Iraqis are seen as white

PoC / Person of Color

The term People of Color (in the singular Person of Color) is a self-designation used by people who experience racism.

The term has been used with this meaning since the US civil rights movement in the 1960s. As a reappropriation and positive reinterpretation of the derogatory ascription “colored”, People of Color describes an alliance of different communities in solidarity that experience structural exclusion due to racism.

With reference to this solidarity-based idea, marginalized communities in Germany and other countries in the Global North have increasingly used the self-designation People of Color in the last few decades to refer to a common experience of racism. With the term they deliberately differentiate themselves from terms such as migrant or migration background, which put the linguistic focus on the migration experience and do not address the racism experienced. Since not all people with a migration background experience racism (for example white migrants from certain EU countries) and many people have experiences of racism who statistically do not have a migration background (statistically, migration background only exists for immigrants and their descendants of the first and second generation), is the term is not very meaningful in relation to the issue of discrimination.

The term PoC is also used in conjunction with the term white.

The racism experiences of the people who identify with the term can be very different. In addition to or instead of the term People of Color, many communities use other self-designations, for example the term black (with a capital S), the people who are part of the African diaspora use as a self-designation. Or Rom * nija, a self-term used by members of the Roma community.

Similar to black or white, the term PoC does not describe any skin shades. It's about marginalization due to racism. In Germany, this includes people from the African, Asian or Latin American diaspora. A Eurocentric, racial gaze plays a role here, which is a consequence of the former, unprocessed colonization of many countries.

But orientalism also contributes to the fact that stereotypes are constantly reproduced. This is why people of Turkish and Arab origin, for example, have experiences of racism in the labor and housing market, in the education sector and in the cultural sector because of their (ascribed) culture or religion.

In German there is currently no equivalent for the term People of Color / PoC.

Other words that try to translate the term into German are foreign terms with mostly racist history and should therefore not be used. The scientist Kien Nghi Ha has dealt extensively with the history of the term PoC and its meaning in Germany.