Recently, it has come to my attention that people have been using the acronym BIPOC when referring to POC. The acronym- short for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color – dates back to the early 2010s. This acronym is meant to be more inclusive for the other two letters – B and I – were included in the acronym to account for the erasure of black people with darker skin and Native American people. Additionally, they do not group the two groups together and instead calls for the distinction between them and other people of color. If we were to do that, it would be far more detrimental as it would erase, which is the very nature of genocidal practice.
In addition, when the term POC is thrown around, people fail to include Indigenous people in discussions where race is mentioned. Which is why it’s important to use the term BIPOC as it is more inclusive than the simple POC. “It is lazy to lump us all together as if we all face the same problems,” said Sylvia Obell, a host of the Netflix podcast “Okay, Now Listen.” “When you blend us all together like this, it’s erasure. It allows people to get away with not knowing people of color and our separate set of issues that we all face. It allows people to play it safe and not leave anyone out, and it also allows you to not have to do the work.” By using the term POC, it allows other to think that POC is just one homogenous group and to not acknowledge the diversity between the races. This contributes to the dehumanization of minority groups. Instead of generalizing minority groups by simply attaching the label POC, please refer to each group by using their correct title.
Originally published June 26