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Hate the terms black and white

(83 Posts)
Whatisinaword Wed 10-Jun-20 21:16:32

The terms white and black were created hundreds of years ago to describe differences in skin colour and superiority. A lot of people identify with being black or white, but there are not many people who actually have black or white skin. The terms also don't cover people who have heritage from multiple continents.

I think everyone should be able to identify however they want and this is in no way criticising the BLM movement, but I am uncomfortable that everyone should be expected to accept the terms white and black and be identified as such by others.

OP’s posts: |
RonniePickering Wed 10-Jun-20 21:18:36

I think everyone should be able to identify however they want


Sparklesocks Wed 10-Jun-20 21:19:27


VettiyaIruken Wed 10-Jun-20 21:19:36

Do you have examples of names for these identities?

srownbkingirl Wed 10-Jun-20 21:22:26

I agree and I'm a brown-skinned girl (a.k.a 'black' to the public).

srownbkingirl Wed 10-Jun-20 21:23:45

It's an unpopular opinion so I rarely voice it.

PinkiOcelot Wed 10-Jun-20 21:25:22

DD used to make me laugh when she was little. She used to say, I’m not white, I’m peach. So there you go, is peach better?

maddening Wed 10-Jun-20 21:27:37

We could use the dulux colour chart

Millicent10 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:30:38

Most of the world’s population are not black or white but ‘brown’, Asian (1 billion Chinese and 1 billion Indian for a start) and South American, Middle Eastern, North African etc. I’ve never heard that everyone or anyone must identity as either black or white.

Whatisinaword Wed 10-Jun-20 21:31:36

srownbkingirl I agree it does seem to be a very unpopular opinion, especially at the moment

PinkiOcelot very cute!

maddening well a Dulux colour chart would probably be more accurate

OP’s posts: |
Whatisinaword Wed 10-Jun-20 21:34:17

VettiyaIruken white is generally associated with people of mainly Caucasian origin with light skin and black is generally associated with people of African origin who have dark skin. I have heard the term black used widely for anyone with brown skin or darker but that seems to depend on where the person is from

OP’s posts: |
Rubyupbeat Wed 10-Jun-20 21:35:15

When my son was little, his best friend was a boy from Ghana, who would describe a persons colour in terms of types of chocolate, it was totally innocent and really cute. I doubt if it would be acceptable now.

Grasspigeons Wed 10-Jun-20 21:37:20

You should google Angelica Dass snd her art of people pantone colours.

Whatisinaword Wed 10-Jun-20 21:40:32

Millicent10 Im in the uk and during the blm protests there has been a lot of talk about blacks and whites. A lot of people seem to like categorising others into black, white and Asian which as you pointed out is too generalised.
My original post did not mention other origins which it should have.

OP’s posts: |
nanbread Wed 10-Jun-20 21:40:49

there are not many people who actually have black or white skin.

They aren't meant to be literal translations of pigmentation?! Not sure what you mean here?

Are you talking about people of e.g. Asian, Arabic, Native/ Central/ South American or mixed heritage? I don't think anyone is trying to force everyone on the planet to identify as either black or white?

I think it makes sense if talking to or about an individual to use their preferred term, otherwise black and white seem to me quite clear and useful terms to use when talking in the abstract.

BlueBooby Wed 10-Jun-20 21:42:27

I voted yanbu because I agree. I didn't know it was unpopular until this thread. I wonder why people are against it.

srownbkingirl Wed 10-Jun-20 21:42:57

Where I'm from originally (made up of mainly brown-skinned people of different shades), we don't use the term 'black' to describe ourselves or each other. We don't even use the colour brown to describe in each other. We're just people and we can say dark or light or fair to give a general description of someone. Some of those who're influenced by global media have started to identify that as black but many still don't. I respect anyone's self identification and refer to them how they want (I don't think there's really a right or wrong) but I'm simply brown or brown-skinned. That said, if someone who doesn't know me calls me black, I don't mind. It's their interpretation.

Whatisinaword Wed 10-Jun-20 21:43:33

Rubyupbeat personally I that is very cute and innocent!

Grasspigeons just took a look at Angelica Dass and her photos are great

OP’s posts: |
srownbkingirl Wed 10-Jun-20 21:45:33

*describe each other
*identify as black

SarahAndQuack Wed 10-Jun-20 21:51:56

Your post makes no sense, OP.

People patently cannot 'identify however they want'. If a black man walks around saying he 'identifies' as white, he is still at a higher risk of being arrested or shot. If a black woman comes to a hospital saying she identifies as light beige, she's still more likely to die in labour or have a stillborn child.

It's absurd to pretend (as you do) that it comes down to details of the literal pigmentation of your skin. Skin colour is just one of the most visible ways for people to discriminate. We're all hyper-attuned to notice it, because we live in a society that has decided that is significant.

DParse Wed 10-Jun-20 21:52:52

Downpipe or Wevet? Is that better?

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 10-Jun-20 22:03:54

I say that because I understood your comment “think everyone should be able to identify however they want“ not to mean choose between binary of black and whites but to identify as whatever best fits your ethnicity on the spectrum of humanity.
I too really do not like how all conversations about race seem to be reduced to a binary:
white or black,
white or person of colour,
white if nonwhite

Urgh! And the most populous ethnicity is neither white nor black but Chinese! When did all humanity get reduced to thinking in terms of the two global minorities that happened to be opposite each other on the colour wheel? Ridiculous.

penguinsbegin Wed 10-Jun-20 22:27:03

Would you prefer the scientific terms caucasiod, negroid and mongoloid? 🙄

Pluckedpencil Wed 10-Jun-20 22:29:34

I think it is polarised in that way to enable a useful line to be drawn, to protect and empower more or less the relevant people. The distinction wouldn't be necessary a minute longer once equality is achieved. Until that day, it's a useful shorthand for a non-homogeneous group.

BIWI Wed 10-Jun-20 22:29:43

I'm going to identify myself according to the Farrow & Ball paint colours. I'm going to be Strong White.

Stupid and incredibly crass OP.

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