The phrase, folks! The phrase “people of color” is the subject of my ire not black, brown, red, yellow, purple and plaid people. Title came out a little wrong, admittedly, but c’mon guys—don’t be obtuse! There is something called the use-mention distinction, so why don’t you educate yourselves before you goin’ trippin’ on yous own legs and gettin’ ’em egg yolks on y’all faces ‘gin, you putzes.
Anywho, “people of color” (or “people of colour” if you’re British and thereby a git) is one of those politically correct terms that suddenly materialized out of the academic ethnic studies ether, and well, now everyone uses it: politicians, professors, journalists, college students, celebrities. You know, all our moral betters who selflessly serve as our benevolent overlords who are “in-the-know” about these kind of things. Their effete use of “people of color” proves it.
So one reason for my internet rage, all beet-faced with spittle, is the groupthink behind the recent mass adoption of this phrase into people’s lexicons. All the who’s who, people of influence, talk the same way is upsetting in a I-just-woke-up-in-a-George-Orwell-novel sort of way.
Then there’s the pretentiousness of it all. “Colored people” nowadays is considered dated and insensitive, but “people of color” has a ring to it, a nobility to behold. It bespeaks a mannered, enlightened, Tolkienesque syntax that is wielded by a cultured, progressive mind. So then ostensibly being “of color” confers a type of fantastical, legendary moral stature like “the Riders of Rohan,” “the White Tree of Gondor,” or “of House Lannister.” Ugh. The self-importance of it all induces the gag reflex.
And did I mention that all that who’s anyone repeats the insipid phrase, especially journalists. As I have a background in journalism, needless to say but I’ll do it anyway, this vexes me. This topic deserves a post in its own right, but basically when the fourth estate quickly digests politically correct jargon and uses it as the standard for appropriate style in praxis, ruh roh! And as everyone knows, the free press is naughty…
…so too then are we screwed,