Monday, May 07, 2012

It’s Not About the Color, Stupid

It’s about the stupidity.

What a hue and cry in Britain today! Or a 'hue' at the very least:

Police chiefs have banned IT staff from using the word “blacklist over fears it is RACIST.

In an email, Scotland Yard warned staff the words were no longer “appropriate”.

Security services chief Brian Douglas wrote: “IB (Information Board) are uncomfortable with the use of the term Whitelist (and I presume Blacklist).

“I am sure we can appreciate the sensitivity around the use of such terminology today so please ensure it is no longer used.” He suggested using green and red list instead.
And so now instead we callously disregard the sensitivities of those “Little Green Men” on Mars? Is that it?? Not to mention Native American “Redman” tobacco? Quelle horreur!

Why not a “Mauve List”? Or magenta for rilly rilly serious offenders? Serious offences call for serious colors, me boys. And those black eyes you’re gonna get for this latest official stupidity? Call them “multi-colored orbital contusions”. Surely no one can censure any term which begins with “multi”. Surely?

Sources at the Met — where 20 officers are under investigation over alleged racism — branded the decision “bizarre”.

One said: “Do we really think these words are discriminatory? The truth is they’re nothing to do with race whatsoever and are very common IT terms. Banning them won’t solve any genuine problems the Met has with racism.”
True enough. But appearances matter when you're overpaid and haven't enough to do. So nah, nah. I have my fingers in my ears... can’t hear you. Besides, everything has everything to do with race. My heavens, under what rock have these bureaucrats been hiding all this time?

Scotland Yard said: “This is not a change in policy.

“It is a change in internal Information Communications Technology terminology which reflects a more appropriate use of language.”
I’ll translate that for you: “This is not a change in policy. This is a change made to reflect the further dumbing down of those in charge. Our supersensitive ears cannot abide such overt displays of hatred. None o' that at Scotland Yard, you buggers”.

These men are utterly no help at all. Now what am I supposed to call my Little Black Dress? “Little Dark Garment” doesn’t make it.

Pass the smelling salts, Betsy Jane. This will not do.

As always, our readers — perhaps particularly the Brits since this is happening on their turf — will chime in with some remedial locutions for this worrisome conundrum.

Oops. Is “turf” a color?


Dymphna said...

I forgot to mention:

"Bl*** Holes";
"B*a** Licorice";
"B**c* Mood";
"B***k Market;
"B**** piano keys;
"Crosse & B****well's grapefruit marmalade; (preferably straight from the jar)
"BLACK Jack; (subsitute "Onesies").

There's one headed for the door, fer sure: "a black mark against your name".Your mother wsa wrong; that can't happen anymore.

Benjamin of Wight said...


The horror the horror!

Dymphna said...

Ah 'bout "whited sepulchers?"

And let's make that Rainbow Hall, shall we? Now that the Queen has installed a Muslim loo in her own digs, can that be far behind? So to speak?

Anonymous said...

There's no place in civil society for a lexicon rife with words of color/colour. Boycott the chromatically insensitive. Wait... boycott... sexist... Well, no matter, we have people on it.

George Pal

Anonymous said...

I find the default mode of printing, placing black words against a white background, racially insensitive. Clearly, it references that the work done by the black underclass cannot help but depend upon white hegemony. Furthermore, each word is divided from its brother, while the white background is continuous, promoting the idea that inter-African strife is natural. I suggest the white page be replaced by alternating black and brown patches, against which one would find black or brown text, as visibility requires. I would also cease to place a space between words, or even to intermix words to be rid of that noxious theory that there exist separate entities which only certain words can reference, another horrific bulwark of racism and segregation.

cjk said...

@Anonymous 1:04PM
Very good !
I add that it's galling that I am forced to be a part of this ongoing prejudicial system in that my comment will appear in broken black over a solid white format, disgusting!

Anonymous said...

This has been going on for decades and, again, is an inheritance from the Bolsheviks. Rebranding. Changing the meaning of words to camouflage incenvenient reality. Playing with facts. War is Peace.
Of interest to GoV readers is this 1/17/2008 Daily Mail headline: "Government renames Islamic terrorism as 'anti-Islamic activity.'"
Takuan Seiyo

Dymphna said...

@ cjk --

Here @ GoV, sensitive folk that we are, your comment will appear in brown on a beige background. What more could one ask for?

And to think that some ppl claim we're "frightening"...I swan.

Félicie said...

Has anyone named "blackguard"? That would be outlawed, of course.

There is no question that the word "black" has a negative connotation in our culture. But it has nothing to do with race, of course. It has to do with light or absence of light. Night is bad because you can't see your way, the predators, or the enemy. Daylight is good. In the same sense, up is good, because it is associated with being upright and healthy, while down is bad, because it suggests being sick or dead.

Instead of outlawing all words with black and white, I would much rather the PC police rename the races to mahagonies and beiges - if they really must.

Dymphna said...

BTW, some of my favorite fancy language has issued from TSA, via the cakehole of its exec. According to this worthy - worthy of a mention in "1984" had he but known - is redefining terrorism as "man-caused disasters".

Since this woman was no doubt the issue of her parents' congress at some point, I suppose we could call her a "man&woman-caused disaster".

Rich Lowry's take a few years ago.

However, for a good time, just use the search string Janet Napalitano and man-caused disaster.

Even when there's a guy on table with guns, mowing down his fellow soldiers while screaming for Allahs...that's not terrorism for the differently-abled like Ms. Napalitano. Nope...that's man-caused, etc.

Now extremerightwinglonger extremists - say a hunting club wiht mostly white men in it - THAT's terrorism.

Whoever it was that prayed to live in interesting times - somebody shoot him!

Vale of Ignorance said...

Tsk! The point isn't to do anything construtive! The aim is to self-flagellate in public as an example for others to follow.

Nilk said...

At primary schools here in Oz, we no longer have blackboards. We have chalkboards.

Well, if you can find one in a modern schoolroom. Plenty of whiteboards around.

Also, the PC Police also declared years ago that Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep was the way to go.

When Magilla was in daycare a few years back she attempted to learn that one. It didn't really take.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

I'm reminded of a story from several years back, on the subject of hardware technical terms, that took place in - where else? - San Francisco. Apparently some middle-management bod in the city council objected to the then current assignment of PATA harddrives as either "master" or "slave" . It was, he said, discriminatory against blacks and those who choose certain alternative lifestyles; by trivialising their lifestyle choice and/or ancestors travails the terminology in question would have to be stricken from use forthwith, he said, lest it offend someone.

Of course the fact that the master drive took complete control of the slave drive's actions and told the slave drive what to do, thus rendering the terms entirely accurate and any proposed replacements completely inappropriate, completely passed him by.

Not that it matters now that SATA and its philosophy of one drive, one socket has become the norm.

And there's another thing. "Appropriate" is such a misused word these days. Apparently it doesn't mean "the most accurate and suitable word to describe a thing" but "the word we've decided is currently least offensive to Current Pandered Minority X".

Appropriate responses to this pap are still in committee.

Dymphna said...

@Félicie --

Bingo! No one has mentioned "blackguard" till now. IIRC, my mother used that word on occasion, and it was accompanied by a black frown.

@ Archonix -

Remember repairing your own brakes, with their master and slave cylinder components?

OT a bit, but I still recall with suprise and pleasure hearing an aircraft mechanic talk about the "oleo strut". I've since used that term in songs, poems, etc. Some kinetic genius ought to cherograph a dance around those words.

Of course "oleo" is probably illegal now, referring as it might to - gasp! - oleomargarine.

Foregone said...

Nevertheless, non-whites will remain non-white. That aside, it needs be said that the word 'blacklist' is a negative word. It means that those on the list are not as worthy as those not on the list. The inclusion of the word 'black' suggests that black people are automatically unworthy. If you at the same time have the concept of a whitelist then you have a form of apartheid which of course becomes actual racialism from the point of view of those who are primarily sensuous. Negativity by any kind of decree is bad for any society and that is simply because children will grow up to be less worthy by virtue of the negativity than would be the case had the negativity never existed. A plainly obvious example of the results of negative droning is Muhammadanism but yet it is not even close to being outlawed. I suppose that is the real stupidity.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the "reasonable man" standard? Current pc standards are determined to privilege very unreasonable responses of minorities.
I recently read a blog by a young American libertarian who had voted for Obama. His motto: "I drank the Kool-Aid in '08, but will not in 2012." He was deluged with accusations of racism, claiming that Kool-Aid (popular with my white children) is somehow a slur on blacks, and that the word "drank" is ebonic slang for some drug. Even those familiar with the intended Jonestown reference claimed that ignorant and irrelevant racial interpretations should prevail in order to censor the motto.
Why don't the minorities just get together and invent racial slang meanings for "individual justice," "freedom of speech," "wasted taxes, etc?" They could co-opt the entire language of conservativism, making it a racial crime to express any of the ideas that made Western Culture great.

Mr. Rational said...

I am assumng that these a**clowns have never ordered a black-and-tan at a bar, and never will.

If anyone needed to be terminated from their employment With Extreme Prejudice, these "chiefs" do.

bewick said...

I am told that during WW2 there was, every night, a "blackout" in the UK to stop enemy planes seeing any lights. Suppose that would be "darkout" now. Ooops I surely can't use "dark" can I?

Anonymous said...

These ideas are dumb. Just like in Oz, in the UK a whole generation has grown up calling a blackboard "a chalkboard", whilst a whiteboard is still a whiteboard. I'm surprised that black pigment has not been removed from art classes because of a failure to find an anodyne substitute word.

The master/slave discussion for computer parts should at least be informed by knowledge of African muslims coming to Ireland and Denmark to take white people as slaves 400 years ago. And the Roman Empire also happily took black people or white people as slaves. Some insects take other insects as slaves. It is racist to reduce the concept of slavery to a black/white issue. And it is because the schools & media want to pretend that only white people took black people as slaves that such ignorance prevails in the land.


p.revesz said...

There is an organization called "National Black Police Association" in the UK.

Don't even think the opposite would be permitted.

Anonymous said...

The B.... Box...? The one with the crucial recorded information of a plane's flight? What to call it?

B.... Boy was forever, a Norwegian spices trademark. Think it was forbiddenm because it "was racist".

Here's a photo of the B.... Boy pepper. White pepper, though. It's even labelled "Allround". So as not to "be racist".

Anonymous said...


Just came to think of the important term in interior design, Master Bedroom...

Where might that possibly derive from? Must someone look into this matter asap, so as to put it on the b....list?

Anonymous said...

There are Black Music Awards. There are Miss Black competitions.

Just imagine the opposite.

Europeans and Americans would never think of inventing anything based on the color. Must have something to do with intellectual capacities, or something.