First Coloured President.

Lindsey Lohan seems to have created a little stir by refering to Obama as"coloured".

Is the word “coloured” no longer acceptable ?

A spokesperson for the NAACP says “Sometimes you have to look at the intent…but the word ‘colored’ isn’t derogatory…” (link provided by Simplicio in [thread=492592]another thread[/thread])

However, “coloured” is not acceptable because it’s spelled wrong. :smiley:

It’s not unacceptable, but it *is *old fashioned, and thus viewed with suspician - the assumption being that someone who uses 1950’s terminology may also hold 1950’s views regarding race.

Only since about 1965.

I was born in 1955 in a working class suburban neighborhood north of Baltimore. Some white kids I knew routinely called black kids “niggers,” although usually not to their faces. (We went to school with black kids, but none of them lived on our street. Black families were redlined into a much more squalid neighborhood several blocks away.)

My sister and I were brought up to use the then-polite terms “negro” or “colored.” Around the mid-1960s, “colored” began to go out of favor, and “black” became more acceptable, I believe in part because of Malcolm X’s influence. Before that, IIRC, calling someone “black” could be almost as insulting as “nigger.”

For a while in the late 1960s and early 1970s, “Afro-American” sprang up, but it never gained wide acceptance. However, to this day, there is still a Baltimore newspaperof that name.

By the early or mid-1970s, “negro” was out of favor.

“Black” was the most common term for most of the 1970s and 1980s, when “African-American” started showing up. By the 1990s, “A-A” had become the preferred term, and “black” was beginning to be seen as dated and unacceptable.

I consider this unfortunate, since “A-A” is clumsy (16 characters, seven syllables, compared to 5 letters and 1 syllable) and flat out wrong in some circumstances, e.g. blacks of other nationalities (no one speaks of African-Britons or African-Germans).

Which is ironic, since in the 1950s, “colored” was considered the polite alternative to “nigger,” which even when commonly used by whites was understood to be demeaning, and not used in polite society.

Yeah, for the last several decades.

It’s a weird thing for a 20 year old to be saying. It’s a term you just don’t hear any more. It’s more anachronistic than really offensive, although YMMV on that.

Perhaps her addled thinking went:
He’s not African-American, not being descended from American slaves
He’s not black, since it’s more of a brown
Negro is less PC than coloured
ergo, I’ll use coloured.

I know I personally chafe at calling him African-American, prefering black as less inaccurate.

I had a go at my father for using this term at the weekend. I believe the reason it is derogatory is that we are ALL coloured in some way (I’m pale pink), and it lumps all races other than white into some big pot.

I agree. What annoys *me *about “coloured”, though, is that it suggests white isn’t a colour (but black is).

I think everyone is overreacting here. Jeesh.

It’s the normal spelling in the UK, and many other English-speaking countries. Maybe it’s an accepted variant in the US?

No-one speaks of Italian-Britons either. I thought the whole X-American thing was a standard American way of describing ethnic groups. And a nice one, I might add, because it reminds people that they are American too.

IMO, “Colored” is a dated euphemism, the use of which unless you’re aged 70 and speak with a Low Country accent that could be spread on biscuits, is pretentious and vaguely sneering. This also applies to the British/Canadian/Aussie spelling “Coloured” too.

Note one very important exception, though: In South Africa, “Coloured” (with the U) does not mean “black, of Bantu or other sub-Saharan African lineage.” Mr Dibble is “Coloured” in the South African usage – which is not AFAIK seen as even slightly offensive. And what it means is “of mixed race, including both white and Khoi-San ancestry.” They’re physiologically and ethnically very much distinct from the various Bantu groups or their assimilated descendants.

Abuhhh? His father was African and his mother was American! How can he be any more African-American than that?!

Although people do not commonly say “colored” today, it has become quite faddish to refer to “people of color,” a broad swath meaning non-whites.

First, I think Mr. Slant was trying to get into Lohan’s head rather than express his own view. Second, there is a school of thought (not a universal one) that “African-American” carries a connotation of ancestry with a history of victimization at the hands of American racism, and isn’t really appropriate for recent African immigrants.

My wife is from Egypt, which is part of Africa, but it would be downright silly to call her African-American :slight_smile: Same goes for white Afrikaners from South Africa, or other African whites.

Well, race is a funny thing. I assume that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People wouldn’t have a huge problem with the word Colored, but it has drifted out of common usage, probably because some percentage of bigots started using it perjoratively. So they went to black, but rapidly shifted over to African American. Now people talk all they want about “people of color,” and that doesn’t seem insulting (yet). I assume we’ll continue to come up with new and innovative words every few years or so until the end of eternity, because some percentage of people will find it insulting to be called anything that might imply that they were being lumped into a category. And categories are bad because they’re generalizations, and all generalizations are bad.:wink:

African-American persons share a common heritage and history, which includes descent from a folk that was previously working for slaveholders in the antebellum South.
I’ll grant you that his mother was American and his father was African, but that doesn’t mean he’s from the same cultural group as, for instance, the several hundred African-American children I attended elementary, middle and high school with in various towns in North Carolina in the '80s.
His folks have travelled a different path than those folks, and they’re not really what most folks think of when they say “African-American”.
I knew a young lady born to white and American missionary parents while they were doing mission work in Kenya. She, technically is African-American on a technicality, but her experience is not what we’d call African-American.

Didn’t that catchy phrase “People of Color” take off in the 80s or 90s? I seem to remember a spell when using “black” was considered politically incorrect and they tried to change it to ‘people of color’. This would have been during Lindsay Lohan’s impressionable years, so maybe she just got her PC phrases of the day mixed up.

In any case, I think everyone needs to lighten up on this type of thing. Obama referred to himself as a “mutt” so I doubt he’s too touchy about labels.

To know enough to go through that thought process, she would have had to have learned those things by watching TV or reading about Obama. The media refer to him as “black” or “African-American”. They never use “colored”. If she did have the brainpower to draw the conclusion you are postulating, she would also have the brainpower to know that nobody calls him “colored”, so she shouldn’t either.

My guess is that “colored” is the preferred nomenclature in whatever backwater she came out of and it’s what she calls black people in her internal monologue. She probably didn’t even know that it’s considered inappropriate.

Not addled at all. I’d be willing to bet money that it was more something like this: “I haven’t been the focus of news stories for a while. This ought to attract some attention.”

Shame that she’s being indulged.

Although I was born in the Netherlands, I do not have a “Low Country accent”.

I realize that the term “coloured” has fallen out of use in the US, but I thought the reason for that was because it just wasn’t as specific as say “black”. This is also the first time I have ever heard that the term “coloured” could actually be construed as pejorative,pretentious and vaguely sneering.Tell that to the NAACP.

One thing is clear to me. If you use the word “colored”, you are definitely being pretentious and vaguely sneering.

And now that I’m aware that some of the posters here take it that way as well, I would be too. Thanks a lot :frowning: