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AIBU or is it not acceptable these days...

(81 Posts)
Pickles89 Thu 26-Mar-20 14:06:22

to refer to black people as 'The Blacks'?

I've just had a massive row with my parents. My mum was enthusing over a film they watched last night, and saying how positive it was that The Blacks were well represented, with A Black as one of the main characters. Not, 'black people' or 'a black person' but The Blacks. It made me feel tense and uncomfortable and I pointed out that it's not 'done' to talk like that in this day and age. She turned round and gave me a bollocking saying that it's the meaning behind terms you use that's important, and how you treat people, not how you refer to them, and that she and the rest of her white, middle-class generation (her words) won't be 'corrected' by their children.

Now she's not talking to me. Wonderful. The thing is it made me uncomfortable, and I could imagine using such language might not go down too well in wider society either. It's true that she wasn't saying anything derogatory about black people, quite the opposite, but I still felt I should made her aware. AIBU, or am I being oversensitive and officiously 'PC'?

clareOclareO Thu 26-Mar-20 14:12:01

YANBU, they should be referred to as BAMEs nowadays though older people still use terms like "black" rather than this more "pc" catch-all.

bridgetreilly Thu 26-Mar-20 14:13:06

How you refer to someone is part of how you treat them, and it's a good indication of how you think about them. She's wrong.

Annettebee Thu 26-Mar-20 17:44:22

As you get older you don't always keep up with the changes in society.
Maybe she thought you were patronising her, I think a softly softly approach maybe would've better, especially as she wasn't being deliberately offensive.

lookingatthings Thu 26-Mar-20 20:43:22

BAME is awful.

flirtygirl Thu 26-Mar-20 20:53:05

clareOclareO wrong

Bame is awful in that way. Incorrect and too generalist. Okay for talking about a group of many races, colours etc but not for talking about just black people.

Black man, black people, black person is good, "the blacks" is awful. May not be said with racist intent but sure sounds like it.

Ie white man, white people, white person versus the whites.

PlanDeRaccordement Thu 26-Mar-20 20:56:45

I used to think like you, but then I lived through three changes of acceptable terms. Do you know it was once unacceptable to refer to black people as black? Yes, well it was once, when I was young, considered old fashioned and racist. We called them African- X (American, British, French), and then BAME or “minority” now they’ve changed it back again!
So forgive your mum because when she was your age the term “black” was racist.

Dizzywizz Thu 26-Mar-20 21:05:25

Yes @PlanDeRaccordement I always doubt myself when I refer to someone as black, as when I was young that was racist

Likethebattle Thu 26-Mar-20 21:24:37

i have lived through several news terms, black, coloured, person of colour and now BAME. I’m always worried I’ll use the wrong terms.. Mil thinks saying ‘coloured’ is polite despite being told it’s no longer acceptable but she actually is trying not to be offensive.

flossyflorenceflounces Thu 26-Mar-20 21:26:31

YABU to decide how they should be referred to, people can make their own mind up on a person by person basis and not generalise.

flossyflorenceflounces Thu 26-Mar-20 21:28:31

that was meant for @clareOclareO - you don't get to decide if they should be referred to as 'bame', they do.

I'd be furious if I was referred to as 'bame'

Nursejackie1 Thu 26-Mar-20 21:32:38

Fucking hell.

Poppi89 Thu 26-Mar-20 21:38:56

What she said was not a correct thing to say but its a generation thing. My nan will say things not politically correct but I know she is not being horrible in any way. For example 'half-cast' was a normal thing to say about mixed raced people but instead of saying it to her I would say something like yes he is mixed-race as an indirect way of saying she's said the wrong thing.

Tootletum Thu 26-Mar-20 21:44:08

It's understandable she has dated terminology but you're doing her a favour pointing it out. I'd have maybe made it more of a light-hearted bit of feedback. I have never heard any one saying BAME and I have plenty of black friends. who mostly refer to their appears as African.

OhioOhioOhio Thu 26-Mar-20 21:46:25

What's bame?

Khione Thu 26-Mar-20 21:50:18

I tried to educate my Mum (starting in her 70s) and eventually managed to get her to refer to Asian people rather than 'Pakis' and black people rather than coloureds BUT in her care home, whilst she would use these terms in front of me she referred to a black carer as 'coloured' in front of said carer.

In her brain she accepted what I said but inside calling someone black rather than coloured was the height of rudeness.

not quite sure that is the case with your mum though.

Adrianneannanne Thu 26-Mar-20 21:57:10

YANBU

acceptable terms are generally
Person of colour
Black people
BME - in a formal context
And probably some more

'The blacks' is just weird and could be seen as dehumanising. Why would you go out of your way to say 'the blacks' - a phrase nobody actually uses- rather than 'black people'?

It's deliberately inflammatory at worst, ignorant at best

FuckOffCorona Thu 26-Mar-20 21:58:01

Yanbu, that’s not acceptable. Well done for standing up to them.

OchAyeThaNoo Thu 26-Mar-20 22:21:18

My FIL says "Darkies"

I'm pretty sure the last time I ended up storming out, especially after DH and MIL try to shush me using the excuses of "That's the way he's always said it" or "he's a different generation" or "Just ignore him, he doesn't mean anything by it."

Pukkatea Thu 26-Mar-20 22:37:20

People saying it's not a big deal because the preferred terms change - well then just learn them. It's not hard. If you don't know them and are corrected, say oh sorry I didn't mean anything by it I just didn't know. It's hardly an unbreakable habit.

Chiyo666 Thu 26-Mar-20 22:40:22

I’d be disgusted if someone called me BAME.

Qwerty543 Thu 26-Mar-20 22:44:46

YANBU. My GPs use terms that are unacceptable these days (Coloureds usually). They will not listen when I say anything. In fact they have an annoying habit of referring to a person's colour (unless they're white) when telling a story about anyone. I always looked puzzled and ask why their skin colour is relevant. They can't explain. Doesn't stop them. It's infuriating as they say this stuff in front of the DCs and I have to ensure we have a conversation after about how it's unacceptable.

Times move on and older people seem to be pretty pig headed about sticking to things that have changed and moved on.

Qwerty543 Thu 26-Mar-20 22:45:15

What is BAME?

Palavah Thu 26-Mar-20 22:48:51

You're correct that referring to an entire race as a homogenous unit isn't appropriate.

SmallChickBilly Thu 26-Mar-20 22:48:54

Apart from anything, doesn't the B in BAME stand for black? It's appropriate when you are taking about people of different ethnicities, but if you are just talking about a black person, I don't see why you'd being up anyone else?

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