One of the areas of racist behaviour that grates me the most is when a white person refers to the person working in their garden or looking after the upkeep of their house or perhaps watching their children as ‘boy’ or ‘girl’.

Especially when the person they are referring to is often older then them, but i think it should be a standard rule that once someone hits what 20? 18? they are no longer young enough to be referred to as ‘boy’ or ‘girl’..

If you are someone who does that, you should STOPPIT, because it is RACIST!

Perhaps the easiest way to tell is if the races were reversed and you heard a 35 year old black person calling a 50 year old white person ‘boy’ – how does that sound to your ears?

Just stoppit. It’s racist. It feels like the smallest thing and yet it is also the biggest thing. It is rude and demeaning and condescending and just pretty rubbish. So quit. And more importantly, if you hear someone else do this, say something.

i think that one of the biggest ways we will start to move forwards well in this country is when people start refusing to let racism happen around them. A person who calls someone else ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ is not likely to just suddenly stop doing it. But if you call them on it they will. And it is likely going to be a friend or close family member. So you have the relationship capital. Risk the embarrassment and call them on it.

This is not good enough. And when we stop doing it and stop allowing other people around us to do it, then we will all be one bit less racist.

When was the last time you heard someone refer to someone of a different race as a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ when clearly their age dictates that they are not? Did you say anything?

[For a quick pause on the series and a reframing of the bigger questions, click here]