Author Topic: US 2010 Census: Do you consider the word "Negro" to be a racial slur?  (Read 7096 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: US 2010 Census: Do you consider the word "Negro" to be a racial slur?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2010, 07:35:26 pm »
- Using a term to define a person's race or ethnicity is not "labeling," its simply a means of describing that person.

I agree. And there should be no more stigma attached to it than there is defining someone's gender, nationality, hair color, etc. We tend to be extra sensitive about all things racial, but the stigma should be attached to racISM, not to race.

I am reminded of an armed robbery case in Wilmington DE a few years back. Because the newspaper down there went ape-shit PC, their editorial standards prohibited them from identifying the race of crime suspects. So the description of the suspect in the newspaper read something along the lines of "5'8", stocky build, wearing jeans, a red jacket, and a baseball cap." I'm sorry, but that doesn't tell me shit about who I should be looking for.

Yes, although adding "black" or "white" to that description wouldn't narrow it down enough to make it much more practical. A newspaper I once worked at stopped using race in its descriptions, too. The decision was controversial, because it was partly intended to keep readers from thinking criminals were disproportionately black, which was perceived as an attempt to control the news. But one of the editors explained that those descriptions in the stories aren't really designed to help you identify the suspect if you see him/her in the grocery line, anyway -- they're more for the benefit of people who might have been in the vicinity when the crime took place.

Still, in most contexts referring to somebody's race should really be no more offensive than referring to their nationality, gender, height, etc. I was once talking at a party about someone who had appeared on a TV talk show among a group of people. "Which one was she?" my friend asked. "The black one," I said. My friend acted all shocked --like I wasn't supposed to notice that she was the only black woman in an otherwise white group. Like I should have said, "Oh, she was the second-tallest one, with shoulder-length hair," etc., which would have been pretty useless.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 10:14:23 pm by serious crayons »

Offline tforster

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Re: US 2010 Census: Do you consider the word "Negro" to be a racial slur?
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2010, 12:01:24 am »
I'm a white guy, born and raised and living in Alabama... so I know something about this and have always found it interesting. "Negro" used by a white person to describe a black person would be considered old fashioned, but acceptable, only if coming from someone who is older (70+). It would be considered insulting and backward if coming from a younger white person but not nearly on the same level as the "N" word. Negro or any variation including the "N" word is usually acceptable if spoken by a black person. Interestingly, some older white people in the South will refer to a black person as a "nigra" instead of "negro", but it is not meant to be overtly derogatory - though it was/is used by less educated older persons... I think it's more of a Southern accent thing.

I've always just used ebony and ivory...  :)

Offline David In Indy

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Re: US 2010 Census: Do you consider the word "Negro" to be a racial slur?
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2010, 02:30:24 am »
"Negro" describes a race, as does "Caucasian".

"Colored" is still tossed around where I live, and a term I find especially offensive. It harkens back to the Jim Crow segregation days. :P
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