Is "colored" racist when describing a person's race?

I’m kind of sable with a hint of caramel.

I had to look up sable. What, you think all girls know all the colors? But if that is the case, I am coffee with lots of cream.

You think they make curtains in 543 shades of beige for men?

Do they? I generally make my own curtains. :slight_smile:

That’s why I said “all” girls. I’m aware some girls do know all the colors.

Vanilla soy-milk here. :frowning:

Yeesh. NO WORD is intrinsically racist because no word has any intrinsic meaning whatsoever and whithersoever. Every single bit of its meaning is contextual.

Words are utterances that have the meaning that listeners and speakers collectively attribute to them. Take that away and you just have sounds.

I am white like mozzarella, or milk.

I wish I was coloured caramel though…

My wife, a Japanese-American, looks Asian, and grew up hearing the term"Oriental" to describe her. The Asians I know feel pretty much the same way about “Oriental” as the blacks I know feel about “colored.” It’s outdated, quaint and vaguely demeaning. If someone who had grown up hearing the term used it, it would not necessarily be offensive, but if someone younger used the term deliberately, they would definitely look for a reason for the choice of words.

It’s still the term of choice for Southeast Asians in the UK. There’s no real reason why it should be offensive; it simply means “of the Orient” - ie., the East. Asian is used exclusively in Britain to refer to people from the Indian subcontinent.

Nah racist can be negative or positive. I can say the french make great lovers, that is racist as I am painting a whole race with a stereotype.

Racism is different.

The French are not a race.

Definitely archaic. But not derogatory.

Officer Swanhauser: Was the suspect colored?

Fred Sanford: Yeah, white.


I don’t know if anyone under 80 would use the word these days. I voted yes because I think in general those that would use it are more likely to be racist than not.

So then, is Lou Reed racist?

Everytime I hear the word colored I’m reminded of a movie where a girl screamed, “I’m not colored, God made me this way.”

So I guess if you are dyed blue you are indeed colored.

As others have said, I don’t see it as racist, but it’s old-fashioned. Still, whenever someone uses the term – usually someone in the over-70 crowd – there seems to be a collective gasp. The intent and context of its use don’t seem malicious, but it’s often received by listeners as if it was something just short of the n-word. Same thing with “oriental”.

If you’re an African-American, and you overheard a 75-year old white person use the term “colored” in the context of something like “You can get good barbecue in the colored neighborhoods” or “My granddaughter is dating a nice colored boy”, would you be offended?

No, just horribly out of date, like Negro.

Coloured”, OTOH, is just an ethnic descriptor.