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post #381 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
I must have missed that post. According to that, I am not white, because I am 50% Swiss, the other half being a combination of Mexican and Native American.
One of the weirdest things, I find is that apparently in the US, people are officially categorised under a race or what is officially defined as race. Do citizens of the US see this as a good or bad thing, I mean do you feel the categorising has clear advantages to it as a good reason of existance? Or is it part of the overall systemic racism problem?

The result of these 'official definitions on race' must also be that many many people who are oficially defined as 'white/black/other' are actually not at all 'white/black... in appearance/' and the result may also very well be that many people considered white officially may experience a lot of prejudice/bigotry (considering US definition of racism in this discussion) in reality, and vice versa again. And well, how does all this has effects to 'statistics' considering 'racial categories'.

In my coi, you may be 50/50 or 25/75 European/African descent and look very much like African but no form would require you to fill in 'race' of any kind. There will be records of own/parental/ancestral (original) nationalities for sure, but not 'race'. I just find this unthinkable.

I am learning on this thread from all of you, as racism has always been a topic that I have been trying to understand, but I am very curious about the above.
(I am a Western European living in Western Asia, hereby not defining race but geograpical origin/state :-).
post #382 of 417
when we are discussing how this issue impacts college admissions, i am forced to think of an interesting exercise that was taken when i was in undergrad. the professor asked the white students to give their best estimate of the percentage breakdowns of ethnic groups on campus.

my friend and i watched as people assured themselves that our campus had 40% black enrollment. and like 35% asian and 10% hispanic and latino. we were amazed and then the professor turned to myself and my friend -- who were the only black women in the class -- and asked if that was how we saw the campus. most certainly not!

so we went on to give our estimates and he said that perceptions are key (as we were in a journalism class) as they color how we tell our stories. he they went on to state that the percentages expressed buy our mostly white classmates were because of the mindset of well, we see a few of them together so there has to be more and things really are changing. when nothing could be further from the truth. then he read off the depressing stats of the actual percentages on campus.

i think as long as i live, i will never forget that because it was so true and really made folks stop to think.
post #383 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Mama Jama View Post
he they went on to state that the percentages expressed buy our mostly white classmates were because of the mindset of well, we see a few of them together so there has to be more and things really are changing. when nothing could be further from the truth. then he read off the depressing stats of the actual percentages on campus.

i think as long as i live, i will never forget that because it was so true and really made folks stop to think.
And that's the crux of this thread isn't it, Perception?
post #384 of 417
Was that perception the crux of the thread? I just know she talked about racism in reverse which is something that doesn't make sense.
post #385 of 417
Michelle Obama, in her most recent interview with Oprah notes:

"Oprah: Okay, shifting gears now. How are you a different woman today than you were when Barack Obama announced his candidacy in 2007?

Michelle Obama: I'm more optimistic. More hopeful. It comes from traveling all over America and connecting with so many different people. And this was long before anyone thought Barack had a chance. This was the kindness of strangers. I think we should all have to get to know one another around kitchen tables. It changed me. It's helped me to give other people the benefit of the doubt."

This is a stark difference from that portion quoted from her thesis. So maybe the problem she notes in her college thesis with her "liberal and well-meaning" classmates was, to a certain extent HER perception. Maybe she was unable to connect and felt different because she made certain false assumptions (that they were really racist underneath it all), rather than giving the benefit of the doubt.

And that raises an interesting question -- to what extent is it the responsibility of a white person to make a minority person comfortable in a particular environment? Is it enough to treat such a person as you would a white person, or should I, for example, when a new co-worker (who happens to a a minority) starts at my office make an extra effort? I'm pretty reserved, but should there be an extra wide smile, extra invitations to lunch and extra offers of help orienting to the office than how I would behave if my new co-worker was white? To what extent is it my responsibility to "prove" I'm not racist? To what extent is it the other person's responsibility to "assume" (prior to evidence to the contrary) that I'm not racist?

I'm certainly willing to make an extra effort if that's the fair and moral thing to do, but sometimes things reach the point where I feel its no longer my responsibility. For example, in one of my college class discussions of racial issues, one of my black classmates talked about how the mere existence of my blonde ponytail (and especially how I would pull it out from under my coat collar when I put my coat on after class) irritated her. I was fine but my hair drove her nuts. While I can understand the social/historical origins of her issue, at the end of the day that was HER issue to work out. It shouldn't be my responsibility to dye my hair brown to make her comfortable.
post #386 of 417
"Black graduation rate=51%, 19,333,763.91 out of 303,824,640
White graduation rate=72%, 171,255,566.88 out of 303,824,640
Hispanic=52%, 22,197,356.48 out of 303,824,640
Asian=79%, 10,023,102.88 out of 303,824,640
Native American=54%, 1,546,020.54 out of 303,824,640
Got from this and the U.S census bureau."

I would love to see these numbers broken out by race AND socio-economic class. I would guess that graduation rate percentages of different races across identical economic classes would be more similar. This would point to the disparity being more the result of historical discrimination (resulting in economic class difference) than current active discrimination. But maybe I'm just a crazy optimist.
post #387 of 417
"Why should there even be alliances against groups just so you can get power over another group?? That just makes Yinsum's point. Minorties don't see a let's get with the white people so we can be more powerful than that other group. That is a very horrible thing to even suggest be done."

This makes NO sense to me and you are missing my point. Why would suggesting that black and hispanic activists join together and encourage their respective voting blocks to vote to perserve, say, affirmative action hiring in the State of California be "a very horrible thing to even suggest be done"?
post #388 of 417
[QUOTE=Jane91;13478065]
Quote:
Michelle Obama, in her most recent interview with Oprah notes:

"Oprah: Okay, shifting gears now. How are you a different woman today than you were when Barack Obama announced his candidacy in 2007?

Michelle Obama: I'm more optimistic. More hopeful. It comes from traveling all over America and connecting with so many different people. And this was long before anyone thought Barack had a chance. This was the kindness of strangers. I think we should all have to get to know one another around kitchen tables. It changed me. It's helped me to give other people the benefit of the doubt."

This is a stark difference from that portion quoted from her thesis. So maybe the problem she notes in her college thesis with her "liberal and well-meaning" classmates was, to a certain extent HER perception. Maybe she was unable to connect and felt different because she made certain false assumptions (that they were really racist underneath it all), rather than giving the benefit of the doubt.
Michelle Obama's thesis was racist?? No, her thesis was a reaction to the racism she experienced. It is easy for a white person to think a minority is makes "false assumptions" because they can't recognize it unless they really want to. I doubt Michelle's stance from her thesis days have changed much, she just knows that saying those types of truth will freak a majority white nation out.
Quote:
And that raises an interesting question -- to what extent is it the responsibility of a white person to make a minority person comfortable in a particular environment? Is it enough to treat such a person as you would a white person, or should I, for example, when a new co-worker (who happens to a a minority) starts at my office make an extra effort? I'm pretty reserved, but should there be an extra wide smile, extra invitations to lunch and extra offers of help orienting to the office than how I would behave if my new co-worker was white? To what extent is it my responsibility to "prove" I'm not racist? To what extent is it the other person's responsibility to "assume" (prior to evidence to the contrary) that I'm not racist?
Why do you need to just make a minority comfortable. A person is a person before they are their skin color except to people like you who see color before the person. I mean why would you have to treat a minority even better then a white person to not seem racist? I would think that is someone with a guilty conscience. You do not have to prove you aren't racist if your not because you just know. I don't get what this has to do with anything though??
Quote:
I'm certainly willing to make an extra effort if that's the fair and moral thing to do, but sometimes things reach the point where I feel its no longer my responsibility.
It isn't your responsibility.....
Quote:
For example, in one of my college class discussions of racial issues, one of my black classmates talked about how the mere existence of my blonde ponytail (and especially how I would pull it out from under my coat collar when I put my coat on after class) irritated her. I was fine but my hair drove her nuts. While I can understand the social/historical origins of her issue, at the end of the day that was HER issue to work out. It shouldn't be my responsibility to dye my hair brown to make her comfortable.
Obviously that is something she has to deal with, you don't have to do anything about that???
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane91 View Post
"Black graduation rate=51%, 19,333,763.91 out of 303,824,640
White graduation rate=72%, 171,255,566.88 out of 303,824,640
Hispanic=52%, 22,197,356.48 out of 303,824,640
Asian=79%, 10,023,102.88 out of 303,824,640
Native American=54%, 1,546,020.54 out of 303,824,640
Got from this and the U.S census bureau."

I would love to see these numbers broken out by race AND socio-economic class. I would guess that graduation rate percentages of different races across identical economic classes would be more similar. This would point to the disparity being more the result of historical discrimination (resulting in economic class difference) than current active discrimination. But maybe I'm just a crazy optimist.
You can calculate them like I did, it takes sometime but you can answer your own question and let us know. I speculate that most minority groups in college come from a higher socio-economic status hence the huge disparity of blacks, Native Americans, and hispanics in poverty and the low numbers in college.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane91 View Post
"Why should there even be alliances against groups just so you can get power over another group?? That just makes Yinsum's point. Minorties don't see a let's get with the white people so we can be more powerful than that other group. That is a very horrible thing to even suggest be done."

This makes NO sense to me and you are missing my point. Why would suggesting that black and hispanic activists join together and encourage their respective voting blocks to vote to perserve, say, affirmative action hiring in the State of California be "a very horrible thing to even suggest be done"?
What?? You wrote and I quote,
Quote:
My original question is to what extent can groups change their place within the existing power structure by piggy-backing off of other group's power, or by allying themselves with another group and if such alliances could ever reach a place of "racism" against another minority group not so-allied.
Piggy-backing off other groups power or having alliances AGAINST a not so allied group is a horrible thing to suggest. Why would groups team up to together to get another minority group? You wrote that and it is apalling that you are actually saying this. Minority groups don't think of teaming up and then ganging up on another group to make things better for themselves. That is absolutely ridiculous, seriously.
post #389 of 417
Futurmama -- I am finding this discussion rather frustrating as you seem to twist what I am saying into something else entirely or mistake plain meaning or layer in wild assumptions (for example, I never claim Michelle Obama's thesis was racist) out of thin air.

So -- basically you are claiming Michelle Obama is a liar and despite having her husband elected as president, believes that virtually all white people are racists. Interesting.

My actual POINT about her thesis was that she acknowledges that her classmates were well-meaning and liberal but that wasn't enough to make her comfortable on campus. I was asking then if being welcoming and well-meaning and so forth ISN'T enough in individual relations between blacks and whites then what the heck is?

You seem to repeatedly interpret my discussion about group alliances and so forth incorrectly.

"Piggy-backing off other groups power or having alliances AGAINST a not so allied group is a horrible thing to suggest. Why would groups team up to together to get another minority group?"

Its not "to get" another minority group. Its to accomplish a particular political goal. I'm curious why, at least in my experience, community leaders from one minority group and community leaders from another don't seem to do much horse-trading -- support for one issue that benefits a particular group in exchange for an issue that benefits the other. Happens in Congress all the time..."I'll support your bill if you'll support mine...."
post #390 of 417
[QUOTE=Jane91;13480562]
Quote:
Futurmama -- I am finding this discussion rather frustrating as you seem to twist what I am saying into something else entirely or mistake plain meaning or layer in wild assumptions (for example, I never claim Michelle Obama's thesis was racist) out of thin air.
I was asking a question, that is why I had these ?? at the end. You mentioned racism and I didn't know who you were talking about. I am not trying to turn what you say, but that is the way I am seeing it.
Quote:
So -- basically you are claiming Michelle Obama is a liar and despite having her husband elected as president, believes that virtually all white people are racists. Interesting.
Why would she be a liar? All I am saying is that she probably knows bringing up some of the things in her thesis will cause some crazy reaction. Like Jeremiah Wright, most of what he said (not the soundbites and editing to make what he said worse then it was) is true but white America could NOT handle that.
Quote:
My actual POINT about her thesis was that she acknowledges that her classmates were well-meaning and liberal but that wasn't enough to make her comfortable on campus.
I have many liberal, well-meaning friends but that doesn't cover nor erase their ignorance of racism, predjudice or how I may feel.

Quote:
I was asking then if being welcoming and well-meaning and so forth ISN'T enough in individual relations between blacks and whites then what the heck is?
That FORCED emotion is so not believable because it is not real. Why do you have to be extra anything? Eventually a person can't keep that facade up. Just being who you are is enough, I find that very fake and most people can see through fake people. Having someone understand and actually know what your going through, like Missy, Danelle78, Yinsum, Artgoddess, etc., despite what race they are is enough.

Some of those people probably didn't realize how they made Michelle feel because they are not aware of their ignorance and probably see it as normal, right behavior but it is a red flag that they really aren't what you initially expected.

Quote:
You seem to repeatedly interpret my discussion about group alliances and so forth incorrectly.
I am just going by your posts and that's it.



Quote:
Its not "to get" another minority group. Its to accomplish a particular political goal.
But that is what you wrote or that is how I came to understand it.

Quote:
I'm curious why, at least in my experience, community leaders from one minority group and community leaders from another don't seem to do much horse-trading -- support for one issue that benefits a particular group in exchange for an issue that benefits the other. Happens in Congress all the time..."I'll support your bill if you'll support mine...."
So you are saying for example, Native Americans and blacks should get together and do a "I will scratch your back if you scratch mine"? The question is, why does this even need to happen? This shouldn't even be a suggestion from anyone, this country needs to recognize the problems of ALL people and find ways to improve on them instead of minorities getting together to "scheme a way to the top". And doing that in congress seems a little unethical to me but that is probably why this country is in this shape.
post #391 of 417
This statement:

Quote:
“My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my “Blackness” than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second. ”
is not exclusionary of this statement:

Quote:
I'm more optimistic. More hopeful. It comes from traveling all over America and connecting with so many different people. And this was long before anyone thought Barack had a chance. This was the kindness of strangers. I think we should all have to get to know one another around kitchen tables. It changed me. It's helped me to give other people the benefit of the doubt."
There is certainly nothing racist in the first statement and to be able to assert so demonstrates how little many of us understand about racism in this country. It is the reality--not the perception, but the reality--of many and to be able to address racism in this country means being able to see that statement as a reality and examine why it is so.

Jane, I'm going to assume that, this being the forum for multicultural families, that your family is also multicultural or biracial and therefore probably has some experience with racism in the US. I'd be interested in hearing how that racism has affected your children.
post #392 of 417
I think Jane was saying that Michelle Obama was assuming incorrectly that her classmates were racist (in which case the "they" in Jane's parenthetical remark refers to the classmates, not to Mrs. Obama's assumptions).
post #393 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane91 View Post
This is a stark difference from that portion quoted from her thesis. So maybe the problem she notes in her college thesis with her "liberal and well-meaning" classmates was, to a certain extent HER perception.
Jane,
In her paper, MO didn't write anything about people being racists.

Coincidentally, one of the purposes of her paper is to look at whether Princeton's Black alumni experience a change in their comfort levels with each race (black & white)- pre,during, and post Princeton. Indeed, she found that their comfort level with whites increased post-graduation. Which is most likely what happened to her as she became more "familiar" with working with Whites.

To expand upon why she may have had this "perception", in her thesis -she explains that during her attendance- the push in Princeton was towards integration of the races. She goes on to state that because there are distinct differences in Black culture and White culture, a Black student may experience frustration and lacking sufficient support systems available to them while in a predominantly White culture (she explains that there were few Black groups, AA studies, even Black food, etc. at PU at the time).

I also have to add an angle that you're missing-
In the past 20+ yrs. since MO attended PU, with the increase in integration in the workplace and elsewhere - is it safe to say that MO isn't the only one who has changed her perception/comfort level? Many white people's comfort levels have also changed, no?
Unless you're assuming that white people's comfort levels with blacks has remained unchanged since the early 80s.
Quote:
Maybe she was unable to connect and felt different because she made certain false assumptions (that they were really racist underneath it all), rather than giving the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe, since she found this to be true for the respondents in her thesis.
Would that mean though, that the only way one must feel out-of-place is with racists and not with anyone else who might not share our own beliefs, culture, and experiences?
Isn't it possible that they unintentionally alienated her?
Quote:
And that raises an interesting question -- to what extent is it the responsibility of a white person to make a minority person comfortable in a particular environment?
This reminds me of- To what extent should POCs or people from other countries have to do so for White Americans (or other Americans)? (isn't that our reputation worldwide when we're their guests?)

No one should feel obligated to bend backwards for anyone else if they don't want to. I don't think anyone expects that. But, it's certainly nice when people genuinely extend themselves to others.
Lunch is nice. If the person declines- then hey, that's on them.
Quote:
For example, in one of my college class discussions of racial issues, one of my black classmates talked about how the mere existence of my blonde ponytail (and especially how I would pull it out from under my coat collar when I put my coat on after class) irritated her. I was fine but my hair drove her nuts. While I can understand the social/historical origins of her issue, at the end of the day that was HER issue to work out. It shouldn't be my responsibility to dye my hair brown to make her comfortable.
How would you have responded to this if the same was said by a white woman instead of a black woman?
The same way you did, right?
post #394 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I think Jane was saying that Michelle Obama was assuming incorrectly that her classmates were racist (in which case the "they" in Jane's parenthetical remark refers to the classmates, not to Mrs. Obama's assumptions).
I went back and re-read and, yes, you're probably right. However, I don't think Michelle Obama made any false assumptions in her thesis. I think she made some very real observations that make people uncomfortable.

And the rest of my post remains true. Those two statements do not cancel each other out. As I said: it is the reality--not the perception, but the reality--of many and to be able to address racism in this country means being able to see that statement as a reality and examine why it is so.
post #395 of 417
Maybaby
Maybe you might look over your post and rethink how you paint black people with such a broad brush.

On Michelle Obama- no one has mentioned that when she entered the hallowed halls of her college she was subject to a room change because of the color of her skin. That would make me uncomfortable from the very beginning. And yes I speak from experience on this. I went to boarding school and had a family make the same request because of my race. Thankfully my school had more backbone and did not oblige. And yes, I was on alert.

And speaking for myself, I do not want to see minorities pooling together to undermine the white race. As futurmama says
Quote:
this country needs to recognize the problems of ALL people and find ways to improve on them instead of minorities getting together to "scheme a way to the top"
post #396 of 417
Maybaby -

there is an old thread on MDC Do black people scare you? Which discusses a lot of the hugely stereotyping comments you have made, and how these things impact on and perpetuate racism.

It is a very long thread, but an important read, I think, to help understand the broader picture.
post #397 of 417

and now a word from your moderator

The purpose of the Multicultual Families forum is to learn about families of various backgrounds. This is not a forum that will be used to spew racist commentary under the guise of trying to understand. We are all people here and we have come here to learn about one another. This is not the place to perpetuate stereotypes and the host of -isms that abound.

Please take a moment to consider people's feelings when posting and ask yourself, would this post be acceptable if I substitute in the name of any other group? Be that women, Africans, children, Irish people, Asians, men, transgendered people and the list goes on. Racism will not be tolerated as it is not within the spirit of the Mothering community. Thank you for your time. I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
post #398 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by ernalala View Post
One of the weirdest things, I find is that apparently in the US, people are officially categorised under a race or what is officially defined as race. Do citizens of the US see this as a good or bad thing, I mean do you feel the categorising has clear advantages to it as a good reason of existance? Or is it part of the overall systemic racism problem?

The result of these 'official definitions on race' must also be that many many people who are oficially defined as 'white/black/other' are actually not at all 'white/black... in appearance/' and the result may also very well be that many people considered white officially may experience a lot of prejudice/bigotry (considering US definition of racism in this discussion) in reality, and vice versa again. And well, how does all this has effects to 'statistics' considering 'racial categories'.

In my coi, you may be 50/50 or 25/75 European/African descent and look very much like African but no form would require you to fill in 'race' of any kind. There will be records of own/parental/ancestral (original) nationalities for sure, but not 'race'. I just find this unthinkable.

((...addition: There are distinctions made in politics and media between 'original inhabitants' as 'autochtone' and immigrants as 'allochtone' people and I do not know in how far I feel comfortable with these distinctions, ss a matter of fact, in many contexts I don't, but I honestly cannot think of any official form where you have to fill out one of these terms when you have the nationality and definitely never 'race' or 'skin colour'.))

I am learning on this thread from all of you, as racism has always been a topic phenomenon that I have been trying to understand, but I am very curious about the above.
(I am a Western European living in Western Asia, hereby not defining race but geograpical origin/state :-).
No-one here who would like to or could shed some light on the above question?
post #399 of 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurmama8 View Post
Was that perception the crux of the thread? I just know she talked about racism in reverse which is something that doesn't make sense.
I think this thread has evolved much further. And a big part of that includes people having to challenge their perception on what is reality. And it's something that the majority needs to do to help these kind of important conversations moving forward.

Ex.:
Perceived reality: Reverse Racism
Actual reality: a response to lifelong experiences with racism and racist institutions.
post #400 of 417
I've learned one important thing about myself- *I* have enough trouble writing cohesive sentences when I'm awake, it's that much worse when I'm half asleep.

Evidently, I missed something... and I'm glad I did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane91 View Post
My actual POINT about her thesis was that she acknowledges that her classmates were well-meaning and liberal but that wasn't enough to make her comfortable on campus. I was asking then if being welcoming and well-meaning and so forth ISN'T enough in individual relations between blacks and whites then what the heck is?
I suppose that's another way to interpret it.
I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second. ”
I interpret this differently than you did. To me, this isn't a call for whites to do anything. I take this to mean that at the time SHE felt defeated and is believing that nothing that SHE does will help whites see her as a student first and black second.
Quote:
Its not "to get" another minority group. Its to accomplish a particular political goal. I'm curious why, at least in my experience, community leaders from one minority group and community leaders from another don't seem to do much horse-trading -- support for one issue that benefits a particular group in exchange for an issue that benefits the other. Happens in Congress all the time..."I'll support your bill if you'll support mine...."
I'm just as curious as you are as to why this doesn't occur.
If you ever get a chance to skim through M. Obama's thesis, in it another purpose for her study was to find out if once Black Princeton alumni graduated- they would continue to feel connected to other Blacks from the poorer socioeconomic level and whether the alumni would continue to feel motivated to benefit the Black community.

Back to your question,
Actually in one of the books in her bibliography "Black Elected Officials: A Study of Black Americans Holding Governmental Office" the authors (Conyers & Wallace) suggest that black officials integrate with white officials, forming a common social & cultural structure in order to help the black community. The book also discusses the problems black officials face in order to accomplish that goal.
So, Jane, I'm assuming that what you're proposing has been thought of before, but hasn't materialized mainly because it hasn't been achieved on a large scale for one minority group, let alone several.
Perhaps the process is just very slow.
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