Cultural weirdnesses

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fnordboy
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Post by fnordboy » Apr 8th 2003, 11:44 am

starbug wrote:The issue of race and inter-racial relationships is something that really bugs me. Why do people get so het up about it? ....
<snip>
Although I know I should look at these racist twits and just think 'oh you're so ridiculous you don't even bother me' but I can't help getting angry about it.
I never understood that either. It makes absolutely no difference to me what race anyone is. I have a slightly different predicament that I will explain in a bit, but I want to share yet another story.

The first girl I started dating seriously was a mulatto girl that I went to school with. She was fairly dark, but not too much. When we would go to any of my family events it would be fine, but if she wasn't around my one uncle would always start in on me with disgustingly racist things. "How is your porch-monkey doing?" "Where is your jiggaboo (or however the hell you spell it)". Bullsh!t. That really opened my eyes to the idiocy of people. Growing up where I grew up an knowing so many different races and religions made me completely blind to these things for the most part. It use to infuriate me and since I was a little kid there was nothing I could really do it about it.

Now I am in a different situation, the girl I am dating now is also a mulatto, but she is fairly light-skinned. I was able to tell she was mulatto the second I met her, but she says usually people think she is spanish (which mainy comes from the area we live, I've been mistaken for cuban...and I am as white a whiteboy can be). She is in a weird predicament because she can float inbetween the two "worlds" of black and white, but yet never be fully accepted by either. The one major downside to all of that is that she has the "honor" to be able to hear all these ridiculously racist things, I dont know if people just don't think (even though they know she is half black) or are just that friggin stupid. On her mother's side of the family (white side) they all were against her mothering marrying a black guy, and used to call her a monkey baby and sh!t like that. And then she has to hear all these subtle (and not so) racisms on my family because people jsut don't realize what they are saying.

In this area the white people who lived here for a long time have grown to really hate the 'foreigners' that moved here and "took over". The city didn't go to s**t till "they" moved in. It has nothing to do with the race of people who moved here. It has to do with the fact that there are too many people living here, too little jobs to go around, and there is just a general difference in the class of people that have come in to here. Eh, I am goign off on a tangent.

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 8th 2003, 1:22 pm

starbug wrote:There was also an incident which I vividly remember where a girl had her hair set on fire in the toilets.
Heh, just had to take a break from all the seriousness to add the appropriate MSCL quote here: "Someone once set my hair on fire at Let's Bolt."

:wink:
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 8th 2003, 1:37 pm

I would like to add to the interracial dating comments that although people like to assume the negative comments are more common (1) where people are more ignorant/less exposed to minorities or (2) in urban areas that are segregated, I have to say that I have lived in liberal California (San Diego, Los Angeles, and Berkeley) and even here people can very intolerant. There was just a column in the paper a few days ago by an Asian woman whose boyfriend was called a "chink lover" as they walked down the street.

Considering that the Asian population is pretty huge here (the Miss Chinatown USA pageant is held here every year as part of the Chinese New Year's parade, which is televised), you would think there would be a little more tolerance (especially since Asians are considered one of the more "acceptable" minorities). Nope.

There is a lot of segregation along socio-economic lines, and that only further fosters ethnic stereotypes. People like to think of California as a bunch of ultra liberal hippies all holding hands and getting along, but it just isn't true. It's true that there ARE a bunch of ultra liberal hippies but there are so many factions and agendas that most of them don't get along with each other.

A great example of that division is the recent war protests in San Francisco. Yes, they were able to come together and shut down 50 intersections but there were plenty of people who used the war protest as a platform for their own other causes - people with signs saying "Free Mumia" and the like. I am not a complete simpleton - I realize that it is possible to believe in several things at once, BUT my point is that it isn't all peace, love, and harmony out on the Left Coast. While the war protesters had the war in common, there were a lot of other "causes" at the protests because that's what people do up here - protest. A lot. Even before war was declared, or heck even before September 11, there were always protests about something. There are also riots every few years. Yup, because smashing in a window and stealing stuff from stores on Telegraph really proves your point.

Maybe I'm the one with the stereotype, but when I moved to the Bay Area, I thought that I would be surrounded by people who recycle, who let pedestrians cross when the light is green, who trust one another. Wrong again - there is trash on the streets, we have the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the country, and people get their bikes stolen at the co-ops. People in southern California are nicer than this! (ignore those stories about drive by shootings in LA!)

Uhhh, sorry I went off on such a tangent there. My point is that people are people everywhere (cue Depeche Mode!), both good and bad.
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

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You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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lance
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race

Post by lance » Apr 8th 2003, 2:42 pm

Cultural weirdness, education, inter-racial dating, amazing how a topic drifts...

But that's okay, good stuff is being said here in this thread even if didn't exactly go as maybe intended (sorry Starbug).

A couple of other points to chew on. I think Candygirl is dead on about some of the causes of prejudice toward race generally and inter-racial dating in particular.

Cincinnati, my beloved home
We are still struggling with race big time here. Cincinnati was listed last fall as the 6th most segregated city in the United States. A local reporter found only three neighborhoods that are not skewed heavily black of white. Of course there was the riots of April 2001, the subsequent economic boycott of some African-American groups, unions and civil liberites groups of the city and... a police slowdown which is still continuing. Blah!

There are still some sharp people here trying to good things so I pray and keep my fingers crossed that some good will come out of all this.

My dad and mom were an interracial couple in the late 60s and 70s. I remember asking them didn't your families have problems with a white woman of Eastern European descent from South Carolina marrying a Mexican American man from Texas. Apparently this was not a big deal. The major thing for the families concerned was really religion, mom and dad were both Catholic so it seemed to work out.

The other factor that often plays into prejudice is economic pressure. A minority group has to be of a certain size before others feel that they are a perceived "threat" to their jobs. Growing up in Cincy in the 80s there weren't really that many hispanics here.

My sister, who is much darker than I am, was often called "Gloria Estefan" by some of the African-American kids because that was the only Hispanic Person that they had seen and were familiar with.

Best,

Lance Man

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