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  1. #1
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Default Lindsay Lohan Applauds the Election of ‘Our First Colored President’

    We talked about this in class tonight. My prof (a dual-citizen who has lived in lots of Canadian and American places) was appalled that Lohan would make such a statement. She vented to a friend; her friend said it was simply because Lohan was stupid.
    My prof argues very differently--it's appalling not because Lohan as an individual was racist, but because it means somebody, somewhere along the line had show her this word represents this group of people (underground and quiet racism). Think about it--we have to learn our words from somewhere.

    Yet, the biggest twist in the class discussion that my prof was unprepared for was when she asked us, "How many of you didn't know "coloured" was a racial slur?" And a very surprising percentage of the class put up their hand. Including me. (Note: I come from a very homogeneous Caucasian area of Canada.)

    Then she started referring to how "people of colour..." but didn't get very far because there was an instant murmur in the classroom. We figured out that lots of my classmates, including myself, assumed that calling someone "coloured" was the different grammatical form of saying "a person a colour."

    Ignorance from a lack of exposure? Definitely. A fair excuse? No--if we hadn't assumed that the old Southern American movies we had all seen at some point were completely outdated (hence the ability of one to use "person of colour," in our minds) we would've known this and never made such a consequential error of assumption.

    But also, we were wondering what the effects of a) our age (growing up being taught by everyone that all people are equal regardless of skin colour) and b) our location were on this incorrect assumption.

    I'm curious because so many (though not all) of my classmates assumed this was a respectful term--are there any other parts of the world out there that don't see this term as a slur? Do you think Lohan just had no idea this was a slur? She's exactly the same age as myself and my classmates, though from a different location.
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  2. #2
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    I think your prof's argument was more stupid than Lohan's remark.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I don't think Lindsay Lohan technically qualifies as a "person". People usually have brains.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #4
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    There was a time when "Colored" meant a free Black person as opposed to those who were slaves. At least that was what I understood Black American History class.

    I thought it was during the Civil Rights movement when the word Black slowly took over Colored here in the USA. The Black is Beautiful movement.

    It seems more an anachronism here in the USA, give older folk who use the term a break. In South Africa the use is different I think...

  5. #5
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quality conversation so far :rolli:

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    I'm curious because so many (though not all) of my classmates assumed this was a respectful term--are there any other parts of the world out there that don't see this term as a slur? Do you think Lohan just had no idea this was a slur? She's exactly the same age as myself and my classmates, though from a different location.
    I never thought of it as racist, to be honest, and I don't think too many of my friends would either. However, when I read it, I did get a twinge that it may not be appropriate. I suspect that it came from association - I've seen movies and what not from a ways back that referred to different races in those ways, virtually locking in the word to whatever time period it would of come from (this goes mostly for Canadian Chinese working here.)

    I'm pretty sure that she had no idea. It would be out of context to say something like that. This is most notable because she wouldn't be as familiar with it, coming from NY (I checked) and likely fairly isolated to cross cultural impressions.

    However, that just emphasises your teacher's point, doesn't it? Hmm.
    Last edited by ptgatsby; 11-13-2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: edit: Not including heart, of course :D

  6. #6
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I think your prof's argument was more stupid than Lohan's remark.
    No, that's just me ineffectively communicating it--it's representative of a widely respected academic position that I am beginning to understand but only through my Ni, no Te so far. I'm too much of a n00b to my field. Put it aside for the moment though and answer my question!

    She said,
    "It was really exciting. It's an amazing feeling. It's our first colored president." —Lindsay Lohan, in an interview with Access Hollywood."
    It really doesn't seem like she even knows she's using a slur.
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    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    I always found "person of color" to be a silly description. 1) Because everyone has a color; and 2) because "colored" is totally obsolete and considered offensive. What is wrong with black? Or, in Obama's case, half-black or biracial?
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  9. #9
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    She definitely is not aware I'd say. Lohan definitely does not follow the usual guidelines of avoiding negative attention from the public, but at the same time the context proves that she's simply ignorant here. Whether she's racist or not is irrelevent.

    I don't think of coloured as a slur.. It's not exactly positive, but nor does it hold the negative context as other words to be considered slurs. It's not taboo to say coloured, it's just not functional anymore since Black has generally replaced it in modern day society.

    What I DO think is ignorant is refering to black people as African Americans.. I get slightly irked at the fact that people sometimes even whisper the word "black" like it's a bad thing to refer to them at all in conversation, yet have no problem openly proclaiming that all black people must come from Africa, instead of the many countries and continents where the majority are black.
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    Even here in the South, the term "colored" is extremely antiquated and would draw puzzled/sardonic looks. Now, on the other hand, I had an elderly neighbor who used to use the "N" word as casual conversation device. Or 'negro'. It was "I met the nicest little ol' n***** gal, used to be so-and-so's Mamma's whatevershewas..." The first time she did that to me, I literally shrank like "Oh dear heavens, you're going to get us slapped..." and then I heard someone else's grandparent do the same thing (with my friend oozing under the table at the restaurant out of sheer embarrassment...). In that context, it's old school folks who seem to have the most trouble relinquishing it, and an embarrassing relic that no one appreciates.

    "Colored" is a curious choice of words for a Gen-Y'er.
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