to whom it may apply (08/10/14 18:54:18)
From http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:you_people :
I hear stereotyping in the assumption and the accusation, but in no case does "you people" sound the least bit offensive. If you change the subject in both of those examples to "you fellows" or "African-Americans" or "black people" or "nonwhites" or any other term, it comes out the same. Itís the accusation or the assumption that is offensive, not the "you people".
I didnít see anything at all in those citations to indicate that you people is in any way derogatory or offensive. The offense was in addressing and labeling an entire class of people. As I said before, you can replace "you people" with almost any term or phrase to address almost any large class, including: you guys, you Italians, you Canadians, you Southerners, you Yanks, you Brits, you Continentals, you Asians, you Koreans, you New Yorkers, you actors, you waiters, you gays, you blue-collar workers, you investment brokers, you lawyers, you politicians. Just about the only time you can get away with pidgeon-holing or labeling an entire class of people is when men do it to women, or women do it to men...and thatís because men and women are innately attracted to one another, and so the labeling is often seen as humorous and all in good fun. There is nothing wrong with the term you people, itís only the act of labeling a class of people, and any other term will work the same way.
In fact even the terms that we may feel to be consummately insulting can be used as compliment, depending on the context or something (you one bad motherfucker!:)
Whats more disturbing imo is how triple-faced people can get about these matters, like in war times, once alleged offence "you or we people.." becomes a war cry par excellence.
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