Gransnet forums

AIBU

AIBU To wonder why and on what basis we attribute colour

(113 Posts)
Joelsnan Mon 21-May-18 12:49:40

I was just thinking why people derived from Africa are called Black, Europeans White, yet we don't call Chinese Yellows, Asians Beiges, South Americans Reds or Aborigines Black?
Does anyone know?

maryeliza54 Sat 26-May-18 21:42:05

Yes we should be hesitant to ask where someone comes from if they are a different colour because that has been a loaded question for many people. Asking a white person IS different. If I met a black person who had an accent I thought I recognised I would say - is that a xxxxx accent I’m hearing, I used to live there.

Bridgeit Sat 26-May-18 21:56:51

I have an accent that seems to invite,comments or inquisitiveness about my origins, it is associated with certain phrases & perhaps even IQ.
There must be something inherent in humans to want to catagorise each other ,one would like to think to better understand each other,but more often it is judgemental. The problems arise when the judgement is steeped in bias ,pre judgements, ignorance, intolerance etc,

petra Sun 27-May-18 17:42:02

Bridgeit
One of the most intelligent men I ever knew (Patrick ) had the same accent.

Jalima1108 Sun 27-May-18 17:47:54

I only usually ask if I recognise an accent as being 'from home'

janeainsworth Sun 27-May-18 19:34:20

I don’t think there’s anything wrong in asking where someone is from. It’s a common way of getting to know someone and initiating a hopefully polite conversation.
It’s the follow-up question that’s important - avoiding the assumption that because someone is a person of colour they have been born in a certain place.
And asking where someone is from doesn’t necessarily mean asking where they were born. It can mean where they grew up or where do they live now.
My DC were all born in Hongkong but if you asked them where they were from, they wouldn’t say they were from China. They might say Newcastle (where they were brought up) or most probably, where they live now.

Bridgeit Sun 27-May-18 19:49:58

Ha that’s good to know Petra, thanks me lover😉

PS, my other half once said that to a lady, who rapidly replied , I assure you My lover you will never be 😄

Eglantine21 Sun 27-May-18 19:56:36

I was at next doors house warming party and asked them, “So what made you decide to live here?”
The husband painstakingly explained that although India was a rapidly developing country they thought the culture and opportunities that Britain offered were their best chance of making a good life for their family.

What I really meant was why this bit of town 😳

Jalima1108 Sun 27-May-18 19:56:42

It’s the follow-up question that’s important - avoiding the assumption that because someone is a person of colour they have been born in a certain place.

That's right janea

I've been called 'me luverr' many times and never assumed anything grin

Jalima1108 Sun 27-May-18 19:58:44

Eglantine grin

I met someone recently who was very anxious to explain that, although she was from Port Glasgow, it wasn't actually Port Glasgow - all I was going to ask was did she know my friend from there?

maryeliza54 Sun 27-May-18 20:01:58

I think asking a black person where they are from is really a potential minefield as we don’t know what experiences they’ve had if that type of question - I think we should be much more nuanced in how we ask that question - there are lots of ways to do that depending on the circumstances we meet them in

Jalima1108 Sun 27-May-18 20:03:56

Perhaps 'where do you live?'

maryeliza54 Sun 27-May-18 20:59:52

Exactly - it’s not rocket science is it