Nonfiction Societal The Word 5 minute read

Confusing Shock With Anger: We “Colored” Folks Ain’t Mad About Robach’s Mistake


This morning Good Morning America’s Host, Amy Robach, referred to Black people as “Colored People.”  She has since apologized and said that she made a mistake and meant to say “people of color.”

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Articles, and particularly their headlines, are designed to attract readers by being somewhat scandalous.  Accordingly, most of today’s headlines made it seem as if Black America was in a “firestorm” over Robach’s use of the term.  We were “out-raged” and “out-done”.  In response, in every major news source that I read, 99% of the comments were defensive:

I do not understand why it is acceptable for one group of people to use some words while it is not acceptable for anyone else to use the words? Specifically NAACP and the “letter after m” word. I’m confused.

Aren’t we all coloured in different shades? This seems to me to be a complete over-reaction. But I appreciate that this is the U.S.A and sadly people both here in the UK and USA, are becoming insensitive to common sense.  I realise that all words have a history which may be good or deemed bad.  But they are only words.  It`s actions behind those words we should all worry about.

So calling people white is okay, but calling black people black or colored is an offensive and racist remark? Lol… Stupid!

Are u kidding me. This is what gets Africans undies in a bunch?  How about addressing all the violence, guns, and poverty. The list goes on and on. Pretty clear why things are not moving forward for blacks like all other groups of people who have to assimilate into the way of life in the United States. Apparently all other groups have no problem learning English, they have no problem with violence, and they have no problem with guns and they work themselves out of poverty. And guess what they don’t mind being called a Pollock or a dumb Italian or whatever as a matter of fact they use it as an impetus to achieve.

I guess its better to say Black People then Colored People? somehow no matter what word you use to describe someone of another color its always offending, such as African American when that person is not from Africa and not American. 

Give me a break. Everyone knows what she meant..people of color. The name game is getting ridiculous. We’re supposed to say African Americans which is the dumbest catch all. So I guess I should get offended if I’m not called a Norwegian American?? Were Americans, black, white, whatever…

Now there is a lot I can say about the comments above but I will limit myself to just these 3 things:

  1. It’s understandable for people to respond defensively to anger, so it annoys me when the media hypes up situations (more on this later).
  2. Non-Black people should try to understand our unique journey (due to slavery) of trying classify and label our identity.
  3. Lastly and most importantly, if someone walked in my office and told me that he wanted me to call him Twinkle Hammer Butterfly because that is who his spirit told him he was and that he would be hurt otherwise; I would call him Twinkle Hammer Butterfly from that day forward. You can call it Political Correctness; I call it respecting people.  Some people prefer a hyphenated last name, some prefer that others always use their formal titles when talking to them, such as Dr. and Esquire.  Then there are some who only want to be referred to by their nicknames.  Whatever makes a person or a group feel respected and happy, works for me.

But, on to the real nut of this article:  when I read articles about Robach’s blunder in the “Black” periodicals and on Black Twitter — most Black people weren’t outraged about Robach’s comment.  As a matter of fact, I believe that most believe that she genuinely made a mistake. She certainly didn’t intend on harming or alienating a significant segment of her audience. Black folks are, once again, just shocked about how ignorant White people are about us.  To make it in America, a Black person must have a Ph.D. in all things White (we are inundated with your culture, music, food and social norms from day one); yet there is a White host (a person who is well-paid to be a top communicator to a large and diverse group of people) on the #1 morning show — on the 2nd largest national network — using a term that hasn’t been used for African Americans since the 1950s.

It is seriously comparable to if you had the Vice President of Samsung, a technology company, sending an announcement via telegram.  People may not necessarily be angry (some would); but it certainly would be a “oh-hell-naw, we expect better from you, this shouldn’t even be in your toolbox”, type of moment.

My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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