race and language

Wed, 6 Jul 1994 14:46:00 PDT

Holmstrom writes:

" Certainly the term people of color is highly problematic as
it also implies that "white" or people of Euro-American descent are
not "of color" which is completely misleading and gives added weight
to the feeling that Euro-Americans "have no culture" or ethnic

Rightly or wrongly, I have always surmised that the term "people of color"
originated by virtue of the fact that the dichotomy "black"/"white" uses
categorizations that exclude those such as American Indian, Latinos, etc.
who find themselves in a similar position as do "blacks" vis-a-vis whites,
but are not "blacks" . The introduction of the term "color" would seem (at
least as I have surmised) to be a way to encompass those who are not "whites"
(i.e., not of European descent) into a common category defined by a
disadvantaged position vis-a-vis the dominant group, i.e., "whites".
Certainly the emic term "people of color" is not and was not intended to be
an etically accurate description of skin color. I would not have thought
the term implies that "Euro-Americans" "have no culture."

D. Read