Nig-nog, and insults

Otter Perry ottertee at
Thu Nov 6 16:50:40 EST 2003

minnow at wrote:

> Why is 'negro' not allowable any more?  Is it derogatory?  And if it is, is
> hispanic and is caucasian?  I always thought of these as being purely
> descriptive terms, nothing to do with any sort of value-judgement at all.

I'm sure what's allowable depends on where you live.  I can react
fairly accurately on the Detroit area [although I don't live there

'Negro' is outdated.  The PC term became 'Black' and then, with
some intermediate twitching, 'African-American'.  This applies to
people who really _are_ African-American and not, say, from Mali
and therefore just plain African.  I suppose one might -- carefully --
distinguish between black Africans and white Africans.

'Hispanic' is widely used but not _quite_ PC.  'Latino/Latina' is
better.  This seems to apply to everyone whose origins are in
the Spanish [and, I suppose, Portuguese] speaking parts of the
new world, though generally it's used for people in the USA.

You can use 'people of color' about all non-whites, though it's
better if you're one yourself.

'Caucasian' is still widely used but getting a bit iffy.  If you
wanted to be a totally PC resident of the USA -- and if the description
applies -- you would describe yourself as a 'European-American'.

Our indigenous people call themselves 'Native Americans'.  In Canada,
they're 'First Nations'.

People from China and Japan and Korea and so on are 'East Asians'.
Or Korean-Americans or whatever.

People from the Indian subcontinent are generally 'South Asians'.

We're getting into some rather rarefied PC air on these distinctions.

You can also use 'black' for African-Americans and 'brown' for the
Latino/Latinas in certain circumstances.  For instance, brown people
have taken over the position of largest minority in the USA.

'Brown' does tend to include Native Americans as well, partly because
the Latino/Latino mix includes indigenous blood.

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list