Q. What’s wrong with using the word “Negro”?


The PC movement has also changed how we refer to various groups of people. What you learned in school may no longer be approved of. For instance, in America in the 1950s the accepted term for kokujin was “Negro.” In the 1960s it was “Afro–Americans.” At present, they prefer to be referred to as “African–Americans” or “Blacks,” so it is impolite to use anything else.

In a similar vein, people in America who speak Spanish are generally referred to as “Hispanics.” People who are Caucasians are called “Whites.” When talking about groups of different backgrounds, we use the phrase “ethnic groups” instead of “races.”

Another area where PC has made inroads is in the field of physical and mental differences. The words “handicapped,” “mentally retarded,” “blind,” and “deaf” have basically been replaced by “specially abled,” “mentally challenged,” “optically challenged,” and “aurally challenged.” Whether the latter terms will remain in American English or not remains to be seen, but for the moment they are the best terms available.

It should be common knowledge by now that one does not refer to homosexual men as “homo,” but rather as “gay.” While we are on the subject, it is not appropriate to ask whether someone is “gay” or not. It is a private matter that is not discussed in public.