I am nearly certain all people know who is being identified by either Colored or POC. In terms of dehumanizing it is the term POC that does that. Lets just lump all nonwhites into a big pile of color. Whites are not people of color even though we identify them by their color.

    In order to be able to talk a bout the issues people face, it helps to have language that describes who is and is not affected or to differentiate who has privilege and who does not. And there are many cases where people are mistreated because of the colour of their skin, therefore having a term for the people affected is useful. Not having it can lead to erasure. The opposite extreme—using POC for an issue that specifically affects black people, let’s say—can also be erasure. But this doesn’t alter the fact that there is a use in collective terms on issues of representation, marginalization and bigotry. And that term isn’t going to include white people in North America because we hold privilege in this dynamic.

    Terms like POC and BIPOC aren’t supposed to replace other ways of referring to people. It’s not saying that being Southeast Asian is the same as being Hispanic, or that being Black is the same as being Indigenous. It just recognizes in some spaces a collective term makes sense.

    The one thing that so strongly has been identified with an oppressed people is the thing that is being retained and even given emphasis by adding the PO.

    I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. ‘People of’ doesn’t emphasize ‘colour’. It emphasizes ‘people’ which historically has often been excluded. ‘The coloureds’ ‘the blacks’ ‘the transgendered’ ‘the gays’ ‘the disabled’ and so on.

    #38243

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn wrote:

    You are perpetuating the connotations of ‘colored’, here in this thread. Millions of other people have been able to use ‘People of Colour’ as a distinct term with distinct meaning. Why is it you won’t allow the distinction? Or do you think it’s an example of taking the word back’?

    i am not perpetuating anything. Lucky if there are 37 humans who know my opinion. Further it is my intention to oppose the nose that knows no other than the skin. POC is a distinct term with a distinct meaning. It is a continuation of the same old same in which dominant whites see color in others and not in themselves. Whites are not colored. They are the paradigm. The Darkies are tainted. We already have endured biblical myths of the curse of Ham. The entire structure of dominant mythology and cultural overlay portrays Blacks as either nonhuman or barely human. It is plain as day to see that God made them not like he made me.

    Even now among POC there are many who bleach their skin and layer their social status by how light or dark their skin is. The lighter the better. I have no way to assign numerical harm caused by the reshaped racist term but it has to do unconscious damage to some by informing their attitudes about themselves and also giving justification for the barely veiled bigotry of others. The terms stinks to high heaven.

    Autumn-In order to be able to talk a bout the issues people face, it helps to have language that describes who is and is not affected or to differentiate who has privilege and who does not. And there are many cases where people are mistreated because of the colour of their skin, therefore having a term for the people affected is useful. Not having it can lead to erasure.

    It helps more to have terms that do not embrace a blatant fiction or a blatant adoption of racist terminology. We have gotten to a place in the USA where truth is what serves the agenda instead of being accurate in describing something. It is a sad state of affairs. There is no way to rationally exclude caucasians from POC. You want Privileged/Nonprivileged? That is better than White and POC.

    Autumn-I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. ‘People of’ doesn’t emphasize ‘colour’. It emphasizes ‘people’ which historically has often been excluded. ‘The coloureds’ ‘the blacks’ ‘the transgendered’ ‘the gays’ ‘the disabled’ and so on.

    Language is best served economically. Prolixity is to be avoided. Terms identifying groups of people are understood as such. Of adds nothing except a characteristic. People of integrity is a nice compliment emphasizing integrity. Context and denotations point to homos but the of in of integrity emphasizes integrity. POC emphasizes color not people.

    #38244

    Autumn
    Participant

    i am not perpetuating anything. Lucky if there are 37 humans who know my opinion.

    This isn’t about knowing your opinion. It’s about overriding what a word means with something you want to insert into it—something that isn’t there if it ever was.

    You want Privileged/Nonprivileged? That is better than White and POC.

    It isn’t because it’s non-specific to the extent specificity is often required. Most people have privilege of some sort in some facet of their existence.

    Language is best served economically.

    Now you’re just saying shit. This is a waste of my time.

    #38245

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn you wrote that i was perpetuating the connotations of Colored. I denied it. I oppose racism so i oppose racist terms to describe groups of people. Thus i am in favor of abandoning language tinged by racism. You know Colored is a pejorative term so when you write…something that isn’t there if it ever was…you are being disingenuous. You can in good faith argue that POC is a legit transformation but you can’t argue that Colored is kosher.

    Autumn-You want Privileged/Nonprivileged? That is better than White and POC.
    It isn’t because it’s non-specific to the extent specificity is often required. Most people have privilege of some sort in some facet of their existence.

    That is a terrible argument when the term POC is as nonspecific as it can be. POC is literally all humans and arbitrarily in keeping with the racist history excludes Whites.

    Autumn: Language is best served economically.

    Now you’re just saying shit. This is a waste of my time.

    Admittedly, the aforementioned criticism of POC is of minor importance.

    #38246

    Autumn
    Participant

    Autumn you wrote that i was perpetuating the connotations of Colored. I denied it.

    But it’s a matter of actions. You are adding ‘coloured’ to ‘People of Colour’ when that’s not what the term in its current iteration means (if any iteration ever meant that), then dismissing a term some people who fit under that acronym find useful. It’s equivocation.

    I oppose racism so i oppose racist terms to describe groups of people.

    POC and BIPOC aren’t racist terms.

    Thus i am in favor of abandoning language tinged by racism. You know Colored is a pejorative term so when you write…something that isn’t there if it ever was…you are being disingenuous. You can in good faith argue that POC is a legit transformation but you can’t argue that Colored is kosher.

    I haven’t argued that even once. I’m not the one who keeps saddling ‘People of Colour’ with ‘coloured’. At some point you’ve decided they are the same.

    That is a terrible argument when the term POC is as nonspecific as it can be. POC is literally all humans and arbitrarily in keeping with the racist history excludes Whites.

    It isn’t as “nonspecific as can be”. It is more specific than ‘privilege/ non-privilege’ and less specific than ‘Black’, ‘Indigenous’, ‘West Asian’ (etc.) Sometimes that is the right degree of specificity.

    #38247

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Autumn, i am pretty sure we will just go round and round on the merry go round. So I will pass except to acknowledge that yes Colored and POC is virtually identical. POC adopts the language and spirit of Colored. Signs on rest rooms used to have WHITE & COLORED. Would the segregation have been ameliorated by WHITE & PEOPLE OF COLOR?

    #38248

    Autumn
    Participant

    jakelafort wrote:
    Autumn, i am pretty sure we will just go round and round on the merry go round. So I will pass except to acknowledge that yes Colored and POC is virtually identical. POC adopts the language and spirit of Colored.

    If you’re under the impression that black activists who use the term ‘POC’ are actually saying ‘coloured’ literally, figuratively, or in spirit, that is on you.

    Would the segregation have been ameliorated by WHITE & PEOPLE OF COLOR?

    Activists aren’t using the term ‘POC’ that way, so there’s no real relevance. I have not ever argued that segregation could be solved with semantics alone, so again, no relevance. I don’t think a seatbelt would save me if my car was on fire, but I do think seatbelts are part of the conversation on collision safety.

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