Truth or Fiction

Language is and always will be an essential element in the struggle for understanding among peoples. Changes in the words and phrases we use to describe each other reflect whatever progress we make on the path toward a world where everyone feels respected and included.

Over the years the following story has been repeated numerous times.
President John F. Kennedy was having a chat with Martin Luther King Jr. about  words to use to replace the N word, Negro and Colored People and JFK asked MLK.Jr:
“How about the words People of Color?”
As it was told, MLK.Jr. replied as follows;
“When I was born, I was black.”
“When I grow up, I will be black”.
“When I go in sun at the beach, I’m still black”.
'When I am cold, I am still black'.
“When I’m scared, I’m black”.
“When I’m sick, I’m black”.
“And when I die, I will still be black”.

He went on to say:
“Now white people”:
“When you’re born, you’re pink”.
“When you grow up, you’re white”.
“When you go in sun, you get tan, red and sometimes purple”.
“When you’re cold, you turn blue”.
“When you scared, you turn yellow”.
“When you sick, you get green”.
“And when you die, you turn grey”.
So, with an enigmatic smile MLK, Jr. said 'Mr. President, I am not quite sure that People of Color is entirely accurate!
.......... But, it’s probably the least offensive'.

 

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