What does BAME mean? – The Sun

BAME is an outdated phrase that refers to ethnic groups who do not identify as White British.

While it was once a widely used term, The Sun does not use the acronym in its articles due to its offensive nature of grouping ethnicities together.

What does BAME mean?

People who are not of White British descent were often described in this collective way.

It stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.

It is a term used to describe all ethnicities with the exception of White ethnic groups.

This includes individuals of mixed backgrounds. An individual who identifies as mixed would also have fallen under this category.

It is often incorrectly assumed that the phrase only refers to Black and Asian people.

According to the Government, BAME people include:

  • Arabic people
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • Asian or Asian British people
  • Black (African/African Caribbean) or Black British people
  • Chinese people
  • Irish people (‘White Other’)
  • People of mixed heritage
  • Travellers and Gypsies
  • People who identify as ‘White Other’ e.g. White Australian, White European

The most recent UK census in 2011 shows that there are 7.6 million people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

This represents 19.5 per cent who identify as being from ethnic minorities – which was up from 8 per cent in 2001.

A study published by the University of Leeds predicts people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds will make up one-fifth of the UK population by 2051.

The term BME is another variation of the term which means Black Minority Ethnic.

Ethnic origin is identified by a specific history, ancestry, language and culture shared by a group of people.

Race is defined as an "umbrella term used to describe aspects of a person’s identity that is generally linked to their own or their ancestor’s homeland," according to the Government.

Now the term is increasingly being seen as offensive for "lumping people together". In 2020 the UK music industry was urged to drop the 'offensive' term.

During the coronavirus pandemic Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities were at increased risk as the virus is more lethal to people from these backgrounds.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic hospital staff were told to be taken off the frontline by the NHS, while Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordered an urgent probe into why they are more at risk.

When was the term first coined?

The term was first used in the 1970s during the anti racist movement.

According to the BBC, its origins come from the idea of  "political blackness".

Professor Ted Cantle, who was the chairman of a government review of community cohesion, told the BBC the term stems from a time when a group of different ethnicities came together to fight against discrimination.

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