Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't have a clue which ethnic groups Orange and Purple describe in Gui's post. I don't know where she lives, how can I know?
I personally find ascribing rainbow colours to people and religions to be silly. When people say they're "purple" or "green" or whatever, I just imagine a bunch of Drazi wearing purple and green scarves. (Babylon 5 corrupts everyone who watches it that way.) So in my mind the people still look alike, only like Drazi instead of humans. And if they say "blue"... well, I imagine the people from that James Cameron movie, you know the one...
Does it offend people for the *real* colour or ethnicity to be mentioned? It doesn't offend me. No one I know (and I know multiple people from every ethnic group you can get in this country) gets offended when the colour is used as either a descriptor or as part of a story they are telling.
If I say that a friend of mine goes around jokingly referring to herself as a "special k", everyone would be
. However, if I mention that I am white, she is black, and the k-word was once used to describe black people, suddenly the story makes more sense. (Unless you don't know what the k-word is, and in that regard I will not help you; I can't say it, never mind type it.) But if I changed the colours to "I am purple, she is green, and she goes around referring to herself as a 'special g'", that makes even less
sense. In my example you need to know the cultural background and real words in order to understand what my friend is actually doing by using that term.
Even using the real names of different religions does not offend me. Why should it? Are we going to act like we're all the same? Our religions are part of what defines us; to act like they don't exist is, to me, ridiculous. To me someone's religion doesn't matter
in how I relate to them online, but if I know what it is it helps me to understand part of who they are, which in my mind can only improve our interactions.
I can understand why mentioning political parties is not allowed, but again, there's no need for rainbow colour substitutions. As people have already pointed out, it's fine to just say that people belong to different parties.
I really do believe in the Vulcan philosophy of "infinite diversity in infinite combinations". We should
rejoice in our differences. We already know that to be different is not to be bad or wrong, so why try to hide or disguise our differences? We should be enjoying them. As stated in Star Trek, "The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity, and the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty."