Is the term "Oreo" a racial/ethic slur?

I was recently involved in a discussion where someone white called a public figure an “Oreo.” No one in the room was African-American, but one participant (an Asian) objected.

Is “Oreo” a racist term to be slapped down, at least when used by whites? I honestly don’t know. Up until now I hadn’t thought so, but I’m open to learning that I’m wrong. (Personally, I’ll err on the side of caution - I can get by without using the term, so I will.)

Well, it’s included in Wikipedia’s list of ethnic slurs.

Most definitely. I don’t think of it as being much in current use, but it’s a Black person who “acts” like they are really White. Black on the outside, white on the inside, get it?

I don’t see how it could be anything other than racist - it’s certainly derogatory.

In very much the same vein as “banana”

I may have first leared about that here. (And here is an older thread.)

Huh, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, but I’d never heard the term in that context. Only ever heard of it used in a sexual context.

Ignorance fought, thank you!

Just to be clear, I knew that - an African-American friend told me the term sometime in the 1990s. I don’t think I’ve heard it much, but he told me very matter-of-factly, so since he didn’t ascribe anything negative to the term at the time, neither did I.

However, it has been a while since the 1990s. I’m sure I well-meaningly said/believed things then that I would now recognize as unacceptable.

A sexual context? Have not heard. Will not Google.

There are a lot of dogs named Oreo, though.

There were also oreodonts. (Don’t know about the outside, but they were almost certainly red on the inside, like most animals except for this chicken.)

Way older than the '90’s, possibly back to the 70’s as I think I first heard it used on Good Times. I’ve also heard Hydrox.

For Asians, banana, coconut, Twinkie. And yes, I’m Asian and heard and used them all.

For caucasians who love Asian culture, The Egg. From one of my favorite YouTube channels, Off the Great Wall:

Edit: There’s another one for white on the outside AND inside, that I can’t remember the name for. It’s the vanilla cream sandwich cookie you get in those generic cookie packs with fake Oreos.

Around here, it’s “coconut”.

And yes, racist. Even when its used by blacks to blacks.

Also Reverse Oreo. Sheesh, where have you people been? :smack: J/K! :stuck_out_tongue:

Naw…coconut is for brown skinned Asians from SE Asia or the Phillipines. :smiley:

I’ve heard of Oreo but “Uncle Tom” seems to be the “acceptable” version I see people use much much more all the time.

Not the same,

Uncle Tom is a black person who kowtows or at least pretends to kowtow to white people. I’ve never read the book, but got a new perspective on it from the late 70’s/early 80’s show Benson. When someone calls Benson an “Uncle Tom”, the Governor get’s upset, but Benson explains it’s a badge of honor because Uncle Tom was actually a strong and noble man as explained here:

“Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to promote the abolitionist cause, basing some of her novel on the testimony of an escaped slave. Her central character was a man of dignity, a good Christian, who suffered the abuses of slavery nobly and died protecting others. So how did Uncle Tom become the byword for a race traitor — a “shuffling, kowtowing, sniveling coward”?”


Not having read the book, just people’s descriptions of it, ISTM that quite apart from any warping by white mainstream culture to make him look more simple/uneducated/mockable, a character like Uncle Tom is a hard sell to the twenty-first century for the same reason we can’t be doing with Patient Griselda or Fanny Price in Mansfield Park any more - these characters all exemplify the Christian virtues of long-suffering, and we don’t think that this is a virtue any more. We expect our heroes to fight hard against injustice, including when that injustice is directed against them.

My second-hand impression of the Uncle Tom character is that he would endure injustice for the sake of others, but wouldn’t fight against the oppressor. That’s probably very sensible strategy for a nineteenth century American black man, but different from the sorts of characters we are generally looking for to be role models today

Not in South Africa, it’s not.

Of course, South African Coloureds do *have *a substantial SE Asian ancestry. But also, coconuts have a global tropical distribution.

Try and call an African-American man “Uncle Tom” to his face and you will soon find out how “acceptable” it is, I bet.

But as pointed out, it doesn’t mean the same thing.

Reverse Oreo? It didn’t seem to bother Robin Williams + Whoppi Goldberg + Billy Crystal onstage at Comic Relief.