I dislike the term ‘people of color’ (POC) so much.
Because of the way it is used here on Tumblr: they throw it around all the time, for everything. Also, it kinda irks me how it works, like anyone non-white is considered a POC, what ‘unites’ people is being non-white. Guess what, it centres in whiteness, being or not being white, which seems a bit counter-productive, you’re not talking about white people, you are talking about people who are not-white which still seems to focus the attention in (non-) whiteness!.
Centering in (not) being white still erases all the differences between those non-white people (thank you very much!). It works like a monolithic, imo, and that’s kinda annoying/offensive. Some of the people who use that term all the time don’t care if you’ve already told them your nationality or race or anything else, they’re still gonna call you a POC because you’re not white. Whether you’re from India, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Cuba, China, South Africa, The Philippines, Ghana, Pakistan, Venezuela, etc, etc, etc. If in their book you’re not white, they throw you into the POC box (and spliting up in ‘POC’ and ‘white’ still gives being white a lot of importance), no matter your beliefs or your culture or language or anything. And you know, there are differences, and it bothers me how they are erased just like anything.
I KNOW there is this white ‘supremacy’ problem and when you want to discuss it, I guess it’s easier to say white/POC so you don’t overcomplicate things, but it’s not okay to use it so lightly all the time (in my opinion). I believe that term is… necessary while talking about, let’s say, how white is seen as the default in media. But again, it annoys me how they use it for everything in this site.
The way social justice issues are talked about in this site is so US-centric. The problems (I feel that’s not the right word but something along those lines) faced in The United States are not the same faced in all the world, y’know. The experiences of a black person in the UK aren’t the same of a black person is the US, not all black people are African American. Get a wider view. And everything here is centered to the US, even people who are not and do not live in the US tend to center in whatever is going on there. (And this is off the topic but I guess it kinda works as an example, I see a lot of resources for transgender* people here on Tumblr, helplines, giveaways and that sorta stuff and 9/10 times they’re just for people on the States, sometimes for the UK or Australia, but it’s almost always the US, and people from other parts of the world deserve help as well but get almost none, and I feel so left out, do people outside of the US don’t exist? don’t do they matter or?).
I’ve seen people here almost admire some other people just because they consider them ‘POC’. I saw some time ago a post about Graciela Iturbide (for those who don’t know who she is, she’s a Mexican photographer) and in the description of the post it was mentioned several times how she was a ‘POC’/WOC photographer and it was so cool that she was a photographer who was also a ‘POC’. Fucking great, she is a ‘POC’ photographer, that’s cool, but will you please center in Graciela Iturbide being Graciela Iturbide and her amazing work? And not center in her for being a ‘POC’? That post gave me the vibe as if they did that post just because she was a POC, and not because they geninuely liked her work.
Also, with this POC thing. It seems like some Tumblr users think POC are inherently ‘good’ or something like that, and that ‘POC’ can’t discriminate or something. Some ‘POC’ have their differences, and I mean not just that ‘POC’ aren’t a monolithic (which is obvious) but that there are indeed differences among non-white people themselves (be it religion, nationality…). Prejudices, resentment, and that sort of things. Just like there are resenments among different groups of white people. Heck, inside of a same country there are sometimes that sort of differences. Some ‘POC’ discriminate against some other ‘POC’, so not everything revolves among white people and I believe the term POC (which centers in non-whiteness -I’m sorry I’m repeating myself so much-) is not of use in that sort of cases.
And even if you’re talking about discrmination from white people towards ‘POC’ the discrimination a certain group of ‘POC’ receives is not the same as the one other group gets, if they do at all.
And who draws the line between white and ‘POC’? Who decides who gets to be ‘POC’ and who doesn’t? What is it that makes a ‘POC’ a POC? Is it skin tone alone? It’s kind of.. subjective, I don’t know.
Also, nations aren’t a monolithic either, neither are geographical regions. Countries, races, religions, etnichties… aren’t the same, (I think) you cant compare one with another as if they were the same. For example, Mexico is a country and Mexican is a nationality, it makes no sense to say/compare “her mother is white and her father is Mexican” or “their son is Half Mexican, half Jewish”. If we start talking about race, Mexicans aren’t just indigenous people (which aren’t just one either, they’re different indigenous cultures), there are Afromexicans, white mexicans, Asian Mexicans… although most of the population is mestizo/mixed of the Native people and Spanish.
And Latin@ isn’t a race either, nor is LA a country.. Latin America is a geographical region in which Romance languages are spoken the most. It includes many countries and cultures and indigenous groups with different traditions, etc, etc. I love my Latin American brothers and sisters, don’t get me wrong, but Latin America is diverse and lumping us all in the same category/like the same thing doesn’t seem right to me, ignoring all the cultural richness that every country has to offer within itself and assuming LA to be all the same seems… just not right . Neither assuming that the history of Mexico is the same as the one from Colombia or just assuming than a Chilean is supposed to know what’s going on in Bolivia.
Latin American aren’t just indigenous people, either. I don’t think you can equal being Latin American with being ‘POC’ or something (now, if you’re specifically talking about Native people from the Latin American region, that’s another thing). For example, most of the population in Argentina is of Italian and Spanish descent: 79% according to Wikipedia, while only 18% of Ameridian/native descent and 4.3% African, that 79% of Argentinians are not considered Latin American?
I don’t like to be thrown into the Latin@ box as if Latin American people were the same. If I tell you my name and tell you I’m Mexican, and you still choose to refer to me as ‘Latin@’ over anything else I’m gonna be a bit upset, not because I think being Latin American is ~bad~ or anything, I AM Latin American, I am proud of being one, but I am not just Latin American, I don’t want you to ignore everything else I am and simply call me a Latin@ because it’s simplier or whatever.
As for me, I know I am descent of Indigenous mexican (not sure which culture, I have still to research my heritage), Spanish and French, I have no contact with either of them, what am I considered? (What is my race? my race is mixed, I guess, although I personally don’t care about which race I am). I choose to call myself a Mexican, I was born here, I have been surrounded with Mexican traditions all my life, what happens here affects me, etc. I am Mexican.
I think the term POC may be right/useful in certain situations, I do not think it’s “bad”, I don’t want it to disappear or whatever. But the way it is used (at least) here on Tumblr, all the time/for everything, seems to make more harm than good, in my opinion.
(Also, an honest question: Who came up with the term POC? How? It sounds very similar to colored people which if I’m not mistaken is deemed offensive.)
In summary, i do not like the way the term People Of Color is used on Tumblr because it puts non-white like a monolithic which is, well, wrong, and it focuses in (non) whiteness (which seems a bit ironic and contradictory). Also, nations, races, religions, etnicithies, etc., aren’t the same (neither are discriminations based on them the same, naturally) and you can’t compare one with another.
Alright, that’s my opinion, I hope it wasn’t offensive or anything, if so, please tell me why/which part. (And please tell me if there’s a grammar mistake too so I can correc it).
I’d like to know other points of view and if you agree or disagree I’d like to listen to you, too. Thanks.