How NOT to use the term POC (2 Step Guide)

owning-my-truth:

The term “POC” (people/person of color) is thrown around loose and fast on Tumblr, and many times quite inappropriately as well. This can lead to the erasure of lived experiences, neo-imperialistic projections onto non-Western contexts and ultimately can reinforce white supremacy in turn. I find the rampant abuse of this term on and off of Tumblr (but especially on this platform) to be exasperating to say the least. It’s one of many reasons that I’ve grown increasingly tired of even engaging with conversations on here, but a recent conversation I had with another friend, who has already left tumblr, prompted me to write this short list for one of my Tumblr major pet-peeves. 

So with that let us begin, HOW NOT TO USE THE TERM POC (in 2 steps):

1. Non-Western Contexts

As a Nigerian I find this to be especially irritating. I have seen people throw race into the #BringBackOurGirls conversation, even as Nigeria is a more than 99% “black” country where we do not even consciously identify as black ourselves because (ding ding) basically EVERYONE is black! We do not see ourselves as black in the context of Nigeria, but now we are suddenly “persons of color”? I can hear my Nigerian aunties hissing at the thought even as I write this.

I also once saw someone on tumblr call Ghana a “majority POC” nation and I was absolutely floored. In yet another country where people don’t even identify as black, suddenly they are now “POC” as well? This is Western centrism and cavalier neo-imperialistic projections of Western racial politics onto the wider world in action. Race is a social construct which varies tremendously from place to place, and taking a flat view of race on a global scale is myopic to say the least. Calling Nigeria and Ghana nations of “POC” is not only flat out wrong, but it is an erasure that reinforces Western hegemony in turn. We want nothing to do with your word “POC” in our countries, as it has no meaning in the context of our lives there.

At this point it’s important to remember that the term “POC” is a Western political term for organizing in Western contexts against white supremacy. Again, it has no use in a country like Nigeria or Ghana where basically everyone is “black” (by our definition, even though, again we must note that people from these countries don’t even consciously identify with a racial marker like “black” until coming to the West). It also has no use in other “majority POC” nations. For example, how useful is a term like “POC” in a country like Saudi Arabia, where there is brutal, local Arab supremacy rooted in a largely independent history as well? How useful is it in any east Asian country where not even “Asian solidarity” exists given the history and tremendous animus between various peoples in the region? The answer is short- it doesn’t apply. Context is critical. Please stop abusing the term “POC” in non-Western contexts. When you do so, you’re talking over people from these countries, being Western-centric and erasing their lived experiences in turn. Stop.

2. When antiblackness and other specific forms of racialized oppression occur

As a community, many of us black people are still mourning the loss of our murdered son, Trayvon Martin, killed by antiblackness and failed by a virulently white supremacist and antiblack justice system. Yes, other POC are victims of racial violence and hate crimes all of the time, but this specific tragedy was a black tragedy. Trayvon Martin was killed in that neighborhood because he was a black boy whose black body was immediately interpreted by George Zimmerman as a security threat that needed to be tracked, followed, and ultimately extinguished and destroyed. Again this is antiblackness in action.

But to my great surprise, in the midst of our grief, we find other POC waxing long about this being a “POC tragedy.” No, it’s not a POC tragedy, it’s a black tragedy as he was killed for being black. Stating blandly that this is just about some general struggle that all “POC” go through is a form of violence against black people and an erasure of the particularities of our struggle as well. People love to do this with black tragedies in particular, piggy-backing on our pain, but similarly, if someone told me that the murder of Vincent Chin, who was killed for being east Asian-American, was a “POC tragedy” I would also be horrified and disgusted.

In short, stop it. SPECIFY the form of oppression at play, because without doing so you are simply erasing lived experiences and perpetuating white supremacy and the violence against the community in question. Stop it.

——

And there you have it. It sounds simple doesn’t it? Don’t apply the term “POC” to non-Western contexts and specify forms of oppression when you can in Western contexts. But people regularly fail to do these two simple things- perpetuating violence, white supremacy and Western dominance against marginalized communities across the globe. Please do use the term “POC” as a political organizing tool in the West— I understand its use and importance there and do use it myself in specific ways to encourage solidarity. But I simply have no time for any of the above and hope that one day the abuse of this ostensibly useful term will finally stop. 

9,113 notes   •   June 15 2014, 02:22 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#Activism   #PoC   #word   #definition   #racism   

y0rkshire-tea:

laughwithoutworries:

lawlietshoujo:

sassy-tail:

holy dicks, that’s useful

reblogging for future reference

reblogging for future essays

Reblogging for future fanfics

435,631 notes   •   May 29 2014, 02:47 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#emotions   #word   #definition   #reference   #writers   

bisexualsaregreat:

Bisexual as attraction to men and women is a heteronormative definition. 

Bisexual as attraction to same and different genders is the bisexual communities definition

When queer people say that bisexual reinforces a gender binary, tell them they sound like straight people. 

20,301 notes   •   May 20 2014, 04:29 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE

cisphobicheterophobe:

"mtf" and "ftm" are incredibly outdated terms that are inaccurate

male means belonging to a man/boy

female means belonging to a woman/girl

trans people who are women were never men

trans people who are men were never women

(unless they feel that they were)

if a trans person doesnt use these labels to describe themselves, dont use them

dont use either of these labels if you really mean “trans woman” “trans man” “cafab trans person” or “camab trans person”

when i see a cis person using these labels to describe trans people i feel like its sensationalistic (oh! they were once a girl and are now a man!) and misgendering. it also tells me that you have probably never talked to a trans person before and have probably only read trans 101s written by cis people (which are 99% of the time grossly inaccurate). which makes me instantly consider you Unsafe To Be Around

2,056 notes   •   February 18 2014, 02:46 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#trans   #lgbtq   #definition   

mackenzie-destroyer-of-worlds:

amandaonwriting:

Nine Wonderful Words About Words from 25 things you had no idea there were words for

I DIDNT REALIZE I NEEDED THIS IN MY LIFE

158,639 notes   •   February 18 2014, 02:46 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#word   #definition   #english   #language   

egberts:

wordsmythologic:

egberts:

im really pissed that palindrome isnt palindrome backwards

Ah, yes but emordnilap is a word!

An emordnilap is any word that, when spelled backwards, produces another word. Examples of emordnilap pairs include:

  • desserts & stressed
  • drawer & reward
  • gateman & nametag
  • time & emit
  • laced & decal
  • regal & lager

And therefore “emordnilap palindrome” is an emordnilap palindrome.

Which I, for one, think is really frickin’ cool.

dude

Other unreasonable English words: dyslexia, lisp, stutter.

Once again, Caucasian does not mean white, and using it to mean white is actually racist.

There are real Caucasian people who live in the Caucasus region, and they are not white.

34,252 notes   •   February 10 2014, 08:19 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
gryffinpoor:

dudemanbropants:

gryffinpoor:

thepreciousthing:

the-ordinary-nerd:

ask-or-rp-with-will-petrisous:

squad16:

finalellipsis:

bestnatesmithever:

What if it bites me and it dies?

that means you’re poisonous. jesus christ, nate, learn to read.

What if it bites itself and I die?

It’s voodoo.

What if it bites me and someone else dies?

That’s correlation, not causation.

what if we bite each other and neither of us die

that’s kinky

oh my god

gryffinpoor:

dudemanbropants:

gryffinpoor:

thepreciousthing:

the-ordinary-nerd:

ask-or-rp-with-will-petrisous:

squad16:

finalellipsis:

bestnatesmithever:

What if it bites me and it dies?

that means you’re poisonous. jesus christ, nate, learn to read.

What if it bites itself and I die?

It’s voodoo.

What if it bites me and someone else dies?

That’s correlation, not causation.

what if we bite each other and neither of us die

that’s kinky

oh my god

434,217 notes   •   January 28 2014, 03:42 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#humor   #language   #word   #definition   

sandetiger:

meajoraswrath:

majorasmarx:

allyphobia:

if a trans girls tells you not to call her dude dont fucking call her dude 

Also, to my followers, please tell me if this upsets you.

I call everyone dude and I tend to use it as an exclamation for excitement or surprise, too. Please don’t hesitate to tell me if it bothers you.

^I understand a lot of people use words like “dude” as gender-neutral, and that’s totally fine to do with your CIS friends, but if you have a friend you know is trans* don’t just say it until they specify otherwise? Actually ask them before you use the phrase. Like I say “dude” and “bro” but I stop myself around my non-binary friends and my friends who are transwomen for very obvious reasons, until they state otherwise that it’s okay. Don’t depend on them to tell you it’s not okay. YOU step up and just ask or, you know, don’t say it at all.

Yeah, I try to be careful with ‘dude’ and ‘bro’ and such. One of my problem words is ‘man,’ which I am working on modifying how I use it, and most importantly, when and for whom. Cause that shit matters.

I use “guys” all the time and should probably work on that.

14,768 notes   •   January 10 2014, 10:09 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE

Reclaiming slurs means you’re turning a weapon into armor, not turning that weapon against other, usually more vulnerable members of the same group.

 -

~2spoopy4cis

This is the most brilliant way I have ever heard it explained.

(via inaruri)

3,780 notes   •   January 10 2014, 07:23 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#slurs   #language   #definition   

On Why The Word Gypsy Is Not Racist 

golden-zephyr:

mytsunami:

big-gadje-world:

rawphoenix:

The word gypsy actually comes from the word Egyptian, who gypsies were believed to be descendants of. And despite common belief that the term originated as a racial slur in WW2, it has actually been around and in many forms for several hundred years.

"According to the OED the word was first…

You cited Wikipedia?! Wikipedia?!

While Rroma & Romany were indeed enslaved under “Gypsy” laws, while we were and still are disenfranchised & oppressed under this pehorative exonym, and while WE are saying this word is hurtful and offensive.. you cite Wikifuckingpedia. 

And, it is not “common belief” that the word originated during WW2 because the slurs of continental Europe have completely different origins than “Gypsy”, but are viewed as equally, if not more offensive. 

Unless you are Rroma or Romany, you really don’t have a say on what WE find offensive. 

I.am.so. angry.

JESUS FUCK.

Seriously? The sole basis for this claim was a Wikipedia page?

Okay, so I have some time. Let me refute your ridiculously ill-cited post.

The word gypsy actually comes from the word Egyptian, who gypsies were believed to be descendants of. And despite common belief that the term originated as a racial slur in WW2, it has actually been around and in many forms for several hundred years.

"According to the OED the word was first used in English in 1514, with several more uses in the same century, and that both Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare used this word.”

"During the 16th and 17th centuries the name was written in various ways: EgipcianEgypcian'gypcian. The word gipsy/gypsy comes from the spellings which had lost the initial capital E, and this is one reason why it is often spelled with the initial g in lowercase.[17] As time elapsed, the notion of ‘the gipsy/gypsy’ altered to include other associated stereotypes such as nomadism andexoticism.[18] John Matthews in The World Atlas of Divination refer to gypsies as “Wise Women.”[19] Colloquially, gipsy/gypsy is used refer to any person perceived by the user as fitting the Gypsy stereotypes.[20]

Actually, the word Gypsy originates from the Middle English gypcian, short for Egipcien. It is ultimately derived, via Middle French and Latin, from the Greek Αἰγύπτιοι (Aigyptioi), i.e. “Egyptians”; cf. Greek γύφτοι (gýftoi), a corruption of the same word. It actually came to English via the Greek, most likely, since the first written record of anyone encountering the Romani was by Simon Simeonis (in his Itinerarium ab Hybernia ad Terram Sanctam) in the early 1300s in Crete, Greece. He called us “accursed of heaven” and “doomed to wander”. He actually used the word “Gypsy” too, so whomever did the referencing for the OED is mightily wrong.

This term DID make it’s way into English when the Roma began to arrive in the UK in the early 1500s and no one has ever disputed that it originated from the erroneous belief that Roma were Egyptian. However, they were first mislabeled in other European countries they made their way into.

The word came with stereotypes attached. They were not added later. As Simon Simeonis (you remember that dude from the 1300s) called us, “accursed of Heaven, nomad and outcast, who after the thirtieth day wander from field to field with little, oblong, black, low tents, after the fashion of the Arabs, and from cave to cave, because the place inhabited by them becomes after the above-mentioned time full of vermin and other filth, in the presence of which it is impossible to live.” (quote taken from the primary source of the Itinerarium ab Hybernia ad Terram Sanctam).

The word Gypsy has been misapplied to multiple groups for hundreds of years. Including Irish Travellers, Sottish Travellers, Jenische, and others. The word has always been used as a slur, since as soon as we arrived in many countries we were subjected to death threats, slavery, branding, hangings, forced sterilization, forced assimilation and all this prior to WWI.

Brief timeline prior to WWI (I utilize the correct word Roma/Romani here, since these actions ONLY APPLY TO THE ROMA):

1385: The first recorded transaction of Romani slaves is recorded in Romania.

1416-­‐1504: The Roma are expelled from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and France.

1505: First record of Roma in Britain

1510: Switzerland imposes the death penalty.

1512-­‐1538: The Roma are expelled from Catalonia, Bavaria, Portugal, Sweden, England, Wales, and Denmark.

1538: Portugal deports Roma to the Colonies.

1544: England deports Roma to Norway.

1554: First law making being Roma in England a crime punishable by death.

1589: Denmark imposes the death penalty to all Roma.

1596: 106 men and women condemned to death in England for being Roma.

1637: Sweden imposes the death penalty to all Roma.

1721: Emperor Karl VI orders the extermination of all Roma in the Austro­‐Hungarian Empire.

1728: Last living Romani hunted down in Holland. Some tried to escape via ship to America. Rotterdam port authority chased them down and forced all Roma to jump overboard.

1547-­‐1749: The Roma are expelled from Norway, Bohemia, Poland, Lithuania, Scotland, Denmark (again), Norway (again), Belarus, and Sweden (again).

1758: Empress Maria Theresa begins a program to assimilate all Roma by force.

1812: Nomadic Romani in Finland are confined to workhouses.

1822: Turnpike Act is introduced. All Roma camping along the roadside are fined.

1830: Germany begins a program of removing Romani children from their homes to be fostered with non-Roma families.

1848: Transylvania frees the Roma from 500 years of slavery, followed by Moldavia in 1855 and Wallachia in 1856.

1849: Denmark allows Romani back into the country.

1868: Richard Liebich coins the phrase “lives unworthy of life.” This is later used by the Nazis to destroy the Roma alongside the Jews in the Holocaust.

1872 – 1899: Roma are expelled from Belgium, Denmark (again), and Germany.

1890: Germany organizes a conference on “The Gypsy Scum.” The “Central Office for Fighting the Gypsy Nuisance” gets its start there.

1906: France hands out identity cards to all Roma.

…. So you can clearly see from the BEGINNING the word was a slur. It did not change with the arrival of Roma in the UK in the early 1500s.

Now onto your bullshit about English Law:

Use in English law

Gipsy has several developing and overlapping meanings under English Law. Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, ‘gipsies’ are defined as “persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin, but does not include members of an organised group of travelling showmen, or persons engaged in travelling circuses, travelling together as such.”[34] This definition includes such groups as New Age Travellers, as well as Irish Travellers and Romany.[35][36]

Gipsies of Romany origins have been a recognised ethnic group for the purposes of Race Relations Act 1976 since Commission for Racial Equality v Dutton 1989 and Irish Travellers in England and Wales since O’Leary v Allied Domecq 2000 (having already gained recognition in Northern Ireland in 1997)

- wiki

UNDER ENGLISH LAW you can refer to yourself as a gypsy as long as you are a nomadic traveler. And yet it is still recognized as an ethnic group anyways. So obviously, there has been a lot of confusion over the word for a long time. But under no circumstance was it invented as a ‘genocidal slur’. It’s origin in fact had NO negative connotation whatsoever, unless you consider the word Egyptian to be so.

As I’ve already stated, the origins of the word WERE a slur (Egyptian was in reference to our dark hair, skin and eyes - this is where the phrase “black as a Gypsy” came from).

The 1960 Caravan Sites (Control and Development) Act stopped new private sites for Roma being built. Eviction and harassment of Roma reaches crisis point. The 1968 (amended) Caravan Sites Act insists that from 1970, local authorities should provide sites. It’s never enforced.

1972, the government exempts many councils from building sites and in 1994, the government’s “Criminal Justice Act” abolishes the Caravan Sites Act, leaving more than 5,000 families with no legal home.

As for your legal definition:

The term ‘travelling people’ is one often used in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It can include:

  • ‘Gypsies’ who may be of English, Welsh or Scottish descent, and who have Romany ancestry. ‘Gypsies’ have a specific meaning for the purposes of planning and local authority law, which is considered below.
  • ‘Irish Travellers’ who are a nomadic Irish ethnic group with a separate identity, culture, language and history. There are many Irish Travellers resident in Britain for all or part of the year.
  • ‘Scottish Travellers’ who like Irish Travellers have musical traditions, language and other histories that date back at least to the twelfth century.
  • The Roma people who have moved to Britain from Central and Eastern Europe (of which Britain’s Romany Gypsies are members).
  • People with a long family history of travelling because they work with fairgrounds and circuses (also known as ‘Travelling Show people’).
  • So-called ‘New Travellers’. Some of whom may be second or third generation Travellers and/or may have Gypsy ancestry.

The Commission for Racial Equality only upheld that “Romany Gypsies” were an ethnic group within the meaning of the Race Relations Act of 1976, with regard to their shared history, geographical origin, distinct customs and language.  It wasn’t until more recently that Irish Travellers were recognized as a separate ethnic group (O’Leary v Allied Domecq). And eventually in 2008, the MacLennan v Gypsy Traveller Education and Information Project led to a landmark ruling that Scottish Gypsy/Travellers are a distinct ethnic group bringing them within the protection of the Race Relations Act. Other travelling groups CANNOT claim such protection NOR can they claim separate ethnic status.

Legally, the British government DOES this to systematically discriminate against Roma and Travellers. By writing us into law as “Gypsies” we are all lumped in one pot, effectively erasing our different cultures, languages, and lifestyles. This was very effective for the government, as they were able to limit our access to hitch/pitch sites in one fell swoop (since “Gypsy” covered everyone from Travellers, through the Roma, to showmen and “new age”) - just as Hitler did not discriminate between “Roma” and “Sinte” (or the other groups, such as Jenische and Manouche) who were targeted as “Zigeuneur”.

Even (perhaps especially) within the law, the word has a VERY long history of being utilized as a veiled racial slur. The British KNEW what they were doing when they hard coded it into so many laws from the beginning and legal recognition of our minority status has differed across the UK.

A report published in 2004 showed Gypsy and Traveller communities are the most at risk health group in the UK with the lowest life expectancy and the highest child mortality rate (University of Sheffield 2004).  Persistent inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils are evidenced in continued lower academic attainment (National Literacy Trust 2011) and research has been dedicated to exploring the issues that impact on educational outcomes (Department for Education 2009).  

A research study, published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2009, presents evidence of Gypsies’ and Travellers’ experiences of inequalities in a wide range of areas and has highlighted “the extent to which many of their experiences remain invisible and ignored within wider agendas” (Cemlyn et al 2009, p.252). The report covers the experiences of Gypsies and Travellers in England, Scotland and Wales.

Gypsies and Travellers were highlighted as the minority group about which people felt least positively in a survey profiling the nature of prejudice in England (Stonewall 2003). Media reporting of stories about Gypsies and Travellers have usually reinforced negative stereotypes, a situation exacerbated by figures of authority (Power 2004, Commission for Racial Equality 2006). In their media analysis, Amnesty International in Scotland found a disproportionate amount of scrutiny of Scottish Gypsy Travellers in the Scottish media (Amnesty International 2012b). Nurses have an important role in challenging the prejudices faced by Gypsy and Traveller communities (Van Cleemput 2010). 

I did not mention WWII in this reply once (except for a passing remark regarding Hitler), yet, I have systematically proven your “wiki” entry to be wrong. The word was and still is a racial and ethnic slur, no matter its origins or whether its hard-coded in archaic laws. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that the First World Romani Congress were able to legally and formally declare that Roma should be our official appellation. The law (and the press) have been slow to follow. They aren’t keen on upholding the rights of a minority that they clearly have little affection for.

The word “Gypsy” is utilized so much within the UK (and other EU countries) not because we’re wrong and it’s not considered a slur, but rather because in order to gain legal recognition organizations MUST use the legal definition (which at this time stands at “Gypsy, Roma, Traveller”.

And lastly, your final shit in the pot:

So people really need to stop fucking saying the word gypsy is just as bad as the n word. If people wanted to MOCK the gypsies in World War 2, they would have given them another name - like how they called the Jews untermensch (subhuman) & Judencheisse (Jewshit).

It seems quite clear to me that the Nazis did not need to create any other word, since even before WWI the term “Gypsy” was adequately offensive and derogatory. They did not call us by our OWN name (for example, Jew/Jewish). And trust me. There were plenty of words added in front or behind the word “Zigeuneur” in WWII. Not to mention the fact that you clearly have no idea of how the words untermensch and schiesse were applied during that time, nor other words that were specifically used against other groups (such as the Roma and Sinti).

As one final piece of advice,

NEVER TELL SOMEONE TO WHOM SUCH A WORD APPLIES THAT IT WAS NEVER NOR IS NOT A RACIAL OR ETHNIC SLUR.

168 notes   •   January 03 2014, 03:42 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#history   #word   #slurs   #definition   #Roma   

concernedresidentofbakerstreet:

okay woWIE YOU GUYS REALLY NEED TO WATCH THIS BECAUSE PANTENE DID A COMMERCIAL ABOUT HOW SHIT LABELS AGAINST WOMEN ARE AND ITS JUST SO GREAT WOWIE

179,599 notes   •   January 03 2014, 02:47 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#advertising   #misogyny   #patriarchy   #video   #word   #definition   

infernumequinomin:

nicolas-christ:

Pantene Phillippines #whipit Labels against women

This is so relevant it’s not even funny.

300,785 notes   •   December 16 2013, 12:55 AM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
#gif   #misogyny   #sexism   #word   #definition   #truth   

D&D Stats Explained with Tomatoes

raktajino-hot:

corruptionpoints:

mindchildofmadness submits:

Strength is being able to crush a tomato.

Dexterity is being able to dodge a tomato.

Constitution is being able to eat a bad tomato.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.

Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.

Charisma is being able to sell a tomato based fruit salad.

(Source)

image

99,999 notes   •   December 13 2013, 04:37 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE
345,010 notes   •   December 11 2013, 07:23 PM   •   VIA   •   SOURCE