Is Honkey the Antonym of “People of Color?”

brothersI keep getting in trouble over the term “people of color.”

Frankly the term POC   is offensive to me.  To put matters another way, claiming to be a POC seems to mean you’re part of a group that has the special privilege of demanding consideration from “white” people. The effect. like the misuse of the term “holocaust” demeans the very real struggle for equality of African Americans

This is ludicrous. The decision as to who or who is not a person of color, has nothing to do with the amount of color in their skin. . Currently, for example, most Hispanics are called people of color. Of course, Hispanics have no more color than Greeks, Italians, or Arabs. I suppose that many people now consider Palestinians “people of color” even though genetically there is no difference between the average Palestinian and the average Israeli Jew.  I guess you get to be a POC if your ethic group suffers prejudice.  Italians are not POC but Spaniards are?

The conflation of skin color and bigotry is also confusing .  I managed to offend one person I admire greatly when commented that the  term “POC” has become racist. I hadn’t realized that this colleague, not only considered herself a “person of color” but has led efforts to address wrongs done to people of color. This person has much lighter skin than I do and, at least as far as one can tell from looking at her face, probably has no more Caucasian genes that I do. She is, however, of upper class Cuban origins.

My own right to be a POC , as I’ve written about elsewhere on THE Ave, is probably at least as strong as the case of my Cubano friend.  Half my ancestry is Sephardi.  When we were driven out of Spain, in 1492, we were called by the epithet “Negri.”  Yes, the term “Negri” meant the same then as the term “Nigger” in the United States… The difference being that the white folks in Spain used the term for dark skin moors and Jews rather than for African slaves. So am I a POC?

Like my Jewish identity, my Cubano friend is only identifiable as a POC if she tells people that she is a Cuban.  Whatever prejudices she might feel, pale (excuse the pun) compared to those experienced by my black friends.

Native Americans, of course, are a special case.   I suspect that the huge majority of people  with indigenous American ancestry  here , have enough admixture with Europeans  to be indistinguishable  from  from white folks.   On the other hand , just as with Jews, the American tribes  claim the right to decide who  is and who is not  an Indian.    Is membership in the POC , merely a matter of choice ?

Beyond any other value to the term POC, one would have to be blind not to see that many “peoples of color” do exceedingly well in the United States, in fact outperforming previous immigrant groups lacking such a distinctive skin color. As an American, I’m extremely proud of the new American immigrants from dark skinned areas the world like India, China, and the Caribbean who are doing rather well in the United States. Hell, I am even proud of white folks who immigrate here from Ukraine!

Indian Americans, have the highest income among America’s multicultural groups and save much of their higher household income for their children’s college education, according to a new study.

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