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January 23, 2013
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color terms for different racial groups

:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just curious 1) where you are from and 2) what is the popular feeling, as well as your own thoughts, on the use of terms referencing a particular racial group based on skin color?

it honestly seems to me like the only ones ok without any sort of prior knowledge (what culture you're calling out) in the US are 'white' for Caucasian-Americans and 'black' for African-Americans.

but where would we be if the South Asian students' association couldn't riff off UPS' tagline? Is that okay because it's self-deprecatory or because you'd already know they were South Asian?

Yes, I am too silly for this forum.
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:iconkoppo:
Koppo Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013
1. from my mother =p.
2. this goes out to the general public that might read this. Do not call mexicans/hispanics/latinos spanish. at some point most cultures on 5 continents were influenced or mixed with SPANIARDS. hence the spanish speaking. but any person that is hispanic is not SPANISH. i understand we come in many colors and types. but we are so far removed from spaniard root, its not really viable. I personally am Chicano. thats a whole different trip. its our word, we love and we will continue to do so.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:P cheater!

ooooh. thanks for the clarification. how do you feel about 'Spanish-speaker'?
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:iconkoppo:
Koppo Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013
calling us spanish speaker? it would be true. but a few groups speak spanish. I say ask any friend named pedro or maria what is comfortable and you shall have a common ground to generalize all latinos :D
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:P Sounds like a plan.
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:icondebra-marie:
Debra-Marie Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I live in California. I went to a fabric store and asked the Mexican worker a question, she told me to 'go find the white guy'. I was like...ok first of all you don't even know your manager's name, second............ THERES A MILLION WHITE GUYS IN HERE. lol. I was super annoyed. I think there are appropriate time and places for using terms to identify people....but at that moment, it was idiotic.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol: yeah.
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:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Student General Artist
森の村の丸を見る。
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:icon0rg:
0rg Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
I usually just refer to people by ethnicity to avoid the confusion that comes with the vagueness of simpler terms
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What if you don't know it? :B
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:iconwadoichimonji:
WadoIchimonji Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
For me it's fairly simple and there are no triggers for offence. I was born and raised, and still live in, England. One half of my family is English, mostly from the North and with some possible Scottish ancestry thrown in; and the other half is Irish, mostly from Limerick and Galway. Both of my parents are 'white', and I'm as pale as they come with red hair, blue eyes and freckles.

I find 'white' is a neutral and mostly accurate way to describe my skin colour, and I don't take offence to it as a factual description. On census and diversity forms I get really torn as to whether to describe myself as "White British", "White Irish" or "White English". This is true for a lot of people - while in the UK we mostly stick to broad racial terms, it gets really strongly mixed in with nationality the closer it gets to Britain and Ireland. I'm definitely white; I was born and raised in England, but have strong links to Ireland too; I consider myself English more than British, but I don't object to that term either since I was born on the island of Great Britain and am a British citizen. I mostly go for "White English" if it's available.

I've noticed a lot of differences in language when talking to people from overseas.

Here, "white" is by far the majority, but people often make some distinction between nationalities: Irish, Polish, Lithuanian, etc
people get plenty of racism directed their way. Racism more often than not gets mixed in with elements of nationalism.

"African-American" would be patently absurd as a term to refer to black people, and we do rather scratch our heads at Americans saying it. Most black people in Britain are of Caribbean origin, e.g. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, so a common term is "Afro-Caribbean". This is still problematic, as there are a lot of people who are descended from African countries themselves such as Nigeria or Kenya. It used to be politically correct to say "coloured", and my mum still says this sometimes, but nowadays we just say "black", and most people don't take offence for the same reason that "white" is seen as neutral and descriptive.

When we say "Asian", we usually mean South Asians rather than East Asians, as the former are far more numerous in the UK (owing to colonial history in India and what are now Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka). Some find this too imprecise, and will specify their national or ethnic origin in the subcontinent. East Asians are only represented on the census by "Chinese", which of course is very problematic for other East Asians, who will normally list their national origin under "Asian - other".
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooooh. Thanks for the insight! I'm still pretty clueless about how things work on the other side of the pond.

Hah, I think Americans got 'African-American' after the 60s or something? A lot of people who have slavery in their ancestry tried to embrace their African roots (and hell, we even made a country in Africa that allll the ex-slaves could just go back to. Yeeeeeeeah.)

Bahahah there are so many Indians/Pakistani in England. Someday I'm going to London just to try papadums and curry, I hear the takeout is awesome :P

Oh wow. So not a lot of Japanese/Koreans/etc over there? I mean, I can see them not bothering with every single category if it's a very small minority.
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:iconirononiji:
iroNoNiji Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
British-Asian cuisine. Simply wonderful. Worth the 500% price rise in comparison to the US.
We don't have many non-colonial immigrants, and distinctions aren't needed in as much, because people also don't talk about race that much anyways. At least not in London.
Btw. My mum is from Anglia, my dad from Saxony, so I'm a German Anglo-Saxon brought up in London.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Argh, seriously!? It's already overpriced here. Might as well stick to my mother's cooking.

Ooooooh.
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:iconirononiji:
iroNoNiji Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're talking about London. As a rule, if you can buy something somewhere else it's cheaper, including shipping. It's one of the most expensive cities in the World.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw hell. Yeah, I was hoping the quick takeout food wouldn't be as bad. :/ But btw, which US city were you comparing the prices to?
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:icontortellinipen:
TortelliniPen Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
I come from an inner-city area, where there were a lot of blacks and Latinos. I'm Hispanic myself, although I look white (there aren't very many white people around here). But we just call African-Americans "black"; saying "African-American" makes you sound like you're trying to be politically correct. As for people who speak Spanish, we usually call them Hispanic, Latino or whatever nationality they are (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, etc.)

Here at my university, there are a lot more white people and Asians, and we call them just that. I can definitely see "yellow" as offensive, just like you wouldn't call a Mexican a spic or an Italian a wop. Also, if you aren't black then you probably shouldn't say "nigga" unless you have a really good reason to (but that's obvious).
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Word.

Haha, facts. I dunno, I get the whole 'trying to reappropriate 'nigga'' thing but I'm not really a fan.
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Where I live now (and where I grew up) basically everyone is white. There is an increasing number of Hispanic and black students, mostly from urban (NYC) areas. This is interesting, but here we use the terms white, black, and as seen above, Hispanic or Latino for people who originate south of the border, so to speak. We don't use the term "brown" here, and I do believe that using the term "yellow" would be offensive as well.

What is annoying to me in particular is that in the kitchens where I work part-time, there are a couple of Indians who work there with me. One of them has always been nice to me and he is one of the main reasons I get up at unreasonable times in the morning to work there. But whenever I mention that he's Indian, people are always like, "derp, Native American, right?" :stare: NO.

Even though that isn't related to color, that's the most irritating thing to me. We do have some Native Americans here, but I think it would be rude to call them "red." The frustrating thing to me at least is some Native Americans like being called Indians, and some don't. I hate Columbus for this reason. :grump:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Word.

Yeah, 'yellow' is NOT a good one.

omgseriously it confuses the fuck out of me :stare: Also people are like 'what tribe are you' and I'm like 'ehhhhhhhhhh.'
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Well, it's not that they ask about tribes, it's more that they quietly assume that I mean native american and then they act all surprised when I'm like, :stare: no, no, no. And people have seriously asked you what tribe you were from? :noes:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, yes they have :lol:
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
=| I just can't even...
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's only happened a few times, and in a couple of cases the people asking were part Native America, so it made a little more sense.
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah, okay then. :nod:
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:iconhungryartistsunited:
hungryartistsunited Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Pixel art-vertising: [link]
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:iconscottahemi:
ScottaHemi Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
white to black we're all shades of brown

I do question here asians = yellow comes from??? they don't really look yellow to me...
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:iconjackmolotov3:
JackMolotov3 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
chineese. they are more yellow, while koreans are more reddish, and the japaneese are more pale.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I would go with people looking for an excuse to discriminate :s
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:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Exactly.
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:iconkittythenekoalien:
KittyTheNekoAlien Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I am American with European (Scottish, Irish, and English) decent with a bit of Native American. Most of my family is basically white, though me and my dad have a bit of darker skintone. I think using colors to name races is a little silly, I might say I'm white informally, but I do NOT want to be addressed as a white girl. Maybe I'm just weird, but describing someone as white/black whatever doesn't seem as offensive as CALLING them it. It makes absolutely no sense why I feel that way, I just do. Maybe because by calling someone by their race, you are basically saying their race is their only acknowledgeable trait? </hypotheses>
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooo.

Ha, yeah, I think that's a big part of it. And totally agreed that there's a gap between valid descriptor and calling that person it.
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:iconfantasylover103:
fantasylover103 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm from Korea, South of course, and everyone thinks I'm chinese or Japanese because they can't think of any other asian continents!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:facepalm: at them. Especially since Koreans don't look Chinese or Japanese D:<
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:iconfantasylover103:
fantasylover103 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:)

I'll try...but they call me ling ling and stuff.....
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Seriously? :stare: I mean, wtf.
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:iconfantasylover103:
fantasylover103 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I know, it's stupid. I just laugh though. It's turned into a playful nickname now.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's good :D
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:iconfantasylover103:
fantasylover103 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah. :)
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
A guy once told me my skin had a really warm golden undertone to it and that he was quite fond of it. He got laid again that morning.


So I guess the context matters. It's sorta a lazy laymen way of quickly identifying someone by "that white guy that usually comes by here around 4" or whatever. Also useful if you don't actually know the person's specific ethnicity you don't actually offend the person by calling them an Indian when really they're Pakistani. However if you're in a crowd and you shout BLACK GUY at some stranger I think it's a given that is not kosher.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle: Okay, I was gonna say that was creepy but then I saw the second sentence.

Yeah, totally. Speaking as someone who's occasionally called Taiwanese people Chinese. Don't do that unless they say it's okay.
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:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Some Taiwanese and Hong Kongese people get upset when you say they aren't Chinese! You cannot win. It's better just to call them Asian.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Truths!

Or ask them what they prefer :B
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Writer
Oh -- from the :flagus:
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013   Writer
In my opinion, it's dammed hard to identify any racial group strictly by color.
Take Blacks. There are a great many shades of Black in that group.
One friend calls her skin color "molasses" and that of another friend "ebony."

The same is true of U.S. Indians. Some are very dark, others are very light.
It's that way for every racial group.
I think it's best to learn what they call themselves as a group and stick with that.
I left another comment (because I'm too silly -lol) about that below *Leonca's comment.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:salute: Totally true.

Haha, yeah. The first step is asking.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   Writer
What do you call yourself racially?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Indian. :P
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   Writer
:doh: But of course. I got hit with a stupid stick.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle: It's a pretty easy one, though sometimes I have to mention 'subcontinent.'
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013   Writer
As long as you don't say "subcontinence," that seems okay.
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