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Posted: 05 July 2014 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Negro isn’t used in polite society in the U.S. except as part of the name of long-established organizations like the ones you mentioned.  Samuel L. Jackson’s quote “Shiiiit, Negro!” from Pulp Fiction is an example of its use outside polite society.

To underscore how taboo the word is today, try typing “United Negro College Fund” in Google’s search box and you’ll see auto-complete shut off when you hit the “r”, just like it shuts off when you start to enter other naughty words.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Negro has gone out. I remember an elderly (now 99 year old) black woman who said in the 80s, “I’ve been a colored person, I’ve been a Negro, African-American and now I’m Black. I can’t keep up with it all.”

Colored and Negro (I don’t know whether to capitalize them or not) survive in titles of organizations like United Negro College Fund and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People but not used in polite conversation or in any sentence without an historical referent or context.* The 40 colleges supported by the UNCF, however, are now called “historically black colleges”. Even what we used to call “Negro Spirituals” are now delineated as “African American Spirituals” in the hymnals I reference.

*"Person of Color” is often used but it means “non-white” (Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Black folk and the like) not “colored person” which meant a black person of whatever mixed ancestry. The NAACP now thinks of its mission as advocating the rights of “People of Color.” In the calculus used in my youth, if a person had one drop of Negro blood, they were legally Negro, especially for the purposes of the anti-miscegenation laws and other such prohibitions, caveats and restrictive housing covenants.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Thank you both for elucidating. I had no idea till now that Google censored the autocomplete. Clearly you can still search for any term whatsoever so I don’t really see the point. I can only surmise that Google doesn’t want to be seen as the racist old buffer sitting next to you in the bar whispering shocking suggestions in your ear! BTW I recently changed my default search engine from Google UK to Google US because of this idiotic ‘right to be forgotten’ rule which forces Google to censor the results of its European versions.

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Posted: 06 July 2014 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Dave Wilton - 05 July 2014 06:33 AM

I don’t know about Leftpondia, but on this side of the pond ‘coloured’ is seen as a vile racist word these days,

It’s the same here, except USAns and some Canadians spell it colored. The very elderly may be cut a break, but anyone born after 1940 (i.e., came of age in the 60s or later) should know better and would do best to avoid the word.

Color, however, can be used to denote non-whites in general, as in people of color. It’s only when restricted to African-Americans that it’s problematic.

Note that It is used in South Africa even in quite formal contexts.

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Posted: 06 July 2014 04:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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I had no idea till now that Google censored the autocomplete. Clearly you can still search for any term whatsoever so I don’t really see the point. I can only surmise that Google doesn’t want to be seen as the racist old buffer sitting next to you in the bar whispering shocking suggestions in your ear!

Yes, it’s a PR thing. They don’t want screenshots of inflammatory autocomplete suggestions circulating on the net.

BTW I recently changed my default search engine from Google UK to Google US because of this idiotic ‘right to be forgotten’ rule which forces Google to censor the results of its European versions.

Not that it matters. Google “censors” all results based on your preferences, search history, etc. Regardless of where you live, you can’t plug a term into Google on one person’s computer and get the same results as you would on another. ("Censor" is probably the wrong term for this. “Curates” might be a better one.)

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Posted: 06 July 2014 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Dave Wilton - 06 July 2014 04:23 AM



Not that it matters. Google “censors” all results based on your preferences, search history, etc. Regardless of where you live, you can’t plug a term into Google on one person’s computer and get the same results as you would on another. ("Censor" is probably the wrong term for this. “Curates” might be a better one.)

True enough but Google US does give me the links that Google UK won’t. I tested it out with some of the results that Google removed from its European brands recently, eg a BBC blog entry which was pulled because of a post in the comments section. Google US brought it up, Google UK didn’t.

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