Is the term 'Coloured' Offensive? - TennisForum.com
View Poll Results: Is the Term 'Coloured' Offensive ?
Yes 36 46.15%
No 25 32.05%
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2005, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Is the term 'Coloured' Offensive?

From studying the issue of race at university as part of my history degree i came across racial terms which are now seen as outdated.

In descrbing someones appearance i believe that the term 'coloured' is extremely offensive. The term seems to encourage the idea of white supremacy where the white people are looking downon their 'coloured' counterparts. This is beacuse it drags up images of colonialism where non whites were referred to as coloured in an inferior manner. In the usa i believe that the term is regarded as outdated as it relates to when black slaves were treated as inferiors and regarded as coloured in the 19th century.

I think that society has moved on enough to accept that certain people are black, brown, white etc.

For example when asked to describe who you met at work today, if someone replied 'oh i met 5 coloured people today.' This would not be very helpful as it could mean that you met any person who was non white. if someone said they met an extremely nice brown lady from wherever it would be much easier.

What do you people think about the use of the word coloured in relation to race?
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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im only asking as i still hear people today use the term to describe black and brown people.
The people i hear dont say it in a racist way but in ignorance.

They have not interacted with non-white people before and i try to explain to them that the term is offensive.
i brown myself and it annoy me when people use it - i just wnated to know if i was in the minority who though it was offensive or whether it was a widespread thing that people believed it was outdated.
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 12:47 AM
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OAZIZ R0X0RZ!!!!!

for the thread, I think ppl in North America find it offensive but in some places like S.Africa it's a taxonomic term. Coloured=bi-racial

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 01:03 AM
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I much prefer 'man' or 'woman' of color. I find it more respectful IF a person must be defined as something other than white. Either way, you're still treading on shaky ground.

The word 'coloured' was used at a a not so wonderful time in American history. So yeah, it's VERY offensive here in the states. But then again, it isn't the worst. Actually, many old-timers from an era past still use that term, to their detriment.

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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 01:17 AM
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Colored was widely used as late as the 70's in the USA. So, that would be the 20th century.

But, OP, you would be right and saying most people, at least most American blacks, would find that very offensive.

For one, Jim Crow laws had Colored and White distinctions from drinking fountains to restrooms, from schools to neighborhoods. So, people that would find "colored" offensive would equate it to a time of second class citizenry.

Secondly, to ME, colored implies "other". That white is the norm and colored means outside the box of normal. One could also take it to mean that black, brown, yellow and red people have no identity. They're simply filled in using a crayon.

But I think the first reason for offense is usually why it's offensive. That's how the term African-American came about. White people decided what to call blacks since they were brought over here and African-American was the first time blacks, themselves, decided what they were called. The terms ******, nigra, negro, colored and black were all coined by the dominant culture, read enslavers. I assume terms like Afro-Cuban, etc. were coined by those in that population.

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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen
OAZIZ R0X0RZ!!!!!

for the thread, I think ppl in North America find it offensive but in some places like S.Africa it's a taxonomic term. Coloured=bi-racial
Um yeah I am South African and we say colored cause yeah it's bi-racial as you say.

Definately not offensive
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokkstarr
Colored was widely used as late as the 70's in the USA. So, that would be the 20th century.
Too true. I should've said 'originated'.

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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokkstarr
Secondly, to ME, colored implies "other". That white is the norm and colored means outside the box of normal. One could also take it to mean that black, brown, yellow and red people have no identity. They're simply filled in using a crayon.
Now, I'm just saying this for the purpose of being a devils advocate, but, there is a flip side to that idea. You could think that the term "coloured" implies "spicier." The white is the norm, and therefore boring and dull, and coloured means outside the box and interesting. You could take that to mean that each race has it's own particular identity, and it's own particular difference from the normal blankness.

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"

I personally think it would be interesting for my ancestry to be something that was non-white or non-christian. As it stands, there's no way to change my date of birth, place of birth, parents, or whatever. One must always make the best of what they're given.


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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian_bass_2
Now, I'm just saying this for the purpose of being a devils advocate, but, there is a flip side to that idea. You could think that the term "coloured" implies "spicier." The white is the norm, and therefore boring and dull, and coloured means outside the box and interesting. You could take that to mean that each race has it's own particular identity, and it's own particular difference from the normal blankness.

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"

I personally think it would be interesting for my ancestry to be something that was non-white or non-christian. As it stands, there's no way to change my date of birth, place of birth, parents, or whatever. One must always make the best of what they're given.
Well, of course.

When people want to REJECT the power that the dominant culture had/has over non-dominates, they use this logic. They "turn it on them" if you will.

i.e. "White" cooking, specifically southern delicacies such as fried catfish and fried chicken are seen as BLAND and DULL by some. Soul-lacking, if you will. No spice to it all, at the most, salt and pepper to taste... anything outside of that, boring.

there's a whole can of stereotypes I could unload but do we really wanna go there?

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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 05:03 AM
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but wait.

I can also take what you said in a negative way, too, canadian.

We all know that the unknown is supposedly exotic. People of color were seen as exotic or spicy, as you say and therefore there were actual debates on whether or not non-whites were human... I want to say "back in the day" but some people still feel that way. If something is exotic, you can exploit it or admire it. Perhaps, a little of both.

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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Does that mean white folks are un-colored or colorless?
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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there is a really good poem...
When you are born,
You are Pink
When you grow up,
You are White
When you get sick,
You are Green
When you go out in the sun,
You are Red
When you are cold,
You are Blue
When you die,
You are Purple

And you have the nerve to call me COLORED???
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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wait, who the hell is saying no, its not??


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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokkstarr
Colored was widely used as late as the 70's in the USA. So, that would be the 20th century.

But, OP, you would be right and saying most people, at least most American blacks, would find that very offensive.

For one, Jim Crow laws had Colored and White distinctions from drinking fountains to restrooms, from schools to neighborhoods. So, people that would find "colored" offensive would equate it to a time of second class citizenry.

Secondly, to ME, colored implies "other". That white is the norm and colored means outside the box of normal. One could also take it to mean that black, brown, yellow and red people have no identity. They're simply filled in using a crayon.

But I think the first reason for offense is usually why it's offensive. That's how the term African-American came about. White people decided what to call blacks since they were brought over here and African-American was the first time blacks, themselves, decided what they were called. The terms ******, nigra, negro, colored and black were all coined by the dominant culture, read enslavers. I assume terms like Afro-Cuban, etc. were coined by those in that population.
In the main, I agree. However, the term African American is exlusionary in itself. Would a bi-racial person with fair skin be perceived as African American? What part of them is African, what part European, for example. Are we homogenisinig all people of African descent by homogenising them under one umbrella term?But I rarely encounter the term "coloured", maybe I mix in sophisticated cricles I often encounter the term half-caste which I absolutely deplore and almost all of the time I would challenge that person on why they use that awful term.

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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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PS Rocketta apologies for returning to this bi-racial issue over and over !

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

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