So the world is mental. No shit Sherlock. There are so many words, phrases and labels you are not able to utter out loud these days for fear of small but dangerous inanimate objects (such as a protractor or empty Capri Sun drink) to be hurled at you in disgust. The need to be politically correct is massively spiralling out of control, and as myself and my friends who like to pretend we are dickhead teenagers would say… it’s totes ridic!
One of the main issues that boggles my mind is why so many folk are too scared to use the word ‘black’ when describing a Black person. Some of my mates even find it hard to describe me as Black which I don’t understand because… I am Black! They prefer to detail me as the girl with the hair, glasses and loud t-shirts which is perfectly fine… however it leaves the other person trying to picture me clueless and kinda bored… whereas if you just said “the Black bird with the ‘fro, glasses and loud t-shirts” then I am automatically recognisable and you’ve just cut the describing time in half! When I have asked certain friends why they do not label me as ‘Black’ when talking about me, some say they do not feel the need to as it’s not important… and fair enough, but others say they feel uncomfortable with having to say I’m Black in case it is perceived as offensive. This I feel is crazy and clearly shows how race is such a taboo subject that just by mentioning the colour of ones skin in conversation causes such confusion and awkwardness.
I was at a friend’s wedding a few months back and like most social gatherings I seem to be invited to, I am usually the only Black person there. This has never bothered me as 95% of my mates are White and so happy days… whatever… continue! At the end of the night when everyone is trying to get their drunken ass home after dancing like a prick to the Grease medley, my mother comes to collect me. We had no phone signal as we were stuck in the country and so she asked one of the guests if he can get my attention. When asked who I was, my mother simply said in a jovial but matter of fact way ‘She’ll be the only Black person there!’ This comment was overheard by a White taxi driver who snapped back at my mum “I’m sure your daughter is not going to be the only Black person there!” insinuating that we all live in a multi-cultural society… heal the world make it a better place… doesn’t matter if you’re Black or White type ting! Of which my mother turned to him and said “trust me… she is the only Black person there.” Now why the taxi driver a) felt the need to pipe up and b) get so damn offended and upset by my mum’s accurate statement… I have no clue. I can only assume that again that the mere mention of race sends people nuts… and that taxi drivers just need to shut up and drive!
Back in the day it was deemed fine to call Black people ‘coloured’. Even my uncles who are Black still say ‘coloured’… However say this today and you’re gonna get hurt… by an angry Black woman with a bright blonde ill-fitted weave and acrylic nails going by the name of Kentucky-Fried- Chicken-Niqua! (I love stereotypes!) It is the same with mixed race individuals. In my day (fuck I feel so old!) it was acceptable to call someone half-caste. My best friend at the time was mixed race and this term was used freely without question or offense. But when I was having a discussion with a university tutor and I mentioned ‘half-caste’ he looked at me like I just said I was gonna get naked in front of him… pure disgust! He was White, his wife was Black and their child was mixed race, and so he quickly and sternly told me I should never say half-caste again… and I never have. Well obviously I’m saying it now… but you know what I mean!
Basically people need to chill the fudge out. Just because you use a word to describe ones ethnicity does not make you racist… unless you are using it in a manner or tone to purposefully cause offense. That’s all.