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

I've said this before (see, 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.

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@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"?


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. 🙂

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