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Is it bad to call someone a Mulatto?

I hadn't heard that term before today when I heard my friend calling her adopted baby her little Mulatto. I had to ask what it meant and then I wondered if it was a derogatory thing to call someone. Or am I just overly sensitive? lol

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Jun. 17, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • I guess some people could take offense to it..

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 3:27 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • No matter what anyone says nowadays someone takes offense to it.

    Answer by Emmajosmommy at 3:29 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Well, in a historical sense, yes. Mulatto was kind of a negative term that was used to describe where someone stood on the todem pole or worthiness based on skin color.

    Nirvana used it in one of their songs. . . but that didn't really take the offense out of the name.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 3:29 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry.[1] Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black ancestry choose to self-identify as mulatto.[2] Some reject the term because of its association with slavery and colonial and racial oppression, preferring terms such as "mixed", "biracial"[citation needed], and "African-American" (in Americas).

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:30 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • OOOps, pole OF worthiness.

    You will see diagrams in the form of paintings in large museums. It outlines this whole scheme. It is probably something that your friend should not be saying.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 3:31 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • I didn't know what that even ment but I first read it as Mallano and was like "you called someone a cookie?" Sorry to not help you though.

    Answer by Kimkh at 3:35 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Mulatto originally was neither positive or negative-- it was a legal term that indicated a person was of mixed race (black and white) parentage. It was also a legal racial designation on the US Census through at least 1920. The term has since fallen out of favor-- Bi-racial would probably be considered more acceptable now, though, like the anoymous poster suggested, all of this "classification" does kind of harken back to colonialism and racial oppression. For what it is worth, there were very specific terms used for individuals of various proportions of race. Mulatto was just one of them.

    Answer by jmpj8107 at 3:50 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • I wouldn't say it. And I can't understand why on Earth you would say something like that to an adopted child. Do you really think you need to try and give them a complex?

    Answer by treynlisa at 3:50 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • I am a mom through adoption and we have a transracial family. I would not allow family, friends or coworkers to use the term in question. Gently, I would use the terms I prefer and would let them know privately it is not what I prefer and I consider it hurtful. I'm not sure your friend would be open to correction right now - or ever. But you can model by using more acceptable terms when it happens to come up. Example: " I saw a show on transracial families the other day.". Or "I was at the store and saw an outfit on another child with the same complexion as your daughter and loved the dress she wore. The particular shade of pink was very attractive on the biracial child". I have a friend who calls her son mulatto and does not take offense. But now that her son is 13, HE takes offense and asked her to stop.

    Answer by frogdawg at 3:54 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

  • Personally, I wouldn't want to be labeled anything other than what I am. I doubt blacks want to be called negros, I doubt whites want to be called crackers, I doubt mexicans want to be called spics. These terms aren't necessarily derogatory, but why use them anyway?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:57 PM on Jun. 17, 2011

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