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> Colour Commentary: mixed-bag discussions on race, ethnicity, culture
hummingbird
post Sep 1 2006, 10:08 AM
Post #21


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*never mind: decided to go post this in the white privilege thread.
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venetia
post Aug 20 2006, 06:30 PM
Post #22


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But Saktii, her dream is to go to Japan, not to be a hostess. Not all of us are cut out to be a hostess or a model or an actress or a stripper in all cultures, but that doesn't mean there is no way of going to other places for us.

Maybe she could find a different sort of job (eg teaching English)? Not all Japanese are racist!
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dani837
post Aug 20 2006, 01:28 PM
Post #23


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OMG I'm such a WEIRD mix. I'm 100% peruvian(born and raised there baby! Just came to the US 5 years ago to go to a university here cool.gif ) but considered "creole". Even though my parents and grandparents were born in Peru, they are all descendants from europeans(french, italian, spanish, czech, irish, german and even) and one from an arab country. There's not even one person in my biological tree that is indian. And YET I do look latin! All my direct family(parents and brothers and sister) look white(they all had blonde hair when they were little) except for me haha! I might have gotten the arab genes from my grandfather!(people have told me I look italian, spanish, arab, and even greek!)
What is even funnier is that everybody who asks me where I am from I tell them to guess, its from somewhere in Latin America, and the first thing they say its Brasil! Haha I think most outsiders have this stereotype that all the latin people who are tall and kind of slim have to be from Brasil, but that's not true! cool.gif

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missladyj
post Aug 20 2006, 09:06 AM
Post #24


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From: chi town


Just be honest with her, it's not like she has never had to deal with racism before. You don't have to protect her from the reality of the world we live in. She can still go to Japan if that's what she wants to do.
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saktii
post Aug 19 2006, 02:57 AM
Post #25


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QUOTE(free_spirit @ Aug 19 2006, 08:04 AM) *

I was feeling your post, up until you got to the end about her growing up in a crack- infested family...What did that have to do with her wanting to live out her dream of going to Japan and the racist aspects of it?
Just curious...
(ok, back to lurking...even though I'm trying to come out more, all for the sake of being able to customize my member status wink.gif )

Well, what I meant was that she suffered alot of physical and emotional abuse as a child as a result of her mother's drug use, which has left some pretty deep scars.
I'm not saying that crack is a "black" drug or anything, but the prevalence of drug use in *any* economically disadvantaged community is usually an indicator of the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that is perpetuated.( I know, I grew up in the poor white trash parts of town, where people did meth all day long and beat their wives and didn't have time to dream because they were too busy trying to just survive day to day)
All I'm saying is that drug addict parents make very poor role models, and it's not fair to my friend that she couldn't have had a happier childhood.



and towards the end there when i was talking about my friend, i just sort of lost it and started ranting because i was feeling emotional and protective of her.
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free_spirit
post Aug 19 2006, 01:47 AM
Post #26


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I was feeling your post, up until you got to the end about her growing up in a crack- infested family...What did that have to do with her wanting to live out her dream of going to Japan and the racist aspects of it?
Just curious...
(ok, back to lurking...even though I'm trying to come out more, all for the sake of being able to customize my member status wink.gif )


--------------------
Don't Follow Your Dreams... Chase Them.
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saktii
post Aug 19 2006, 12:34 AM
Post #27


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Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in, but I was wondering if maybe you could give me advice on something. One of my best friends is black (she doesn't like the term "African-American", so i won't use it here) and she is completely obsessed with Japan, Japanese culture, etc. Her big dream is to go there someday, and she is considering looking into hostessing.
So-- I told her that I'd ask my boyfriend about it because he lived in Japan for a couple of years, and also his cousin made alot of money hostessing there.
When I asked him about it, he explained that it would probably be impossible for her to get a job hostessing in Japan because she's black, and the Japanese are notoriously racist-- especially against black people.
She's been asking me if I've talked to my bf yet, but I really really really don't want to hurt her by telling her what he said.
I mean, she has to deal with an entire lifetime of discrimination and pain here in America. I guess I just don't want to see her even more hurt and disappointed.
It's not fair, you know? It sucks so much that a person I love is not afforded the same chance to live out her dreams as I am, simply because there are still idiots in this world who can only see skin-color. It sucks that people she doesn't even know, or will never meet dislike her because of skin-color.
It's not fair that she grew up in a crack-infested family in the middle of a fucking ghetto because her great-great-great grandparents were ushered into inescapable conditions of inequality and poverty by the federal government as soon as they were freed.
It makes me want to cry, and I hate it, and I want it to stop.
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anarch
post Jul 22 2006, 12:50 PM
Post #28


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hey all,

I've been away for a few weeks but oh it feels good to read your words again.

came across a link that some might be interested in - a documentary on racial politics of African-American hairstyling products. Haven't viewed the documentary itself (I've got sound problems on my computer) but read an interview with the director.

smooches!
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bebesho2
post Jul 20 2006, 08:03 PM
Post #29


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Hi all! I am back!

"i think you are right-it's like if you are white, you should be tan. but, it's "bad" to be dark if it's natural. what? crazy. "

My white cousins and aunts are often much darker than my "non white"kids. Some of my cousins are brown, from tanning all the time and having olivish skin. Yet they have racist parents and/or are a bit racist themselves...

Transracial adoptions...I have too seen the parents who make me cringe. Like when I was at work years ago and saw a bunch of white Mosm with little girls wearing shirts tha tsaid Çhina girls" It just was not cute..

I will bbl-I have so much to discuss!
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turbojenn
post Jul 20 2006, 06:46 PM
Post #30


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chinichin - Well, I work at an adoption agency, and we have an e-learning site where we offer courses to help prepare parents, and you might like a couple of the courses - they're free (unless you need a training certificate - which you don'y), and the "conspicuous families: race, culture and adoption" course might be of interest to you. check it out at http://www.adoptionlearningpartners.org.

I don't have any particular experience in the area myself...I'm just a content and programming monkey. wink.gif
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chinichin
post Jul 20 2006, 06:21 PM
Post #31


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Hey, just wanted to see if there were any other thoughts on transracial adoption. I am the natural mom of my baby, but find transracial adoption resources helpful since my child and I are of different races, sort of. I like ilovemyff's post - especially the part about love not being enough, that awareness is needed. I find myself being afraid that she will reject me later in life (hopefully just temporarily!!) as she tries to find her own identity.
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maddy29
post Jul 18 2006, 08:27 AM
Post #32


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word to your mother!!! i'm old too:)
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missladyj
post Jul 18 2006, 07:57 AM
Post #33


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From: chi town


thanks Maddy! glad it made sense.
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chinichin
post Jul 17 2006, 05:57 PM
Post #34


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"people have weird opinions about what othe people's skin color should be" - word! (LOL do people say that anymore? I am so old and uncool!)

Maddy after I posted I was thinking about what I said (about your roommate's comment not being racist), and I felt like I may have jumped the gun or been dismissive ... I glad you responded the way you did, that you didn't think she was being racist after all. I was thinking of all the times I felt that people had been racist to me, and how often my ex would tell me that I was reading in or imagining things ... and how that made me feel.

I cross posted with the lovely ladyj about the definition of racism. I wonder about the power / oppression angle - I understand it, but I don't agree that the definition of racism has to include it. One of the dictionary definitions I came across used 'superiority' as opposed to 'oppression.' Clearly that makes the definition broader, eh?

I think that for the sake of argument, dictionary definitions are important so that everyone can be on the same page ... but I find that for me, in my life, my process of defining myself and figuring out my identity has forced me to define what I think racism is. My definition: racism is prejudice or discrimination against a group of people based on perceived racial characteristics. It's not perfect but it covers what I want it to smile.gif
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maddy29
post Jul 17 2006, 09:03 AM
Post #35


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so interesting!

chinichin-i think you are right-it's like if you are white, you should be tan. but, it's "bad" to be dark if it's natural. what? crazy.

thanks to ladyj who explained it soooo much better than i ever could have! that's basically what i meant, about the power thingy, but you said it so lovely-y:)

yeah, i don't think that my roommate was being racist about my skin color. mostly i was just frustrated and didn't know what thread to put it in....plus thought it might stir some interesting discussion. i guess my point was just that people have weird opinions about what other people's skin color should be.
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chinichin
post Jul 14 2006, 12:19 PM
Post #36


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RR88, good to see you smile.gif

I have actually had that same comment from relatives, that I "need to get some colour." Heh the sight of my pasty legs must have been overwhelming!

It's kind of a funny thing, eh? That fashion/culture has influenced the perception of "good" colour, i.e. that dark is good ... when, not so long ago, dark was socially less desirable? But ... is darker only better when skin is naturally pale? That's my feeling. I know I'm not saying it in a very articulate way. The point being, I guess, that if a person is dark *by choice* then it's desirable.

When my dad went to China he was asked often by locals if he was "a minority," as in, one of China's ethnic minorities (still Chinese, but one of the less common ethnicities). He was somewhat offended, I think, because he considers himself as Chinese as the day is long smile.gif and the thought that Chinese people would assume he wasn't one of the "true people" was a little off-putting. He wasn't born in China, he was born in Jamaica, but I think as he's gotten older he's begun identifying more and more as Chinese. Anyway, the reason he was asked so often is that his skin is on the darker side and his features are strong - the Chinese ideal is pale.
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rantrave88
post Jul 12 2006, 10:36 PM
Post #37


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Interesting that it all does lead back to suntans!


My sister and I talk about each others' darkness and lightness during different times of the year, and we're both brown. During the winter or when I'm sick, I can look "pale." but still browner than "caucasian."

i think the idea of "needing some color" is an interesting phenomenon and though it may be rude to comment, it's slightly different from being denied privileges/rights/citizenship. there's "needing some color" and then there's "because your skin is naturally 'white' you are bad"

I'm not sure racism everywhere is really about color itself but about the way color is manifested through other things like class, status, etc. I wonder if we're always tied down to history. I know my sister browns in the sun, so if I say, "whoah, so dark!" am I just replicating the reaction to lower class workers who stayed out in the sun and proliferating the dark=negative popular view in the eyes of the bourgeousie? Because apparently we're the same "race" otherwise.




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chinichin
post Jul 11 2006, 11:24 AM
Post #38


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*jumping up and down*

So happy people are posting! I was afraid that I'd come back in and I would have to double post ... sort of like sending myself flowers on Valentines' Day ... not that I have ever done that ... ahem


TJ, wah gwan gyal?? Yes indeed I have a gyal pickney, she is one feisty little thing smile.gif I have missed you! What's up these days with you?

So many interesting things to comment on, where to start before the little one starts yelling at me (she is teething!)

About being Jewish and the descent being matrilineal ... I can see that technically the question is whether the mom is Jewish or not, supposedly cut and dried. But ... this situation reminds me of being Canadian - I'm Canadian because I was born in Edmonton, but I am not white. People constantly ask me "the question" and have even told me that I am "not really Canadian" because I'm not white. I can see that bklnhermit's friends may have felt excluded or actually been excluded by people in the Jewish community even though, technically, they may have been Jews-by-th-rules. Not that it's right but Jews are human too smile.gif and race really is a factor for some when it comes to inclusion!

"Reverse racism" is one of my pet peeves. I agree with luzicoe. I don't agree with maddy29's explanation that she had explained to her (OMG! Pardon my awful grammar) ... my understanding of racism is that racism is racism is racism, there is systemic racism (e.g. the reason for most CEO's in America being white men) and racism that's exercised on a more individual level, etc.

IMO the concept of "reverse racism" - with the understanding that it means "racism against white people by non-white people" - is yet another framing of an issue in a white-paradigm frame. Of course there are non-white people who are prejudiced against white people. The only people who find that surprising and worthy of a different term than plain old "racism" are people who (knowingly or unconsciously) think from a white priveleged point of view. I suppose it's a handy term if shorthand is needed but IMO it perpetuates the idea that everything has to be defined from a white point of view.

And about the pale skin thing ... bearing in mind that I don't know maddy or her friend, I really don't think I would frame that rude comment about her appearance as a racial thing. Yes, she has pale skin because she is white, but IMO it's reaching to make it about that. Would the comment have been framed as racist if it had come from a friend with a similar background?

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missladyj
post Jul 11 2006, 11:05 AM
Post #39


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From: chi town


Racism = power + predjudice


Using this definition racism includes a power component meaning that someone has to be in a postion to deny a person benefits and priveledges because of prejudice which is prejudging someone. In general most people of color are not in positions of power that allow them to deny white people access to benefits or privledges thus the term "reverse racism" is inherently flawed. Can people of color be predjudice against white people? Absolutely! Are they in positions of powere whereby they can systematically deny white people access to a quality education, a secure job, housing etc usually not.

So saying that a person of color who makes fun of you for being so white isn't "reverse racism". Prejudice and not so nice yes, racist no.


Racism is when I go with my black husband to look for an apartment and the white landlord doesn't want to rent to us because we are an interacial couple. He is in a postion of power to deny us housing based on his predjudice. When my husband calls him a cracker, he is not being a reverse racist, he's just salty cuz whitey wont rent us an apartment. see the difference?
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maddy29
post Jul 7 2006, 01:57 PM
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That's a great point lucizoe. It was once explained to me that racism is the systemic thing, and that discrimination are the actual acts of racism. So, a white person in american can't experience racism, because they are in the power/privilege position. they don't have the systemic stuff going on.

BUT, a white person CAN experience discrimination.

Does that make any sense? hopefully more people will weigh in....
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