I must preface this by saying that I don’t mean to cause any trouble by starting this thread. This is not an attempt to offend anyone. I simply want
to know, and I can’t think of a better place to ask.
The term “African-American” is politically in
-correct. Not every dark-skinned person is from Africa, nor is automatically an American. So
while it might be socially ‘less offensive’, it is simply incorrect and presumptuous.
But I refuse to call my neighbor (for example) ‘black’. When his skin tone is compared to the color wheel, he is, at best, a shade of brown.
Likewise, I am not white, but rather various shades of peach. (Brown and peach aren’t so far apart on the wheel, whereas black and white are
complete opposites. Yet another way that language is used to divide the people among themselves...)
And obviously the ‘n-word’ is right out... *especially* because I’m ‘peach’.
(On a slight tangent, I do not understand the
double-standards with this particular word. I know its origins, and I understand the idea of the victimized culture kidnapping a word so that the term
becomes less painful, or over time is given a different cultural definition. I get that. But it seems to me that if a word is universally considered
‘bad’ or ‘unacceptable’, then why are we still using it, and, consequentially, allowing it to remain in existance to cause further pain and
So... what do I call him?
Obviously, by his name. (Yes yes, ha ha.)
But what if I’m trying to describe him to someone -- I give a list of physical characteristics: height, size, et cetera. Would it be more
correct to refer to him as ‘dark-skinned’?
Part of me is in complete disbelief that I’m even bothering to ask. My inner-teenager is yelling, “Quit with the color crap already! There’s
only one race: human.” And I agree.
Yet, at the same time, my brain longs to have a more correct label, since all previous labels are, decidedly, incorrect.
Anyone have any ideas? (Has the issue been decided and I just didn’t get the memo?)