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Discussion on: Do you consider the term "blacklist" a "racist" term? If yes, what is the alternative?

devencourt profile image
Brian Bethencourt

Even if these words aren't necessarily racist, what's wrong with getting rid of what sounds like exclusionary language? It's a relatively minor change compared to what we're used to in the developing world.

dse profile image

Those words by themselves are not racist, it is always the context that makes the meaning. If you think they are exclusionary, it's only in your mind. I usually don't think of racism if I hear those words, but I do recognize some people do. Those words are not exclusionary or racist because they exist, but rather how they are used.
How far do you want to go? Should we really check any context where the words black or white are used for the potential of a racist interpretation? Maybe abolishing the words black and white on the whole would help? I don't see those changes solving any real problems.

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

Precisely. I really do understand where people are coming from with this, but the efforts - noble as they may be - seem misplaced. The real problems are much bigger, and to be honest - very hard to solve, or even begin to solve. Creating racist problems where they don't exist in such a way as to allow a simple solution may make people feel good that they are solving 'something' or doing their part, but ultimately does nothing to stop racist people being racist, or tackle any of the very real injustices people face. Inserting accusations of racism everywhere at the drop of a hat dilutes the real issues and potentially creates more division where there need not be any.

dandv profile image
Dan Dascalescu • Edited on

what's wrong with getting rid of what sounds like exclusionary language

Many things:

  1. Makes use feel good when we might have done nothing of consequence...
  2. ...hence we pat ourselves on the back instead of doing more meaningful things
  3. Consider the cost of renaming "master" will likely be far larger than anyone has seriously considered.

I wrote more about these and other issues in 8 problems with replacing "master" in Git.