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Am I being racist?

(96 Posts)
petallus Wed 17-Jun-15 21:19:54

I recently started feeding a feral cat who has been in the area fror some time. He is black so for convenience I started referring to him as 'Blackie'.

Now DD and a couple of the GSs have told me the name is racist and I should call him something else.

Oh dear! I have been standing at the back door with a plate of cat biscuits calling 'Blackie, Blackie'. It just did not occur to me.

So what I'd like to know is, am I being (inadvertently) racist or are the family being overly sensitive?

Ana Wed 17-Jun-15 21:22:51

I wonder if they'd have been bothered if the cat had been white and you'd called him 'Whitey'? hmm

I expect 'Ginger' would be out of the question, too...

Iam64 Wed 17-Jun-15 21:25:15

Petallus, this use of language has been much discussed on various threads. I feel sure you mean no offence but your family are right in saying use of a name like that is inadvertently racist. Cats and other animals don't mind a name change

vampirequeen Wed 17-Jun-15 21:27:37

I'd call it something else just so that there is no misunderstanding.

Jomarie Wed 17-Jun-15 21:28:02

It's a sad world nowadays isn't it? I'm finding it increasingly worrying all this PC stuff - it seems to me as if we have somehow strayed into a weird big brother world and it's getting worse every day. They say the art of conversation is dying - it's not surprising as one has to be so careful what one says - it's safer just to say nothing at all. sad

kittylester Wed 17-Jun-15 21:44:59

Oh Lord! We have a black cat which we call kiwi - that must be bad in all sorts of ways!

Mishap Wed 17-Jun-15 21:53:03

No not racist - the cat is black, you called him Blackie. No problem.

MamaCaz Wed 17-Jun-15 21:54:40

I agree with Mishap.

merlotgran Wed 17-Jun-15 21:54:41

Poldark's horse was called Darkie. I don't think they mention that in the TV series.

Guy Gibson of Dambusters fame had a black larador called N***er.

We've become used to considering the suitablility of names now so Blackie is not one that would be on my list.

Like Ana I wonder how long it will be before Ginger is considered not pc

Coolgran65 Wed 17-Jun-15 21:57:56

kittylester so funny.

With so much correctness I hardly even know how to ask this question without causing offence, but here goes !!
What is the correct way to refer to a person with black skin?
When I think I know... then it seems I'm wrong.
Can someone please help me.
And I apologise if this thread isn't appropriate but it's a fact that has been on my mind in case I get it wrong.

numberplease Wed 17-Jun-15 22:05:18

Coolgran, funny you should ask that. The other day in the taxi, the driver had a message about a fare absconder, and he asked "Was he coloured?", and the bloke on the other end told him that he was being racist by saying that, the correct term should be "black" apparently.

durhamjen Wed 17-Jun-15 22:05:52

My grandkids have just got an all black cat called Inka.

Why call it Blackie? Why not just Black?

Ana Wed 17-Jun-15 22:09:47

Doesn't quite trip of the tongue in the same way, durhamjen...hmm

Ana Wed 17-Jun-15 22:10:03


jinglbellsfrocks Wed 17-Jun-15 22:15:21

It's a cat. A black one. hmm

That made, me laugh out loud - that Guy Gibson's dog was called N----r! I'm sorry, but it did. grin

NanKate Wed 17-Jun-15 22:29:44

From my experience of teaching many Asian adults, it was my white bosses who were always banging on about what words could or couldn't be used, never a word of complaint from my students.

I think we have gone totally mad with all this PC language. I wouldn't take exception to a cat being called Whitey or Chalkie so why not Blackie.

I was once told off for offering my student in the cafe 'a black or white coffee' I was told I should have said 'with or without milk'. How ridiculous.

One of my students gave me a copy of the Koran and I was pleased to accept it. If I had have given them a copy of the bible I am sure I would have got my marching orders.

As you can see this subject gets my dander up. smile

merlotgran Wed 17-Jun-15 22:34:17

If Rick Stein was black, would we be offended because his dog was called Chalkie? hmm

I'm on a roll now. Scratching my head to think of more famous people with iffy pet names. grin

Anya Wed 17-Jun-15 22:36:36

No, you're not guilty of being racist petallus but perhaps you could be accused of lacking imagination. Come on, you can think if something more interesting than Blackie I'm sure [ hmm]

Nelliemoser Wed 17-Jun-15 22:41:23

Apart from anything else calling out the name "Blackie" is very clumsy thing to have to shout out of the back door. "Sooty" sounds better.

(Our ginger cat was called Frank but it was easier to shout out "Frankie")

merlotgran Wed 17-Jun-15 22:43:14

DS had a friend who had three ginger tomcats. They were called Ginge, Ginge and Ginge. grin

Ana Wed 17-Jun-15 22:44:35

I don't see how 'Sooty' is easier to shout than 'Blackie'...hmm

Gracesgran Wed 17-Jun-15 22:46:10

I do feel that if you are aware that people of colour prefer to be called black, mixed race or whatever you should use it. It is kinder never to knowingly offend: but this is a cat. He probably doesn't mind being called anything you choose as long as he is fed and cared for. Perhaps you could just call "puss, puss, puss" when calling him for dinner just in case someone who would otherwise be offended happens to be passing but ... he's a cat hmm

merlotgran Wed 17-Jun-15 22:49:44

Churchill had a cat called Jock. I wonder if it liked tickling?

Anne58 Wed 17-Jun-15 22:52:38

When we first took on the dear departed Lily I changed her name immediately.

I couldn't have Mr P standing on the doorstep shouting "Spunky, Spunky where are you?"

Anne58 Wed 17-Jun-15 22:55:04

There was somebody famous who called their parrot "Onan" because he spilled his seed on the ground................