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Racism? Are we too touchy sometimes??

1 Jul

I am sure that this post is going to be politically incorrect.  Let me say at the outset that I respect everybody and nothing is meant to be derogatory here.

Once a new colleague joined to our team.  I went to talk to him and to welcome him.  He was obviously from Kerala and so I said “So u r a Mallu?” as a part of my conversation.  Afterwards another colleague pulled me aside and said that I should have not called him a “Mallu” since it is considered derogatory.  Ok – this I did not know.  So I went back the the first person and apologized.  I told him “I used the word Mallu just to imply that you are from Kerala.  I was not aware that this term is not considered respectful.  I am sorry.”.  He replied – “So what?  I am a Mallu!”.

The real question is are we too sensitive about racial sterotyping?  What if we call a person by an obvious connotation like black, mallu, paki, etc?  Is it essential that these words are derogatory?  Are we being too sensitive?

Ofcourse, whenever I am aware that a word is considered politically incorrect – I do not use it.  But still the question does not go away – as a culture are we too sensitive?

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