Wednesday, August 5, 2009
POC (People of Color): What's it all about?
I know that this is a yet another term that is supposed to be more unifying and more politically correct but I don't know how I feel about it and I have been thinking about this for a while. Why are we always labeled in some way that no matter what words are used it still says "other".
Person of Color (plural: people of color) is a term used, primarily in the United States to describe all people who are not white. The term is meant to be inclusive, emphasizing common experiences of racism People of color is preferred to both non-white and minority, which are also inclusive, because it frames the subject positively; non-white defines people in terms of what they are not (white), and minority, by its very definition, places the subject in a subordinate position. "Person of color" has a positive connotation and has often been preferred by people of color in the US. (Wikipedia)
This terminology is used because it is considered to be preferred by "people of color" in the US...I don't remember getting a vote. I'm not saying that the word choice is necessarily a "bad" thing but I am questioning why it is necessary at all. It still references classifying "white people" as the norm and everyone else as "other". Think about it...if everyone else is classified as "people of color" then what are white people considered.."clear". I could accept the term "people of color" if it includes us all.
Being "Brown" is not a bad thing which is proven in society everyday. A majority of white people in this world go out of their way everyday risking their lives tanning in the sun and in tanning beds just to be a shade of brown. The cosmetics industry is making millions every year from "bronzing" products so that white people can feel better about their looks by being a shade of brown. Make no mistake about it...bronzing aka browning products were not created for Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Native Americans or Asians.
White supremacy has operated under the belief that white people have a higher level of worth in relation to black people simply based on levels of melanin in the skin for far too long when scientifically speaking we are ALL just shades of brown!