Dan Hunsaker [they/them] is a user on retro.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.
Dan Hunsaker [they/them] @danhunsaker

PSA and reminder:

The terms "blacklist" and "whitelist" are racially charged. Stop using them.

Alternatives depend on context: allow/deny, permit/prevent, approve/reject, pass/block. And so on.

"But it's tied to darkness being scary and light being friendly!"

So is racism.

"You're just virtue signaling!"

I'm repeating what Black folks (and even some PoCs) have said multiple times already, about _their own lives_.

Jump-start your own research at github.com/sublimemarch/so-you

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I've said this before (see retro.social/@danhunsaker/9977), but it bears repeating, and hopefully I said it better this time.

I really hope I don't have to start doing everything for folks who aren't prepared to look things up themselves. Just because there are hundreds (if not thousands or more) of references I could link in these posts doesn't mean I should have to be the one to track them all down for that purpose. Any more than any minority should have to pull up references for their own lives.

@danhunsaker I was seriously asking if using "carte blanche" to describe somebody having no restrictions upon them was problematic. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear before.


I'd have to say that the language a phrase is in doesn't have any effect on whether it is problematic, so it probably is, yes. A "blank check" has the same basic connotations in most cases, so I tend to use that, personally.

That said, I'm not the authority on this, just a messenger.

@danhunsaker I've heard this, too. Because light/darkness symbolism has been used across the world for millennia (and is, for example, fundamental to Zoroastrianism), removing it from common discourse might be especially problematic in practice. But I agree, it definitely hurts black and brown people in many contexts (eg. usages of "shady"--just say "suspicious" instead"). These things we can all do better. As for "blacklist/whitelist", I honestly wonder why not just say something like "list of things we don't like/list of things we like"?


Because naming things in code is harder than that. 😂


If that fits your use case well, I'm not _currently_ aware of any reason to avoid those. They do seem pretty vague, still, so I probably wouldn't use them myself - what kind of good/bad do we mean, here? moral? societal? scientific? at chess? - but I don't see anything preventing others from doing so.

Of course, as I've noted before, I'm not the authority on this, so don't just take my word for it. 🙂