confusion over race terms

(133 Posts)
Musicmay Wed 17-Feb-16 02:38:06

So white people get accused of being racist if they call black people "coloured" including the older generations who mean no harm and white people are absolutly racist if they even think about saying anything about a race as a group... I give you Kanye west. Any thoughts on this?

MaryRobinson Wed 17-Feb-16 02:45:49

I think his first tweet is probably correct. (Can't believe I'm agreeing with him on anything)

I think "Colour" seems to have become a more general description of Non-White people in the US (ie People of Colour includes black, Asian and Latino? And possibly others) so he is possibly correct on that too, although Asian families in the US tend to do very well.

Musicmay Wed 17-Feb-16 02:56:35

The fact I am the great granddaughter of a farmer who basically lived in poverty has no bearing on my life today and sorry and correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe that the ancestry of black people today also does not directly affect the lives of their great grandchildren. I have so.much sympathy for what the slaves went through and it is certainly a huge shameful mark in our history but I, same as all people.of my generation did not personally impose slavery on anyone and I'm pretty sick of feeling guilty for it. Eg if I meet a german person of my generation I do.not hold them responsible for the national atrocities and do.not expect the to get all awkward and guilty over all their ancestors did to jeW's. I'm sorry but I think the world needs to move on.

DesignEye Wed 17-Feb-16 03:02:06

Musicmay you should read a little!

AdrenalineFudge Wed 17-Feb-16 03:06:41

So your gripe is that Kanye has used the word 'coloured' but when white people do it they are branded racist? hmm. And you've even gone further to make a massively ignorant sweeping statement that "white people are absolutely racist if they even think about saying anything about a race as a group".

Kanye's ego is so inflated as to be orbiting the moon but the points he is alluding to are very true. He's incredibly proud of the success he's achieved as the descendant of a slave. His success would have been unimaginable to his great great grandfathers. Yet although slavery has been abolished what now exists is for example institutionalised racism i.e. the 'system' that Kanye is referring to. To add to that it is very true that some of the main routes to success for black people are and have been sports and music. Getting to college for many black american teens depended greatly on them landing a sports scholarship. Kanye has even made the point earlier today that education is cripplingly expensive.

But let's overlook all that because he's dared to use the word 'coloured' which you think is unfair because a white person would be persecuted for using it even if they meant no harm - and of course, the topic of your thread is about 'confusion over race terms' which is pretty much not seeing the wood for the trees but then swings and roundabouts.

Musicmay Wed 17-Feb-16 03:07:33

What do.you suggest I read? Look black children go to the same schools as white children, black mom's are about as good as you can get.... I just don't get how the struggles ancestors went through directly affect the lives of black people these days. If you can tell me.I will gladly.listen.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 17-Feb-16 03:08:11

correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe that the ancestry of black people today also does not directly affect the lives of their great grandchildren

You're wrong.

Musicmay Wed 17-Feb-16 03:11:18

But everyone on the plane can be proud of what they have achieved if they look back.at their ancestors... eg ancestors of gladiators ... roman slaves, ancestors of prostitutes, mwbtal health institutions, my case people in dire poverty. You don't really heat about ancestors unless it comes down to slavery. I'm just suggesting that now is now. I really doubt that Kanye ever knew anything g about the struggles of slavery as I don't really know the struggles of extreme poverty just because our ancestors went through it.

Musicmay Wed 17-Feb-16 03:11:53

It's fine saying I'm wrong. Can you tell me how I am? I'm interested. Thanks.

Fauchelevent Wed 17-Feb-16 03:15:20

No black person PERSONALLY holds YOU responsible for slavery, but if you think slavery was abolished, the holocaust ended and so on and there have been no repercussions, it ended and white and black, jewish person and non jewish person went on holding hands straight after, you need to look around you.

Kanye is a jackass, but to be successful as a black man (let alone woman) in the USA where statistically black people commit less crimes than white people but more black men are incarcerated than were enslaved, where things like the flint water crisis, police brutality and murders and the neglect after Katrina are allowed to happen, to succeed in such an environment IS a big deal.

DesignEye Wed 17-Feb-16 03:20:49

In a world where 'White' is normal and white artists get massive rewards for appropiating black culture (Iggy Azealea) then Kanye's point on 'normal' not critiquing what otherwise is not allowed to be normal makes sense. Read a little on white privilege. White people are typically afforded many luxuries not accessible to black people because of societal positions of power. The music industry is a PRIME example of that (e.g. that Taylor V Beyonce video..... Kanye was obviously right!) Researching, understanding, recognising and being honest about that privilege makes his statement uncomfortable yes, but also understandable. The white opinion takes centre stage in society and is largely considered that of the mass market. There's clearly a large disparity between understanding black culture, issues, outlooks etc and then critiquing fairly, openly and with a true understanding of the art presented. It's akin to an american rapper critiquing english classical music.

What do u think about all the discussion on inequality in the arts as well as all the race issues being discussed at present?

Do you think Kanye, Beyonce and soooo many other massively successful people speak on racism even in thier industries because of a 'chip' om thier shoulder about slavery? hmm musicmay's reference to slavery shows such little understanding of the while issue! Slavery along the line has something to do with Black issues in society but there are SO many things in between that directly relate to Kanye's comment. Thier are plenty of other black artists that would agree with him, although not openly.

For the record I am an ex Kanye fan, BUT I am somewhat uncomfortable with the vilification someone who has some very obvious mental health issues is receiving. I thought society had moved on from such a crap understanding of mental health and vilification.... Or perhaps that luxury once again is only afforded to some!

DesignEye Wed 17-Feb-16 03:31:57

musicmay it is not the responsibility of the the oppressed to force you to research, face, and understand some very OBVIOUS privileges you hold.

If you can use Mumsnet, you can use Google.

If you honestly believe that a black child has it just as easy as a white child in todays society which includes school, you show a very basic understanding of race issues.

At this point, with respect, I have learnt that would be a real waste of my time.

But as a place to start, I will advise YOU to Google white privilege .

Fauchelevent Wed 17-Feb-16 03:32:02

"I really doubt Kanye knew anything about slavery"

oh my god.

If you really want to learn, take out a copy of Incidents in the life of a slave girl. Actually READ about slavery. Learn the scope of it and its present day impacts. Nothing in history is isolated. Nothing in history happened and is now over with. Especially not slavery.

In my OWN personal life I can think of things from my last name being European - the name of my ancestors slave owners (or do "West" and "Williams" sound like sub saharan African surnames??) right across to my sexual assaulter drawing on tropes (the good negress, the submissive negress) as he assaulted me. I can think of men asking me what my ass is like - where does this come from? Not Beyonce and Nicki Minaj and dare I say Josephine Baker. No. Enslavers exotifying black female features and exaggerating them to dehumanise black enslaved women into depraved animals. Why? So that when they raped their enslaved women they could claim these animals were too wild and ferocious and exotic and sinful and led them astray from their pure white wives.

I can think of my relatives hoping the newborn girl babies are lightskinned with loose curls. Stemming from the "house negro" of being fair enough to work in the house of your enslaver not the fields which is STILL a beauty standard today. How many dark skinned famous black people can you name in comparison to lighterskinned ones?

And so on. Do you think all black people are naturally underachievers? Do you think the way things are now for black people - not seen as successful, beautiful or in anyway on a par with white people is just the natural order of things? Or do you think that when managers and university admissions tutors bin an application based on the name, when lighter skinned people progress further in the media, when police shoot and arrest with impunity, when stops and searches are inequally balanced against black people, poisoning water supplies, these things impact on the current lives and self determination of black people? And do you think all these people are evil, or do you think they have been nurtured in a system which hasn't progressed very much systematically from the era of burning down cities, jim crow, aseparate but "equal", bus boycotts WHICH IN TURN stems from what - slavery.

Fauchelevent Wed 17-Feb-16 03:34:47

I'm so sorry I meant to go back and give a heads up that the content in my post may be distressing for some people.

DesignEye Wed 17-Feb-16 03:36:47

star Fauchelevent beautifully expressed!

AdrenalineFudge Wed 17-Feb-16 03:48:28

Fauchelevent Brilliant post. Too bad I suspect it'll fly over the OP's head.

Fauchelevent Wed 17-Feb-16 03:51:52

It tends to doesn't it. You can explain until your blue in the face but the majority of people are invested in the belief that racism is over. Until someone says the word "white". Then racism is real and just as bad as whatever brown people are always banging on about.

ChickyChickyParmParm Wed 17-Feb-16 04:00:23

Amazing post, Fauchelevent. Take note, OP.

MangosteenSoda Wed 17-Feb-16 04:18:09

Step away from the Kanye tweets...

I keep telling my mum to stop saying coloured, but she thinks it sounds nicer than black so must be a much better word to use. She cannot remotely understand what's bad about that concept and clearly doesn't think black people wanting to be referred to as black is a worthy reason to change her vocab either. I literally snarl every bloody time she does it.

Interestingly, in South Africa there is a distinct coloured community and black and coloured relate to two different groups who would hate to be referred to interchangeably.

Oysterbabe Wed 17-Feb-16 04:30:26

They still use the term coloured in America, or rather people of colour.

KierkegaardGroupie Wed 17-Feb-16 04:40:08

I don't think that is right about statistically less black people commit crime in the USA.
As in the UK more black people are in prison because more black people commit crime.

I realise there are many contributing factors to why this is so but I am under the impression that more crimes are committed by black people( especially males in the USA as well as the UK).

KierkegaardGroupie Wed 17-Feb-16 04:44:37

I don't agree racism is over. I do believe there is less racism in the UK than the USA where so many cities are racially segregated it is kind of shocking. I think it is much harder in the usa to get on I'm all areas if you are black unless you are from a middle class black family. I understand why black people have feelings about it because it is unfair. The UK has done integration brilliantly compared to the USA in my opinion.

AdrenalineFudge Wed 17-Feb-16 04:46:29

MangosteenSoda Whilst I take onboard your point wrt to the term 'coloured' that is really not the point that the OP is making here.

The OP is infact feeling affronted that white people get accused of racism when they use the term so doesn't see it as fair that can Kanye use it - the OP then goes on to say that Kanye can't have any sort of understanding of slavery because no-one in this day and age can truly claim to be experiencing any of the consequences of their history and then the OP argues that the world should just 'move on' because everything is absolutely fine these days.

The OP has actually done very well to actually post a screen shot of Kanye's exact tweets but OP has managed to miss all the points he raises except for the unfairness that he is using the term 'coloured' when white people aren't allowed to use it. OP even feels affronted that white people are always branded as "racist if they even think about saying anything about a race as a group".

This is utterly bizarre. The OP has missed the point so spectacularly that it would be quite hilarious were it not such a critical issue.

maybebabybee Wed 17-Feb-16 05:05:47

It is half term this week, isn't it?

dontcallmecis Wed 17-Feb-16 05:06:29

He's a knob. He has an album out and he's spent the last few weeks courting controversy. Not a coincidence.

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