Diadem wrote:It's obviously a racial comparison.
But why is it a bad one? It doesn't negatively stereotype people. It's not malignent. It's not a slur. What's the problem?Creole is unacceptable when used to describe a person in the same way that Oriental is
Interesting. I've never considered 'Oriental' to be offensive. It's simply a descripting of where someone is from. I checked wikipedia and it turns out it's only considered offensive in American (and Canadian) English. Not in Britisch English. And certainly not in Dutch. Americans and their silly political correct language
The thing is, its considered politically incorrect to use 'Oriental' to describe a person of Asian origin in the US, not on some random whim, but becuase there is a history of racism against (mostly East) Asians from the late 1800s and early 1900s (maybe earlier, I am not quite sure) that may be lacking in other countries. While I am sure that there were problems with racism directed at Asians in West Europe, to the best of my knowledge they didn't have nearly as many such immigrants to discriminate against.
Lets just clarify for a second: calling someone Oriental is considered offensive in the US, just like calling someone Colored. I am sure there are countries out there that use those terms without intended offence, but here, that just doesn't fly..
Anyways, on the Creole thing, I have heard the term used to refer to a person, only to the Cuisine and the language (Haitian Creole/Kreole [sp]). However, if someone told me that they were offended by it, I would certainly believe them: there is a history to support such an idea. None of you would call someone decended from runaway slaves a Maroon, right? Creole in the sense of refering to people is just as bad: it has a connotation of the person being of a lower worth than a "regular" person (read one of European descent).
Of course, one could say that whoever named the cookie was unaware of the full history of the word, but as the cookie has absolutely nothing to do with Creole cuisine, one should be able to admit that it is better that they have changed the name.
Oh, and G.v.K, there are certainly some things that are inherantly racist. Pointing out that someone is black/white/whatever probably doesn't qualify (though the context is important, of course, and in any case some people would wonder why you would feel the need to).
Lets put it this way: I am of mixed european and middle eastern descent. If someone said to me "Hey, your family is from Lebanon, right? Have you ever visited there?," I wouldn't assume they were a racist, far from it. I would assume they were trying to get to know me a little better, in a perfectly acceptable way.
If, on the other had, they said "Hey, your family is from Lebanon, right? Go back to that s*-hole you terrorist sand-n*!" it would be pretty clear they were being racist. Inherantly so.