What is wrong with describing someone as Asian?

(339 Posts)
ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 11:37:17

It's what the person is and not being used in a derogatory manner. My colleague felt he had to whisper though when describing another colleague to me.

I fail to see how describing someone by their ethnicity is any different to describing them by their gender.

Jinsei Tue 30-Jul-13 11:39:04

There is nothing wrong in describing someone as Asian, a)if the person is actually Asian and b)if their ethnicity is relevant to the conversation.

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Jul-13 11:39:18

Is whisperAsian an euphemism for Muslim?

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 11:43:03

Nothing wrong with describing someone as Asian if it's relevant.

No need to point it out for the sake of it iyswim.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 11:44:09

But so much better to describe her as the "woman in the red cardigan"

ouryve Tue 30-Jul-13 11:44:26

Because they might actually be British? Because it might have nothing to do with the conversation?

FlatsInDagenham Tue 30-Jul-13 11:44:47

There isn't anything wrong with it as far as I'm aware.

But people are not always sure what terms / categories are acceptable because what's acceptable has changed since we were children and may well change again. Resulting in lots of people feeling uncomfortable using any terms relating to colour, race or religion, for fear of saying the wrong thing.

Racism is a hot potato in current society and nobody wants to be caught holding it.

Bowlersarm Tue 30-Jul-13 11:45:06

I think it's fine? I don't see why it shouldn't be used in describing someone.

Well it isn't particularly meaningful. Would you describe someone as European, or African?

I don't see any problem with calling someone Asian if that's what they are. Or calling someone American. Or Australian.

ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 11:47:44

I don't think he would have liked to be described as the woman in the red cardigan LOL

Seriously - it probably wouldn't have happened if he had been present and the other colleague was able to point him out. I'm pretty sure he's not British having spoken to him on the phone.

Horry, why not?

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Jul-13 11:50:06

I would use white, black African, West Indian depending on context, mind you I'd also use Scandinavian, Mediterranean, Australian and so forth

MissBetseyTrotwood Tue 30-Jul-13 11:51:50

DS's best friend is British Pakistani. His mum uses 'asian' as a brief identifier, eg. 'the asian receptionist at school'. It's a sort of short cut - she's comfortable using it if she has no other way of knowing someone's origin.

lunar1 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:52:07

Asian doesn't really describe anyone, it's not offensive but Asia is a huge continent.

My children have a mixed heritage and I would never describe them as asian/European. The have British/Indian parents.

meditrina Tue 30-Jul-13 11:52:39

I don't think it's a terribly useful term, unless you are specifying where in Asia you actually mean. There is little commonality between say Chinese ancestry, that of the Asian part of Russia, Indonesia and other Malay, and the Indian sub-continent. Yet all those groups have massive populations (and still don't represent all Asians).

Well, if describing looks, its better than saying "chinese", spent a few hours the other day explaining what is wrong with that to someone!

Its a bit vague though, east asian "natives" (acknowledging of course that anyone can be born anywhere!) have completely different features to those in west asia

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 11:53:11

It's an accepted term for anyone who looks like their ethnicity is that of the Indian subcontinent. It's fine, unless used in a derogatory way. European doesn't mean the same to us so isn't used in the same way. In language, usage defines meaning.

I think using Asian is so much better than saying the lady in the red cardigan, by the way, which is just awful in a feathery stroker, me, I'd dint even see the colour of their skin, sort of way. It's dreadful and false. As if you noticed their red cardigan before their race (or gender ) for goodness sake. If there is more than one Asian woman who you could possibly be referring to, then you bring in the red cardigan!

Bowlersarm Tue 30-Jul-13 11:53:23

Horry am pretty sure I have described people as French, German, Aussie, American, whatever.

ComposHat Tue 30-Jul-13 11:53:48

I think some people think it is 'polite' not to mention someone's race, as if not being white was some unfortunate disability that they couldn't help.

I shared an office with a colleague who was roughly the same age, build and height as me. The key distinguishing feature between us was the fact that I was white and he was black.

The receptionist used to tie herself in knots trying to describe who visitors needed to see. 'Youre here to see John, take the third door on the left and John's the man with the errr... dark curly hair. '

flipchart Tue 30-Jul-13 11:54:09

Not sure of the problem.
I work in an environment with a few different races of people.
We talk freely to each other about different cultures and traditions.
When we are talking about someone ( not in a mean way) all of us say , you know, the Asian lad who comes in with his mum in the Red Clio or the white kid who likes to draw etc. or ' You know the child I mean, his mum is Chinese and his dad is from Southport'

No whispering.

ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 11:54:48

Where I work it's enough of a description - all I wanted was to pick the man out and most of the staff are white british. I'm not trying to gain an in depth picture of his background.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 30-Jul-13 11:55:17

It can be tricky. I remember once hearing someone asking where they could find a certain PhD student (who they hadn't met before, and who wasn't in view). The description was somewhat tortuous as to where she was sitting ... and I wondered why it was so impossible to say, in exactly the same way as 'he's the guy with the beard' or 'she's the one with short fair hair', simply 'she's the black girl', which would have unambiguously identified her.

I feel that it should be possible, as a simple descriptor - the fact that we can't, or like the OPs colleague feel the need to whisper - just seems to imply some 'otherness'. Not sure I'm putting this well.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:55:46

Of course theres nothing wrong with it.

Some people get weird about it though. I remember one conversation where my friend was saying "you know, the guy who works in the kitchen.. tall, ummm, goes out with so and so... short hair..."

Why not just say "the black guy?" (he was the only black guy - so therefore black is a relevant distinguishing feature)

There's nothing wrong with it. My DP is Asian and DS is half Asian. The only thing is Asia is a huge continent so it doesn't really tell you much.

lunar1 Tue 30-Jul-13 11:56:27

What's wrong with Chinese, i have used that descriptor before. Now terrified I e been offensive.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:56:27

Snap Grimma!

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 11:56:31

We use south East Asian to describe someone who looks like they have Chinese/Japanese/Korean etc ethnicity. That's a bit a clumsier though, we have a very small population of people of these ehtnicities and there isn't really a term that's widely used. Asian in Australia means people who look like they are from south east asia, they have huge numbers of people of this ethnicity. Asian here means Indian sub continent.

In that case no, no problem

Chinese I would say is okay if factual, not okay if walking past a person in the street who could be from a nearby area but not china. And again, china is rather large, not all chinese people have the same features smile

TabithaStephens Tue 30-Jul-13 11:58:35

In this country "Asian" generally means someone of Indian appearance. In America it means someone of "Chinese"/"Oriental"/East Asian appearance.

There really should be better terms but I don't know of them.

'Asian' would surely be more acceptable than trying to pinpoint exactly which country the person is from and getting it wrong. Same with African. Someone might have an accent that is clearly from somewhere within the African continent but few of us could distinguish exactly where if we weren't too familiar with that continents accents.

Bowlersarm Tue 30-Jul-13 12:00:35

HardedtoKidnap agree with you since the time I was trying point out a (black) man to a (black) friend. I used all manner of descriptions such as the one with the hat, the tall man, I think he has an earring, and determined not to mention his skin colour,. In the end she was the one that said 'oh you mean the black guy confused'?.

I've been, rightly or wrongly, much less coy about my descriptions of people since then. I think people sometimes overthink these things.

You might use "British" or "Danish" but the equivalent to "Asian" is "European".

Some people mean sort of Indian, or Japanese, or Thai, or Malay, or Chinese. That's as different in looks as "Scottish" and "Portuguese". Which is why I said I don't find it a terribly meaningful descriptor, unless you're pointing out the equivalent of the only white/black/wheelchair-using person in the room.

Bowlersarm, people definitely overthink. People are afraid of causing offense do go to ridiculous lengths to avoid it. But I can't see why someone would be offended by being described as Asian if they are Asian.

lunar1 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:03:01

Oh thank god! I was pointing someone in the direction of my Chinese friend, who I know is Chinese.

grin and I would describe my BIL as Indian!

What about someone who is mixed race.....?

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:12:32

Yes, it's like being black/Asian is something to be ashamed of and we mustn't mention it... Black and Asian people are generally not ashamed of being their ethnicity! When I was working in Uganda I would refer to people as "the white girl" cos there were very few white people working with me. Funnily enough no white people took offence.

frogspoon Tue 30-Jul-13 12:12:39

I would normally use Asian to refer to someone of South-Asian (Indian subcontinent) ethnicity/ background, and Oriental to refer to someone of East-Asian (China, Japan, Korea etc) origin.

I thought it was more acceptable to call someone Asian, than Indian, because they may be e.g. Bangladeshi/Pakistani/Sri Lankan etc and might find it offensive. Equally I wouldn't call someone Chinese, as they may be e.g. Japanese or Korean.

Ideally however I prefer to avoid referring to people by their ethnicity anyway.

flipchart Tue 30-Jul-13 12:13:30

Thinking about it, the other week at the summer party at work one Asian worker described me to a visitor as 'The white lady next to the buffet' which funnily enough is where I am usually found!!

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 12:14:46

Talking of unwitting racism.. is this racist? Or ignorant or neither?

I bumped into a sort of friend a while ago, she was with a black guy, I know that her partner is black (Ive never met him, but I know he is black)

I say hello friend, and oh you must be (partners name)

It wasn't - just a random black dude.

Friend repeated this to lots of other friends, apparently its a huge faux pas. Is it? There are mainly white people where we lived, I don't know of any black people personally.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:15:13

As an Asian person (Indian ethnicity, British nationality) I cannot see the problem.

I think the fact people are so scared of causing offence or trying to be PC is getting ridiculous. I agree with the poster who said it is disingenuous to describe the only Asian /black person as for example 'woman with red cardigan' when it would be much simpler to say 'the black lady'. What is the big deal? As if a black or Asian person would be offended by being described as black or Asian confused

meditrina Tue 30-Jul-13 12:17:15

It's not terribly helpful if you are trying to identify which person is meant if you say "Asian" and the general direction indicated leads to a quartet whi appear to be Chinese, Nepalese, Afghani and Uigur.

I do not think at one part of Asia is universally accepted as "Asian" to the exclusion of all other parts of Asia.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:17:47

Goodtouch no I don't think it was either racist or ignorant and your friend is rude to point it out as a faux pas.

If her Dp was white and she was with a white guy you would have assumed the same I'm sure?

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:18:17

Well, at least people are aware that using offensive terms are no longer acceptable and are trying their hardest to be neutral.

Surely that is something to celebrate?

Your colleague probably whispered it as he/she didn't feel 100% confident it was the 'correct' term. No offence was intended.

I am really confused about Chinese being considered offensive though? My cousin is married into a Chinese family. They all use the term! So do we!

It's a minefield out there I tell you. grin

stopgap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:19:58

Asian over here (the US) means East Asian. In the early days of living here, I still used "Oriental" to describe people from that region, and was swiftly told by my husband that it's considered an offensive term. People from India, Pakistan etc. are generally lumped under the term South Asian.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 12:20:31

Of course it would!'t be offensive to say "the black lady" but it is always better not to use personal physical characteristics to describe people if it's possible. It's just good manners. And "Asian" is so vague- it could mean an Indian looking person, a Chinese looking person...........

Go for the cardigan if you can.

It's quite strange how people in this country are scared to refer to people as Black or Asian because they think it's offensive or are scared of being labelled a racist. Yet Black and Asian people themselves (certainly the ones I know) think nothing of it. It's usually other White British people that say 'you can't say that'.

I remember being told off by Canadian friends for using Oriental as a descriptor for a girl who was from South-East Asia. They would use Indian for any one who we would describe as Asian. They see Oriental as akin to carpets apparently confused which doesn't make a lot of sense to me but then I'm white European.

I would have no problem being described as European by the way, I guess if I were a Brit resident in Germany I wouldn't necessarily look inherently British.

I was mocked by a friend for talking about the 'guy in the hat' in a bar once. He was black, we were white - I chose the hat as the descriptor as the first thing that occurred to me!

(Mocked for being PC that is)

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:21:57

beyondthelimits .. Apparently it is no longer mixed race it is 'duel heritage'.

Keep up! grin

(Although again, cousin is mixed race married to Chinese lady, so my niece and nephew are actually tri heritage ... Oh now this is getting silly!)

stopgap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:22:28

tedmundo, I think "Chinese" is considered offensive when used as a catch-all for people from the East Asian region. My mum--without wishing to be offensive--kept referring to "the Chinese people" who run a local shop near my apartment, when it was obvious that they were Korean.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 12:23:35

Funny how there are always so many people with multi ethnic families and friendship circles on threads like this..........

Goodtouch, no I wouldn't say it was racist at all. Just a minor error. I'm sure no-one was offended.

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:25:05

Funny in a nice way or a mean way?

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 12:25:48

Funny meaning..interesting......

Funny how curlew?

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:26:02

stopgap .. Ahh, I see what you mean there.

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:26:03

I think the vast majority of people have multi ethnic groups of family and friends don't they?

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 12:26:34

stopgap - my mum used to say things like "Indians are ever so intelligent"

and "gay people are very creative"

even "people with downs syndrome always seem to be so happy"

She was just trying to be pc...

My Granma still says nigger in the woodpile.

Curlew, funny how?

I've never used 'dual heritage' and never will. Far too PC.

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:27:16

I don't think curlew knows many non white people. That's why when she meets one she desperately scrambles round trying not to mention their race but instead their lovely cardigan, and marvelling at us all knowing lots of Asian, black and Chinese people!

Ted - Darn!

Curlew, do you only know white people? confused
Where do you live?

moogy1a Tue 30-Jul-13 12:27:51

Funny how there are always so many people with multi ethnic families and friendship circles on threads like this..........
maybe because we live in a very multi ethnic country? I don't understand what you mean

Curlew, if you dont believe me, I have pictures! hmm

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:28:19

It is interesting that people have lived abroad, met partners abroad and had children?

Is it funny? Just normal for me. I know a lot of people who have lived and worked overseas.

Talkinpeace Tue 30-Jul-13 12:28:38

Asians have been told to aim for lower BMI that whites ....
Asians includes China, South East Asia, Indian Subcontinent

Tell you what I find funny, how many people assume everyone they talk to online is white. Saw it happen the other day, one poster kept pointing out she was black, yet being lumped in with all those racist white people by the person she was arguing with!

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:30:25

My nan is a bit racist too - "a man helped me on the bus today, he was Asian but he was so lovely!"

frogspoon Tue 30-Jul-13 12:30:31

moogy, whilst most major cities are ethnically very diverse, some rural areas have very few ethnic minorities.

So if curlew lives in a very rural village she may not have met many people of other ethnicities.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:30:49

I agree appleinthesky. Interested to see what other non-white mumsnetters think?

It's completely normal when you live in a multi cultural country. I would find it more unusual if someone didn't have any Black or Asian family or friends.

stopgap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:33:09

Goodtouchbadtouch, my mum once laughed and said, "Isn't it funny how they wear those big black hats indoors?" when referring to a group of Hasidic Jews. I wanted the ground to swallow me up (and I wouldn't mind, but I'm married to a Jewish man!).

My family is all white and prone to similar faux pas; having lived in London or NYC for the last fifteen years, more than half of my friends are non-white. Speaking as a white person (who, incidentally, has been called umpteen racist names by strangers over the years, owing to South Italian heritage and dark olive skin) I can't imagine living in an urban area for a long period of time and only coming into contact with and making friends with other white people.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:33:26

Oops sorry. Read Beyond's post. I don't mean that I think all the people who have posted are white.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 12:34:20

"That's why when she meets one she desperately scrambles round trying not to mention their race but instead their lovely cardigan"grin

As I said, I try to avoid using personal physical characteristics to describe people of any race if there is an easy way to avoid it. Apart from anything else, it helps to avoid one's children describing someone as "the man with the enormous tummy". And I would probably not use Asian, because, considering the wide range of "types" who would fit the description it probably wouldn't be very helpful.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 12:36:02

See stopgap - where I grew up the only non-white people were tourists. The only time I heard I foreign language was when I was on holiday.

Its completely different for my children

Why avoid it though curlew? Being Black or Asian is nothing to be ashamed of. It's not a dirty word confused

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:37:29

But as someone pointed out, typically in the UK when someone says Asian they are referring to someone from East Asia (Indian Pakistani etc)

frogspoon Tue 30-Jul-13 12:37:52

curlew, so would you not use any physical descriptors at all?

e.g. the short lady with brown hair

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:37:57

Duh South Asia obviously. You think I'd know that

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 12:38:32

Curlew, you are overthinking things. There is nothing wrong with using physical characteristics to describe someone. As long as it isnt negative.

motherinferior Tue 30-Jul-13 12:39:09

I'm white and Asian.

I don't see anything wrong with using physical descriptions of people if that's the easiest thing. As long as its not negative, eg 'the ugly fat bloke'.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 12:41:22

I think people use Asian as to describe an Indian Pakistani Banghladeshi (sp) person I dont think there is anything wrong with that is there?

Motherinferior, how?

motherinferior My DS is white, black and Asian grin Wonder how people will describe him?

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 12:42:21

We don't care about that motherinferior. What we need to know is the colour of your scarf!!

My grandad's wife's grandson is quarter Indian, quarter Jewish, quarter black, quarter Native American.... I think with him I'd just admit defeat and describe him by what type of babygro he was wearing....

Mrsjay, it's better than saying someone is Indian when they possibly aren't.

Applepie, mixed race?

moogy1a Tue 30-Jul-13 12:45:23

Frog I live in a very rural very white area and day to day very rarely come across anyone who is non white, but it doesn't mean I find it odd or surprising that my area is probably one of the exceptions.
Actually that's a lie, Chinese Steve was at playgroup this morning ( so named to distinguish him from white Steve)

Lyra I mean people that don't know him and are describing him. To look at him he doesn't look like he's got any white in him at all. He looks more Asian than anything I think.

flipchart Tue 30-Jul-13 12:46:18

Funny how there are always so many people with multi ethnic families and friendship circles on threads like this..........
If you lived where I live and worked for a large County Council for as long as I have you would have likely to have ended up with the same diverse mix of friends.

Can't see the problem with that tbh.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:46:31

If I was mixed race (or is it dual heritage now) and someone described me as Asian even though i was both Asian and white I don't think I would mind but obviously I'm not so I can't speak for how those who are mixed race feel about it.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 12:46:53

it's better than saying someone is Indian when they possibly aren't.

well that is what I was thinking,

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 12:47:46

lyra.. That really made me laugh.

we should devise an MN acceptable list..

- the lady in the per una waterfall cardigan
- the girl in the ill advised maxi dress
- the toddler clutching the frootshoot

Anyway, back to the AIBU .. YANBU .. Your colleague didn't need to whisper anything.

Lovecat Tue 30-Jul-13 12:48:44

Living in London, I think Asian is a bit vague, although I've heard my (Indian-origin) next door neighbour describe another Indian-origin guy on our road as such. I've also been looked at in great surprise when I answered my front door to a Sikh gentleman who asked 'Oh! Doesn't an Asian family live here?' grin

However, when a man in our office came looking for a bloke who was sitting on a block of desks amongst several other identical-age, shaved-headed blokes who were all wearing purple shirts (it was their 'thing' on Fridays) and looked at me in confusion when I said 'he's the one in the middle' hmm so I then said 'he's the black guy' - an Indian girl on our bank of desks looked at me in horror and said 'you can't say that!' shock

So I have no idea... mind you, I've got dark olive skin and I've overheard people refer to me as 'the mixed-race one' before now - well, if Irish and Scottish are separate races I suppose that's right! grin

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 12:49:05

"curlew, so would you not use any physical descriptors at all?

e.g. the short lady with brown hair"

If I could easily avoid it, no I wouldn't.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:49:23

Sorry Moogy1a but that is funny grin Is he actually Chinese? Cos if not then not so funny

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 12:51:13

So then how would you describe someone Curlew in order to identify them to somebody else confused

Mominatrix Tue 30-Jul-13 12:51:33

my children are french/american/korean - how would they be described? In this country, they are called Chinese hmm.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 12:53:09

I was asked outright if i was mixed race once I have quite dark skin and a woman I know just asked me, I said Oh i don't think so maybe way way back grin Also a Spanish woman once started a conversation with me I was erm she I think she thought i was a local ,

Mominatrix Tue 30-Jul-13 12:54:44

Worse still, it was assumed that I would bring Chinese food for the China day during international week - why? My kids are given the role of the Chinese children for the "It's a Small World" kind of school play hmm. Being called Chinese when we are not is DEEPLY offensive.

manicinsomniac Tue 30-Jul-13 12:55:27

my children are mixed race and I've never even heard the term 'dual heritage'. But then I also refer to them as 'Latino' and apparently that's offensive too. Not sure why!

There's a lot of overthinking out there. If I was directing someone towards a multi-racial crowd of people or a basketball team I wouldn't use 'the black woman' or 'the tall man'. But if that description actually would identify the person then I would. Whyever not, they're not derogatory terms!

moogy1a Tue 30-Jul-13 12:56:02

Yes, he's Chinese. he signs up for playgroup tasks as Chinese Steve grin

Mominatrix Tue 30-Jul-13 12:56:25

Oh yes, and in the park, my children are referred to as "Hey, Chinese Kid" if the child does not know their name. Even adults call my children the Chinese boys.

(Can you tell this subject irks me?)

Mrsjay, I was agreeing with you wink

Mominatrix, that's exactly why I think a vague description is better than an incorrect specific one.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 12:58:07

Yes I know I was just agreeing back Lyra smile

yabyum Tue 30-Jul-13 12:58:21

Bloody hell, curlew, let's hope you aren't ever called upon to give a statement to the police!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using personal characteristics to describe someone - what the hell else do we have!?

But Mominatrix, I don't understand why being called Chinese is "deeply offensive" to you, like there's something terrible about being Chinese. I can see why it's irritating that people make the wrong assumption though.

Good, mrsjay smile

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 13:00:10

Mom, I do understand its not great to be called Chinese when you aren't, but why deeply offensive? It's not a bad thing to be Chinese is it?

The use of language is to convey meaning. If I refer to someone as Chinese (even if that's incorrect) but I know who I mean and it successfully conveys its meaning and the person I'm talking to then knows who I mean, then do the actual words used matter? The language has done its job and we're all aware of the person who we're talking about. I could also have described them as tall when actually they are only of medium height, or as have a red cardigan on when actually that cardigan is a gilet. Would either of those have deeply offended anyone?

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:03:07

Hmmm I have mixed feelings about that Hardertokidnap.

I too d

mominatrix I understand how it can be annoying because it's not factually correct but I wouldn't be angry about it. I have been asked before if I'm South American, Chinese, Spanish, Turkish and it doesn't bother me. It's quite amusing actually.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 13:05:39

Gosh Curlew, I think you are a bit uptight about it. Maybe just unsure because you don't have any non-white friends. Understandable. I think the point is that you aren't supposed to notice race but of course everyone does, it just doesn't make a difference.

My littlest used to run and greet every Asian girl of about 3, because he thought it was a girl from nursery.

I could never tell the difference between Ainsley Harriot and Lenny Henry, sometimes my husband says "look darling its Ainsley on the TV" and I wouldn't realise it was actually Lenny Henry.

They were both on BBC Breakfast recently, and Lenny Henry said "you never see me and Ainsley in the same room together" the presenters didn't know wether to laugh or not.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:05:50


I meant I too don't understand why it is 'deeply offensive' to be thought of as Chinese BUT as an Indian I would find it very irritating for my DS to be referred to as Pakistani when he's not. With people I know like at school I would correct immediately and say actually he's Indian.

With strangers however I'd be a bit Meh about it. They think I'm Pakistani when I'm not...oh well. Annoying but not offensive

ladymontdore Tue 30-Jul-13 13:06:05

I really don't think 'most' people have ethnically diverse family and friends. My family are all white, the most exotic is a 1/4 Italian SIL! And I live in a rural area with v little ethnic diversity as a result all my friends are white, not through choice, just who I meet. There is a lady who comes to playgroup who I would call English (born and bred here, no accent etc) but she looks Asian/Indian and has an Indian sounding name but that is literally the only person I can think of apart from the Chinese restaurant family!

So, urbanites, the diversity in our country is not evenly spread! Don't make assumptions!

HarderToKidnap Tue 30-Jul-13 13:06:20

Although the Chinese food bringing in thing would drive me demented. The rest doesn't seem too bad.

moogy1a Tue 30-Jul-13 13:06:48

The thing is moninatrix there are far more people in this country who would describe themselves as Chinese than there are French / American/ Korean so if someone has a Chinese appearance, people will guess they are most likely of Chinese origin.
I don't see why that offends you so much.

SoleSource Tue 30-Jul-13 13:09:11

I read somewhere that Asian is now deemed offensive but British Asian is not.


Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:10:18

The most offended people I've met are New Zealanders who get mistaken for Aussies. Ooooh they so do not like it. Sometimes at work I'll say to my Kiwi colleague 'ooh Australia won the cricket last night. You must be pleased' She does not like that grin

SarahBumBarer Tue 30-Jul-13 13:10:40

This question was to Curlew but since Beyond seemed surprised that it might be possible I thought I would say that I only know white people and agree with LadyM that I am not particularly unique in the UK in this.

As a result I do find heritage terminology a bit of a minefield. I would worry about the use of the word Asian as it is too vague and seems ridiculous to us this is a description when it could mean people diverging significantly in appearance.Then again I know that if I tried to drill it down and got it wrong I could upset the Mominatrix's of ths world.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:11:51

but if there is something on the news they will say the Asian community feel... (does that make sense) or a a brown skin man will say something along the lines of the Asian community in <our area> think ,,

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:11:55

Solesource that is indeed ridiculous. I would love to see if there is a s

Jefferson I have been with DP for ten years now and he's Iranian. He had a conversation with my grandad a few weeks ago and my grandad said something about him being Pakistani. We just laughed about it afterwards.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:12:28

Bugger stupid fat fingers

I would love to see of there is a single Asian person who finds it offensive

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:13:15

I dont have any friends that are not white but I think we all know people who are a different skin colour to us ?

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:13:31


Don't forget Canadians who are assumed to be American. They do not like that AT ALL.

My DP is Turkish and gets mistaken for Spanish all the time. He doesn't mind.

My point? Not sure I have one wink

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:16:01

Omygod. What is wrong with me!

Honestly and I hope I'm not being offensive but it seems a lot of the time it is white people making up these 'rules' and I get that obviously the fear of being accused of racism must be huge but really as long as you're not using the obvious derogatory terms I think most non-white people couldn't care less about the labels

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:17:25

Ooh yes Lyra. I had a Canadian colleague too.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 13:18:43

"Bloody hell, curlew, let's hope you aren't ever called upon to give a statement to the police!!"

Well obciously under those circumstance I would use physical characteristics! It's just old fashioned good manners not to.

And I have no idea where the impression that I am uptight and have no non white friends came from.......grin

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:19:48

your point is lyra that it doesn't matter to you really, I think with turks or iranians id probably venture into saying Middle eastern , I have a feeling thats not right blush

Turkey isn't in the middle east but most Turks have that middle eastern look. Dark skin, black hair etc.

Actually, Turkey is mostly in Asia and a tiny bit is in Europe. So maybe it does count as middle eastern. I don't know.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:23:15

I probably would put my foot it in then, blush

Wikipedia puts Turkey in the middle east. Shows how much I know grin

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:23:47

I'm afraid it's not right MrsJay and I'llhabe to contradict me earlier statement of saying most people don't care about labels by saying actually Turkish people wouldn't like being called middle eastern!

Disclaimer: not speaking for an entire country obviously

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:25:00

Really Lyra? Well shows how much I know...
The Turkish people I know would never refer to themselves as Middle Eastern.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:26:13

because they are turkish I spose what i mean if i was describing somebody who maybe turkish if i didnt know for sure id say middle eastern,

DP is Iranian and wouldn't like to be called Middle Eastern. My understanding is Middle Eastern usually describes Arabs and he would put someone right if they said that.

He would much rather you call him Asian

Jefferson, DP is very proud of his heritage and would always describe himself as Turkish. But it wouldn't be unreasonable for someone who doesn't know exactly where he's from to describe him as middle eastern. Although he's lighter skinned than most Turks I've met, which is probably why he gets the Spanish thing a lot. Also he looks vaguely like Antonio Banderas grin

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 13:29:44

Curlew - it does sound a bit uptight to purposely avoid to describe someone by any distinguishing features apart from their clothes.

If you don't like to say black or white or tall or short, what about man or woman? Would that be ok?

tedmundo Tue 30-Jul-13 13:30:50

curlew .. But that makes your remark earlier ...

Funny how there are always so many people with multi ethnic families and friendship circles on threads like this..........

Even more unfathomable? I actually felt quite insulted by your veiled insinuation that we are all a bunch of fantasists pretending to have family and friends from different backgrounds.

What was that all about if you yourself have friends from different backgrounds to your own?

Yeah, I still don't understand that comment either.

SarahBumBarer, it does seem weird to me, I have family in the Welsh Valleys, the type of place that years ago would call me a foreigner for being in a city grin yet even they have multiple ethnicities around them now

Fwiw, I have a Turkish friend who would rather be called Martian than Turkish.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 13:35:51

"Curlew - it does sound a bit uptight to purposely avoid to describe someone by any distinguishing features apart from their clothes."

As I said- only if it can easily be done. Which it usually can.
Just good manners, in my opinion.

Canadians and Americans, Aus and NZ...

Look a bit closer to home with the Welsh/scottish "English" people wink

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:38:29

I have a northern welsh friend and she would poke somebody in the eye if anybody called her English she does sound liverpurdian though

stooshe Tue 30-Jul-13 13:39:34

The problem is that too many are prepared to get offended on behalf of the supposed minority. If i rob somebody you, please feel free to describe me as a medium complexion, slightly overweight, black woman. The police will then not go around looking for just an overweight woman of no particular race, ethnicity etc. The colour, nuance etc is being taken away from everyday conversations by people interpreting P.C in the wrong way. Yes, I do believe in not saying the first careless thing that comes out of one's mouth in order to feel superior, but I thought that politeness was the base of P.C, not turning everyday conversation into some long winded morse code. Rant over.........

stooshe Tue 30-Jul-13 13:40:14

"I", not "i".

Lovecat Tue 30-Jul-13 13:41:06

Mrs Jay, if I go anywhere in Southern Europe I'm mistaken for a local and have had Brits approach me before now to take their photo speaking loud and slow so the forrin bird can understand grin

I was called 'Chinky' in school hmm but always assumed it was because of my (round) glasses, but then I was mistaken as Chinese by a Chinese waiter in a restaurant in Ibiza. He was chatting away in Mandarin to me, I didn't have a clue, he was actually horrified to realise I wasn't Chinese! I've also been asked what my Native American ancestry is when in the US....

My dad was actually born & brought up in SA although his ancestry is Scottish, when I've told people in the past that he's from SA they've gone 'Oh, that's what it is! I knew you were mixed race but I assumed it was from Singapore or Japan or something....' confused

There's a photo of me halfway down my profile... I don't think I'm that exotic looking!

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:44:00

lovecat the old lady who spoke to me looked as if she was just chatting about the weather or something confused

Oh i was called paki at school shock

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 13:44:17

Im white scottish,

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 13:47:33

What stooshe said.

AnnabelleLee Tue 30-Jul-13 13:48:25

This thread is one big cringe fest. I'm just waiting for someone to rock up and complain how pc gone mad has stopped them saying all the offensive things they grew up with......

And seriously, oriental? Does anyone really still say that with a straight face?

I totally agree stooshe

In what way is it a cringe fest, Annabelle?

Beyondthelimits, interesting about your Turkish friend. Do you know why? All the Turks I know seems very proud of their country.

Lovecat Tue 30-Jul-13 13:52:44

Must be that exotic Scottish blood, mrsjay grin

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 13:53:20

Anna, i wont disappoint you then. Ive described myself as oriental. Feel free to get offended on my behalf. I dont give a fuck.

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:55:07

I disagree Annabelle. Nobody has said what's the problem with calling someone a 'paki' if they are from Pakistan (which I have read before) we are talking about using general identifiers like Black and Asian and in my opinion it is PC gone mad to suggest this is not acceptable terminology

Jefferson Tue 30-Jul-13 13:57:24

Yes Beyond, all the Turks I know are fiercely proud of their heritage as well. I didn't know Iranians didn't like to be thought of as Middle Eastern though

Shrugged Tue 30-Jul-13 13:57:56

I realise 'Asian' in world terms us a uselessly huge, vague descriptor, but assuming we're talking specifically in terms of UK usage, then it's generally used specifically as a neutral descriptor for people of Indian/Pakistani/Bengali descent or origin.

I suppose the only real vagueness is that seems to be used interchangeably to mean people who themselves immigrated from those countries in the recent past (ie. who are originally from somewhere else), and British people, who are the descendants of Asian migrants, but who are themselves British.

I think there are some pretty dim types around who have some vague ideas about 'PC ness' meaning they may NEVER NEVER never refer to someone's race. I was once berated at my London GP surgery by the woman behind me in the queue for answering a question from the receptionist about which other receptionist had told me something. I said I didn't know her name, but she was the black woman with the cornrows. 'You can't say THAT!' she shrieked. I smothered a laugh and asked why not. She looked at me and said 'You know perfectly well why not!'

Shrugged Tue 30-Jul-13 14:03:11

Jefferson, in my experience Iranians reject the Middle Eastern label because it lumps them in with Arab countries they perceive as having an entirely different kind of civilisation. The assumption that Iranians are Arabs certainly causes annoyance.

She's the only person I know who really hates where they are from that much, that's why it stuck out. No idea why though.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 14:10:30

Must be that exotic Scottish blood, mrsjay

aye must be grin

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 14:12:11

*You can't say THAT!' she shrieked. I smothered a laugh and asked why not. She looked at me and said 'You know perfectly well why not!

bet it was because she had bad hair wink

ClartyCarol Tue 30-Jul-13 14:16:58

I do actually agree with curlew that it's probably more polite to avoid referencing someone's skin colour when pointing them out in a crowd - it seems to make their colour their defining characteristic and marks them out as different from the majority.

If there was a large group of white women and someone was asked to point one out they would have to go with descriptors of height, hair colour, clothing etc.

If you watch Question Time Out it is noticeable that David Dimbleby never refers to members of the audience as "The black woman at the back" or "The Chinese man at the front". He will simply say "The woman in the red top on the right" etc.

ClartyCarol Tue 30-Jul-13 14:19:54

Question Time Out?! Obviously current affairs for naughty children grin.

DanceParty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:21:51

I totally and utterly agree with you stooche - well said that woman.

"not turning everyday conversation into some long winded morse code" grin

Why use 50 words when one will do?

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 14:26:36

CC, if im in a group of white women (and i describe myself as oriental/asian) then my colour is marking me out as different from the majority. This is neither positive or negative, just a physical truth surely. There is nothing more to it than i look different and is the easiest way to distinguish me from a crowd of white women. I dont see any difference between that and someone referring to me as the tall one (if im the tallest one in the room, which is usually most of the time). Should i get offended because my height is being referred to?

Or if you were the only blonde in a roomful of dark-haired women. What's wrong with being referred to as "the blonde one"? Surely not offensive in any way.

LessMissAbs Tue 30-Jul-13 14:34:10

You would have to try very hard find offence from calling a person of Asian heritage Asian, just as you would a white Anglo American 'Western'.

In fact, unless you were in Northern Norway, Sweden, Finland or Russia and confused someone of Sami heritage with a European, 'Western' seems to be used as a catch all without offence. So what's the problem with Asian, or can only non Westerners be discriminated against?

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 14:35:34

"The problem is that too many are prepared to get offended on behalf of the supposed minority"

Actually,I think the problem is that some people are defining "a mild preference" as " being offended "I have no problem with using the term black or white. I have a slight issue with Asian, simply because it so imprecise. And I would be amazed if people in those ethnic groups minded. But I would just prefer not to use the words if there is an easy alternative.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 14:39:57

I think the problem is that some people are defining "a mild preference" as " being offended " Now this i can agree with. Only problem is there is an awfu lot of people who claim to be offended when other people dont conform to their preferences.

DanceParty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:47:32

There are some people on here who would be offended if you said........"It was pitch black and I couldn't see my hand in front of my face" !!!

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 14:48:05

Dance party- no there aren't.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 14:49:02

"Only problem is there is an awfu lot of people who claim to be offended when other people dont conform to their preferences."

Not on this thread there aren't- so why mention thm?

DanceParty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:49:50

You speak for everyone on MN do you curlew hmm ?

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 14:51:30

I never said on this thread in particular, and i mentioned it because i do think that is part of the wider problem. And because we are discussing this issue. Danceparty, there most certainly are. And they always tend to be the most vocal!

Couldnt see my hand in the dark?

Wtf are you on about?

<has clearly missed something!>

mirry2 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:57:24

A black colleague was showing me a photo of a group of friends who I mostly knew. They were all white except for one. I asked her who the black woman in the photo was and she got very annoyed that I would use her colour to single her out confused. I pointed out, not unreasonably, that if they were all black except one white woman I would ask who the white woman was. At least she saw sense in what I said

mirry2 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:58:42

I understand what you mean Danceparty

Silly woman.

madmomma Tue 30-Jul-13 15:00:08

nowt, according to my asian husband.

Are you saying people would be offended because you called the dark black? confused

Am I just being incredibly blonde stupid? I honestly have no idea what you are on about!

Danceparty, I haven't encountered anybody like that on here but accept there must be some. Silly people.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 15:03:37

I have a neighbour
who is a racist fuckwit.

She never says 'black', she mouths it (think Les Dawson).

I said 'why don't you just say Black?'

'Cos they don't like it do they?'


Personally I do not feel describing someone using their ethnicity is offensive. It is not always necessary. If you can point someone out without using it then why not?

But there is no shame in being black, Asian or mixed race etc so why not say it?

The use of Asian is more problematic if it is the cause of confusion e.g. as in the US it wouldn't be used to described someone from Pakistan would it? I understand it is more likely to be used to describe someone from Vietnam

mirry2 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:03:59

Beyondthe limits - Danceparty means that she believes some people would take offence because they would see it as implying that you can't see black people in the dark - bit convoluted i know, but there we are.

ClartyCarol Tue 30-Jul-13 15:13:18

Tittytittyhanghang and Lyra - I do see what you're saying but there aren't the sensitivities around height and hair colour that there are around ethnicity.

It does irritate me when there are the alleged controversies around words such as blackboard.

applepieinthesky DS1's father was half Iranian, but they wanted to be referred to as Persian. He was also half Pakistani, so Asian I guess. I tend to put DS1 down on forms as mixed British/Asian, but it's not actually a good enough fit. When people describe him they tend to say he looks very Mediterranean, we go on holiday to somewhere like Spain or Turkey and the locals think he's one of them.

It's all getting far too complicated as we all mix our heritages up grin

CC, that's less common nowadays isn't it? I remember a time when Baa Baa Black Sheep was banned in some schools, nativity plays at Christmas were frowned upon and other ridiculous things like that. I think people are getting a grip on themselves a bit more now.

olidusUrsus Tue 30-Jul-13 16:11:57

I thought the banning of Ba Ba Black Sheep was an urban myth. Did some schools actually ban it!?

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:13:11

"You speak for everyone on MN do you curlew ?"

No. But I feel pretty safe to say that there is no one who would object to the use of the work pitch black to describe a very dark place. grin

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:14:17

" I remember a time when Baa Baa Black Sheep was banned in some schools, nativity plays at Christmas were frowned upon and other ridiculous things like that."

You do know these things never happened, don't you?

everlong Tue 30-Jul-13 16:16:59

I always use this rule. If I wouldn't use the term white in my words to describe someone I don't use black asian chinese etc as it just isn't relevant.

Curlew, of course they did.

ClartyCarol Tue 30-Jul-13 16:19:10

God knows, that's why I put 'alleged'. Could've all just been a figment of the imagination of Richard Littlejohn types, spouting off about Loony Left councils and the like.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:22:16

"Curlew, of course they did."

They didn't, you know. Or if they did, they only happened because somebody read a ridiculous "pc gawn maaaaad" type article and thought they had to.....

Random fact, did you know Littlejohns middle name is William?

Can sort of understand why hes such an angry man when hes called
Dick Willy Littlejohn

When I was a young reporter in the 90s I interviewed a headteacher after parents complained to my newspaper that the nativity had been scrapped because of "religious sensitivities".

I also remember interviewing a group of Muslims who were up in arms and complaining to the council because a billboard advertisement featured a picture of a pig. They were obviously of the extremist minority.

These can't have been isolated incidents that only occurred in the town I covered.

IME, local authorities are the absolute worst for this kind of thing. Yes, PC did indeed "go mad" for a while.

ThreeMusketeers Tue 30-Jul-13 16:29:20

To quote someone upthread:

"Well, if describing looks, its better than saying "chinese", spent a few hours the other day explaining what is wrong with that to someone!"

Why is it wrong politically incorrect to describe a Chinese person as Chinese??????????

Tis' madness, madness I say... hmm

everlong Tue 30-Jul-13 16:32:01

It depends if their ethnicity is relevant Three.

Would you say ' that little white girl in the swing ' or would you say ' that little girl in the swing ' ?

everlong Tue 30-Jul-13 16:32:31

On not in ffs!

Mominatrix Tue 30-Jul-13 16:37:16

Why is being called Chinese deeply offensive? Well, first of all, I am not Chinese but if that was all, it would just be an irritant. My mother and father lived through the Korean War and my mother was originally from the North. They are scarred my memories of things which happened during this period, and my mother particularly so. Being mistaken for Chinese would make her see red, and because I grew up with the stories, I also get irritated. There are animosities and deep seeded antagonisms between Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Phillipino... and to call a person from one race the blanked "Chinese" is not taken lightly.

Additionally, it is sloppy and lazy - there is a broad difference in facial features, culture, demeanour between the major East Asian cultures and to not even realize this does cause offence as it implies that it really does't matter - we are just those slitty eyed people, might as well just call them all Chinese.

Mominatrix Tue 30-Jul-13 16:39:04

To the people upthread, to call a CHinese person Chinese is not offensive, to call someone not Chinese that IS offensive.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:40:24

"When I was a young reporter in the 90s I interviewed a headteacher after parents complained to my newspaper that the nativity had been scrapped because of "religious sensitivities". "

And what was the ethnic make up of the school?

And you said yourself, the people with the pig aversion were extremists.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:42:06

"Why is it wrong politically incorrect to describe a Chinese person as Chinese??????????"

It isn't. And you can tell whether a person is Chinese just by looking, can you? You are Prince Philip and I claim my five pounds!

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 16:43:41

Exactly everlong
IMO its ok to do it if it is necessary but a bit weird if not.

I have said this before on these thread but I don't mind saying it again.
I have lived and worked all of my life in the 'loony left' boroughs of London. Including the allegedly looniest of them all Haringey, Islington and Lambeth.

I have always worked in the Charitable and Public sectors.

In all my years I have yet to come across any of the 'pc gooooorn maaaaad' stuff that is 'always happening'.

The stories that come out in the tabloids bear little resemblance to the actual facts.

'Police spend £50000000000 on telling coppers they can't say 'Lady''

really means 'as part of a general review [across an entire borough] diversity training has been updated'

And love it or hate it, PC gorn maaaad is why the bloke who comes round to fix your boiler can no longer get away with pinching your arse and telling you to 'put the kettle on sweeeedart!'

Or why teachers are no longer allowed to tell an African child 'I'm not calling you that! John is much easier to say, I will call you John from now on'

Fucking PC madness hey?

Mominatrix, fair enough smile

Curlew, you said "it didn't happen. I know it did. The town was very ethically mixed. Perhaps it didn't happen in every town in the country but I'd did in enough places. The pig story is an extreme example but extreme situations to arise from time to time. To say "that never happened" is a bit ignorant, IMO.


Ugh, too many literals in last post to correct them all.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 16:48:48

All my pakistani and bengali friends say asian.We dont whisper it either.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 16:51:44

They banned baa baa black sheep near me,it was pink sheep instead?big wtf there.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:52:29

But it's not PC gone mad to scrap the nativity play if 90% of the school is nonChristian.

And bonkers people objecting to pictures of pigs is nothing to do with political correctness, gorn mad or otherwise.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 16:53:17

"They banned baa baa black sheep near me,it was pink sheep instead?big wtf there."

Who's "they"?

Oh, I see what you mean now. Iirc the schools in the town were majority white but with a big ethnic mix. I think it was a local authority directive that the local schools shouldn't stage nativity plays but I can't remember all the details now (was a long time ago, when I was young).

The thing with the pig story is that the council was taking their "concerns" seriously, rather than chucking the bunch of loons out on the pavement like they deserved. Pretty sure the billboard survived so someone had some common sense.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 17:19:58

And sometimes the stories have hidden depths. In Bradford a while ago, for example, the was a story about a man who put a collection of Nat West pigs in his window, and the story went that his Muslim neighbours had objected. What it didn't say was that the pigs were part of a year long rqcist campaign that this man was waging against his neighbours, and the pigs had been put there deliberately to be provocative. He was asked to remove them. The Muslim family came out looking like bonkers, and of course nobody thought to look deeper. The council looked like a Loony left caricature there is no mechanism for both sides of the story to be heard.

ThreeMusketeers Tue 30-Jul-13 17:20:07

"It isn't. And you can tell whether a person is Chinese just by looking, can you? You are Prince Philip and I claim my five pounds!"

I can tell if a person is Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Japanese or Malay. I am talented, you see hmm
Also lived in that part of the world for couple of decades, so yes I can.

Now, where's my £5.


LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 18:27:39

"They" is however the frig banned it!how am i meant to know!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 18:28:48

I hope you werent making implications there

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 18:32:58

I went to a mixed ethnic primary and we did the nativity still and then we also had an eid day and during a christmas assembly we did celebrations from around the world.I loved it.Hope my child will get to do that sort of thing at school.

Some people think that describing another person as Asian, or black, or some other racial descriptor, is racist.

It isn't.

Three, you may know for a fact that someone is chinese, that isnt the problem I was referring to though, which I thought was clear enough in my first post anyway, but was definitely clarified in the later posts.

These threads always remind me of the Little Britain sketches where David Walliams' character tries really hard to avoid mentioning the race of a student and then eventually uses really inappropriate, racist language to describe them.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 19:22:53

"Some people think that describing another person as Asian, or black, or some other racial descriptor, is racist."

So long as the descriptor is accurate, nobody sensible would think this.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 20:02:31

I don't think she was making assumptions limited.
I read it as wanting do know who 'they' are.

So often we here 'oh that lot' or 'them/they'

Who are these people and do they really ban things? Do they even have the power to do it.

Usually its something out of nothing yet everyone goes along with it because they believe the shite peddled by the media and are convinced they can get the sack for saying 'blackboard'

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 20:43:25

I would love to know who "they" are too.I presumed these "theys" were part of a bigger plan like some kind of education scruntiniser.These annoying "they" people that make sheep pink and spoil traditions such as the nativity.I can imagine there were parents really upset that they didnt get to put a tea towel on their childs head.Its one of those milestones that people look forwars too

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 20:55:54

But nativities are not banned are they?

My kids have been through lots of primary schools in the above named loony left boroughs and there have been nativities in every single one of them.

5 kids over 21 years in several nurseries, pre schools and schools and I have never yet been able to swerve a nativity courtesy of The Powers That Be.

I am not doubting that some schools don't bother with them but I don't think its down to worrying about offending anyone.
More to do with lack of resources or willing.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 21:03:12

Well i read that some schools havent had them?
I remember not being allowed to read charlottes web as a class as it had a pig in it when I was small.Now thats got to have been a teacher that wouldnt allow it.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 21:15:28

But that has nothing to do with it having a pig in it. It is a book about bereavement and some teachers felt the themes were not suitable for children.
When I was at school we didn't have Enid Blyton books because they were seen to be outdated.
Many teachers dislike Jaquline Wilson books

None of it has anything to do with religion or race.

Are you really trying to tell me you were not allowed to read Charlottes Web because of the risk of offending muslims?

Where did you read that some schools have not had nativities and why didn't they have them?

Do you ever think critically about the things you read? Do you often make wild assumptions based on very little information?

That is how these myths get perpetuated. People refusing to question them, they just believe them.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 21:42:58

Yes it does have something to do with having a pig in it.The teacher said that we werent reading it as a class story as it has a pig in it!So yes I am saying that,not particulary to you.And it wasnt an issue to read it individually in class,the teacher said that was fine so what you are saying about bereavement wasnt an issue.
Yes i often make wild assumptions as I am not intelligent enough to make my own decisions and conclusions about things so I come on here so you can educate me because my opinions and experiences are inferior to yours.Even when I have just said something has happened you are trying to tell me that is not what happened.How would you know?

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 21:48:48

Please try and calm down.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 21:50:04

Ok I will just because you have told me to.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Jul-13 21:59:43

Are you 12?

limitedperiodonly Tue 30-Jul-13 22:02:17

When I was a young reporter an ethnically-mixed primary school substituted chapati man for gingerbread man in the 'Run, run, as fast as you can...' nursery rhyme which prompted anger amongst some white parents, who were in the minority.

This was one of the softer-Left London boroughs. However, I was involved in local politics and there were some fucking loonies in the local Labour Party. More to do with their personalities than their politics.

The school didn't explain themselves to me, which was their prerogative. I suspect they did it because most of their pupils didn't know what gingerbread was, whatever their skin colour. But it could have been over-enthusiasm. Who knows?

It would have been a sensible move for the headteacher or someone from the council to have given a calm explanation because that would have neutered a 'pc gorn mad' story. BTW, it was before we learned to call it political correctness.

It also would have reassured those white parents who felt marginalised and spiked the guns of those who just wanted a ruck.

It would have been an even better idea to ask the Bengali children to come up with their own nursery rhymes. That way they could include and educate everybody. Peace and love and all that shit.

It's always best to explain things. Often it gets ignored but if you have a policy of never speaking, your message is never going to get out.

BTW I did draw the line at reporting one mother's complaints that her DD wasn't taught the Lord's Prayer at school. I learned that at church. To my mind that's where you should learn it.

My editor was always keen to stir up discord where none existed but as a committed Christian he'd have probably agreed with that one. Anyway, I didn't give him the chance.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 22:04:08

I find it quite refreshing that you havent managed to give a patronising lecture after my last post.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 30-Jul-13 22:05:51

nothing is wrong wit

Limited, I was also told "that didn't happen". I know it did because I wrote the stories. This was in the mid 90s in Luton.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 30-Jul-13 22:14:37

nothing is wrong with describing someone as asian if it is relevant

most asians i know will describe someone as bengali, sinhalese and so on or from the country they are (probably) from

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 22:14:59

Lycrasilvertongue smile

Lyra wink

limitedperiodonly Tue 30-Jul-13 22:28:36

Nothing to do with race but to do with the bee in my bonnet about explanations and paying people you've just met the courtesy that they will report you fairly.

An adoption worker from the same borough explained why she sometimes placed children with gay people.

She found it sensible to place girls who'd been sexually abused by men and possibly manipulated by male family or friends into being sexually provocative - for want of a better word - with gay women.

She said she didn't want to place such girls with a heterosexual couple or one with teenage boys because the girls might not understand how to behave around men who didn't want to abuse them.

And she didn't want to plonk them with a heterosexual single woman because she didn't think it was fair to ask the woman never to form a relationship for the duration of the placement.

With a gay woman the girl got the chance to experience life with a loving person who didn't want to use her and could teach her things about life and love. That made me very tearful at the time and it still does, because that's what I had, and that's what everyone deserves.

We didn't get on to boys and gay men but I'm sure there are similar reasons.

I'm really glad she explained that to me because I was 22 and didn't have a clue.

I wrote about it and it was groundbreaking and led to a journalistic prize and a research study in my fucking dreams grin But no matter. Every little helps.

I apologise to anyone who's read that and thinks: 'Yeah, I knew that, love' grin

Some people don't get things though, do they?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 22:29:45

Haha sorry!lyra

babybarrister Tue 30-Jul-13 22:35:23

Why is saying someone is Chinese wrong though Beyondthelimits? It may be incorrect as the person may in fact be from another East Asian country, but it is hardly offensive is it? I am asked if I am Irish a lot - I don't find it offensive though ....

Babybarrister, the poster explained why to her it's offensive to be called Chinese when she's not. Family history etc. I assume you're referring to her.

HoppinMad Tue 30-Jul-13 22:47:23

I am British Pakistani and have no problem with describing myself as Asian. Most non-Asians would find it difficult to differentiate between Bangladeshis, Indians, Afghanis etc, and I personally wouldnt be best pleased being described as something I'm not, so it makes life easier all round.

I can kind of understand how pc people may tie themselves in knots though, as there is so much negative history attached to race, colour, culture etc.. and nobody wants to cause offence and be labelled racist. I feel rather reluctant to say white person myself, and prior to dc I worked in a small town where luckily about 99% of the white folk were English anyway. So always referred to the person as English lady or gentleman or whatever when needing to describe someone. As did all the other people I worked with.

babybarrister Tue 30-Jul-13 22:49:25

Well I am not Irish, but it does not offend me.... I have also been asked if I am Russian ...again I am not offended and I don't see it as racist but ignorance

I understand that historically non Chinese East Asians may not like the Chinese and of course it may show ignorance of the different nationalities and their features but at the end of the day each continent tends to be able to distinguish people within their own continent more accurately. When I lived on another continent people referred to me as a 'gringo' - again I did not take offence, merely gave an explanation as to inaccuracy...

Anyone who has ever travelled knows perfectly well that they are likely to be misidentified by nationality, probably the more so the further they are from their origins ...!

limitedperiodonly Tue 30-Jul-13 23:54:30

A colleague who was British/English with Singaporean grandparents of Chinese descent objected to being called Chinese.

Fair enough. She's not. She's from Harrow, north London, though she was very proud of her Chinese heritage and would describe it in lavish terms, which tbf was a bit confusing.

We didn't go into it and I'd direct people to her with reference to her clothing. I felt slightly sorry for people who directed messengers to 'the Chinese girl' because I know they didn't mean bad intent.

I'd call her English because she was born here and she's a Londoner like me.

I've another friend who's an ethnic Chinese person from Hong Kong who got very angry with me when I asked her innocently whether she was going home for xmas. She was born there, her mother still lived there and her siblings who lived in Manhattan and Zurich planned to go there.

She was an utterly unreasonable cunt who I don't see any more.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 31-Jul-13 00:10:08

For some people, in a certain circumstance, their height may be the most distinguishing factor from those around them. Or their hair colour/gender/clothing/tattoos.

Sometimes it will be their race. It's not racist at all.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 00:48:01

"I remember not being allowed to read charlottes web as a class as it had a pig in it when I was small.Now thats got to have been a teacher that wouldnt allow it."

You know something? I just don't believe this. But. If there is a class where the majority were Muslims and didn't want to read a story about pigs, then what's wrong with that? There are loads of other stories. My ds had several children from evangelical Christian families in his class at primary school, and they weren't allowed to listen to stories about witches. So the teachers chose stories without witches in them. They weren't deprived of stories and they were able to listen as a whole class.

MyBaby1day Wed 31-Jul-13 02:40:04

YANBU, like Jinsei said, as long as the person is Asian and their race is relevant to the conversation, was it?. I'm half Asian and will often say this fact if it comes up!. It'a not racist on it's own no.

MyBaby1day Wed 31-Jul-13 02:40:37


LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 06:45:37

Dont believe it then curlew?
You just cant face the reality that it happens and it did.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 06:49:00

Some people on here will argue that blue is yellow.Im not even going to get in a discussion.Thats what happened,i was there.Believe what you want.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 06:49:42

And as I said, if it did happen, what's so wrong with choosing a class book everyone can read? Cf my point about evangelical Christian families and books about witches?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 07:00:50

So you dont believe it happened then if you do its wrong?you got a sister on here?you really do just try to start debates.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 07:08:08

Would you be interested in answering my point?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 07:14:33

Not really no,i dont feel the need to explain to you that sonething occurred that fid and Im not reciting an event to you to explain it when you dont think it happened.Got better things to do tbh.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 07:37:11


So you're not actually prepared to think at all about what you've said, and the impact it might have. Not prepared to consider that you might be adding to the raft of "PC gone mad" myths. That what you said on here might end up as a "Muslims Ban Childhood Favourite" headline?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 07:51:26

Well i doubt it will make the headlines with it being 15 years ago so dont you worry your head about it.God you spund so much like someone else on here.Weird hw you picked up on a discussion that was over.Why will it have an impact,its not believable remember?If i thought you were actually interested and not just wanting to debate it in an attempt to belittle what Ive said id discuss it with you but Im not going to be made to just because you seem to like conflict.I did tell you I wasnt going to have a discussion with you,If you are going to practically tell me my experiences are fabricated then you dont get my respect enough to engage in a discussion about it.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 07:52:17

Also get your facts straight,the teacher wasnt muslim and I didnt say they were.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 08:30:05

I didn't say you though the teacher was Muslim. I said that Muslims would be blamed for banning the book. When it was probably an attempt to find a book that everyone in the class could read. Like the no witches rule in my ds's class.

ITCouldBeWorse Wed 31-Jul-13 08:50:11

I think most people of my acquaintance are perfectly willing to overlook odd word usage, whether its outdated, inaccurate or similar, if the individual is actually behaving with courtesy and respect.

Behaviour counts for much more when no one can mind read someone's personal preferences. As we tend to use self description to determine someone's ethnicity, it is surely impossible to guess correctly every time.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 18:17:08

Yes its a myth,it doesnt happen.Because you personally havent experienced it its not true,its a media myth even if it has nothing to do with the media.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 18:44:38

What I was saying is, was it something like finding a book everyone in the class could read, like finding books without witches for my ds's class because of the evangelical Christians? What I think is a myth is the edict from above "no books with pigs" that some people think happens. There are individual circumstances where it's appropriate, but which get reported as universal rules.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 19:16:52

But what annoyed me is that you had been previously saying that it did not happen?I think it was the teacher being a bit over cautious as if it was the case that the muslim children couldnt read it it wouldnt have been in the classroom in a selection of class books.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 19:22:48

But you said, without qualification or explanation that you were not allowed to read Charlotte's Web, using it as an example of political correctness gone mad. I stand by saying that didn't happen- it wasn't a banned book. However in a class with Muslim children it would be a good thing to avoid it as a class read, just like the witches/evangelical Chrisitan thing.

It was a sensible and culturally sensitive thing to do, and you presented it as a negative thing.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 19:23:56

if it was the case that the muslim children couldnt read it it wouldnt have been in the classroom in a selection of class books."

Why not? No reason why non Muslim children shouldn't read it!

I think anybody who says a Muslim child shouldn't read a book with a pig character is barking. They're not supposed to EAT pork. Reading about a pig in a book is very far from eating it.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 19:37:21

Thank you lyrasilvertongue thats my point.When we learn about farm animals should we miss out the pig?shall we ignore winnie the pooh?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 19:41:56

Curlew how much do you actually know about peoples beliefs?None of the muslim children in the class knew what the reason was they couldnt read it.Erm if its bad for a muslim child to read they wouldnt put it there for a child to pick it up.Same reason we didnt have bibles or sing songs about gods of any sort.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 19:44:25

So if a muslim child shouldnt read about pigs if they are being respectful as a school to this they wouldnt have material available with something offensive to the child.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 19:47:30

Whatever i say you wont understand it.The pig is just a character in a story,you tell me whats so bad about that?

I'm sure it doesn't say anywhere in the Koran that Muslims must not look at a pig or read about a fictional pig in a book. Some people take a far too extreme interpretation on what their book says. My bf is Muslim (Turkish) and he can get a bit silly about pigs and pork. I just tell him he's being daft.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 20:03:32

I really dont know why its bothering you so much curlew that i thought it was excessive.Its not a media news story,its something from my life.

BumPop Wed 31-Jul-13 20:13:20

Yes, it is unreasonable, but only cos I have no idea if you really mean Indian or Oriental. (pretty sure oriental is offensive thoughblush )

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 20:20:50

Why are you ignoring the parallel with evangelical Christians and witches?
And why on earth shouldn't a school have a Bible?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 20:31:52

We didnt have a bible in our class.We didnt have a koran either.Or a torah.Why am i ignoring it?honest answer is that ive read the sentence yet again and still not really bothered about it.Should i be questioning whether thats fabricated?

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 20:43:48

I must be explaining myself badly. What I am saying is that in my ds's class there were some children of evangelical Christians. If the class reading book had had witches in it, they would have been withdrawn from the class and wouldn't have been able to participate. Now I think that's bonkers, but I was happy to go along with it so that all the children could participate in class activities. Presumably the Charlotte's Web decision was the same? Do ou agree?

And I would be amazed if there were any state schools in the UK that didn't have at least one Bible- all state schools are nominally Christian..

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 20:54:22

No they are not all nominally christian.See you dont actually know what youre talking about,non religious based school,nothing biased towards any religion so therefore it did not have anything biased towards or singling out anyones religions.
no its not the same thats a prior discussed thing not a spur of moment decision by one person.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 20:56:45

You think muslim parents would not have something to say about their children reading the bible in class?

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 21:00:40

"No they are not all nominally christian.See you dont actually know what youre talking about,non religious based school,nothing biased towards any religion so therefore it did not have anything biased towards or singling out anyones religions"

They are, you know. Under the 1988 Education Act, among other legislation. If you school was not having, for example, assemblies of a"broadly Christian nature" then it was not fulfilling its statutory duty.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 21:10:39

We NEVER had a broadly christian assembly,no hymns,no songs about the lord,no prayers,nothing like that.i wasnt even in school in 1988.Itd be discriminating against other families religions,that is wrong.That is really wrong.Would you like your kids to be force fed a religion that is not yours?That would confuse a child brought up in their families religion.I wish you could see a school like this with your own two eyes.You dont need to quote me,i can read what I wrote its just above.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 21:13:45

Are you saying you think parents would complain about a pig in a book and then choose a school that is broadly christian?

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 21:14:31

No, I object very strongly to religion being force fed to children. The fact remains that all state schools in the UK are nominally Christian. I don't like it, but it's true.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 21:23:15

Interesting fact,glad they dont all actually do it or i probably wouldnt have met the people i have met in my life,made the friends I have made and had the chance to be able to understand and respect other peoples beliefs and where these beliefs come from.If there were more schools like that there would be a lot more understanding for other peoples beliefs and less hatred basically caused by people not understanding others way of life.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 21:39:04

So why do you object to choosing a class reading book in a sensitive way?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 21:41:02

I think we have been through this already?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 21:44:25

Are you looking for me to say something?you just seems to go on and on at things.You dont agree with me,thats fine,thats allowed in life you having a different opinion to me really does not bother me.Does it bother you?

Mimishimi Wed 31-Jul-13 21:53:41

We had a Muslim contestant on one of our cooking competition shows here in Australia who agreed to cook pork. She said it was fine as long as she didn't eat it. The media and non-Muslims made more of a fuss about it than she did (ie show was insensitive etc). Not readinb Charlotte's web because it might offend Muslims shows that the concept of halal/haram is not really well understood - it's not as though you have to pretend that pigs don't exist and that others don't eat them. Only the most hardline fundamentalists will get upset by it and they will take offence to anything - like fundies in all religions.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 21:57:12

Thats how i felt about the teacher,it was OTT.If it was something to adk the parents about first it wouldnt have been available.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 21:57:57

I think the problem is that I don't know whether I agree with you or not! I can't decide now whether you think deciding not to read Charlotte's Web in the class was a good or a bad thing. You talk about how fantastic your school was is fostering understanding and toleration. Surely making sure that reading books were culturally sensitive was part of that?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 22:14:52

Thats fine if you cant make your mind up,thats your right..i see it that its not being culturally sensitive its being OTT.Never had any other pig related issues(sounds silly but didnt kniw how to write it)if none of the kids brought up muslim identified it as wrong it seems to me its not a culture thing.I know muslim kids who watch peppa pig,we all learn about farm animals as kids thats no problem.its up to you what you think im not trying to convince you im just telling you why i think this because you wanted to know.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 22:16:17

Sorry missed about,yes they did make the reading sensitive so thats why we didnt have bibles in class and no religious songs etc.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 22:20:48

Basically muslims dont eat pork and a pig meat is unclean.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 22:29:07

So was my ds's teacher being OTT by choosing books without witches so that the evangelical Christians in his class could join in everything that was happening in the school day?

LimitedEditionLady Wed 31-Jul-13 22:36:36

I personally think thats a good thing,if it would offend and upset so much as to remove the children and thats the parents of those childrens right to.Noone in their sane mind would want to pluck kids from their peers and make them stand out as different.If i thought the parents at the school i mention would be offended id understand why the teacher said that completely.

The teacher wasn't being OTT. He did his best to make sure the children weren't left out because of their loony parents.

And not reading Charlottes Web isn't 'culturally sensitive', it's insane. The vast majority of Muslins would not object to the word pig printed on a page.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 05:31:35

So it's a good thing to accommodate loony extremist Christian parents, but insane to accommodate loony extremist Muslim parents?

JessieMcJessie Thu 01-Aug-13 06:33:56

Just to echo what other posters have said: British English speakers who come from the Indian subcontinent self-define as "Asian". They prefer to be described as such because it avoids a mis-labelling an Indian as Pakistani, a Bagladeshi as Sri Lankan etc. Given the historical tensions in the region and the religious assumptions tied up with nationality, such mislabelling could cause offence. It also neatly avoids anyone having to say "Pakistani" as, while that is not at all offensive when the speaker knows for a fact that the person is from Pakistan, people still feel uncomfortable saying it due to its associations with the racist term "Paki".

Similarly, it's generally pretty accepted that black people have mo problem being called black.

Incidentally, people seem to be mixing up a descriptive term for someone's appearance with an assumption about their nationality or precise cultural heritage. To give an example, it's fine to say six "Asian families live in this street" as a fact when 3 are Silkh, one muslim and two hindu, but not fine to say "six Asian families live in this street so they can be close to the mosque".

This doesn't happen so much with the use of "black" because people tend to have a better understanding of the wide range of potential religions or cultures of black people and don't tend to use it so much to denote culture.

Ref those of Korean ethnicity being described as "Chinese", the difference is that the Chinese and Korean communities in the UK have never self defined collectively as Chinese so it cannot be used as a physical/ community descriptor.

JessieMcJessie Thu 01-Aug-13 06:47:36

and of course, as Mominatrix so clearly explained, they never would.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 06:48:15

THERE WERENT ANY LOONEY MUSLIM PARENTS.THAT IS THE POINT.You are actually being ridiculous.You are inventng extra bits to a story that has nothing to do with you,im not going to talk to you now anymore because you go round and round in circles.You are not proving anything to anyone,you just cant grasp the point.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 07:03:54


How do you know? You were a child- how do you know that parents had not written to the school asking for the book not to be read to their children?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 07:23:49

Because as i have already said,if it was censored it would not be there.You really need to get a life,you dont know anything but you have adamant you do.I bet you know nothing about muslim beliefs yiu just want to argue.Ive been told so far it didnt happen,its not about the pig its the themes,no they wouldnt not read it because of a pig.You know nothing.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 07:30:13

OK. I'll try again.

In my ds's class and school, there were books about witches on the shelves, and children could take them and read them. They were just not used for class reading, and the children of evangelical Christians were not given them as reading books. The books were not banned or censored. They were just not used for particular purposes. Is it possible that at your school, Charlotte's Web was used in the same way? It would seem to me to be a sensible way forward in a very ethnically mixed class.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 07:44:14

Are you for real?what do you want?youre boring me because you think you are always right.what do you want a paper hat?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 07:46:28

You arent going to get me to think.what you do,what are you achieving by going on and in and in fact who the hell do you think you are?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 07:48:59

Youre quite obsessed really,its not normal.

JustinBsMum Thu 01-Aug-13 07:59:44

In the US people use Asian to mean Chinese/Thai/Korean etc

So Asian is a bit vague as a term. Asia reaches from the Med to the China Sea I think and north Russia to Sri Lanka.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 08:01:06

What is a little odd is for you to post a bald statement -

"i remember not being allowed to read charlottes web as a class as it had a pig in it when I was small.Now thats got to have been a teacher that wouldnt allow it."

and not be prepared to discuss why that might have happened.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:11:17

So what have we been discussing for two days?you got meemory loss or you just ignorant?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:12:23

You cant stand that i dont agree with you,its laughable.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 08:17:15

I don't actually think we've been discussing anything. You've been shouting at me and calling me names- and not actually addressing the issue!

Anyway. Is there a difference between not having Charlotte's Web as a class reader because it might be problematic for some Muslim families and not having The Worst Witch because it might be problematic for some achristian families?

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 08:18:20

"You cant stand that i dont agree with you,its laughable."

don't agree with me about what?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:21:58

No read back

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 08:22:50

I have read back. I don't understand what you are saying.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:25:26

What names have i called you?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:26:17

No its not the same as witches how many times?

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 08:29:19

Why isn't it the same?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:42:35

I have already told you.this is just it you cant grasp that i am saying it isnt.you are a get the last word person.so what names have i called you?

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 08:45:44

If you have already told me, I haven't understood. Try again?

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:47:12

You get your last word in now ok?go on itll make you feel better.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 08:47:51

No i wont read it,your wasting my time.

I went to a CoW primary school. Books with witches were available to read, but I have never read Charlottes Web, as far as I know, the school didnt have it. Just thought I'd add that to the most random derailment of a thread I've ever seen grin

Curlew, no-one suggested that the Muslim parents were threatening to take their children out of school if they were made to read the work pig. The loony Christians were, which is why I think the teacher did the right thing, not because he appeased the religious extremism but because he didn't make those children suffer for their parents' extremism. Am I making myself clear?

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 09:21:57

And, as I have said, we have absolutely no idea what the Muslim parents at the school said or did. Our only witness was a child in th school at the time and presumable not privy to all communications between parent and teacher.

Hmm. I think we've said all we should say on the matter as no-one knows the full facts.
I have very little sympathy with religious extremism as you may have guessed, especially when people of different religions are fighting and killing each other because they worship the same god in different ways.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 11:09:52

Yes it is random and pointless.whatever you say lyra he/she will still go and on about it.im off,tedium has taken over.

It was all getting a bit nit-picky and tedious. I'm mildly irritated by the "that didn't happen" but hey ho.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 01-Aug-13 12:58:50

Yeah me too,apparently i dont know my own life.oh well people eh .

wickeddevil Thu 01-Aug-13 13:09:49

Wow. Have read pages 1 and 14 and missed out the ones in between.

Need a new jaw dropping emoticon.

LongTailedTit Thu 01-Aug-13 14:44:13

Same here wicked - totally lost! grin

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 14:48:46

Me too!

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