When in doubt, go with what the affected population says. If PoCs tell me that PoC is OK, while the other is offensive, that’s good enough for me. Semantic arguments are pretty stupid for things like this.
Ok. Let me rephrase. As a non white minority, I find both “colored people” and “people of color” to be offensive. But having one a notionally unacceptable phrase, and the other being a notionally acceptable phrase can be confusing, especially when “colored people” is a phrase used in some upstanding organization’s names , ex: NAACP.
Because just asking a White supremacist society to simply call a person ‘a human being’ has NOT worked thus far; they tend to insist on making distinctions basely solely on superficial physical attributes.,
Used as an adjective “colored” implies a change from the default state, as in something that was originally white but had color added. This fit into certain white Protestant notions about how dark skin was a mark put by God upon the descendants of Cain. This was one of the many ways racists rationalized chattel slavery.
“People of Color” carries no such implication, since it suggests a state of origin rather than a change.
But really the only part that matters is what dark-skinned people themselves want to be called. “Colored people” hasn’t been the preferred term for generations and anyone who hasn’t been in a coma for the last half century should know that.
And I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to admit I also (cis het white woman here, raised in a very white state) find it confusing sometimes. I’ve made more faux pas than I could describe in a whole thread about such.
But, I will say, I’ve made none of those faux pas as a congressperson. And whenever I made them, I owned up and tried to learn.
You are too kind, m’lady.
And, to be clear for other readers, when I said above I wasn’t embarrassed to admit my faux pas, I didn’t mean I wasn’t embarrassed in the moment. I was. Sometimes quite horrifyingly so.
We all make mistakes. It’s our reactions to those mistakes that differentiate us.