Here are some things White Americans say that seem odd, offensive, arrogant, ignorant and so on. Maybe it is just me. Commenters can offer their own opinions and examples.
Those with links have posts of their own:
Caucasian – an outdated scientific term this sounds odd to me, like Oriental or Negro. On the other hand, White Americans still use it to refer to themselves and would know best if it is offensive.
ching chong – mocking or stereotyping a person’s language (or limited English) shows a lack of respect.
different (cultural) background – often used as a “nice”, unracist-sounding way to say that blacks, Latinos, non-Westerners, etc, are screwed up. Comes from an ethnocentric, deficiency model of people of colour – aka cultural racism.
ghetto – as an adjective it is used as a put-down for those parts of working-class black culture not yet appropriated by whites.
Hollywood stereotypes – American film and television do not present a true-to-life picture of people of colour. Not even the news. Because those things are run by white people. Even BET.
ethnic – used as if White Americans do not have their own holidays, foods, neighbourhoods, restaurants, accents, ideas of beauty, etc.
Eurocentric terms – words that set up white Westerners as the centre of the world. Examples: ethnic, exotic, native, tribal, regular, normal, backward, underdeveloped, etc.
exotic - normalizes whiteness.
“I’m not racist but…” – if you have to say it, you probably are.
inner city – sounds objective and unracist, but it means the part of the city where few white people live.
minorities - soon everyone in America will be a minority. Featured in so many racist statements that it makes my skin crawl.
Mock Ebonics – in my experience, whites mainly use it as a sort of extended, condescending put-down. See ching chong.
Mock Spanish – Spanish is one of the great languages of the Western world. Making fun of it (“No problemo”, etc) makes you look like an ignorant, arrogant twit. See ching chong.
names – not trying to get a person’s name right shows a lack of respect.
N-word – it is a racial slur when applied by a white person to a black person, despite what Tim Allen (pictured) says.
Negro - dated.
Oriental - dated.
oversensitive - said by insensitive racist jerks.
personal preference – when it falls in line with hundreds of years of white racist thinking, it is unlikely to be personal.
purple people – and polka-dotted ones too. Used to belittle the issue
Quoting Martin Luther King – mostly used by whites to silence talk of racism.
racial slurs – are racist. Examples: chink, coon, cracker, Flip, gook, honky, Jap, jigaboo, nigger, spic, whitey.
racist jokes – are racist. They strengthen racism.
“Some of my best friends are black” – mainly said by clueless racists.
sub-Saharan Africa – an objective-sounding way to say Black Africa – with a “sub” thrown in.
white proverbs – stock expressions whites use to centre whiteness. Examples:
- “Where are you really from?”
- “I don’t see you as black.”
- “You’re not like other blacks.”
- “You speak such good English!”
- “She’s pretty for a black girl.”
- “Go back to Africa.”
- “Get over it!”
whitey - a racial slur mostly used by whites to make blacks seem racist.