August 6, 2013 1:57 pm

Congressman in Hot Water For Referring to Minorities as “Brown People”


It is widely accepted among many African-Americans that the Republican Party is the party most insensitive to race issues and the Democratic Party is the “big tent”, but is this an accurate characterization? Although it is certainly true that Democrats have espoused less racism than the Tea Party, does that mean that Democratic politicians are less biased?  Or that they’re just much better at hiding bias than their Republican counterparts?

Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL) is known as a liberal firebrand, but he’s also taking some heat for referring to Latinos as “brown people”, according to NBC Latino.

“I think that would be a shame, but what really pushes immigration to the side is the fact that many people in the Republican Party don’t want to do anything that would help brown people,” Grayson said in an interview last week with Channel 13 news in Orlando. “There’s an underlying insinuation of racism in the way that Washington, D.C. Republicans look at this issue.”

Grayson may very well be right, but do Latinos find it offensive to be characterized as “brown people”? Are other minorities, such as African-Americans, offended by the label?

Republican Jorge Bonilla took issue with what he claimed was a “divisive” characterization.

“By absurdly claiming that ‘Republicans don’t want to do anything that would help brown people,’ Mr. Grayson reduces an entire group of human beings to color-coded political pawns. Rather than stoking racial grievance and promoting class warfare, Mr. Grayson should find ways to enact policies that actually help job creation and small business development.”

Grayson’s spokesman says he uses the term “brown people” interchangeably with the term “people of color.”

But is the grouping of  African-Americans and Latinos under the same label, referring to them both as “brown people,” offensive? Is it OK to reference people by their shading as opposed to another more specific or ethnic label?





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  • JosephWinfield says:

    what do you expect from anyone from florida

  • leonjonessr says:

    What do you expect from Democrats who speak the truth right from their heart when they are not coached by CNN, ABC, MSNBC, CBS, NBC or the White House?  This is what they do all the time, but it is not reported by this or other so-called reporters?

  • LeslieHouse says:

    It’s not offensive!  I’ve heard Hispanic/Spanish people refer to themselves as “Brown”, just as I’ve heard Indians (from India) refer to themselves a “Brown”.  And honestly, if he was referring to Blacks and Hispanics/Spanish and other minorities that are of similar hues, what’s what’s offensive about being called “Brown”?  We know he wasn’t talking about Asians or Europeans! 
    We’re called “Black”… and unless there are some defining features, you won’t find someone calling use anything else!  Can you distinguish each Black person’s specific ethnicity?  Can you distinguish each Hispanic/Spanish person’s specific ethnicity?  Can you distinguish each Asian person’s ethnicity?  Most folks can’t.  Don’t give that idiot Bonilla any more attention than he deserves.  He is calling the term “Brown” devisive because he wants to detract from the devisive behavior of he and his cohorts!

  • Hiroader11 says:

    You’d wonder where are all these “brown ” conservatives and how do they want to be respected as a group.., Evidently their party members are using references from faulty sources..
    All these minority conservatives have to do is lay back (as they obviously are) and let those conservative views from (faulty) references addressing nationalities & races WITHOUT political correctness or sensitivity …..

  • WesleyEdwards says:

    We need to stop worrying about what Rep.
    Grayson called people and look at how he Votes…. He continues to be a
    champion for both black and brown people. It’s the way he Vote that counts not
    his words……

    • leonjonessr says:

      WesleyEdwards One vote Rep. Grayson cast was against the delay of the individual mandate to buy insurance that is set to go into effect October 1, 2013.  The President has by Executive Order delayed the mandate for businesses with 50 or more employees until January 1, 2015.  This is the same President who said he was for the ordinary people.  Well, give us a break just as you have given the business a break.  Rep. Grayson should have stood with the ordinary citizen and voted for the bill to delay the mandate on individuals to buy insurance by October 1, 2013.  THIS IS NOT FAIRNESS AT ALL!!!!!

  • david19082 says:

    There’s nothing racist or offensive in what he said.

  • JosephWinfield says:

    so you dont mind being called the pale skin people?
    not sure why you think you are white. you are pale to beige color close to egg shell. Thou you tan to look like African Americans. so go on and show your pale pride


    Goodness what is the problem being called3 “brown people”? Hispanics have their own problem because a lot of Hispanics like to be considered “white” and that’s a problem. You are not white, so be proud of your “roots”. You are a mixture of every race that walks this earth, but yet y’all want to be “white” GTFOH

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