Note: This is very much a work in progress.
I am giving up the use of the following words except in quoted speech or when talking about the word itself. In other words, I will not use them in my own voice as if they were reasonable ways of thinking about things.
Note that this has nothing to do with what The Economist calls “trembling racial sensibilities”, with what the right calls political correctness and the left calls decency. Rather it is about avoiding some of the thinking (being) built into English.
Oscar, Grammy, Emmy – use White Oscar, White Grammy, etc.
mainstream culture – use “US television and schools”, “White”, “White mainstream culture”, etc, depending on what is meant.
The (mainstream) media – use Big Media if it comes from one of the half dozen or so companies that produce 90% of what people in the US read, watch or listen to.
The press – use White press, White Liberal Press, Big Media, depending.
(world) history – use White History, Western history, depending.
known world – known to whom?
America, American – use “US” if that is what is meant. For example, use US Whites, not White Americans. When talking about race in the US, use Black, White, Native, Asian and Latino – the five-race model. When talking about broad cultures in the Americas, use Anglo American, Latin American, etc. Most posts have to do with the US, so it is enough to make that clear in the opening and then just say “Whites”, “Blacks”, etc.
Indian – use US Native, First Nation, if not something more specific like Iroquois or Lakota.
European – use White (race) or Western (culture) or, better yet, something more specific, like British or Basque.
sub-Saharan Africa – use Africa, Black Africa, Black, etc.
Middle East – use South West Asia, Arab world, Muslim world, Western oil supplies, etc, depending on what is meant.
ethnic, ethnicity – these push a White Default and are so misunderstood that it is best to avoid them. Use “race” if that is what is meant.
tribe – use nation or First Nation.
settler, pioneer – use colonist or invader. Settler and pioneer push the idea that the land was unsettled, which is almost never the case.
illegal immigrant – undocumented worker.
God – use Allah.
women – use White women, if that is what is meant
alt-right – a marketing term. Use White nationalist.
populist – use nativist, racist, White nationalist, etc, if that is what is meant.
overwhelming support – use “overwhelming White support” if Trump is meant. Or “46% of the popular vote” or “won the Electoral College”. Otherwise it is a untrue.
working-class Whites – use just White if this is a classist fig-leaf to hide the fact that Trump had “overwhelming (White) support”.
smart people – avoid as a euphemism for the racists, Islamophobes, militarists and Wall Street bankers Trump is appointing to top positions in government.
quoting Trump – always fact check.
– Abagond, 2016.
- style guide
- The Economist: the unauthorized style guide
- If English had a Black Default
- White Default
- normalizing Trump
- Learning from ienna in the 1930s
- White people wrote the dictionary