Discussions about the impacts of racism have become more prevalent in recent years, and that has seen the rise of a new series of terms and acronyms for racialized people. Think BIPOC, IBPOC, AAPI, BAME and so on. Those acronyms can do good by highlighting the similar ways racism impacts different communities. But, as Michaela M. McGuire of Simon Fraser University writes, they can also undermine and gloss over people’s identities.

Today in The Conversation Canada, McGuire explains why we should stop using BIPOC — an acronym for “Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.”

“When I first heard the acronym BIPOC, my stomach tightened and I immediately felt resistance,” she writes. “It was a gut reaction at having my identities seemingly collapsed into an acronym.”

“Racial justice requires recognizing the distinct and socially situated identities of racialized people and providing space for those with diverse identities.”

A new season of our podcast about race, Don’t Call Me Resilient, hosted by Vinita Srivastava, also returns next week. You can listen to the trailer for Season 6 now to hear what we’re working on for the upcoming episodes. Each week, we’ll be taking our sharply focused anti-racist lens to the news stories unfolding around us.

Follow the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast app.

Also today:

All the best.

Ibrahim Daair

Culture + Society Editor

The term BIPOC amalgamates distinct experiences of racism and colonialism and misses those that do not fit within one category, like individuals of mixed ancestry. (Shutterstock)

Why we should stop using acronyms like BIPOC

Michaela M. McGuire, Simon Fraser University

Acronyms like BIPOC can highlight the similar ways racism impacts different people. However, they can also gloss over the distinct experiences of communities.

Iranian women demonstrate for equal rights in 1979. They continue the battle today, even when enshrouded in compulsory hijabs. (AP Photo/Richard Tomkins)

A year after Mahsa Amini’s death, Iran’s women continue their long fight for ‘women, life, freedom’

Paria Rahimi, Western University

The continuing unrest in Iran — and the brave women who have led the charge for decades — isn’t just about freeing women, it’s about restoring human rights for all Iranians.

The black-legged tick is the vector that spreads Lyme disease. Its bite can infect humans with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. (Jim Gathany/CDC)

Lyme disease: The pathogen’s cunning strategies for persistent infection offer clues for vaccine development

Jenny Wachter, University of Saskatchewan

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease is a master of disguise, changing its appearance to evade the immune system as it moves from the ticks that carry it to humans or animals.

An artist’s impression of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, the largest of its kind in the world. (SKAO)

Canada’s participation in the world’s largest radio telescope means new opportunities in research and innovation

Pauline Barmby, Western University

Canada’s partnership in the world’s largest radio telescope, located in South Africa and Australia, creates new opportunities for research, but the benefits go beyond astronomy.

The Peach Blossom Jellyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbii) is native to China and an invasive species in Canada. (Florian Lüskow)

How the Peach Blossom Jellyfish is spreading across North America

Florian Lüskow, University of British Columbia

The Peach Blossom Jellyfish is an invasive species in Canada, and a lack of data is hampering efforts to control populations.

Asking if computers will be more intelligent than humans distracts us from grasping the underlying ethical problem with the humans who create and use them. (Shutterstock)

What is intelligence? For millennia, western literature has suggested it may be a liability

Richard van Oort, University of Victoria

Humanity is the only species on earth for whom intelligence is also an ethical liability.

La Conversation Canada

Une gestion saine des données personnelles requiert un effort important. Au-delà des contraintes imposées par la loi, une telle gestion offre aux entreprises une occasion de mieux structurer leurs données dans leur ensemble. (Shutterstock)

Les entreprises ont intérêt à aller au-delà de la simple conformité à la loi sur la protection des données personnelles

Benoit A. Aubert, HEC Montréal; Gregory Vial, HEC Montréal; Ryad Titah, HEC Montréal

Les compagnies doivent aller au-delà de la simple conformité à la loi sur la protection des données personnelles, en effectuant un inventaire global de leurs données.


Environment + Energy