Friday, February 04, 2005
Today I overheard this conversation between my boss and my co-worker:
Boss: "I am upset because we have no pictures of black people."
Co-worker: "We have those Cuban kids."
Boss: "Well, they're mulato."
Mulato - who uses that word? I laughed out loud.
Apparently, because those children have a black parent and a white parent they are magically a whole new breed. The Mulato breed.
Now, my boss and I are in a disagreement about the term. He, for some reason, thinks that it is still acceptable for conversation. I think it is antiquated. His argument, to trump mine, was "My mulato friend uses the term 'mulato'." The weakness in that argument is obvious as millions of black people say 'negro' or other words that are unacceptable for conversation or publication.
I just said that I thought it was an antiquated term. In fact, I am sure of it. There is no way anyone would be permitted to describe someone as 'mulato'. Imagine a report on the CBC "Mulato children are finding it difficult to adapt to Canadian society." Or "New poll shows Mulatos moving to the suburbs in record numbers." Come on now.
Is it too much to ask that my boss update his vocabulary? The man is only 35, where the hell has he been?