One of issues that has come up in discussion with one of our case studies is the question of appropriate terminology: how should we talk about what we, in our project outline, have labelled ‘BME communities’? This term is currently being contested on two fronts, from those who think it should be expanded to ‘BAME’ (Black & Asian Minority Ethnic) and those who want to see it binned altogether. The term is basically a bureaucratic shorthand; local councils (and grant-giving bodies, for that matter) use it to mean… well, what exactly? An awful lot of the time I think it is used to mean people-with-darker-skin-not-like-us (’us’ being ‘the people who run this show’, in whatever context). It is also a way of labelling a group of people who, broadly speaking, suffer from a range of forms of social and economic disadvantage arising from both indirect structural and structural discrimination. So it can be very useful, but it’s not exactly empowering. But not to have a label for communities of different ethnic or ‘racial’ background is however equally problematic; culturally diverse groups soon become invisible and the spiral of discrimination and marginalisation continues (as is arguably the case in France – I’ve written about this before here and here, see also this article from the BBC).