Am I unPC?

(46 Posts)
Shimmy21 Wed 01-Dec-04 21:31:09

What's Ok now then? For work I've been asked to write up what are the OK terms for various ethnicities etc. I've read that the term 'mixed race' is not used any more because of negative connotations. This is news to me. Blimey, I must have been making negative connotations about my own kids for a while now then. So. what should I be saying instead? How do you guys talk about yourselves, your children if the subject crops up???

pedilia Wed 01-Dec-04 21:55:02

mixed race is fine as far as I am concerned, myself and my kids are mixed. I have asked several mixed friends and they think this is fine. Now half-caste is un pc.............

I use the term mixed race for my children (Im white, dh black) although my very pc sister uses the term mixed heritage.
Her dh is white South African and she is white british and she uses the term duel heritage for her children.

joashiningstar Wed 01-Dec-04 22:08:23

Wonder if that's a South African thing - my stepmother is Black South African and she uses the term duel heritage.

Could be joashiningstar. I would ask my sis but shes in South Africa on hols at the mo.

MarsselectionboxLady Wed 01-Dec-04 22:13:25

well that's me buggered then. Such an unpc black woman. I'm forever in trouble for not being pc.

So far I know that dual heritage is fine and bi-racial is fine. I thought mixed race was fine. That's how I've labelled my kids (or certainly what I put on the forms). Need to make up something new.... hmmmmmmmmmmmm When I've thought up a new term you could use that and we'll see how long it takes the powers that be to adopt it. Yes, liking that idea very much

tinselwinselspiderclimbedupthe Wed 01-Dec-04 22:17:35

I havent heard the term Dual heritage before but I really like it. Certainly a term Id use for dd whose Irish (after me) and British (after dp). Its a good term

Oh for crying out loud, what´s wrong with mixed race? This is the sort of thing that gives the whole pc thing a bad name.

OTOH I read that they had to remove the "mixed race" box from US censor forms because people kept ticking it and riting things like "Italian-Irish" in the details bit. Might not be true.

yingers74 Wed 01-Dec-04 22:25:20

shimmy21, i also use the term mixed race to refer to my child and my marriage! And don't have a prob with other people saying that either. Not sure about dual heritage though, i guess i need to get used to it.

drawing up such a document is a real mine field as there are certain terms i use to refer to myself but would be mortified if someone else used them!

Shimmy21 Wed 01-Dec-04 22:48:52

Thanks for your comments everyone -it's a relief to know that I'm not the only one who has been happily using mixed race. I had a horrible feeling that I'd been making terrible social faux pas without realising. IMO if we all use it about our own families it can't be that bad! 'Dual heritage' sounds OK to me but I think I'd feel a bit self consciously PC if I bandied it around too much!

merrymarthamoo Wed 01-Dec-04 22:49:07

My best friend, who is mixed race, uses the term for herself and her kids who are also mixed race (obviously). I hadn't heard it was beginning to fall out of favour.

JoolsTide Wed 01-Dec-04 22:52:15

My friend at work is Afro- Caribbean and I always take my lead from her - she uses 'mixed race' all the time - so I'm assuming its ok!

natlee Wed 01-Dec-04 23:47:57

i always say mixed race, in fact my dd thinks that mixed race is actually a colour if i point to anything light brown in colour she says'its mixed race mummy' it always makes me smile

TurnAgainCat Thu 02-Dec-04 10:28:04

I think what term you use to define yourself is very personal, and it's safest to respect people's own labels for themselves. However, I really hate "mixed race" because it is like a biological term for "anything other than so-called recognised races" and contains no information about the family's culture, traditions, food, religion, or way of life. In the same way, if someone called themself "Welsh" or "Catholic" it would tell you something about them, but if they labelled themself "Caucasian" it would not tell you anything about what they were like and how to treat them properly. These labels are used for two purposes, one is cynical, eg councils and companies compiling statistics so that if they are sued for discrimination they can show the racial breakdown to the courts - for that purpose I suppose "mixed race" is appropriate because perhaps that's how discriminators might probably have perceived my ds. OTOH, another purpose for asking about someone's race/ culture is so that the institute can be more sensitive and thoughtful, eg his school would get books about our festivals and take care to provide a suitable menu at lunchtimes; so, I always write down a label that says something meaningful about our culture and heritage, and ds's identity, rather than a biological label.

Blu Thu 02-Dec-04 11:01:50

I feel fine with 'mixed race', and think it means something different to 'dual heritage'. Both v valid expressions, but race means race, heritage could mean a much wider mix of culkture and identity. Sometimes it is useful to know how many black/asian (for e.g) people are benfitting from a facility or service: when the chips are down, institutional racism tends to come down to skin colour / race. Dual Heritage, and wider cultural issues are an equally important indicator in other contexts.

fwiw, I think 'dual heritage' meaning 'race' is a bit euphemistic, for what ever reason.

motherinfestivemood Thu 02-Dec-04 11:06:55

Mixed race also means that those of us who do pass as white - with all the combination of privilege on the one hand and exclusion on the other - can say clearly that actually we are not just white.

I've had 'white' and 'Caucasian' ticked for me, and it drives me up the wall.

heymissy Thu 02-Dec-04 12:27:55

If its for work purposes I tend to use the classifications for this kind of thing as they are stated on the latest census survey questionnaire. This allows you to compare your data fairly accuarately to other data sources if need be. Though I can not remember what was used exactly on the last census form - still in maternity leave ignorant bliss. Heritage is nice - it's more encompassing but it's too broad a criteria with research hat on. For me personally I always hate having to fill this kind of thing in? and sort of undersatnd why some respondents leave this info blank on some of my surveys

snowmeltsonthebeach Thu 02-Dec-04 12:34:54

I thought there was a very standard list that all the government bodies use. We got given one for our ds Sure Start programme last year (he's 3) and it asked the recipient to fill in what group they were in. We asked him his colour, he said blue!!!!

Fran1 Thu 02-Dec-04 13:24:43

Glad to see you all approve of mixed race.

On an equal opps course about 8 years ago, we were taught the term mixed parentage and i have never been able to get my tongue round that one!

What do you guys think of that term?

DingWongMerrilyOnHigh Thu 02-Dec-04 13:28:03

mixed race it fine by me too, don't see a problem with it

peskykids Thu 02-Dec-04 14:18:32

I use dual heritage for me (white french and english) but could say mixed heritage (ie more than 2...) if I wanted to include heritage further back I guess. I do tend to use it instead of mixed race too, but I understand why people think it's euphemistic. I just don't like the teeth sucking implications of 'mixed race' as a phrase... It just, to me, sounds a bit disapproving (but it's anyone's right to describe themsleves as they wish. But I really struggle with the N word when people choose to us eit towards themselves...)

turnagaincat - I liked your post btw.

logICICLE Thu 02-Dec-04 14:45:05

I think it depends on what you are happy with. I always tick the 'White - other' box on forms and write in 'White - Welsh' underneath. No-one has commented yet!

codswallop Thu 02-Dec-04 14:48:25

acc to some paper wirk I have "asylum seeker "isnt allowed aynmore either

Cha Thu 02-Dec-04 15:18:11

My SIL uses 'mixed origin' to describe her kids, which I quite like (she white, he black brit, like me and dp). I use 'mixed race' to describe my kids, tho only because there isn't anything better. It's rather like finding a good term to describe a woman's genitalia - there isn't really a great word that sounds nice and descriptive of something that you is a part of you and that you love - IYSWIM. Am I going too far on this analogy ...

sis Thu 02-Dec-04 16:09:13

I don't think 'asylum seeker' should be used as a description of someone especially their ethnicity. People seeking asylum in the UK come from a lots of different countries and are seeking asylum for lots of different reasons and to assume that they can all be lumped together for anything other than processing their applications for seeking asylum is not helpful to anyone.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now