Calling someone “white”


January 18, 2006 10:47 PM

Racism is a hot topic of mine and in talking about the topic, it is inevitable that the term “white” would pop up from time to time. Someone deem fit to call me racist for using that term. Well, let me school you on the subject.

Calling a Caucasian “white” is not offensive. The term “black” is also used in polite conversations. Don’t take my word for it, see these links from Dictionary.com:

  1. white:

    A member of a racial group of people having light skin coloration, especially one of European origin.

    See also Oxford Dictionary’s definition.

  2. black:
    • A member of a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin.
    • An American descended from peoples of African origin having brown to black skin; an African American.

    See also Oxford Dictionary’s definition.

However, calling someone “yellow” is:

Offensive. Of or being a person of Asian origin.
(Oxford Dictionary’s definition)

So is calling someone “brown“:

Often Offensive. Of or being a person of nonwhite origin.

Still not convinced about all this? Here’s an article from the Poynter Institute, School of Journalism. Read it, don’t read it – whatever. If you want to stay ignorant and hateful, that’s your lost.

Consider yourself schooled.

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6 thoughts on “Calling someone “white”

  1. emiryo

    My Indian friend, N, once talk to this African guy in a pub,

    N: Yo bro…
    A: Huh? Dun call me that!
    N: Why not? We’re the same colour!
    A: Nope, I’m black, you’re brown shit! Now fuck off!

    N smash e33 bottle on A head.
    A punch N’s nose in.
    We crack more bottle on A’s skull.
    A’s friends joined in the fun.
    Everyone got thrown out of the pub.
    I broke my $200 specs…

    For what? Colour or stupidity?

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Moo: Take a look at the above and ask yourself is it logical that:

    a chinese will be offended at being called yellow

    and a caucasian will not be offended at being called white?

    Is that an implication to say that chinese people / malays / indians are narrow minded for getting offended for being labelled a color and the caucasians are not?

    Whoever specfiy the above crap you wrote needs to purchase some logic.

    White anti-racist for your info, is a well known OXYMORON. sorry I’m too lazy to pull out some long essay on that, kindly google.

    You are free to see me as arrogant or “unenlightened” but I subscribe to logic and not some insensible “facts” generated by someone who proclaimed themselves “experts” of racism when they can come up with this kind of illogic.

    If you go around calling cacasians “white” no wonder they are still throwing rotten eggs at us. Yellow man .

    Reply
  3. ~*Starryluvly*~

    An interesting read mooi, how some terms despite having racial connotations are not offensive, while others aren’t.

    My head’s spinning with thoughts as to why some are still considered offensive and why others aren’t but there again, I’m half awake, so I’m not going to post them here in case they don’t make sense in the morning. lol.

    Reply
  4. mooiness

    starry: it’s all about history and the circumstances those words have been used in the past. It’s paradoxical I agree – why it’s ok to use some “colours” but not others. Call it cultural baggage that modern society have inherited from our predecessors.

    Reply
  5. c

    moo: finally you are starting to make some sense.. to me at least.

    personally however, I don’t think those are the kind of “facts” we should impart to the younger generation, don’t you think?

    I felt strongly that people should never blindly follow what others dictate without questioning the logic and sense behind it in the first place, even from the people in authority. (that however is also the mistake many singaporeans made. I’m so not proud of that)

    Like us, they are also humans, not gods. They made mistakes as well. Even well known philosophers have been known to be mistaken, why should we just follow what they say without questioning?

    With regards to this kind of issue, I think that clear guidelines should be drawn, and not leave people guessing, clueless or misguided, just look how much misunderstanding resulted from such simple terms and abbreviations.

    How is the human race ever going to improve?

    Reply

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