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“Person Of Color” – What Does it Mean?

After the Oscar nominations, there has been some controversy about whether Antonio Banderas is a “person of color” or not. A lot of media outlets claimed that he wasn’t because “he is European” as if in Europe everybody was white…let’s start by saying that the term “person of color” is an outdated and racially offensive one that lacks specificity and may mean different things to different cultures. In the USA, according to Wikipedia, a POC is “any person who is not considered white, including in various points in US history, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, and others”. By “others,” we might be including space martians, who knows! The problem is, there are two main differences that we sometimes tend to throw under the same roof; culture and ethnicity. For example, you can be culturally Latin but racially look like Gisele Bundchen. Is she not considered Latina because has blue eyes and fair skin? She is born in Latin America and speaks a Latin language. But would you define her as a “person of color”? Probably not.

If you compare Salma Hayek and Alicia Vikander, they both have a similar complexion, in fact they could be sisters. But should one be considered “POC” because she is Mexican, and the other one white because is Swedish? It makes no sense. If the reporters that called Antonio Banderas an “actor of color” would have just substituted that expression for “diverse actor,” it would have solved this problem.

 

 

Diversity is more inclusive by definition, so please, if you still insist on using a label, then use this one as opposed to “POC.” But what do you think? Comment below!

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