Why These Statements Are Offensive to People of Color

Written by Dominique Bancey- Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

People of Color, especially Blacks, have constantly been faced with actions and statements that are quite offensive, and some even very racist. The individuals saying them, however, don’t realize why it’s offensive. Therefore, they come to the conclusion that we are overreacting and it’s because of the color of our skin why we are so angry, of course, that’s the famous black trait – anger.

If you are also a person of color, then for sure you’ll be able to relate and understand why at times you feel angry or a tad bit pissed off when things are said to you.

If you aren’t a person of color, use this as a guide for what you should or shouldn’t say to POC.

“You’re so pretty for a black girl.” / “You’re the prettiest black girl I’ve ever met/seen.”

This statement isn’t only said by non-POC, but unfortunately, some POC say it too, not realizing how offensive they are being. This is offensive because it makes it seem as though all/most black girls are ugly and they are the one exception. To the POC who say this to darker-skinned women, telling her that she’s beautiful even though she’s so dark, that is NOT a compliment.

“Since *another black person* can do *this* then you can do it too, right?”

This is such a terrible generalization so it should be obvious just how offensive it is, yet it is still done. Just because one or few persons of a certain race can do something, doesn’t’t mean that they can all do it. Being black, white, asian, etc., we are all still individuals with different skill sets.

“Are you real/full black?”

This.. is a NO NO. You may be curious to find out whether a person is mixed with another race or not, but this is not the way to go about it. Even if they are mixed with white, or another race, asking if they are REAL black makes it seem as though they won’t be real if they are mixed. Whether mixed or not, POC are still that.. POC.

Unfortunately, there are many other phrases that could be mentioned, but for now, we’ll still with these. Who knows, maybe I’ll do a part 2. Hopefully you learned something and can apply it to your life.

Until next time.

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