Posts Tagged ‘words’

Is black always “black”?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

– Albert Einstein

Color challenged square

Color challenged square

According to Times Online, there is a shift in language on the way, particulary in the public sector, as everybody eager to be most politically correct. A number or names and descriptions, sayings and the like is now, per se, viewed upon as racist or ethnically demeaning. I am not writing about the normal racial slander you would expect, various organisations have decided, out of the kindness of their heart I guess, to limit or ban the use of certain words – as they are sexist, racist or carry with them a “hierarchical valuation of skin color”. I assure you that I am not making this up!

Lets have a look at some of the examples of this:

Black day – Use “miserable day” as the color black is expressed as bad and therefore it indicates that the skin color black is bad.

Ethnic minority – Minority is something small, therefore less than the majority, and thus “smaller or less important”.

Gentlemans agreement – Potentially offensive to women, one should use “unwritten agreement” or “an agreement based on trust”.

Master bedroom – Indicating a man, and threfore bad and sexist against women.

Black sheep of the family, black looks and black mark – Does not really have anything to do with skin color, but makes “black” out as something less desireble and therfore reinforce the badness of “black”. Equally, everything “white” is positive and therefore bad.

The stupidity of this is almost beyond me, and I foresee great challenges in the future. If we can not use any colors that may have some resemblance to any ethnicity, how can we say “what a horrible black sweater”, “I got a sun burn and now I am all red and terrible”, “He is yellow (cowardly)” and so on? One should always fight racism and bigotry, but this is not the way to do it.

Whats your opinion on the subject, if any?