Do White American’s find it hard to say the word black?

Posted by James, 28 Oct 08

Recently I stumbled across an article claiming White Americans whisper the word ‘black’ (not the color) – in reference to race. Apparently, while at a grocery store, the writer overheard 2 White middle aged women talking about a mutual friend:

Woman 1 : How is Beth? I haven’t seen her in years. Woman 2: Well she moved to California. Woman 1: Tell me about it. When did that happen? Woman 2: About five years ago. But the surprising part is that she married a black guy.

Now here is where I have do some of the explaining. I had to use italics on ‘black’ since I don’t know how to indicate whispering in written dialogue. Woman 2 practically lowered her head a little then her voice as she whispered the word ‘black’.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

The interesting bit was the whisper. Apparently, most White Americans do it for some reason. Why? Could it be since America is supposed to be a colorblind nation, we aren’t supposed to see race, point it or even mention it?

In another article, “Whispering Black (or Little White) Lies,” Molly Secours has also observed this phenomenon. In her article, she narrates:

While searching for real estate in Nashville, I encountered a pleasant and accommodating middle-aged women who showed me some property in the Belmont area. Although I wasn’t interested in the place, she seemed eager to help me locate something more suited to my taste. She assured me that her partner managed many properties and felt confident he would have something available in the near future. She promised to have him call me as soon as possible.

Before we parted I inquired as to the location of another apartment that interested me. Leaning in close and confidential she advised me to be careful because although the area in which I was looking was close by, it was still “coming around.” As my mind and heart raced, I tried to appear as though I didn’t know what “coming around” meant.

Normally among whites this coded language is clearly understood with no explanation necessary. But I wanted to hear her say it. And she did. In a sweet maternal tone she warned me of the dangers of the neighborhood because there were still a lot of “blacks” living in the area. And she did what white people often do. She whispered the word “black” as if to protect a coveted secret.

But why whisper? Was she afraid someone would hear her who wasn’t white? Was it because black people don’t know they are black? Or was it to soften her insinuation that blacks are undesirable to live with? The only certainty is that she must have felt confident that I would understand and appreciate her warning.

Well maybe people whisper because on some level, the context at which the word ‘black’ is being used is somewhat racist. So lowering the voice is a way of being politically correct.

In a similar article, a recent study showed that White Americans don’t like to talk about race. They either go silent or colorblind – a phenomenon dubbed ‘strategic colorblindness.’ In this study, Whites are still socially awkward around blacks, something that Blacks perceive as being evidence of prejudice.

Are the whispers subconscious? Is this racist?

24 responses to "Do White American’s find it hard to say the word black?"

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1.   Steve says:
    Posted: 12 Mar 10

    Both examples both seem like cases where the women whispered the word "black" because they were uncomfortable expressing racism. But I have seen white people whisper when saying "black" in an unprejudiced context. I've done it myself & I'm an urban kid from Oakland. At the risk of sounding like a whiny victim, lots of us white people just prefer avoiding the topic of race altogether. It's MUCH better to come off as pedantic/nerdy than be taken as racist. Though I know she means well, see blubronxtail's post. Blu makes an interesting point about the inadequacy of the label "black". But I read that & basically hear her saying that the word "black" is the same as the dreaded N-word. That's probably not what she means. Despite it's problems, the word "black" has not violent or hateful connotation.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  2.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 07 Mar 10

    I have not noticed the phenomenon of whispering the adjective,"Black" among White folks. But then I don't hang around with racists. On the occasions when I have had to deal with them "Black" wasn't the word being used.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  3.   wonka says:
    Posted: 05 Mar 10

    To be completely honest,I have in no way found the word BLACK hard for a white person to say.Actually, most of them prefer the word BLACK rather than African American and they have NO PROBLEM throwing it in black peoples faces.You know what I mean,as if it's something to be ashamed of.Then again blacks have NO PROBLEM referring to caucasians as WHITE people.I think both are OVERRATED,we tend to feed too much into it,instead of seeing it for what it is.We are what we are,except it,be proud of it(for the right reasons of course),embrace it. Sincerely, WONKA!!

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  4.   RYAN says:
    Posted: 23 Oct 09

    I guess some people are embarrassed to use that word, but i don't understand why.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  5.   renee24 says:
    Posted: 04 Aug 09

    it really depends on the person, I work with white people and I have noticed some are fine with saying the word black while others shy away from it. (strategic colorblindness. interesting.)

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  6.   Ichibod says:
    Posted: 24 Jun 09

    I heard a lady at my previous job speaking with another co-worker about something or other (I wasn't really paying attention. But then she mentioned something that had happened one February were either a store was closed or streets being block off (again, not sure) for "the holiday". I whispered to a black female co-worker next to me, "What holiday might that be?" She erupted in laughter because she heard and was thinking the same thing I was. There are white people who will not only avoid saying 'black' too loud while blacks are around, but anything that that has to do with black (as in race) that they feel could possibly draw conflict or lead them into some kind of defensive position. Conversation amongst themselves about black folk while in close proximity of black folk can almost be like walking on eggshells.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  7.   MissDeedz says:
    Posted: 23 Jun 09

    I find the US take on race issues quite interesting at times - I'm English, or British if you prefer. There is certainly an argument for self-determination as suggested above but, to some degree, that just masks the underlying difficulty of how we can identify (with) each other. Depending on what I am asked the response changes. My ethnic origin is always African Caribbean but if I am asked for my ethnic group it's Black British. For me, there is a fluidity to ethnicity that defies a one-size-fits-all definition. People struggle with saying all kinds of things and whether it's latent racism of fear of being labelled such, who really cares? I've been called 'coloured' by old (ought I say 'senior'??) white people more times than I can count. Do they mean any offence? Nope. Ought they to be a little less stuck in their ways and learn better? Probably. Do I correct them? Never. What's the point? I am being addressed in terms believed to be appropriate. If the word were whispered as if not a topic for polite conversation, I'd most definitely challenge it! That people are bigots is natural. The unnatural part is the desire to inflict one's bigotries on another and cause harm. That's worth kicking up a fuss about.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  8. Posted: 18 Jan 09

    I have seen this phenomenon aswell. The issue is also when they are alone they normally emphasize the word" BLACK". As if they said "AIDS" or "CANCER". I don't like to be referred as a color. If someone were to describe me I would prefer African American. Or even woman of color. Or even a tone that is actually close to the color of my actual skin like Mahogany, Caramel,Chocolate. There are other nationalities that are darker some Latin, Asian and Indian tones or darker than many African American people. But yet we are all lumped under the term "BLACK" which is really not a color at all. It's void of color. I rather someone say the darker complected woman. How many people refer to Latin people as "brown people"? Or Asian as "yellow people"? Maybe that was something that was used in the past out of ignorance. We all know the respective terms and we need to use them for everyone. The whole White & Black was to separate people by making them feel they were on opposite sides of the spectrum yet we are all connected in reality. Also many African People were that dark and some still are. But with race mixing etc that term doesn't apply to us all. The term "black" wasn't made up by Africans. Can you imagine being in Africa surround by other Africans and someone asks you : hey where did you get those earrings.. your response : that "black" guy over there. How stupid would you feel to point into a crowd of dark complected people.I feel people should be described based on their origin rather than skin tone or atleast pick a tone that's someone even close. I notice my feeling when someone says African American vs Black. The term "black" was used by other races to describe people among other such words that werent nice to hear. The issue with African Americans is that we tend to try to take someone's means of making something sound bad and turn into something that's cool,hip,good or our own. It's like someone trying to strangle you with some curtains and then you go and make a skirt out of it. It's our way of saying " I'm taking my power back! You can't hurt me anymore. Remember: "I'm black and I'm proud" .Take the "N"word for example. How many times have you heard someone say that for fun or in a rap song? I don't like the word never have never will but people are trying to make it socially acceptable to say. To the point that now other races try to say it among their African American friends as if it's cool. Some even do it on a sly just to see your reaction. What's even worse is when some do it out of spite but act like they are being friendly. This word should be outlawed. I understand we have a need to turn someone's crap or abuse into something positive, but leave that word where it came from: ignorant, fearful and racist people. Why not just accept who we are and where we come from to identify ourselves. Instead of letting someone else identify who we are. If I had my way, we would all be blue! Much Blue Love! ~blubronxtail:)

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  9.   fromchicago says:
    Posted: 18 Jan 09

    interesting comments

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  10.   NubianGem says:
    Posted: 23 Nov 08

    In response to OnSamePage's comments, I have never been to Africa myself either and for the most part I prefer being recognized as Black also. However, race (black and white) are said to be false separators and a divider of social construction, which is the truth. Garveyism and activists such as Dubouis introduced America to the term African American and I completely understand why. The ideologies of mainstream America were and are intended to assimilate people into mainstream culture. I am not promoting segregation however seeing as there is a divider of class and race in this country,I refuse to pretend that the struggles for recognition outside of being a Negro weren't dire and if more people conducted themselves as African Americans showing that we are Americans yet aware of our cultural distinctions and proud of them we would be better off as a people. I am Black, I am an African American(of African descent, which we all are) and I will not be upset if referenced as either.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  11.   OnSamePage says:
    Posted: 17 Nov 08

    None of us are born as racists or bigots. It's all learned and conditioned behavior. I do not like ethnic/cultural/people labels. They give some people a legitimate excuse to stir up the pot. Who came up with the label African American anyway? I have never been to Africa, and as beautiful, diverse, rich in heritage and culture, and as colorful (no pun intended) as the continent of Africa is it embodies mystery, wonderment, and to some Americans (both Black and White), shame. Simply in part because of the historical ties between Africa, North Central and South America and, one word. I was born in the United States. I AM AN AMERICAN who happens to be black, and Black is what I prefer to be called as far as labels go, and if you refer to me as Black I promise, I won't bite your head off. So Black and White Americans, get over your whispering and your politically correct paranoia.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  12.   yume247 says:
    Posted: 15 Nov 08

    I am black, and I find it easier to use the word "black". The word, African-American is a mouth full. I bit my tongue each time I tried to use it, so I gave up - I just don't see the big deal. People on both sides (black & white) are getting way too paranoid.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  13.   SoRandom says:
    Posted: 06 Nov 08

    The only time I've ever encountered something like this was when the term "black" was being used to hint at something negative as indirectly as possible. To be fair I've also heard she's dating a "white" guy or I hear their neighbors are "latino" with the same whisper. In my own experience people do that conspiratorial whisper when they are saying something they know is going to sound ugly and don't want to be heard by someone that might actively take offense.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  14.   NubianGem says:
    Posted: 04 Nov 08

    Communication between two women who clearly understand each other would be difficult for anyone, not apart of the conversation to understand. In my opinion the whispering of 'black' disassociates the women from Beth's choice. Gestures surely speak volumes when conversing. The head lowering and whispering is almost as if the women were shameful of Beth's choice. Had the women approved of Beth's choices there probably would not have been any whispering and even a high five with a good for her attitude. I have friends of both races and many cultures. I would have to agree that when talking to my white friends when ever there is a need to include race and a particular view or stance there does seem to be a type of whispering or quick utterance when saying black. I even had a class last semester where a white girl in my African American studies course would often comment on topics and would stumble every time she said black. On the flip side I have black friends who do the same thing. God Bless America!

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  15.   ikbenzwart says:
    Posted: 03 Nov 08

    It would appear that these do refer to a race issue.Now it would also appear that these folks have forgotten that we all were created in Gods image, who is a spirit.Having said this let me ask if someone were to ask you what type of car you drive would you say a Toyota,Chevorlet, or Ford perhaps,or do you say a black Toyota or a white Ford. You see my point already yes, they are all cars. Does the performance increase because of the color , why no. Performance is determined by whats inside under the hood yes. Should I continue or no.I would hope by this little example we all will began to take a closer look inside ,check under the hood only then can you appreciate the performance or lack of Yes.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  16.   Ambrosius says:
    Posted: 03 Nov 08

    Some people do find it awkward for whatever reason. I do not.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  17.   floodlight3 says:
    Posted: 02 Nov 08

    I THINK BOTH ARTICLES REFER TO RACISM, ONE MORE SO THAN THE OTHER. THE FIRST ONE CAN BE LOOKED AS 2 CLOSETED RACISTS WHO WILL QUICKLY DEFEND THE IDEA OF RACISM IF THEY WERE EVER ACCUSED. THE REALTOR IS IN NO WAY CLOSETED. SHE KNOWS EXACTLY HOW SHE FEELS ABOUT BLACKS AND SHE MAKES IT KNOWN. OBVIOUSLY SHE BELIEVES THAT ALL WHITES FEEL THE SAME. I NOTICE THAT ALOT OF MY WHITE FRIENDS WHEN THEY ENCOUNTER RACISM AMONG THEIR WHITE FRIENDS, THEY WILL COME TO ME COMPLAIN AND RANT AND RAVE ASKING ME HOW THEIR FRIEND COULD HAVE MADE SUCH A REMARK. I IN TURN ASK THEM, WHY DID YOU COME TO ME TO MAKE THIS COMPLAINT, WHY DIDN'T YOU AT THAT EXACT MOMENT, EXPRESS HOW YOU FEEL JUST AS YOU ARE TELLING ME RIGHT NOW? IS IT BECAUSE YOU DONT WANT TO BE CALLED ONE OF THE WORSE THINGS A WHITE PERSON COULD HAVE BEEN CALLED BACK IN THE DAYS, A "NI$$@ LOVER"? I DONT ALLOW MY BLACK FRIENDS TO TALK BAD ABOUT MY WHITE FRIENDS, IT IS NOT OK WITH ME, I DONT RUN TO THEM AND COMPLAIN OF THE IGNORANT STEREOTYPES, I DEAL WITH IT MYSELF. IF YOU CONSIDER ME YOUR TRUE FRIEND YOU WOULD DO THE SAME. IN REGARD TO THE TERM AFRICAN AMERICAN, I DO NOT IDENTIFY WITH THIS IN ANY WAY. I AM BLACK!! I AM OF JAMAICAN DECENT, MY FATHER IS A MAROON SO I GUESS THAT MAKES ME PART NATIVE, IF THAT IS THE CASE WHY SHOULD I CHECK A BOX THAT SAYS AFRICAN AMERICAN? I DONT SEE BOXES THAT SAY, ITALIAN AMERICAN OR IRISH AMERICAN. I SEE WHITE/CAUCASIAN....I AM BLACK!!! NO NEED TO WHISPER, I KNOW WHAT COLOR I AM. I CAN RELATE TO THE WORD BEING WHISPERED. I AM THE ONLY BLACK PERSON IN MY AREA OF PRACTICE IN MY FIRM. AFTER THE SENIOR ATTORNEY MEETS WITH A CLIENT AND THE FIRM IS RETAINED, HE SENDS A LETTER OR E-MAIL, IN WHICH HE INFORMS THE CLIENT THAT I WILL BE WORKING WITH THEM. I THEN SEND AN E-MAIL INTRODUCING MYSELF TO THIS CLIENT AND SEND CONDOLENCES IF/WHEN NECESSARY. AT THE END OF THE E-MAIL IS MY NAME ADDRESS ETC. IT SO HAPPENS THAT MY NAME HAS A HEBREW MEANING AND A FRENCH MEANING, THE ASSUMPTION OF ME BEING WHITE NOW BEGINS. MONTHS WILL PASS AND THE CLIENT AND I DEVELOP A PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP AND SOME MAY EVEN SPEAK TO ME REGARDING PERSONAL ISSUES. WE TALK ON THE PHONE, I SEND LETTERS REQUESTING DOCUMENTS, I BASICALLY KNOW EVERY INTIMATE DETAIL ABOUT THEIR LIFE AND THE LIFE OF THE DECEDENT. THEN THE DAY COMES WHEN I NEED YOUR SIGNATURE, OR I NEED TO REVIEW THE CHECK BOOKS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN USING OR WE NEED TO DISCUSS DISTRIBUTION OR STRATEGY. DEPENDING ON THE AGE OR MOBILITY OF THE CLIENT I MAY DO HOME VISITS OR THEY MAY COME TO THE OFFICE. I HEAR EVERYDAY ON THE PHONE LEADING UP TO THIS MOMENT HOW MUCH THEY CANNOT WAIT TO MEET ME OR THEY DON'T KNOW HOW THEY WOULD HAVE SURVIVED THESE PAST MONTHS WITHOUT ME. WHEN I ARRIVE AT THEIR HOMES, 95% OF THE TIME I AM GREETED BY A MAID. WHEN I AM SHOWN TO THE MEETING AREA AND THE CLIENT SEES ME, SOME WILL SAY, I THOUGHT ___________ WAS COMING, I PUT ON MY WINNING SMILE OUT STRETCH MY HAND AND INTRODUCE MYSELF AS __________ SOME WILL SAY OMG! IM SORRY, I DID NOT KNOW...THEN IT LEAVES ME TO WONDER, WHAT DIDNT YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE YOU APOLOGIZING FOR? WHY DO YOU FEEL SO BAD, WHY THE SUDDEN SIGNS OF GUILT...IS IT DUE TO MENS-REA? IN THE OTHER INSTANCE, WHEN I WALK INTO THE CONFERENCE ROOM AND THE SENIOR ATTY INTRODUCES ME, SOMETIMES THE LOOKS ON THEIR FACES,PRICELESS. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? I WAS YOUR BFF YESTERDAY. YOU KNOW I CAN DO THE JOB B/C I HAVE BEEN DOING THE JOB. IS IT BECAUSE THIS MAY BE THE FIRST TIME IN YOUR LIFE YOU DEVELOPED A FRIENDSHIP WITH SOMEONE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR? SOME WILL EVEN MENTION IT TO MY BOSS "I HAD KNOW IDEA SHE WAS AFRICAN AMERICAN (THE SAFE WORD) AND HE WILL SAY, "OH NO, SHE'S JAMAICAN" THEY BECOME CONFUSED B/C NOW THEY HAVE TO SAY "BLACK". RACISM IS STILL AROUND AND WILL ALWAYS BE AROUND, UNTIL WE WHO HAVE TAKEN THE CHANCE TO TALK TO AND SPEND TIME WITH SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT LOOK LIKE US, AND REALIZE THAT THERE ARE GOOD AND BAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE AND COLOR DOES NOT DETERMINE THE MIND OR PERSONALITY OF SOMEONE. AND THAT'S MY OPINION AND EXPERIENCE, I WILL NOW GET DOWN FROM MY SOAP BOX. DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE ON TUES. I WILL BE VOTING FOR THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN, LITERALLY....LOL...

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  18.   Copywriters says:
    Posted: 02 Nov 08

    In the two examples you gave, it seems to me the reason they had to whisper was because what they were saying was racist. However, I can understand people hesitating to use the word "black" out loud because they think African American is more politically correct. I can't stand the term "African American" and prefer "black". Heck, I don't even mind "colored" for that matter. I'm not from Africa and I don't identify with Africa, especially because Africa is such a culturally and linguistically diverse continent that the term "African" really doesn't mean much.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  19. Posted: 01 Nov 08

    I would like to second what was said in an earlier post...the examples given are from racist incidents. I would like to also mention what happens to me, a middle aged white hippie lady trying hard to be politically correct and not offend anyone. My black friends MY age (51) and older let me know a few years back, "I'm BLACK, okay, I don't need you to say African American, I don't call myself that, I'm proud to be BLACK." But a woman I met from the under 40 age group rather CRISPLY let me know that it is more respectful to say African American. Since I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to get rid of generalized cultural white guilt (women of color being the biggest help in this area, telling me my white guilt doesn't help them) I try to avoid situations where I could offend someone. So since I have irritated black (African American) people by using one word and also the other, sometimes I DO avoid saying either. I don't want to offend anyone!! Meanwhile, I found out in 2005 that I'm part-Native, although I understand by this culture I am white, with all the privileges that entails. I do Native ceremonies and spend time with Native people. In Native communities, some of the elders ALWAYS say "Indian People", whereas the younger Native people usually (but not always) say Native. They hardly ever bother with the longer version of, "Native American People", even though originally that is what I THOUGHT was the respectful thing to say! So far, I don't THINK I've offended anyone by saying "Native", but who knows?? Some Native cultures are not as outspoken as Western cultures, so I may be offending Native people and not knowing it!! So that's an other perspective. White people being unsure WHAT is the correct way to address someone, and trying hard not to offend anyone!

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  20.   69Venus says:
    Posted: 31 Oct 08

    Let's face it - it's not the word 'black' that offends anybody - just like 'white' doesn't... it's the way it's used and reason why you think you need to even mention color. In the first example - why couldn't the lady just say: 'ooh, she moved to Cali because she got married'.. if she got married to a white guy, she wouldn't mention it, would she? However, I believe she would mention anything BUT white (assuming she's white herself).. i.e. if the friend married an asian, latin, indian or black guy. The whispering to me, is because 'most' white people know they need to justify it if they mention the color, because it is wrong and theoretically not necessary. The only reason to mention somebody's color, if it has an impact on what you are telling, which is clearly the case with the real estate lady (and a negative impact that is). Is it racist.. yes, somewhat but not always intended to harm anybody - sometimes it's just ignorance and stupidity.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  21. Posted: 31 Oct 08

    We have been taught that the correct way to say black is "african american". There is nothing more annoying than filling out forms and having to check "white" and then see the next box is "african american" not "black". As a nation we are hyper sensitive to offending anyone. We want to be politically correct in everything. The truth is most people couldnt care less if we say black rather than african american. But we have been programmed that 'black' can be taken taken offensively so as not to offend anyone we must say african american. I find it incredibely annoying. I'm white. . .he's black. Who gives a d*mn! All that being said, this article appears to be speaking more towards actual racism. In the first scenario the woman added the information about the mans race as if it carried so much importance. as if to say, Oh my god, the man is black! That is just stupidity sheer and simple. And the next example with the real estate lady, was just plain racism. Living in Philly my eyes have really been opened to the level of racism that still exists. Oh yeah, and dont forget to vote for the best man on Tuesday (who in my humble opinion, happens to be the black man!)

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  22.   johneb30 says:
    Posted: 29 Oct 08

    Read this statement from the above article: "Apparently, most White Americans do it for some reason." I have not met every white person in America much less heard how they would utter this particular word. However, as a white guy, I have spoken to tons of white people (imagine that) and have never run across this phenomenon. Now I am not saying this doesn't happen or that it is not common or significant, but you would think that if the MAJORITY of white Americans do it, I would have encountered it at least once. I mean the white people I hang out with and associate with are pretty regular white people, I don't think I just got the super special white people. I guesss I take issue with the flippant use of 'MOST white Americans'. I'm sure the article deals with a common phenomenon but 'common' is very far from 'most white Americans'.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  23.   Beiersy says:
    Posted: 29 Oct 08

    To be completely honest... I believe people need to be careful about what they say, and who they say certain things around. Something completely innocent can be misunderstood by someone who hears what they would like to hear... "Selective Hearing"... There are plenty of fanatics or racist that would love to jump on someones back for something they believed to have heard... I think the majority of people, no matter what color or ethnicity, would like to give the facade of being unbiased in public. Now obviously in private is a different matter. But speaking from the perspective of a white guy, from a rural area... It's almost a taboo to say black, because in our society everything is supposed to be politically correct. It's not black, its African- American. Now it's much easier just to say black, but we live in a society where saying a word like black can be taken as offensive... So with that in mind, people like to be rule breakers, but not overtly. So there will be plenty of people who will say black hushed and quiet, one because they get a small rush of it, and two, because if the wrong person overhears it, they'd hate to be the focal point of someones rant on how racist they are... Now with the majority covered... The older crowd, 60's on up... of course geography plays a large role on this as well, grew up in areas where its not ok to date outside ones race. So its the town gossip that someone would do such a thing, and it is treated as a piece of gossip... which is commonly passed in whispers and hushed voices... We will always have gossip, we will always have people who tell EVERYONE about what they think is appropriate and what is not. And until the day comes when people are able to talk about everyone, without fear of some fanatic barking down their throat causing a huge scene in the middle of a public place about not being politically correct... people will always whisper... however annoying it may be! And as for the second article... thats a simple case of someone not being able to tell the difference between the many subcultures of the black community... So they view blacks as one group, instead of many many groups divided by the same barriers as every other race on this planet have... Ignorance is not bliss... and should never be promoted... Thats just my two cents on the issue...

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment
  24.   lizisamilf says:
    Posted: 29 Oct 08

    I definitely find this to be the case. I work in a predominantly white hair salon and find that when it comes to describing me, clients have the hardest time describing me as "black" when it is obvious that saying that will expedite the paying process. The receptionist, who is also black, and I find this be very humorous and she will take the initiative to say the "black lady" and the look that appears of shock that appears on the clients face are priceless. That indicates to me that race is not something black people need to get over as well.

    Like or Dislike: or 0 (0)
    Reply to this comment