Person of Color: Think Before You Use It

I’m gonna start this by saying that I hate the term person of color (poc). Look I understand why it exists, and there are definitely times when its useful. And honestly there really isn’t a better phrase currently for those times. Still I don’t like it. 

First off lets look at its definition. If we do a quick google search, we get this:

  1. a person who is not white or of European parentage.

So right from the start were taking a very diverse spectrum of people and turning them into a binary; white or not white; person or poc. One group (hint: the white one) gets to maintain their heritage. The other, we get to become one big amorphous blob made up of the majority of humans on the planet! YAY!

I totally get why it’s needed though. In a place like the U.S. where its white people stomping on everyone else to varying degrees in a wide variety of ways, its useful sometimes. They made it a binary and since they have the power we need to unite. By uniting together we become something exponentially more powerful than separate. Here’s a great article explaining the importance of the term woman of color

The problem is a lot of the time I don’t see it used for that.  Most of the time its used by someone so worried about being PC that they don’t want to say someone’s race. I’ve heard some people talking about Michael Brown and what a tragedy another poc was shot. What’s going on in Ferguson right now is a tragedy for the black community. The worst part is it’s one that happens all the time for them. When someone talks about this like its a poc problem they’re preventing the real problem and the real victims from being seen.

It also takes our culture away from us. I’m proud of my Asian heritage. Sometimes I want that part seen. I don’t want to be a part of a blob that hides who I am. I get that enough from the people who seem to think that all Asians are Chinese or Japanese.

The only time poc makes sense is when your talking about every race and ethnicity other than white and european. Any other time use what that person/group prefers to be called. So please stop using poc as your personal shield against being thought of as racist.  Your appropriating a term that we created for when we need to unite for your own comfort, and silencing us in the process. 

Some more thoughts on poc:

"Homosexuality is frowned upon in the black community more than in the white community. Its as if I’m shaming the community that is trying so hard to be accepted by the white community."  

                                                                           -A Black Bisexual Woman

Alexandre Dumas


Name: Alexandre Dumas, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as Alexandre Dumas, père.

Lived: 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870

Accomplishments: Dumas was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure. Translated into nearly 100 languages, these have made him one of the most widely read French authors in history. Many of his novels, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later were originally published as serials. His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century for nearly 200 films. Dumas’ last novel, The Knight of Sainte-Hermine, unfinished at his death, was completed by a scholar and published in 2005, becoming a bestseller. It was published in English in 2008 as The Last Cavalier.

Prolific in several genres, Dumas began his career by writing plays, which were successfully produced from the first. He also wrote numerous magazine articles and travel books; his published works totaled 100,000 pages. In the 1840s, Dumas founded the Théâtre Historique in Paris.

Dumas’ father (general Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie) was born in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to a French nobleman and an enslaved African woman. His father’s aristocratic rank helped young Alexandre acquire work with Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans.

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Quinn. 24. Multiracial, white passing.

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I have a really complicated relationship with my racial identity. My family on my mom’s side is e.Asian, s.Asian, and possibly Latinx. My father was white, but I was raised by a single mother who was brown. I’ve always felt like I occupy this weird space: not white enough to be white, not brown enough to be brown.