©2019 The Anti-Racist Educator.

BME / BAME

BME and BAME tend to be used in a lot of British research and policy on race and diversity.

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BME stands for Black and Minority Ethnic and it includes people who might face discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, language, religion, tradition and cultural practices.

 

BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. The addition of the “A” makes sense in the UK considering that people of Asian descent make up a big chunk of the total minority ethnic population. However, as racial categories evolve, who knows which other letters will be pasted onto the acronym.

 

While both terms are politically correct and officially recognised, there are nonetheless imperfect acronyms.

 

For example, the word “minority” can be frustrating due to its connotations of weakness and powerlessness. In fact, some groups that constitute a “minority” in certain regions and countries actually constitute a majority in other regions or around the world as a whole – on a global scale, people racialised as white are actually the minority population but they are granted the “majority” status in Scotland.  

 

Moreover, BME and BAME can be problematic because they focus on ethnicity as well as race. That means a white Norwegian person will be considered included in the two acronyms and so will a black Nigerian person – even though their racial experiences will obviously be very dissimilar.