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#31 of 48 Old 09-12-2003, 11:19 PM
 
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Funny thing about registering with various online publications: I usually lie my ass off, 'cept for the email addy. natch.

Couple of snips:

"Americans are often shocked to learn that black Indians exist at all — and that Native Americans actually held slaves. Like the white slave owners they emulated, Native Americans often fathered children by enslaved women and occasionally — as in Milley Franklin's case — treated those children as family. As a result, millions of black Americans are descended from black people who were either members of the tribes during slavery or adopted into them just after Emancipation....

"White families have begun to acknowledge mixed-race connections after centuries of denial. But the attitudes of some Native Americans have not evolved in the same way. Both the Seminole and the Cherokee tribes have employed discriminatory policies to prevent black members from receiving tribal benefits — and to strip them of the right to vote in tribal elections....

"The Bureau of Indian Affairs, with the support of the federal district court in Washington, refused to recognize a Seminole government that came to office while black Seminoles were barred from the polls. But Washington may yet buckle in the face of similar discrimination by the Cherokees — who are more politically connected than the Seminoles. The federal government insists that it has not taken a "final position." But court documents suggest that the Bureau of Indian Affairs might formally endorse elections in which black Cherokees are barred from voting...."
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#32 of 48 Old 09-12-2003, 11:28 PM
 
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MY older two DS's were called 'welos' when they were in elementary and high school.

Did they deserve this?

If they did deserve it, what exactly did they do to deserve being called a racial slur as 'welo' or ' white bread'? Thank G-d they never told any one they were Jewish - they would have been killed!

I think we all need to take a breath and relax. This country has come a long way and we need to understand that things do not change overnight ... nor in a generation.

I think we need to focus on the progress we have made rather than name-calling and re-spelling some old words to give them meanings only we, and no one else, understand.
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#33 of 48 Old 09-12-2003, 11:33 PM
 
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#34 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 12:06 AM
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And in Hawai'i I was called a Haole and there was "Kill Haole Day" at school. Poor us. We had the means to leave - the natives didn't. We could still go to Waikiki and get the royal treatment - they couldn't.
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#35 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 12:18 AM
 
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Oh my *&^%!

That article is horrible. Maybe I am naive. I'm shocked. It is not news to me that there is inter-race racism or non-white racism or whatever you would call that.. but to refuse them their heritage! To refuse them a voice in their nation! And the Feds... well, here is where, most regretably I am NOT surprised: The Feds are perfectly willing to be complicit in the Native peoples disenfranchising their own brothers.
I'm too mad to find that puking smiley, so let's just pretend I did.
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#36 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RowansDad
Funny thing about registering with various online publications: I usually lie my ass off, 'cept for the email addy. natch.

Couple of snips:

"Americans are often shocked to learn that black Indians exist at all — and that Native Americans actually held slaves. Like the white slave owners they emulated, Native Americans often fathered children by enslaved women and occasionally — as in Milley Franklin's case — treated those children as family. As a result, millions of black Americans are descended from black people who were either members of the tribes during slavery or adopted into them just after Emancipation....

"White families have begun to acknowledge mixed-race connections after centuries of denial. But the attitudes of some Native Americans have not evolved in the same way. Both the Seminole and the Cherokee tribes have employed discriminatory policies to prevent black members from receiving tribal benefits — and to strip them of the right to vote in tribal elections....

"The Bureau of Indian Affairs, with the support of the federal district court in Washington, refused to recognize a Seminole government that came to office while black Seminoles were barred from the polls. But Washington may yet buckle in the face of similar discrimination by the Cherokees — who are more politically connected than the Seminoles. The federal government insists that it has not taken a "final position." But court documents suggest that the Bureau of Indian Affairs might formally endorse elections in which black Cherokees are barred from voting...."
i just finished reading "slaves in the family" by mr-i-forget-his-first-name-ball and it addressed this somewhat. im familiar with this.
mahdokht is right, this has nothing to do w/ white privilege. i think maybe you thought of it as a way to illustrate that white people are not the only people capable of enslavement? whatever you meant, it really doesnt have anything to do with white privilege. if you are really interested in talking about it in depth, start another thread and let us know.

miriam, talk progress. that would be great. but i cannot continue speaking alone on this thread. do what you will. i have already spent too much mental energy trying to convince people of something they have no vested interest in learning about.

does anyone have anything to add that is not a total denial of the fact of white privilege?

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#37 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 06:18 AM
 
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But there is a POC middle class and they count and are growing. Your essay does not acknowledge those who have successfully made that leap.
I am not a POC, so I'm not sure exactly what "that leap" entails. I am assuming a feeling of personal power that comes with fitting in? It doesn't change that a white person in the US has an easier time than a darker person, & that in fact, in general, the darker you get, the harder it is!

Anyway, I was wondering if we could discuss *what* we are*doing* with our white privilege? There's no sense in languishing in guilt about it & no sense (for me) in denying it. The OP had some suggestions, & I think the linked article did too.
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#38 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 10:39 AM
 
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Sorry but where are the POC in this thread? Where are the MOC's who frequent Mothering?

Quote:
I am assuming a feeling of personal power that comes with fitting in? It doesn't change that a white person in the US has an easier time than a darker person, & that in fact, in general, the darker you get, the harder it is!
Actually there are lots of times when I don't "fit" in. I'm darker then most AA's but I'm s. Indian. I can give you a list of times when it has come up. I guess I find the irony of PWOC talking about how POC are discriminated a little scary. On one hand I see that middle class POC haven't suffered enough and then I see we are trying too hard to "fit" in. Actually I beg to differ but I see that I have variations of my own "culture" in my life as well as my family's. IMO what you are looking for are the dramatic tales of suffering/racism/sexism.

RD: OT but your article reminds of going to visit the Pequot Indian Museum - have you been? Anyway all you have to do is look around here - the Narragansett, the Mashpee, and the Pequot's all reflect the AA connection. But I don;t think they are split into 2 groups with the AA/NA's on one side and the NA's on the other.

Quote:
does anyone have anything to add that is not a total denial of the fact of white privilege?
What exactly do you want people to add? How they fight racism? How they raise their kids to be color-sex blind? We can all agree to that (esp on this board).

I understand that there is racism and understand sexism but perhaps what is not being portrayed here is the complexity of life. POC come in many variations and are not strictly limited to poor urban AA's. If you've been in predominantly non-westernized nations there are color issues there as well - who's dark, how you wear your hair, what language you speak - all this counts.

IMO what I see is that the US needs to work on how it treats people overall. How it sets up its health, education, political etc.. structure so that they are fair to all people. I beleive that racial preferences should be upheld esp. for publically funded institutions. Yet IMO it is the way the govt. and lare corporate entities treat the public that is more disadvantgous then any other.
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#39 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 12:34 PM
 
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littlemama23, why so defensive?

I wasn't saying you were racist or acting hateful, I was just discussing the issue that you brought up on this thread. :

Also, I don't disagree that racism is still a problem in this country. I'm simply saying that we have come a long way in the last 50 years and that Hatred and Racism is not what is going to solve the problem. (Not that you are hatful and racist!) Making this a personal issue, will only serve to distract one from the very real issue at hand.

I think that by saying that light skined people don't understand or ever face discrimination is not helpful in getting a discussion going that might actually do some good. I want to be able to understand what people like 3boys4us faces in this society, because I connect with her. Having real relationships with real people will cause others to change their thought patterns and actions. Arguing that one racial group of people is responsible for their ancestors' sins, will not evoke change of any lasting value, IMHO.

Hence...Love will change the world!
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#40 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 01:08 PM
 
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Hi littlemama, I pmed you a few days ago and you haven't read my pm. To check your messages click on private messages at the top of the page.

Thanks
Jessica

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#41 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 01:51 PM
 
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For those who may be wondering:
POC = People of Color
PWOC = People Without Color

You know, when I read these discussions I always think that its the POC that need to be having them, not the PWOC. People in power never give it up willingly, its unatural to do so, and as we can see from this very thread there are still people who are greatly in denial about the advantages of fair skin in the world in general and our society in particular. Its really awful that some white children face discrimination and isolation from other ethnic groups. I know how it feels to be stuck in a school environment where your race marks you out as an object of ridicule. Its a horror that no child should have to suffer. That being said, those incidences are incomparable to the racism that POC and children of color face. Why? How often did those white children suffer racism from their teachers, principals and school officials? If something comes up missing, is it the only white child in the classroom who is assumed to be the culprit? How often is the capable, intelligent white child assumed to be an exception and treated as a token?

No matter the prejudice or cruelty that white people may face in situations when they are the minority, they are never denied access to the power structure or dominant culture because of their whiteness. What can/should white people do? The first thing anyone can do is to understand that there is a world of difference between the institutionalized racism faced by POC, which consistently, at every level from their time in utero till the day they die, denies them access to power and positions to effect change in society. The deck is stacked and those who succeed do so against great odds. It is not simply a question of pull yourself up by the bootstraps hard work. Why is it that black women who have similar education and economic backgrounds as white women still have a much higher chance of losing their infants within the first year? Because black people, even wtih good medical coverage and finely trained doctors don't get the same quality medical care as whites do. Racism, like the devil himself, is subtle and in that form the most dealdly. There is racism in the institution of medicine. There is racism in the institution of education, this is especially true at the elementary school, junior high school and high school levels. How great are the changes of a student who has been in poor, violent and overcrowded schools his or her entire life, or even a child who has been in an excellent school where he/she has spent their entire lives fighting racism from peers and adults alike, in addition to normal teenaged angst, of getting into and finishing at an institution of higher learning? W/O that degree how likely are they to go on to positions where they have greater chances of making the changes necessary to society to ensure that other children of color have equal opportunity?

We can have these conversations with PWOC and they may help to make a difference in how they raise their children or it may just piss them off and have them yelling 'reverse racism' (a monster of fictional proportions only equaled by unicorns and santa clause) and end the discussion right there. POC need to work at a grass roots level within our own communities and at every level of power that we can access to highlight racism, even in its subtlest forms, and demand change. When we combine numbers we are NOT the minority any more. We do not always need to depend on hours of discussion to convince people of the depth of racism. We should not be begging for recognition and change, we should demand it with such a defeaning cry that it becomes impossible to ignore. If there is anything that RDs article highlighted it is how effective the racist power structure has been in infecting the minds of POC with a self-defeating 'crabs in a bucket' mentality that serves only to reinforce their power and further diminish ours.
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#42 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mahdokht
For those who may be wondering:
POC = People of Color
PWOC = People Without Color

You know, when I read these discussions I always think that its the POC that need to be having them, not the PWOC. People in power never give it up willingly, its unatural to do so, and as we can see from this very thread there are still people who are greatly in denial about the advantages of fair skin in the world in general and our society in particular. Its really awful that some white children face discrimination and isolation from other ethnic groups. I know how it feels to be stuck in a school environment where your race marks you out as an object of ridicule. Its a horror that no child should have to suffer. That being said, those incidences are incomparable to the racism that POC and children of color face. Why? How often did those white children suffer racism from their teachers, principals and school officials? If something comes up missing, is it the only white child in the classroom who is assumed to be the culprit? How often is the capable, intelligent white child assumed to be an exception and treated as a token?

No matter the prejudice or cruelty that white people may face in situations when they are the minority, they are never denied access to the power structure or dominant culture because of their whiteness. What can/should white people do? The first thing anyone can do is to understand that there is a world of difference between the institutionalized racism faced by POC, which consistently, at every level from their time in utero till the day they die, denies them access to power and positions to effect change in society. The deck is stacked and those who succeed do so against great odds. It is not simply a question of pull yourself up by the bootstraps hard work. Why is it that black women who have similar education and economic backgrounds as white women still have a much higher chance of losing their infants within the first year? Because black people, even wtih good medical coverage and finely trained doctors don't get the same quality medical care as whites do. Racism, like the devil himself, is subtle and in that form the most dealdly. There is racism in the institution of medicine. There is racism in the institution of education, this is especially true at the elementary school, junior high school and high school levels. How great are the changes of a student who has been in poor, violent and overcrowded schools his or her entire life, or even a child who has been in an excellent school where he/she has spent their entire lives fighting racism from peers and adults alike, in addition to normal teenaged angst, of getting into and finishing at an institution of higher learning? W/O that degree how likely are they to go on to positions where they have greater chances of making the changes necessary to society to ensure that other children of color have equal opportunity?

We can have these conversations with PWOC and they may help to make a difference in how they raise their children or it may just piss them off and have them yelling 'reverse racism' (a monster of fictional proportions only equaled by unicorns and santa clause) and end the discussion right there. POC need to work at a grass roots level within our own communities and at every level of power that we can access to highlight racism, even in its subtlest forms, and demand change. When we combine numbers we are NOT the minority any more. We do not always need to depend on hours of discussion to convince people of the depth of racism. We should not be begging for recognition and change, we should demand it with such a defeaning cry that it becomes impossible to ignore. If there is anything that RDs article highlighted it is how effective the racist power structure has been in infecting the minds of POC with a self-defeating 'crabs in a bucket' mentality that serves only to reinforce their power and further diminish ours.
hallelujahgodamightydamn.

you got it..

I COULD HUG YOU.

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#43 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 04:48 PM
 
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Thank you for making some great points mahdokht! I really appreciated your comments on the difference between the ocasional harassment whites may experience at the hands of members of other races and racism. I have never been able to figure out what to say when people bring that up. I mean, yeah, it happens and of course it shouldn't and it's bad and all that... but it just ain't the same thing by a long shot as experiencing institutional racism your whole life! In fact, if anything it should increase sensitivity to racism... "take THAT ugly moment and how it made you feel and multiply it by five for every day of your life... and then stop asking me for sympathy! " See, I always go to quickly to the anger and the mean and lose any chance of effective communication.

Here is a question: Is there a better term than minority? I mean, it's not a great term. It has connotations that many people to whom it is applied don't care for. It also opens the door to comments like "Well, the city/county/school I am in is X% black/hispanic/etc so I am a minority!" The disengenuitity that it is a simple matter of proportion is a problem. So... is there a more useful term? Or are we still looking for one?

PS littlemama, can you cut back on repeating the entire posts of others? Iit just clutters the joint and makes it harder to read.
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#44 of 48 Old 09-13-2003, 05:23 PM
 
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kama'aina mama and mahdokht, your comments have made me think hard about this issue.

Personally, I would like to understand where you are coming from better, I just have a hard time hearing anything when the other person is blaming me for society's problems. It is kind of like the mother who yells at her child because the house is a mess it and telling them it is all their fault because if they were never born she would have a perfect house. That kind of motivation rarely initiates change, and is damaging to relationships.

I'd like to hear what people like myself can do to make a difference. I don't own a company where I could make changes in hiring policies, and I am not in a position to effect change politically.

My dh is a band director and teaches music appreciation in a school that is primarily POC, so he is very much aware of the issue, but neither of us can see how we personally can make much of a difference except on an individual basis.

I would like to hear any suggestions you gentle mamas have, as I respect your opinions and know that you sincerely would like to make a difference.
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#45 of 48 Old 09-14-2003, 04:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mahdokht
.... African Americans are continually used as a stepping stone by other minority groups to climb the ladder of white society, some succeed more than others.....
Excellent statement!

This point was made in the Autobiography of Malcolm X, in which he stated that the African - American porters would help the new immigrants at Ellis Island and other ports of entry step off of the ships with their luggage and enter into American life by stepping on their necks, and continuing up the ladder of success.
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#46 of 48 Old 09-14-2003, 04:13 PM
 
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I'll be honest barbara, I don't really know. In many ways this is still theoretical for me. At the very least I know it involves noticing more and sometimes saying much less, for the sake of listening openly. Other times it means speaking up, even when it is uncomfortable. Listen to your inner impulses. Identify your own racist impulses and question them.

I know this is very... vague. I am rushing just now. I will write more later.
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#47 of 48 Old 09-14-2003, 09:27 PM
 
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I would like to add that in my married and business life, I have used people of quality for my accountant, lawyer, dentist, doctor, midwife, doula, of all backgrounds.

If you look for the best in people, it will come out.

I also made sure that each neighborhood I lived in was mixed racially and culturally. I have friends of all backgrounds.

I did not make a list of colors and cultures....they came to me and I looked for the best. You need to live this way and set a good example for your children.

I actually feel sorry for people who are monocultural. The sorriest thing I see happening in Southern CA neighborhoods is the building of gated communities. This is sad and segregational. The people who build the homes and walls with their skill ;and hands will never be able to live in these homes.
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#48 of 48 Old 09-14-2003, 09:50 PM
 
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I agree miriam... this segregated living is the worst.

I said before I would try to write a more cogent answer.

Barbara, I hear you. It is hard to read some of the writing in this subject. Some of it may not really be for us to read... by us I mean PWOC, particularly ones who are just starting to come to grips with some of these concepts. As with many other issues there are a variety of people addressing it in a variety of ways. Some of them are accessable, simple to follow. Some are more angry and confrontational. I can certainly see why that would be so, but it is perhaps a poor Intro 101 to the subject. (I don't think Silent Knife should probably be the first book anyone reads about childbirth either. Again... valuable POV and useful information, it's just a bit much as an intro.)

My experience only, my journey thus far: I have tried to grab at the bits of racist thought that I hear scurrying about in the back of my mind. When I hear Jesse Jacksons name on the news and I give an imperceptable sigh... I stop and try to find the beginning of. Why? Is it because I genuinely disagree with what he is saying on this occasion? Is it because I have a valid objection to his overall platform? Or... and here's the one you don't want to see of course, but you have to look at ... is it because I'm tired of "those people complaining all the damn time!"? Ugh.

I have to come to grips with the fact that there are ugly tentacles of racist thought in my brain. They were planted and took root before I was old enough to have a say in the matter. You can't ignore weeds and hope they will just go away. You have to find them and root them out.

Once I have truly begun to admit this nasty fact about myself I have to do something about it. I have to school my vocabulary so that I protect my daughter as much as possible from it. I have to pay attention to what is said around me and not let friends or even strangers think that they can use racist language around me. Because every voice counts. Because racist are smarter now and they seldom say things openly in front of non-whites now... but they do still say them. They need to get the message that it's not just "those people complaining". They need to hear that society as a whole has said "Enough!" And they need to hear it from you and me.
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