It just came to me the other day that the colour tan is racial. I just thought it meant light brown as a colour. It never occurred to me that this name had anything to do with the concept of getting a tan. It is whites who get a light brown tan. Brown people get dark brown tans. So tan for a lot of people would be dark brown.
Then it occurred to me that band-aids are tan. In other words they are the colour of whites in the summer time. I can’t believe this racial colouring wasn’t used to sell more band-aids in the winter time, especially years ago to the white majority of the first world. They could have made a soft peach colour for these other band-aids so vain whites would have on hand twice as many band-aids.
Since band-aids have been outed as racial in colour, I think the band-aid companies should solely make colourful designs. They could become the stamps of the body with packages aimed at collectors of all stripes. People could tell each other why they chose certain band-aids. This on top of making the world more colourful.
So what am I to do now that I’ve lost the colour tan? I could call the colour camel, but is this just painting the colour of camels with one brush? Are there no other colours of camel in the world? You would think there would be if something as drastic as a hump can come singly or in a set of two. Tentatively I will use camel as my word.
I am reminded of being a kid and never having a clue of any ethnic differences or stereotypes. Yet I was unknowingly using slurs. Gypped was our word for ripped off. When you went back on a deal, you welshed on the deal. When you bartered someone down in price you chewed them down. When you loaned something and the other party said they thought you gave something forever, you were an Indian giver if you said you wanted it back.
These are all ethnic slurs and notice that they all have something to do with money. Don’t use these slurs. I have managed to avoid these for decades because first of all I did know all were slang and just stopped using slang at a certain point. Now I will knowingly avoid these words.
Here I happened to be reading a Far Side collection from 1989 called Wildlife Preserves. On page 93 Gary Larson uses the word gyp. I’m not sure if he realized it was a slur – the big clue that it is racist is the spelling.
I can just see certain members of the right wing saying “Don’t cancel Far Side for one slur.” In fact, some of these people might search out Wildlife Preserves in order to “save” it.
I just think it telling that the whitest of the white used to name negative transactions after ethnic groups. Usually when whites had more money. Were they like Trump, trying to take the little money that group had away so they could swim in it?
By the way, the spellchecker I am using to write this recognized “welshed” as a verb and not welched as I originally spelled it. It also recognized gypped. Are spellcheckers racist? They have some power in this regard and I would say, yes, they are racist.
Regardless, those words have more or less fallen into disuse. Progress may be slow in racial matters but it is progressing.