1. from my mother . 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.
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.
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".
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
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.
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.
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).
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?" 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.
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, no, no, no. And people have seriously asked you what tribe you were from?
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>
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.
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.