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L.David
06-10-2014, 10:34 PM
I have a YA/coming of age novel and I originally made my MC Filipino because I am Filipino and wanted some of his stories to relate to the Filipino/asian youth.

I decided to change his ethnicity to half canadian/filipino because one of the core themes in my book is about cultural/individual identity, so I thought a mixed race MC would be perfect.


What do you guys think? Should I keep them bi-racial? I wish I had the guts to go all the way...make the MC Filipino and the LI full arabic, but I have the same hesitations about diversity in my books everyone does.

arabajyo
06-10-2014, 11:07 PM
I have a YA/coming of age novel and I originally made my MC Filipino because I am Filipino and wanted some of his stories to relate to the Filipino/asian youth.

I decided to change his ethnicity to half canadian/filipino because one of the core themes in my book is about cultural/individual identity, so I thought a mixed race MC would be perfect.

I had his love interest originally be a caucasian girl with an unknown, exotic background (like perhaps Russian/meditt) but now I'm thinking of making her at least half arabic to make her even more exotic, and to identify with the MC.

What do you guys think? Should I keep them bi-racial? I wish I had the guts to go all the way...make the MC Filipino and the LI full arabic, but I have the same hesitations about diversity in my books everyone does.

what hesitations?

L.David
06-10-2014, 11:19 PM
what hesitations?

Same stuff I've read in other posts...not being able to sell as well, etc.

Since it's my first book, I want to be able to relate to a broader range of people, and just feel I'm limiting myself by sticking with one minority race. I know it's stupid, and I disagree with the reasons behind it, but I'm also realistic.

arabajyo
06-10-2014, 11:26 PM
Same stuff I've read in other posts...not being able to sell as well, etc.

Since it's my first book, I want to be able to relate to a broader range of people, and just feel I'm limiting myself by sticking with one minority race. I know it's stupid, and I disagree with the reasons behind it, but I'm also realistic.

interesting... as you can guess from my first post, i have no idea how this would affect a book's performance. good luck!

LJD
06-11-2014, 01:41 AM
You might find this thread interesting: Let's face it: pretty white girls sell (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270127)

Personally, I hate being called "exotic." It makes me sound "other," not like everyone else, and I don't much like it. So your third paragraph sort of bugged me.

And personally, if I wanted a mixed race MC, I would have a mixed race MC. If I wanted a Filipino MC, I would have a Filipino MC. Screw whatever other people think. We need more PoC characters. However. I realize not everyone thinks like that.

I am biracial. Often I have seen biracial MC's--at least the white/something else ones, which is pretty much every biracial character anyway--described in reviews as a cop-out, and sometimes I feel a little insulted when it's just stated like that and not explained. But to be fair, sometimes biracial MC's do feel like a cop-out. Like, let's make him different, but not too different so he's essentially white! And then completely ignore any racial issues, identity issues, etc. Not that I need all books with PoC characters to be about race, but these biracial characters often read as an exotic-looking (uggh) white people to me.

So...just don't do that. Don't have a mixed race character instead of a completely Filipino character or whatever so you can ignore the Filipino side and still say, Look! Diversity! I don't get the sense you're going to do that with your MC, as you are saying your book is partly about cultural identity . But your description of the LI made me rather uncomfortable...

So yeah, I would say yes to mixed race characters as long as you are not completely stupid about it.


Oh, and when you say Canadian, do you mean...white?

Hoplite
06-11-2014, 01:57 AM
I have a YA/coming of age novel and I originally made my MC Filipino because I am Filipino and wanted some of his stories to relate to the Filipino/asian youth.

I decided to change his ethnicity to half canadian/filipino because one of the core themes in my book is about cultural/individual identity, so I thought a mixed race MC would be perfect.

I had his love interest originally be a caucasian girl with an unknown, exotic background (like perhaps Russian/meditt) but now I'm thinking of making her at least half arabic to make her even more exotic, and to identify with the MC.

What do you guys think? Should I keep them bi-racial? I wish I had the guts to go all the way...make the MC Filipino and the LI full arabic, but I have the same hesitations about diversity in my books everyone does.


Since it's my first book, I want to be able to relate to a broader range of people, and just feel I'm limiting myself by sticking with one minority race. I know it's stupid, and I disagree with the reasons behind it, but I'm also realistic.

Well, there undoubtedly are successful novels featuring very little to no white people (assuming that's what you mean by wanting to reach a "broader range of people"). The Kite Runner comes to mind.

If you want to create cultural diversity without making your MCs multi-racial you could also have them grow up outside the region of their ethnic heritage. It instills diversity and deeper understandings of race and ethnicity, even if the person has no ties to the region.

For example: I'm 75% European, 25% Lebanese/Syrian, American, and grew up in Saudi Arabia.

Wilde_at_heart
06-11-2014, 01:59 AM
As with LJD, I cringed at the term 'exotic'.

In one WIP, I do have a 'mixed' MC - her mum is Anglo Indian (white person from India) and her dad is an American, but his parents are from the same neighbourhood as the mum, and he's fully Goan (Indian).

However, in one of the first few pages, I basically do a quick send-up of the whole 'exotic' thing. Since it's Fantasy, there isn't that much in the story itself that's central to her being 'mixed race' or part Indian beyond what I've put for comic effect here and there...

I've no qualms at all with your reasons for having your MC as from a mixed background, but I also don't see the point of putting in characters of 'x' background into a novel simply for the sake of 'diversity' either. IMO, it should feel organic, rather than 'tacked on'. Like maybe a different race/ethnic background for the LI, but the same religion, etc.

MynaOphelia
06-11-2014, 02:02 AM
I have a YA/coming of age novel and I originally made my MC Filipino because I am Filipino and wanted some of his stories to relate to the Filipino/asian youth.

I decided to change his ethnicity to half canadian/filipino because one of the core themes in my book is about cultural/individual identity, so I thought a mixed race MC would be perfect.

I had his love interest originally be a caucasian girl with an unknown, exotic background (like perhaps Russian/meditt) but now I'm thinking of making her at least half arabic to make her even more exotic, and to identify with the MC.

What do you guys think? Should I keep them bi-racial? I wish I had the guts to go all the way...make the MC Filipino and the LI full arabic, but I have the same hesitations about diversity in my books everyone does.

I would strongly encourage you not to describe someone with mixed background as "exotic." Like, I'm white so admitted I haven't been personally affected by this, but a lot of my friends are mixed and it is really uncomfortable when they are referred to as exotic--it leads to fetishizing and stuff like that, which has been a huge problem for those communities.

The thing about writing mixed race people (which I think is a very good idea) is you have to research multiple cultural backgrounds, how those might blend, what environment the MC was raised in, how that impacts their identity, how their parents viewed their identity, etc. It is definitely something you have to do carefully.

The main character in my current project is mixed--his mom is Mexican and his dad Egyptian--and so I've been talking to people about their experiences to try and get stuff right. DiversityCrossCheck (http://diversitycrosscheck.tumblr.com/) over on tumblr is a very good resource for this.

Why are you worried about making your MC full Filipino, though?

Lillith1991
06-11-2014, 02:44 AM
As with LJD, I cringed at the term 'exotic'.

In one WIP, I do have a 'mixed' MC - her mum is Anglo Indian (white person from India) and her dad is an American, but his parents are from the same neighbourhood as the mum, and he's fully Goan (Indian).

However, in one of the first few pages, I basically do a quick send-up of the whole 'exotic' thing. Since it's Fantasy, there isn't that much in the story itself that's central to her being 'mixed race' or part Indian beyond what I've put for comic effect here and there...

I've no qualms at all with your reasons for having your MC as from a mixed background, but I also don't see the point of putting in characters of 'x' background into a novel simply for the sake of 'diversity' either. IMO, it should feel organic, rather than 'tacked on'. Like maybe a different race/ethnic background for the LI, but the same religion, etc.

Doesn't Anglo-Indian also apply to the people who's ancestors are of mixed Indian and European heritage? I think I recall hearing that somewhere.

Wilde_at_heart
06-11-2014, 04:04 AM
Doesn't Anglo-Indian also apply to the people who's ancestors are of mixed Indian and European heritage? I think I recall hearing that somewhere.

I should have been more clear - 'Anglo' itself usually pertains to just English or from the UK but, much like in Quebec, can apply to any white, English-speaking person. According to some, it applies to people of mixed English/Indian heritage (still within India, though; not so much in NA or Europe) while others apply it just to Indian-born 'Brits'. My fully Indian spouse's uncle is married to the latter.

Someone half-Portuguese and half-Indian would be called mixed, but not Anglo.

L.David
06-11-2014, 09:36 AM
Why are people so offended by the word exotic? That's not the wording I'm using in my story btw, that's just for the sake of this message board. I assure you I know how to write without using bland generic terms like exotic.

I'm sorry if I offended you by the term. As a person of color myself though, I don't mind if people refer to me as such. I guess its all about how you see yourself. I'm proud of the fact I look different, but when I was growing up it confused and frustrated me. That's where my characters are coming from.

To be clearer-I'm not saying I'm making them bi-racial in order to make them appear exotic, I"m making them bi-racial in order to emphasize their struggle for identity. I am consider myself Filipino-American, but look "bi-racial" because my mom is part chinese and my dad part spanish....so I definitely speak from experience when I am talking about bi-racial confusion. It's tough to be accepted to either side (majority and minority)

L.David
06-11-2014, 09:47 AM
You might find this thread interesting: Let's face it: pretty white girls sell (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270127)


So...just don't do that. Don't have a mixed race character instead of a completely Filipino character or whatever so you can ignore the Filipino side and still say, Look! Diversity! I don't get the sense you're going to do that with your MC, as you are saying your book is partly about cultural identity . But your description of the LI made me rather uncomfortable...

So yeah, I would say yes to mixed race characters as long as you are not completely stupid about it.



Thanks, and not at all...I'm not including diversity for the sake of it. Believe me, I speak from personal experience being someone who appears to be bi-racial and has bi-racial family members that struggle with identity.

It's hard to give the full context of my book in a short description, so let me just put it this way...I know extensively about asian and bi-racial conflicts, and will definitely do so with my LI, and not be so thoughtless as to just label her as exotic (although some of the lesser characters in my book may refer to her as such).

My book will definitely grapple with cultural identity, personal identity, cultural clashes between american and asian cultures/values, and even class warfare.

LJD
06-11-2014, 04:48 PM
Why are people so offended by the word exotic? That's not the wording I'm using in my story btw, that's just for the sake of this message board. I assure you I know how to write without using bland generic terms like exotic.

I'm sorry if I offended you by the term. As a person of color myself though, I don't mind if people refer to me as such. I guess its all about how you see yourself. I'm proud of the fact I look different, but when I was growing up it confused and frustrated me. That's where my characters are coming from.

Exotic: very different, strange, or unusual (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exotic)

It's not really anything more than what I said above: It focuses on how I'm "other" and not like everyone else. It feels like my otherness is being fetishized. The term doesn't offend me so much as it makes me roll my eyes.

I'm fine with how I look. I have no problem with who I am. But being called exotic is similar to how I get annoyed when people ask me, "What are you?" before they even know my name--people seem incapable of having a conversation with me without slotting me into a box. It focuses on my otherness first and foremost. Rather than the fact that I'm, you know, a person.

L.David
06-11-2014, 09:56 PM
Exotic: very different, strange, or unusual (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exotic)

It's not really anything more than what I said above: It focuses on how I'm "other" and not like everyone else. It feels like my otherness is being fetishized. The term doesn't offend me so much as it makes me roll my eyes.

I'm fine with how I look. I have no problem with who I am. But being called exotic is similar to how I get annoyed when people ask me, "What are you?" before they even know my name--people seem incapable of having a conversation with me without slotting me into a box. It focuses on my otherness first and foremost. Rather than the fact that I'm, you know, a person.

I don't think those two things are similar. If someone wants to refer to your ethnic origin, what should they say? Some people get offended by asian, hispanic, minority, etc...

Personally I think we are too PC in this country. Unless its a derogatory term, I don't think people should have the need to feel defensive by what people call them.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I really just wanted to know the pros/cons of having a full minority MC opposed to a bi-racial MC

L.David
06-11-2014, 09:59 PM
Exotic: very different, strange, or unusual (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exotic)


Full Definition of EXOTIC

1
: introduced from another country : not native to the place where found <exotic plants>
2
archaic : foreign, alien
3
: strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual <exotic flavors>

These don't sound like negative things to me.

MynaOphelia
06-12-2014, 12:14 AM
I don't think those two things are similar. If someone wants to refer to your ethnic origin, what should they say? Some people get offended by asian, hispanic, minority, etc...

Personally I think we are too PC in this country. Unless its a derogatory term, I don't think people should have the need to feel defensive by what people call them.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I really just wanted to know the pros/cons of having a full minority MC opposed to a bi-racial MC

The problem with "exotic" is that when you use it on people, what you're saying is that they're alien/mysterious/unusual/abnormal/strange. It says that someone isn't normal. I mean, think about it. If something is "exotic" that means something else is "normal." If non-white peoples and cultures are what is exotic, then white culture becomes the baseline, the norm, which is offensive. No culture or people are the default.

I'm not very good at articulating myself but here's an article. (http://atriptothemorg.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/post-the-sixty-ninth/)

It's okay if you yourself are POC and aren't offended by it. You don't have to be, and I'm not telling you to be. I'm just trying to explain why other people are bothered by it and why it's probably not the best term to describe people by.

I definitely wouldn't call someone not your race "exotic," and that extends to your Arab character--it will probably really irritate a lot of Arab people, especially because the whole "exotic Middle Eastern girl" is a pretty big stereotype they get stuck with.

Little Ming
06-12-2014, 12:25 AM
Full Definition of EXOTIC

1
: introduced from another country : not native to the place where found <exotic plants>
2
archaic : foreign, alien
3
: strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual <exotic flavors>

These don't sound like negative things to me.

Those sound like negative things to me.


Personally I think we are too PC in this country. Unless its a derogatory term, I don't think people should have the need to feel defensive by what people call them.Personally, I think people should be able to feel what they feel without someone else coming in to tell them they are "too PC" or that they don't have the "need to feel defensive by what people call them".

If you don't mind being called "exotic," that's fine. No one call tell you how to feel. But please don't try to tell other people how they should feel. Thanks.

L.David
06-12-2014, 01:34 AM
Those sound like negative things to me.

Personally, I think people should be able to feel what they feel without someone else coming in to tell them they are "too PC" or that they don't have the "need to feel defensive by what people call them".

If you don't mind being called "exotic," that's fine. No one call tell you how to feel. But please don't try to tell other people how they should feel. Thanks.

I'm not trying to tell someone how to feel, I'm simply suggesting that it's not offensive unless you take it that way. I could be offended by all sorts of things people call me, but I choose not to, because I encourage people to talk about race. People are afraid to talk about racial issues for fear of offending and I think that's why we have the problems we do.

Again, to be clear, exotic is not a term I'm using in my book, so it's not going to be an issue.

L.David
06-12-2014, 01:44 AM
The problem with "exotic" is that when you use it on people, what you're saying is that they're alien/mysterious/unusual/abnormal/strange. It says that someone isn't normal. I mean, think about it. If something is "exotic" that means something else is "normal." If non-white peoples and cultures are what is exotic, then white culture becomes the baseline, the norm, which is offensive. No culture or people are the default.

.

I guess I still don't understand why having an unusual look or being foreign is offensive. You can pretend we look just as normal as everyone else in this country, but we don't, and we don't get treated as such. White is still the predominant race in America, and I actually find it offensive to pretend its anything different.

Myself, as well as my characters, are minorities, people from foreign places, ie: not USA, so that's going to drive their motivations and values in mixing into the American culture. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially as I speak from direct experience.

Wilde_at_heart
06-12-2014, 01:51 AM
I'd go with more eye-rollingly cheesy than offensive, but that's just me.

It also puts a person up on a very wobbly pedestal.

Sort of like, ooh, you're from India! how cool! See my Shiva tat? What do you think?

Oh, so you're Catholic, not Hindu... and you were born in Cleveland... kthanksbuhbye!

Little Ming
06-12-2014, 02:13 AM
I'm not trying to tell someone how to feel, I'm simply suggesting that it's not offensive unless you take it that way. I could be offended by all sorts of things people call me, but I choose not to,

By this logic, no one should ever be offended unless the choose to be. There's a whole string of racial slurs I can throw in right now and just say "it's only offensive if you take it that way."

Sorry, being "offended" is not a choice. You are or you aren't.

And yes, you are trying to tell people how to feel:


Personally I think we are too PC in this country. Unless its a derogatory term, I don't think people should have the need to feel defensive by what people call them.
because I encourage people to talk about race. People are afraid to talk about racial issues for fear of offending and I think that's why we have the problems we do.

I think we should talk about race too. Let's start with not blaming the people who are offended for "taking it that way."


I guess I still don't understand why having an unusual look or being foreign is offensive. You can pretend we look just as normal as everyone else in this country, but we don't, and we don't get treated as such.

Because I'm *not* unusual. I'm *not* foreign. I *am* normal.

We should talk about why we are not being treated as normal. Why are we still perceived as being foreign? Why are we still considered unusual?


White is still the predominant race in America, and I actually find it offensive to pretend its anything different.

Predominate =/= normal. And I actually find it offensive to pretend that it is.


Myself, as well as my characters, are minorities, people from foreign places, ie: not USA, so that's going to drive their motivations and values in mixing into the American culture. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially as I speak from direct experience.

Minority =/= not from the US.

Many minorities are from the US. Many of them for several generations already. To say that these people are unusual, not normal, and still considered foreign is offensive. IMO.

MynaOphelia
06-12-2014, 02:57 AM
I guess I still don't understand why having an unusual look or being foreign is offensive. You can pretend we look just as normal as everyone else in this country, but we don't, and we don't get treated as such.

You're talking about two different things though. No, racial minorities don't look white, and they do experience discrimination for it, that's true. But just because they're not white doesn't mean they don't look "normal," you know?


White is still the predominant race in America, and I actually find it offensive to pretend its anything different.

No one's pretending white people aren't the majority, we're just saying that referring to non-white people as "exotic" simply because there are less of them than white people is kind of annoying.


Myself, as well as my characters, are minorities, people from foreign places, ie: not USA, so that's going to drive their motivations and values in mixing into the American culture. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially as I speak from direct experience.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with you writing minorities or their experiences, so I'm not sure where you're getting that.

But racial minority is not the same as foreign. My family is foreign-born but we are white. Most black people have had family in the States for generations, as is true for a lot of Hispanic and East Asian people as well.

It's fine if your character is both a racial minority and foreign, but that's not the same thing. Conflating the two contributes to a lot of other stereotypes, such as my Asian friends getting asked "Where are you from? No, but where are you really from?" when they were born in Charlotte NC, and then people telling me that my parents couldn't possibly be immigrants because "you're white!" as if white people sprouted up from the dirt or something.

Idk, just try not to get those confused, I guess?

L.David
06-12-2014, 03:21 AM
You're talking about two different things though. No, racial minorities don't look white, and they do experience discrimination for it, that's true. But just because they're not white doesn't mean they don't look "normal," you know?

No one's pretending white people aren't the majority, we're just saying that referring to non-white people as "exotic" simply because there are less of them than white people is kind of annoying.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with you writing minorities or their experiences, so I'm not sure where you're getting that.

But racial minority is not the same as foreign. My family is foreign-born but we are white. Most black people have had family in the States for generations, as is true for a lot of Hispanic and East Asian people as well.

It's fine if your character is both a racial minority and foreign, but that's not the same thing. Conflating the two contributes to a lot of other stereotypes, such as my Asian friends getting asked "Where are you from? No, but where are you really from?" when they were born in Charlotte NC, and then people telling me that my parents couldn't possibly be immigrants because "you're white!" as if white people sprouted up from the dirt or something.

Idk, just try not to get those confused, I guess?

I think we can go in circles, but are essentially saying the same thing. Again, the details of my book can't really be grasped by a message board, but its this exact idea of "I thought I belonged here, why do I feel so out of place?" that my characters go through.

To Little Ming-actually if you go back to the top of this thread, you'll see this conversation started when people, mostly of caucasian descent, felt the need to call me out for using the term exotic in a negative way, even though I obviously had no intention of doing so. I didn't start the discussion by saying these are terms people have to get used to, I'm simply defending my right to say it.

I just find it funny that I "can't" use a term to describe something that I am.

L.David
06-12-2014, 03:27 AM
By this logic, no one should ever be offended unless the choose to be. There's a whole string of racial slurs I can throw in right now and just say "it's only offensive if you take it that way."

Sorry, being "offended" is not a choice. You are or you aren't.


So you're saying if people are offended by something, even though the context isn't negative, I shouldn't use it?

So if I told you, you calling me Asian offended you, would you stop using that term?

By your logic, we could never call anyone anything, due to the chance there's some people that might be offended by it. No, racial slurs are completely different, because they are born from history and are always used in a negative context. Exotic is far from a racial slur.

It's these barriers I'm trying to get through, because all it does is complicate the real discussions that should be had.

Little Ming
06-12-2014, 03:30 AM
...

To Little Ming-actually if you go back to the top of this thread, you'll see this conversation started when people, mostly of caucasian descent, felt the need to call me out for using the term exotic in a negative way, even though I obviously had no intention of doing so. I didn't start the discussion by saying these are terms people have to get used to, I'm simply defending my right to say it.

I just find it funny that I "can't" use a term to describe something that I am.

I find it funny you think anyone said or even implied you "can't" use the term.

No one said you "can't" use it. And no one said you have to "defend [your] right to say it."

You can say whatever you want (within board rules).

But freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences, and the "consequences" here is there are people who are offended by the term. We don't have to defend our right to say that either.

Little Ming
06-12-2014, 03:38 AM
So you're saying if people are offended by something, even though the context isn't negative, I shouldn't use it?

I never said you shouldn't use it. I do think you should acknowledge people are offended, though, and not resort to a "it's only offensive if you take it that way" position.


So if I told you, you calling me Asian offended you, would you stop using that term?

I would acknowledge that you were offended and I might even ask why. You know, you get the discussion going and talk about race.


By your logic, we could never call anyone anything, due to the chance there's some people that might be offended by it.

You can call people whatever you want. But, again, freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.


No, racial slurs are completely different, because they are born from history and are always used in a negative context. Exotic is far from a racial slur.

Something doesn't have to be a racial slur to be offensive.


It's these barriers I'm trying to get through, because all it does is complicate the real discussions that should be had.

I don't mind having a real discussion. But I think we need to start by acknowledging different people come from different place, have different experiences and are offended by different things. To dismiss someone else's feelings as "it's not offensive unless you take it that way," is not a good place to start.

MynaOphelia
06-12-2014, 03:56 AM
I think we can go in circles, but are essentially saying the same thing. Again, the details of my book can't really be grasped by a message board, but its this exact idea of "I thought I belonged here, why do I feel so out of place?" that my characters go through.

To Little Ming-actually if you go back to the top of this thread, you'll see this conversation started when people, mostly of caucasian descent, felt the need to call me out for using the term exotic in a negative way, even though I obviously had no intention of doing so. I didn't start the discussion by saying these are terms people have to get used to, I'm simply defending my right to say it.

I just find it funny that I "can't" use a term to describe something that I am.

We're definitely not saying the same thing.

Also, you weren't using it to describe something that you are, you were using it to describe someone else, the Arab girl. If you said, "I feel like I look exotic" that would be different. Calling Arab people exotic is not the same thing.

Also I'm pretty sure the other people who called you out were not white. Not "mostly of Caucasian descent."

Lillith1991
06-12-2014, 04:38 AM
I'm going to be blunt here. Every time someone calls me exotic just because my mother is appears predominantly white and my father is descended from slaves, I want to punch their teeth in. I do not enjoy being labeled as other or forienge when my family has been here longer then theirs in the vast majority of casses. I'm proud of my heritage, I'm proud to be mixed.

But my father being black makes me no more exotic than my mothers being descended from European jews, English settlers, south asian, and Native American ancestry makes me exotic. When people call me exotic they refer to my father being black, to them my mom looks white even though her father was half-indian and the same skin color as me. She isn't exotic because to them she's just normal looking, ie. White.

You may not be offended, but that doesn't mean a word doesn't have a certain conotation that others are not fully aware of.

L.David
06-12-2014, 05:05 AM
We're definitely not saying the same thing.

Also, you weren't using it to describe something that you are, you were using it to describe someone else, the Arab girl. If you said, "I feel like I look exotic" that would be different. Calling Arab people exotic is not the same thing.

Also I'm pretty sure the other people who called you out were not white. Not "mostly of Caucasian descent."

Ummm...no. Look at my context again. Context is king.

"I had his love interest originally be a caucasian girl with an unknown, exotic background (like perhaps Russian/meditt)"

I didn't specify Arab at that point yet, I just knew I wanted a character who was of foreign descent. Again I ASK....what's wrong with that?

Little Ming-again, if you scroll up, I already apologized if people were offended, but defended my right to use the term. If that's not good enough for you, then I don't know what else to tell you, other than that I think there are more important racial issues....like the fact asian characters gets stereotyped very poorly in fiction, at hand.

By the way, I used Asian as an example because I do know people offended by that term. They prefer to be called whatever their ethnicity is, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, etc....I acknowledge their feelings, but I'm not going to remove that word from my vocabulary to describe people that are clearly asian. Even the word "American" is offensive in a lot of places. I only point this out to show there is an endless amount of terms we could be offended by, but I personally don't think it's productive, especially if not used in a negative way, because all it does it make people not want to talk about race, for fear of offending people.

I took it out of my original post so as not to offend anyone.

That's all I have to say on the matter, thanks.

Little Ming
06-12-2014, 05:40 AM
Little Ming-again, if you scroll up, I already apologized if people were offended, but defended my right to use the term.


Apologizing and then immediately following up with a remark that implies the fault of being "offended" is on the people feeling offended is not much of an apology.


I'm sorry if I offended you by the term. As a person of color myself though, I don't mind if people refer to me as such. I guess its all about how you see yourself. I'm proud of the fact I look different...I'm proud of my ethnicity. I still find the term offensive.

And, again, no one said you couldn't use the term. There is no "right" you have to "defend."


If that's not good enough for you, then I don't know what else to tell you, other than that I think there are more important racial issues....like the fact asian characters gets stereotyped very poorly in fiction, at hand.

Okay. We can start with why Asians are still stereotyped as "exotic."


By the way, I used Asian as an example because I do know people offended by that term. They prefer to be called whatever their ethnicity is, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, etc....I acknowledge their feelings, but I'm not going to remove that word from my vocabulary to describe people that are clearly asian. I only point this out to show there is an endless amount of terms we could be offended by, but I personally don't believe that's where the discussion should be.

That's all I have to say on the matter, thanks.

I think we can have multiple discussions. I also think that Appeal To Worse Problems (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AppealToWorseProblems) is a strawman.

***

Despite all this, L.David, I do hope you stick around. Sometimes the best way for us to grow as writers and as people is to challenge our own preconceived notions of the world and others.

Good luck on your book. :)

L.David
06-12-2014, 06:24 AM
I'm going to be blunt here. Every time someone calls me exotic just because my mother is appears predominantly white and my father is descended from slaves, I want to punch their teeth in. I do not enjoy being labeled as other or forienge when my family has been here longer then theirs in the vast majority of casses. I'm proud of my heritage, I'm proud to be mixed.

But my father being black makes me no more exotic than my mothers being descended from European jews, English settlers, south asian, and Native American ancestry makes me exotic. When people call me exotic they refer to my father being black, to them my mom looks white even though her father was half-indian and the same skin color as me. She isn't exotic because to them she's just normal looking, ie. White.

You may not be offended, but that doesn't mean a word doesn't have a certain conotation that others are not fully aware of.

Context: But I wasn't talking about you, or your parents. I'm talking about a fictional character who comes from a country halfway across the world. In that sense, I think the word exotic would apply. I suppose not though, according to popular opinion.

Little Ming
06-12-2014, 07:00 AM
I just noticed this post was edited the same time I was typing my reply. I'll address it now.


...

By the way, I used Asian as an example because I do know people offended by that term. They prefer to be called whatever their ethnicity is, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, etc....I acknowledge their feelings, but I'm not going to remove that word from my vocabulary to describe people that are clearly asian. Even the word "American" is offensive in a lot of places. I only point this out to show there is an endless amount of terms we could be offended by, but I personally don't think it's productive, especially if not used in a negative way, because all it does it make people not want to talk about race, for fear of offending people.

I took it out of my original post so as not to offend anyone.

That's all I have to say on the matter, thanks.

Part of talking about race is talking about what offends people. It just is. There's no way to avoid this. If you want to have an open honest discussion then you have to be open to the possibility that you might offend people.

Otherwise, how would we learn?

I'm sure you're not feeling very good right because so many people have expressed offense at the word "exotic," and you're feeling like you have to "defend your right" to say it (though no one said you can't). But if no one said anything, and you just continued to inadvertently offend more and more people, do you really think that is "productive"?

Systematic and subtle racism is real, and even people who have good intentions, who are not using the terms in an obviously negative way, are susceptible. That's why it's important to call it out when we see it. To not say anything because we fear offending the offenders is NOT productive. IMO. It just allows the systematic and subtle racism to continue.

If people want to seriously, honestly, and openly discuss race, then yes, it is going to be touchy and possibly even uncomfortable discussion. Deal with it.

Lillith1991
06-12-2014, 07:37 AM
Context: But I wasn't talking about you, or your parents. I'm talking about a fictional character who comes from a country halfway across the world. In that sense, I think the word exotic would apply. I suppose not though, according to popular opinion.

The fact is that the word has that conotation for many people. Including those of mixed race ancestry. Mixed=/=exotic, and it shouldn't. PoC doesn't and shouldn't equal exotic. You want to use the word on a forum, whether you yourself are PoC or not, then be prepared for people to call you out when you use it about another ethnic group. It isn't about being PC, it's about respect.

Context does not and can not always change the connotation or history of a word.

Putputt
06-12-2014, 06:57 PM
I just noticed this post was edited the same time I was typing my reply. I'll address it now.



Part of talking about race is talking about what offends people. It just is. There's no way to avoid this. If you want to have an open honest discussion then you have to be open to the possibility that you might offend people.

I agree with this. :)

When I first moved to California from Asia, one of the first people I befriended was Latina. I said, "Ooohh, can you speak Mexican!!" She sighed and told me there is no such language. It's Spanish, and I shouldn't say things like "Speak Mexican!" because it's offensive. I was confused, but you know what I didn't do? I didn't say, "Hey, it's only offensive if you choose to make it offensive. You guys are just too PC over here." :D That would be shutting her down, which wouldn't have encouraged further discussion.

I said, "Oh, I didn't know, I'm sorry." She said it's okay and we had a really good discussion about race and ethnicity. I doubt that we would have had that discussion if I'd just dismissed her as being "too PC".



Systematic and subtle racism is real, and even people who have good intentions, who are not using the terms in an obviously negative way, are susceptible. That's why it's important to call it out when we see it. To not say anything because we fear offending the offenders is NOT productive. IMO. It just allows the systematic and subtle racism to continue.

Yep, this. I'm a PoC. I have good intentions, but I make mistakes a lot of the time. Someone had to explain to me why "Mexican" isn't the same as "Hispanic", and, years later, why "Latina" is a more appropriate term than "Hispanic" in some cases. I appreciate being told that because the last thing I want to do is to contribute to subtle racism. And, really, is it such a huge burden to remember which terms to use and which ones to avoid when referring to other human beings? It's not the end of the world to make mistakes. Just own up to them and strive to do better, because you know better now.

Fwiw, I don't find the term "exotic" offensive, I find it amazingly creeptastic. :D The only times I have been referred to as exotic are by, surprise surprise, creepy guys who probably see me as just a piece of "exotic" flesh. Unsurprisingly, our conversations tend to be pretty short, with my hand hovering closer and closer to my pepper spray. ;)

My friends and I don't get offended and huffy about it. We just judge the person using it and make fun of him later on. :D

M.N Thorne
07-30-2014, 02:04 PM
I have a different point of view from the rest of my fellow writers on this subject. I believe that exotic can be use for POC in literature. In my current industry, exotic is the term used for people of color. Often Asian and Black women are often classified as exotic. While latinas and East Indian women are called "unique" beauties. I would have to say that I often write mixed race characters and they do quite well with their audience.

Fullon_v4.0
08-02-2014, 06:13 AM
If you have a story to tell, tell it. Don't let anything stop you from doing that.

One of the reasons I went with a biracial MC was because I realized that there were few if any in the MG SF world. I'd prefer that the world were colorblind, but people growing up with different backgrounds go through different things that many of the majority simply don't have to think about.

Lillith1991
08-02-2014, 11:55 AM
See. I think that mixed characters should be treated with the same care as fullblooded characters. Personally, as I said before, the reason I hate to be called exotic and to see PoC characters refered to as such is because of why people refer to me as exotic. I'm descended from African slaves on my father's side of the family, and his family has been here since before this nation was a country, in most cases way longer than the people who like to call me exotic have been here. I don't see myself or any African American as exotic, I'm simply a person.

The word also has a history of being used to fetishize POC, and I find the idea disturbing.

Wilde_at_heart
08-02-2014, 06:42 PM
I have a different point of view from the rest of my fellow writers on this subject. I believe that exotic can be use for POC in literature. In my current industry, exotic is the term used for people of color. Often Asian and Black women are often classified as exotic. While latinas and East Indian women are called "unique" beauties. I would have to say that I often write mixed race characters and they do quite well with their audience.

Unless you are IN the Caribbean, it's plain old 'Indian' unless the person is from Bengal or some place. Many Indian people in North America actually originate from Western India, like Goa or Gujarat, or the North, like Punjab.

And yes, most of us 'get' that 'exotic' means non-white. Though as a full-blooded 'Brit' I too have been called 'exotic' a couple of times in my life, which is a serious WTF, though they then say I 'look different' or 'look Irish/Scottish' what have you. It's still rather fetishistic and your industry whatever it is probably does allow for eroticised connotations that are frowned upon elsewhere. Let's face it, you wouldn't call the frumpy grandmother of that 'unique beauty' exotic as well, would you? However, it does at least irk everyone, including 'boring' whites and PoCs with 'some extra pounds' or with less than perfect bone structure, equally :D Now, I do know some people who aren't at all bothered about being called 'exotic', but do keep in mind that it's not universal.

Putputt
08-02-2014, 06:53 PM
I have a different point of view from the rest of my fellow writers on this subject. I believe that exotic can be use for POC in literature. In my current industry, exotic is the term used for people of color. Often Asian and Black women are often classified as exotic. While latinas and East Indian women are called "unique" beauties. I would have to say that I often write mixed race characters and they do quite well with their audience.

Well I must say, this wins the most Creeptastic Post of the Year Award. ;)

thisprovinciallife
08-02-2014, 09:20 PM
I have a different point of view from the rest of my fellow writers on this subject. I believe that exotic can be use for POC in literature. In my current industry, exotic is the term used for people of color. Often Asian and Black women are often classified as exotic. While latinas and East Indian women are called "unique" beauties. I would have to say that I often write mixed race characters and they do quite well with their audience.

WHAT. WHAT. What is happening here?

M.N. Thorne, are you saying that in your "current industry," which, by your picture, I can only assume is of the half-naked variety, you objectify and classify women of color in order to please an audience of consumers, which I can only assume are of the white-male, also half-naked variety?

TELL ME IT AIN'T SO.

M.N Thorne
08-03-2014, 02:47 AM
Wilde, I always used East Indian when talking about people from the Indian subcontinent. No one including those of Indian descent had a problem with me using that term. So you are not going to talked to me about how I used that term. I met many different people from the Indian Subcontinent and used the term for all of them as "East Indian". However, my family does come from both Latin America and the Caribbean. Also keep in mind that many people do not have your hangups as well. Also keep in mind that I am American. People from the Indian subcontinent is talked about differently here than in the UK. People often mistaken them from either Arabic or other Middle Eastern people. They welcome being called "East Indian" in California.

You are correct! My current industry is not as prudish as some but the term "exotic" still can apply to other industries. Some people are just more prudish than others. I look at race quite differently than you look at. I know that I am a person and I am not bother by others racist comments. That's why I told the OP that he should used exotic if he wants to.


Unless you are IN the Caribbean, it's plain old 'Indian' unless the person is from Bengal or some place. Many Indian people in North America actually originate from Western India, like Goa or Gujarat, or the North, like Punjab.

And yes, most of us 'get' that 'exotic' means non-white. Though as a full-blooded 'Brit' I too have been called 'exotic' a couple of times in my life, which is a serious WTF, though they then say I 'look different' or 'look Irish/Scottish' what have you. It's still rather fetishistic and your industry whatever it is probably does allow for eroticised connotations that are frowned upon elsewhere. Let's face it, you wouldn't call the frumpy grandmother of that 'unique beauty' exotic as well, would you? However, it does at least irk everyone, including 'boring' whites and PoCs with 'some extra pounds' or with less than perfect bone structure, equally :D Now, I do know some people who aren't at all bothered about being called 'exotic', but do keep in mind that it's not universal.

Little Ming
08-03-2014, 03:16 AM
I have a different point of view from the rest of my fellow writers on this subject. I believe that exotic can be use for POC in literature. In my current industry, exotic is the term used for people of color. Often Asian and Black women are often classified as exotic. While latinas and East Indian women are called "unique" beauties. I would have to say that I often write mixed race characters and they do quite well with their audience.

This is an excellent example of systematic racism becoming so common that people start believing racist language is okay and acceptable.


...
You are correct! My current industry is not as prudish as some but the term "exotic" still can apply to other industries. Some people are just more prudish than others. I look at race quite differently than you look at. I know that I am a person and I am not bother by others racist comments. That's why I told the OP that he should used exotic if he wants to.

"My current industry uses racist language and personally I am okay with racist language, so I will continue to use racist language. People who are not okay with racist language are just prudish."

Right.

As I told the OP, you can use whatever language you want. But "exotic" in this context is a racist term and you will offend some people. And no, it is not because we are "prudish."

M.N Thorne
08-03-2014, 03:17 AM
Actually, women and men of color including myself learn quickly that people will classify them as differently than our white counterparts. Asian, Latin,People of African descent, and other people of color learn to accept this way of thinking. But not just people of color learn this lesson but plus size white women and men as well. Transwomen learn that they are fetishes to their customers instead of people. When they become big stars than you become a person. Most adult entertainment companies including phone sex companies try to make people of color and other minorities feel secure. Many of us go through training in order to handle racism and other things in this industry. But this training has stop in recent years.

For example, every phone sex operator learns that race is a factor when it comes to how much money you will make. Your company will tell you to create different types of characters. White female characters will make more than POC female characters unless it is BDSM or something more taboo. Than POC make more than the white female characters. In addition, East Indian and Roma women make less than everyone else in the American adult entertainment industry. They make less as strippers, dominatrixes, phone sex operators, and cam models than anyone else. I have worked on many East Indian and Roma adult entertainer portfolios in order to make them more marketable in America.


WHAT. WHAT. What is happening here?

M.N. Thorne, are you saying that in your "current industry," which, by your picture, I can only assume is of the half-naked variety, you objectify and classify women of color in order to please an audience of consumers, which I can only assume are of the white-male, also half-naked variety?

TELL ME IT AIN'T SO.

M.N Thorne
08-03-2014, 03:32 AM
Excuse me but do not put words in my mouth. I was telling everyone the truth about my industry. I never said that I was okay with using racist language. But I was just stating the fact that some industries fetishized people more than others. The adult entertainment industry does it quite often because the customer does it. They cater to the customer. In fact, a lot of the entertainment industry does it. Why do you think that so many television shows and movies have white characters only. There is not different but at least the adult industry tells people of color the truth. Do you think that corporate America tells people of color and women the truth? Nope, they just pass them over for white male counterparts. That is the way the Western world is. Also, Little Ming, I was talking to Wilde about that. I did not stated that other people on here was prudish. That is not my fault if you personally took offensive to what I was saying. I stand by what I was saying. "Exotic" is not a racial term nor slur. If the OP does not want to use than he should not.


This is an excellent example of systematic racism becoming so common that people start believing racist language is okay and acceptable.



"My current industry uses racist language and personally I am okay with racist language, so I will continue to use racist language. People who are not okay with racist language are just prudish."

Right.

As I told the OP, you can use whatever language you want. But "exotic" in this context is a racist term and you will offend some people. And no, it is not because we are "prudish."

Little Ming
08-03-2014, 03:39 AM
Excuse me but do not put words in my mouth. I was telling everyone the truth about my industry. I never said that I was okay with using racist language. But I was just stating the fact that some industries fetishized people more than others. The adult entertainment industry does it quite often because the customer does it. They cater to the customer. In fact, a lot of the entertainment industry does it. Why do you think that so many television shows and movies have white characters only. There is not different but at least the adult industry tells people of color the truth. Do you think that corporate America tells people of color and women the truth? Nope, they just pass them over for white male counterparts. That is the way the Western world is.

Systematic racism, as I said above. I know this is the way part of the world is. I also believe it would be better if it wasn't this way, which is why it is important to call it out when we see it instead of defending it.


Also, Little Ming, I was talking to Wilde about that. I did not stated that other people on here was prudish. That is not my fault if you personally took offensive to what I was saying. I stand by what I was saying. "Exotic" is not a racial term nor slur. If the OP does not want to use than he should not.

And I stand by what I said: "Exotic" in this context is racist. Just because a part of the world is okay with this form of racism doesn't make it any less racist, or less offensive.

M.N Thorne
08-03-2014, 03:39 AM
Putputt, it is the truth. The adult entertainment industry classify everyone and place them into a category. It does not matter if that people is working as porn actor, stripper, burlesque dancer, cam model, phone sex operator, or etc. Everyone gets classify in that industry and everyone prepares you for that. At least, they used to prepare the new men and women for that hard truth in the industry. Even Burlesque dancers are effected by this classification. I knew many Burlesque dancers of color that did not get booked because the color of their skin. Many that did not get booked because of their size. But that is just apart of the business.



Well I must say, this wins the most Creeptastic Post of the Year Award. ;)

M.N Thorne
08-03-2014, 03:50 AM
That is wishful thinking on your part. Do not believe for any second that people are not going to fetishized others. That is how the entertainment industry works. Speciality, that is how the adult industry works. People are going to racist no matter what you or I say. Systematic racism is in every society. It is part of the human condition. Every minority most deal with systematic racism in the workplace and else where. I am not defending anything but myself. I am a minority woman working in one of the toughest industry on earth. In fact, I instructed other women of color and gay men on how to survive in this industry. I told the truth and it was not to your liking. I am sorry if I do not live in a world of rose colored glasses. I see things for what they are than how they should be. Racism is not as bad it once was. But it is still there and I am not defending it. I am just truthful about it. So, you have a great day:Hug2:


Systematic racism, as I said above. I know this is the way part of the world is. I also believe it would be better if it wasn't this way, which is why it is important to call it out when we see it instead of defending it.



And I stand by what I said: "Exotic" in this context is racist. Just because a part of the world is okay with this form of racism doesn't make it any less racist, or less offensive.

milkweed
08-03-2014, 03:53 AM
I'm mixed race, half mi'kmaq and quarter welsh and quarter german.

I say go for it, if you want your MC to be full raced then do it, if you really desire for her to be mixed race then do it.

Little Ming
08-03-2014, 04:02 AM
That is wishful thinking on your part. Do not believe for any second that people are not going to fetishized others. That is how the entertainment industry works. Speciality, that is how the adult industry works. People are going to racist no matter what you or I say. Systematic racism is in every society. It is part of the human condition. Every minority most deal with systematic racism in the workplace and else where. I am not defending anything but myself. I am a minority woman working in one of the toughest industry on earth. In fact, I instructed other women of color and gay men on how to survive in this industry. I told the truth and it was not to your liking. I am sorry if I do not live in a world of rose colored glasses. I see things for what they are than how they should be. Racism is not as bad it once was. But it is still there and I am not defending it. I am just truthful about it. So, you have a great day:Hug2:

I deal with a great of racism, and other -isms in my daily life too. So no, I do not live in a rose-colored world, nor am I refusing to see the "truth."

I guess we just differ on how we think the world can be. I see the great progress we've made against racism, and other -isms, and believe that the world can still continue to get better, but it needs people to make that difference. And that includes calling out systematic racism when we see it.

You "see things for what they are [sic] than how they should be." I see things as what they are and how they should be.

You are correct that the "truth" is not to my "liking," because I believe we can be better. Maybe that is "wishful thinking." But without "wishing" we would never have made the progress that we have today.

Good day to you, too. :)

elinor
08-03-2014, 04:58 AM
I'd say go for bi-racial. Being bi-racial can create more possible conflicts for the MC to deal with.

Little Ming
08-03-2014, 05:08 AM
Some encouragement for the wishful thinkers.

~150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln:


I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.Today, we have Barack Obama.

We've come a long way. I think we can still go a long ways more. Keep wishing everyone. :Hug2:

Long ETA:

I don't want to bump this thread again, so I'm going to do a long edit of this post.

It has been pointed out to me that my position in this thread is not clear. Reading back, I agree; so please allow me to clarify.

To repeat again, I never said people cannot use the term "exotic" to define POC. Nor did I ever say people cannot have "exotic" sexual fantasies with POC.

My position is that people should acknowledge that using "exotic" to define POC based on nothing else but the C, is racism.

That's what I want right now, acknowledgment. If you are going to use a word in a racist way, then acknowledge it is racist. If you are going to have a racist sexual fantasy, acknowledge it is a racist fantasy.

(To use an extreme example, I also don't have any issue with people who have rape fantasies. If you can find a consenting partner who will act out this fantasy with you in the privacy of your bedroom, great. Have fun.

When the vast majority of these people come out of the bedroom, they know rape is wrong. They know it was a fantasy.

But when people try to justify/normalize calling POC "exotic", the fantasy doesn't end at the bedroom. Because people don't think it's racist, they are told by the industry, by entertainment, and by other people that this is just the way the world is--that thinking about POC as "exotic" isn't racism.

Putputt gave a good example of someone who didn't understand that the fantasy ended at the bedroom door (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8919965&postcount=34). Unfortunately, her experience is not uncommon; and luckily, it has a semi-happy ending.

If the sex industry wants to keep making racist sexual fantasy media, that's fine. Have fun. But acknowledge it is a racist fantasy.)

It might not seem like a big deal, but for POC who do not think of themselves as "exotic", and for POC who are born and raised and educated in western countries for many generations, to be told they are still "exotic" for nothing else but our race... it is frustrating! And it continues to perpetuate the myth that they are never quite "normal", or really citizens, or at home in our countries. "Exotic" makes them different; it makes them the perpetual foreigners no matter what they do, they will always be the outsiders, the "exotic" people.

Maybe it is "wishful thinking", but I believe this can be changed eventually. And no, I am not advocating censoring the word, or changing peoples' sexual fantasies. I am advocating educating people. Even large scale social/cultural changes had to start somewhere. Even a small step like getting people to acknowledge "describing POC as 'exotic' based on nothing else but their race, is racism" is something.

As I said above: keep wishing--because if there are no wishes, nothing will change. Abraham Lincoln would have been right; there would be no Barack Obama, and quite possibly many of the people on this board. Keep wishing. :)

Putputt
08-03-2014, 07:47 AM
That is wishful thinking on your part. Do not believe for any second that people are not going to fetishized others. That is how the entertainment industry works. Speciality, that is how the adult industry works. People are going to racist no matter what you or I say. Systematic racism is in every society. It is part of the human condition. Every minority most deal with systematic racism in the workplace and else where. I am not defending anything but myself. I am a minority woman working in one of the toughest industry on earth. In fact, I instructed other women of color and gay men on how to survive in this industry. I told the truth and it was not to your liking. I am sorry if I do not live in a world of rose colored glasses. I see things for what they are than how they should be. Racism is not as bad it once was. But it is still there and I am not defending it. I am just truthful about it. So, you have a great day:Hug2:

This post makes me sad. :( *hugs you super hard* I am sorry that working in the industry you've worked in has made you think that fetishization is okay because "well, it happens". :( That really sucks, and I'm sorry that you've had to go through that.

I'm going to stick with not being okay with being fetishized because of my race, though, because maybe I'm mote like Little Ming in that I do believe in a better future. I don't believe in contributing to something hateful just because many other people might do it. :)


Some encouragement for the wishful thinkers.

~150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln:

Today, we have Barack Obama.

We've come a long way. I think we can still go a long ways more. Keep wishing everyone. :Hug2:


This post is made of win.

patskywriter
08-03-2014, 09:54 PM
Unless you are IN the Caribbean, it's plain old 'Indian' unless the person is from Bengal or some place. Many Indian people in North America actually originate from Western India, like Goa or Gujarat, or the North, like Punjab.

I notice that you live in Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, here in the USA people still use the term "Indian" while in Canada you say "First Nations," which I feel is, at the very least, more accurate. Or at least less ridiculous than the term Christopher Columbus used when he mistakenly thought that he had landed in India, bless his heart. So in the USA, it's pretty common to say "East Indian" to make the distinction between someone from India and someone whose folks originally inhabited this country. (And, of course, when talking about people from the Caribbean, we often use the term "West Indian," depending on the island in question.)