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Is czarnoskóry acceptable?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
23 May 2010 #1
Is the Polish term czarnoskóry or ciemnoskóry acceptable and not perceived as racist?
I have seen Polish media referring to Obama as ciemnnoskóry prezydent USA. Today someone has posted a Warsaw shooting of a czarnoskóry foreigner.
frd 7 | 1,399
23 May 2010 #2
Poland hasn't got to that phase yet, the one were people are quarelling over words - stuff like firewoman - strażaczka? naah we don't have enough time on our hands. It will come with time and wealth...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 May 2010 #3
Why the need to mention their skin in the first place? They are as they are. It's not like they went bidding at an auction to get it, now is it? I don't feel the need to use such terms.
frd 7 | 1,399
23 May 2010 #4
Why the need to mention their skin in the first place?

I'd say in Poland where the percentage of people other than Poles not even mentioning those of other skin colour is really small it's a way to limit the number of guessing when telling somebody about someone. In other countries where people of colour come in bigger quantities it might be a problem. I would make a problem of it here. When there's one black person living in a city and you don't know his name you won't be beating around the bush getting your political correctness worked up you're just gonna say the first word that comes to your mind.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 May 2010 #5
True but Pol3 was talking about acceptability. I find the term acceptable but only as a racial classification and don't need to highlight it in other cases.
zetigrek
23 May 2010 #6
Why the need to mention their skin in the first place? They are as they are.

Seanus why not? Do they should be ashamed of their skin color??? TV says its the first ciemnoskóry president of USA, as in the USA they are sooo exited about it.

Second thing is that I dont understand the western political correctness. It is not a problem to use word "polack" in media (check the Giles Coren case) but it is a problem when some music radiostation is advertising that they are broadcasting "black music" (i heard that was a scandal in the UK). I've also read on some forum when some American guy was visiting Germany and find out that they have in Media Markt music store a tag card (jak jest po angielsku zakładka?) named "black music". (Jakiś Amerykanin skarżył się, że znalazł w Media Markt zakładkę z napisem "czarna muzyka"). He went to the store stuff and asked where's white music then? (Poszedł do sprzedawcy i zapytał się gdzie jest zatem "biała muzyka"). And he was really shocked that Germany is such a racist country /sic!/ because of that!

Words like: ciemnoskóry, czarnoskóry, arent racist in polish language. Word Murzyn widely is also not considered as racist word but I heard that some can argue about it. Overally using adjective "czarny" is not racist in poland.
shush 1 | 212
23 May 2010 #7
Is the Polish term czarnoskóry or ciemnoskóry acceptable and not perceived as racist?

Czarnoskory or ciemnoskory are normal terms, used commonly. Depends on the context it can be used in a rasist manner. You did not say in what context the polish media were refering about Obama as ciemnoskory prezydent USA. The offensive version is czarnuch.

Why the need to mention their skin in the first place?

If the paper was saying about Obama as the first president of mixed race then I guess it's understandable?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 May 2010 #8
Skin is skin, get over it! Just like my red hair, I was born with it. Go and read some genetics books :)
shush 1 | 212
23 May 2010 #9
Go and read some genetics books

Well, from the genetics point of view there are more differences between races than you would think. It doesnt mean it matters though.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 May 2010 #10
I just don't feel that there is a need to discuss the issue as people do. He's black, so what? He's brown, and? She's yellow? Oh, really? It just doesn't matter.
shush 1 | 212
23 May 2010 #11
they have in Media Markt music store a tag card (jak jest po angielsku zakładka?) named "black music".

Well, in London I've seen a section in bookstore called Black Literature and while I would somehow understand if the topic was slavery for instance but the only thing what the books had in common was the fact that their authors were black lol
zetigrek
23 May 2010 #12
I just don't feel that there is a need to discuss the issue as people do. He's black, so what? He's brown, and? She's yellow? Oh, really? It just doesn't matter.

exactly. So why dont we treat it like talking about hair color? Someone has blond hair, Someone has crossed eyes, Someone has dark skin... and nothing wrong about it. So why the hell we are so afraid of that word ("black") ??? Do you understand what I mean?
frd 7 | 1,399
23 May 2010 #13
Ehh we are all on the way to be shushing when somebody is talking about gender, age, idiocrasies, cars he has got, because oh it could hurt his feelings.. I will use whatever I need to describe a person. And I will never use it to insult him.
Wawel - | 14
23 May 2010 #14
Perhaps "Pan Czarnecki" would be more appropriate.
shush 1 | 212
23 May 2010 #15
Ehh we are all on the way to be shushing

Sorry but I am the only one allowed to shush :P
cinek 2 | 345
24 May 2010 #16
I have seen Polish media referring to Obama as ciemnnoskóry prezydent USA.

The media didn't mention he's skin color because it matters for them, but because it used to matter for Americans. So they were just saying: Look, America is changing.

That's all.

And a word about political correctness. We (Poles and many other nations) don't need to feel the same guilt that Americans feel because of enslaving black people in the past. So don't extend your political corectness to our language. It's your guilt and your expiation. Not ours.

Cinek
WhizzKid - | 9
4 Jun 2010 #17
It will come with time and wealth...

Not necessarily - this stems from the unique history and social structure of the USA. Afaik they don't have the same problem with calling black people "black" in France.

The media didn't mention he's skin color because it matters for them, but because it used to matter for Americans. So they were just saying: Look, America is changing.
That's all.

One might argue with that. Still, vast amount of Poles, if not majority, consider black people to be slightly inferior, using examples such as Africa or that the highest crime rate is among African Americans. I do not aim at saying whether or not this is true, but this is opinion of a fair share of the population.

Another thing is that as Obama comes from a Muslim family, it changed the relationship between USA and mainly-Christian Europe. There are other social factors implied as well.

But bottom line, "czarnoskóry", "ciemnoskóry" or "Murzyn" are not considered pejorative in a normal context, as has been said previously. However, if you called a white person "Murzyn", it would be rather offensive (implying they are slaves and/or stupid). Still, Poles really don't care about black people, so this is not a major issue.
frd 7 | 1,399
4 Jun 2010 #18
Not necessarily

Well there are already first step visible every now and then, feminists trying to push through certain behaviours. I wasn't talking only about the problem of racism but generally about shovinism, pushing it into the bracket of skin colour and us might indeed be only an american thing stemming from their history, but there are so many other things that are and will be ocurring in Poland and will be changing similarly as they did in us.
cinek 2 | 345
29 Jun 2010 #19
But bottom line, "czarnoskóry", "ciemnoskóry" or "Murzyn" are not considered pejorative in a normal context

Neither are 'baba', 'blondynka' or 'kobieta' when talking about someone who is not driving a car... Of course, every word may change its meaning when put in a specific context.

Cinek
GoskaGrad - | 4
30 Jun 2010 #20
It is acceptable. It is one of the most acceptable terms in all circumstances. It is a word used commonly in informative context, have no negative coloration itself. If there is better word for this please let me know.
jwojcie 2 | 763
30 Jun 2010 #21
I have seen Polish media referring to Obama as ciemnnoskóry prezydent USA.

"Czarnoskóry" or "Ciemnoskóry" is not offensive.
Why it is mentioned in media? Well, wasn't it considered globally and especially in USA that it was big political breakthrough? First Afroamerican as a president.

You know, you must put yourself in Polish "Kowalski" mind. To do that, imagine that in tv in USA they are talking about some x president of some y country. Who the x is anyway? Obama skin colour is distinctive and Kowalski in a second remember who the hell Obama is... Of course Obama is not x and his fame is wider than some x from y, but still even if news about USA in polish media are not so rare as news about Poland in USA media, then still they are rare... For most of Poles Obama even if he is not x he is no more than X, because he is not our president but president from far away country :-) So, when media says "black president of USA" then we instantly get context: "oh, yes I've heard few years ago, that it was important to the USA that they choose black president"...

Quick test for all of you: what is the name of president of China, probably second world power ? ;-)

It was a trap, China has no president, they have chairman of communist party as a leader :-) Wouldn't it be easier to remember his name if he was a black men? :-) :-)


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