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#119031 - 01/07/04 03:35 PM Human hues
Father Steve Offline
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There is quite a discussion going on, on a list.serv in which I participate, about terms to describe folks' ethnicity. One contributor insisted that the only appropriate aggregate term was "people of colour." Another asked what the difference is between this phrase and the less-PC phrase "coloured people." Who knows?



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#119032 - 01/07/04 03:58 PM Re: Human hues
wwh Offline
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Dear Father Steve: I had thought "Afro-American" was preferable.


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#119033 - 01/07/04 04:14 PM Re: Human hues
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Well, Dr Bill, I think that would be "African American" but that would not apply to non-Caucasian, non-Asian folks living in other lands.

I don't know, Father Steve. I do hear "people of color" on NPR, fwiw. I have no friends thusly described up here in upstate NY but will E-mail friends in Atlanta to see what they say.


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#119034 - 01/07/04 04:15 PM Re: Human hues
Father Steve Offline
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Afro-American is a current term, but only for people properly described by it. I have heard Native Americans and Hispanics and Asians describe themselves as "people of colour" -- but never as "coloured people" and certainly not as Afro-Americans. I think "people of colour" is more widely embracing than "African American."




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#119035 - 01/07/04 05:08 PM Re: Human hues
of troy Offline
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of course, basicly every human being is a person of color--albino's are at one end of the scale, -- certain african nationals at the other end..

human skin color is made up of two components.. underlying fat, and melinin. just like chickens fat (and milkk/cream)can be made yellow(er) by a diet rich in beta carotines, some ethinic groups are likelier to have yellowish body fat, and others likely to have whitish. this 'colors the skin'--partly its genetics, and partly it is diet.

melinin is a body chemical that also colors the skin. albinos have none.. full saturation (the darkest possible tone) is based on the percentage of melinin-- but the way you body handles/distributes it.. is a formula-- and basicly there are something 36 associated skin tones that go along with differing percentages of melinin.. so 'theoreticly' there are about 72 basic skin tones..
reality is, blood (and relitive closeness of blood vessels to the skin surface) and other factors come into play..

(diet sometimes plays a bigger part than we think-- in the book The Hunan Hand--(a series of essays about quirking/interesting human 'illnesses',-still packed away, so i forget the author), one person who went on a fad diet that relied heavily on carrot (a source of beta carotine) and tomatoes, (which contain another chemical that in large quanities that can color the skin) ended up looking pumpkin orange (as if he had use a really cheap self tanner!) --while exceptional, it did highlight that diet does effect both skin tone, and color!-(the person was convinced to return to a normal diet, and when they did so, their skin returned to a normal color..

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#119036 - 01/07/04 09:22 PM Re: Human hues
Jackie Offline
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the difference is between this phrase and the less-PC phrase " c o l o u r e d people."
It's because the term colored people was used at a time when they were the target of heavy, open prejudice--a time that many people don't want the memories of being brought up again and again.


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#119037 - 01/07/04 09:58 PM Re: Human hues
Father Steve Offline
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Jackie: It's because the term colored people was used at a time when they were the target of heavy, open prejudice

Then why does the NAACP still call itself the National Association for the Advanced of Coloured People?



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#119038 - 01/08/04 06:32 AM Re: Human hues
Faldage Offline
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Afro-American is out of date. It's African-American. But, yes, 'persons of color' refers to much more than 'African-American' does.


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#119039 - 01/08/04 08:05 AM Re: Human hues
Jackie Offline
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why does the NAACP still call itself the National Association for the Advanced of Coloured People?
Name recognition, I believe. From their web site: From corprate partnerships to tireless volunteer labor, the NAACP has evolved to meet the challenges of the day, while remaining true to its original mission. With renewed commitment, the new NAACP is poised to meet the challenges of the 21st century.






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#119040 - 01/08/04 08:11 AM Re: NAACP
AnnaStrophic Offline
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I've wondered that myself, Father Steve. Is it because updating it would be a bad idea since the acronym (OK, initialism to you stickler-pickers) is more recongnizable nowadays than its expansion?

Edit: Jackie, GMTA! My browser froze as I was about to post....


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#119041 - 01/08/04 08:18 AM Re: NAACP
Jackie Offline
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There, there, Anna--you can win next time... [devilish grin]


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#119042 - 01/08/04 08:36 AM Re: NAACP
AnnaStrophic Offline
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#119043 - 01/09/04 07:15 PM Re: NAACP
Zed Offline
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Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
No matter how innocuous a term is originally, if used to describe a minority, it will eventually sound like an insult because of the ignorami who use it as an insult. Coloured people was at one time the new and non-stigmatising term.
I do have a problem with the term "people of colour" because it forgets all of the other colours out there. (and because it makes me feel somehow grey and colourless, like a poor quality black and white photo.)


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#119044 - 01/09/04 08:00 PM Re: NAACP
Faldage Offline
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Logically there's no difference between 'people of color' and 'colored people.' Any problem I might have with 'people of color' is that it sounds so awkward.


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#119045 - 01/10/04 08:56 PM Re: NAACP
belMarduk Offline
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Why wouldn't you just say the person's ethnicity? Or say, ethnic people?

In Quebec, we don't have a term that says the same thing as 'coloured people/people of colour' term.

African-American is a very U.S.-centric term. Whether the lightest brown to the darkest black, folks just call themselves black here.




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#119046 - 01/10/04 10:11 PM Re: NAACP
Father Steve Offline
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Bel asks: "Why wouldn't you just say the person's ethnicity? Or say, ethnic people?"

And the old padre wonders: "Who's NOT ethnic?"





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#119047 - 01/10/04 10:28 PM Re: NAACP
belMarduk Offline
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And the old padre wonders: "Who's NOT ethnic?"

Generally, I think the people who need to label the people who they consider coloured don't consider themselves ethnic.


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#119048 - 01/10/04 11:22 PM Ethnicity
Father Steve Offline
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I think Bel is right: most people who call other people "ethnic" don't think of themselves as being ethnic. This is, of course, silliness, since ethnicity refers to one's origin in terms of race, nationality, tribe, religion, language group, and culture ... and everybody has all of those. Nobody pops into this world without parents ... not even clones.






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#119049 - 01/11/04 03:38 PM Re: Ethnicity
belMarduk Offline
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Well said Father Steve.


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