Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

Why I hate the term “Person of Colo(u)r”

Posted by chinesecanuck on April 16, 2008

Lots of blogs, including Racialicious, seem to prefer the term Person of Colo(ur) when describing non-whites. Why is that? Doesn’t it reak of marginalization? Many non-whites are certainly marginalized in the west, but what about in the “old country”? How can you say that someone like Lee Ka-Shing is NOT privileged? And not every non-white person in North America is poor or underprivileged. I would never consider someone like Jan Wong or Adrienne Clarkson (okay, so the Poys came to Canada as refugees, but as Wikipedia points out, they weren’t poor.  Only “poor” compared to their very upper class lifestyle in Hong Kong) underprivileged. Many non-white kids in the Toronto are attend private schools that cost up to $25,000 a year for day students and $40,000+ for boarders.  What of those kids?  I really don’t think you’d consider the typical kid at one of these schools marginalized, do you?

You might ask about privilege, jobs, etc, but I’ll leave that for another post….one about networking and connections.

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2 Responses to “Why I hate the term “Person of Colo(u)r””

  1. Alston said

    A kid whose parents can pay that much for education is atypical regardless of colour. Of course, not all non-whites are underprivileged, but they are talking about a disproportionately large segment of non-white people that are in many different, usually subtle ways. If you accept that white culture dictates what non-whites are (which I will not assume, but work with me here), then perhaps you might think that it is they who are largely responsible for the image that all non-whites are marginalized, when reality reveals otherwise.

  2. […] minority may not necessarily be a person of colour, as there are some visible minorities that do not self-identify as a person of colour. In the Canadian Census, aboriginals are excluded from the “visible minority” category, […]

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