non-white, noun and & adjective

Forms:
Also with initial capital(s).
Origin:
Also used elsewhere. The term was used extensively in the past as a blanket term referring to those groups disadvantaged under apartheid.
obsolescent, offensive
A. noun One whose racial ancestry is not predominantly European; one who is dark-skinned; nie-blanke; non-European noun. Also attributive. Cf. black noun sense 1 c, non-black noun, white noun sense 2 a. See also N sense 1.
1934 A.J. Barnouw Lang. & Race Problems 29It is only in the Cape Province that distinction is made between natives and coloured people, and that the latter are given a privileged position...In the other Provinces all non-whites are counted among the natives.
1949 Blueprint for Blackout (Educ. League) (pamphlet) 7We stand for the principle of the trusteeship of the White, and particularly of the Afrikaner, over the non-White.
1952 Manuel & Van de Haer in Drum Aug. 6After 300 years of contact with the non-Whites, it would be difficult to say who really are free from the tarbrush touch and who really do come within the pigment class.
1953 Drum July 44He realised he was no longer in England — he was no longer a man: he was a non-white again.
1968 J. Lelyveld in Cole & Flaherty House of Bondage 15The whites have methodically used legislation to strip non-whites of their rights.
1972 Drum 22 Feb. 6Non-White is a terrible word for a description of us. It makes us appendages of Whites. If there were no Whites then there wouldn’t be Non-Whites.
1972 Fair Lady 14 June 23I heard this said on the SABC news ‘A lorry struck three children and a non-White...’ Don’t you think it sounds just too terrible? What is a non-White? Some kind of non-person?
1972 Fair Lady (editorial comment)The SABC PRO in Johannesburg says: ‘Wherever possible we would identify the victim as a Zulu, Xhosa or whatever, but if the accident is fatal and the victim isn’t carrying any identification we refer to him or her as a non-White.’
1980 C. Hermer Diary of Maria Tholo 194At Kenilworth Centre it used to say, ‘Whites’ and ‘Non-whites’. Now on both it just says ‘Women’.
1986 P. Maylam Hist. of Afr. People 183Karis and Carter have remarked, ‘Xuma was both an Africanist..and a multiracialist,..but turning increasingly to cooperation with nonwhites’.
1990 Weekend Post 3 Mar. 8He had queued at the ‘non-whites’ counter in the Upington post office on a hot afternoon...‘Since when do baboons receive telegrams?’ asked the postmaster. ‘Since monkeys became postmasters,’ replied Mr Rabie.
1991 J. Borger in Focus on Afr. Apr.June 31Non-whites will have no place in the Boerestaat, not even as domestic workers.
1992 R.H. Du Pre Making of Racial Conflict 159If the non-whites threatened to penetrate the carefully constructed cocoon, he could easily form a laager and repel the threat.
B. adjective
1. Of a person or persons: of ancestry which is not predominantly European, being especially of African, Asian, or mixed ethnic descent; of a social group not considered part of the white group; non-European adjective sense 1. Cf. black adjective sense 3 a, non-black adjective.
1952 Drum July 21Those who are non-white have to travel a long distance indeed before they can enjoy a seaside picnic.
1956 Off. Yr Bk of Union No. 28, 1954–55 (Bureau of Census & Statistics) 679White Persons — persons who in appearance obviously are, or who are generally accepted as white persons, but excluding persons who, although in appearance obviously white, are generally accepted as Coloured persons;..Natives..Asiatics..Cape Malays..Coloured...The last four groups, when combined, form the group referred to as the non-white group.
1961 M.A. Wall Dominee & Dom-Pas 55If the police had discovered the non-White journalist of the party, who first hid and then masqueraded as the servant of the White reporter, the menace might not have been mere show.
1968 J. Lelyveld in Cole & Flaherty House of Bondage 9Thirty-six million of the forty-two million people who will be living in South Africa in the year 2000 will be non-white.
1973 Cape Times 19 May 6‘Non-White’ (although, at times, it is necessary to use it as a blanket descriptive) is in truth absurd. It implies that ‘White’ is the norm from which all other skin colours deviate.
1973 M. Reinhart in J. Crwys-Williams S. Afr. Despatches (1989) 371The impression that unseemly displays of the female body must make on non-White men, many of whom are only half civilised, need not be mentioned.
1980 C. Hermer Diary of Maria Tholo 55Before the riots the coloureds used to keep us away from them...The fact is we are all under one blanket. We are all non-white.
1983 Cape Times 28 Dec. 1Police have refused to make known the number of ‘non-white’ bathers turned away from, ordered off or summonsed for being on the Peninsula’s ‘white beaches’ over the Christmas weekend.
1990 Weekend Post 7 July 6The term ‘non-white’ was an anachronism and a racist South African term which was especially ludicrous when used to describe an American.
1991 G. Spence in Sunday Tribune 19 May 8‘Any encouragement’ of squatting in the area would be a ‘grave disservice to the non-white community’.
1991 J. Anderson in Focus on Afr. JulySept. 81We see ourselves as non-white — maybe on paper we’re black or we’re coloured or we’re Asian, but in the eyes of the whites we’re all the same, oppressed.
1994 B. Khumalo in Weekly Mail & Guardian 16 Sept. 26They thought it was an insult to call somebody ‘black’ so they came up with all sorts of euphemisms like ‘people of colour’ and ‘non-white’, thinking it was less offensive.
2. Of, pertaining to, meant for, or predominantly used by people whose racial ancestry is not European, or who are considered to be outside the white social group; non-European adjective sense 2.
1957 D. Jacobson Price of Diamonds 93Two young men..whose sensibilities had been offended by this raucous non-white voice entering the only way it could into their sanctuary.
1963 A. Fugard Notebks (1983) 84Going to the toilet a minute ago, the train was passing a cluster of non-white houses when I looked out of the window.
1974 J. Matthews Park (1983) 31He turned away in disgust and joined the queue at the ticket-box, glaring resentfully at the ‘non-white’ metal plate fixed above the window.
1980 R. Govender Lahnee’s Pleasure 3The scene throughout the play is the ‘non-white’ (meaning Indian and ‘coloured’) bar of a white-owned hotel in a small Natal North Coast town.
1981 Citizen 28 Nov. 9Non-white graduate salaries going up.
1986 F. Karodia Daughters of Twilight 55Indian films at the non-white bioscope.
1992 I. Manoim in Weekly Mail 24 Apr. 8The Cape Corps, for many years the only ‘non-white’ corps in the Defence Force, has been disbanded.
One whose racial ancestry is not predominantly European; one who is dark-skinned; nie-blanke; non-Europeannoun. Also attributive.
of ancestry which is not predominantly European, being especially of African, Asian, or mixed ethnic descent; of a social group not considered part of the white group; non-Europeanadjective1.
Of, pertaining to, meant for, or predominantly used by people whose racial ancestry is not European, or who are considered to be outside the white social group; non-Europeanadjective2.
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