Reverse racism - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 417 Old 02-28-2009, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anybody else have this problem? The comments are starting to annoy me.

1. Please don't ask me if I'm going to have a third child to see if I'll get lucky and "get a beautiful brown one". (it's usually white people who say this, BTW)
2. My children are NOT anemic or sick. They're just pale.
3. No, they're not going to "darken up eventually". No, I'm not disappointed about that.
4. No, the fact that they act strangely sometimes is not because they're half-white. Not all white people are lunatics.
5. Yes, she burns in the sun. No, she doesn't tan. No, you don't have to pity her for it. (Well, okay. Pity her a little bit. My DH says sunburns can really hurt. )
6. No, I didn't marry my DH because I'd "given up on black men". I married him because I love him. No, this does not make me a traitor.
7. There's nothing wrong with being white. White people can be beautiful, too.

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#2 of 417 Old 02-28-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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I am fortunate to say that I have never had any of those things said to me, but when my dd dances at family functions, my side of the family cringes and cracks jokes. You know the jokes!

It totally works the other way too. Some of the people swear that my little guy is good at basketball b/c of MY genes. Keep in mind that he JUST turned 2. I think his baskets (yeah, the ones on the 3 ft. net) are pure luck.

I just re-read and I have totally gotten the traitor thing before!

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#3 of 417 Old 02-28-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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AMEN!

Our ped insisted on blood tests for DD because she was "so pale" compared to me. She's met DH who is of Scottish ancestry...sheesh!

I get the "she'll darken up" and "oh she'll look more Latina later" and now that I'm pregnant "hopefully this one will be dark!"....

It's ridiculous, and I know people don't mean offense by it, but it's getting tired! That along with being asked if I run a dayhome or am a nanny!

I have also had to suffer hearing people count "how many white people were at this party" and cheering when Latinos outnumbered them, or had others close to me disparagingly talk about white people. I call them on it every time. How ridiculous.

My fear is that my daughter will grow up not feeling comfortable in her own skin, but I'm doing all I can do avoid that. Her ivory skin is beautiful to me, her light hair is dreamy...and I know that all the features and colours of my next babe will be cherished and loved (dark or light)!
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#4 of 417 Old 02-28-2009, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know the jokes. Aren't they just sooo funny? Not! One of the weirder things about being biracial is that people of both races insist on telling you racist jokes. If I have to hear about Obama's watermelon patch ONE MORE TIME...

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count "how many white people were at this party"
My relatives play "spot the black man". It's very entertaining. And whenever they find out that someone has a black ancestor (be it ever so far in the past) they can immediately identify what should have tipped them off. "I always new she was black! No white girl can sing like that." or "Well, that explains why he's so sexy." And it was calmly explained to me last weekend that, "Of course Robin Thicke has soul. He's got a black wife." As if soul were something you could achieve by proxy; osmosis. As if it rubs off.

This reminds me of giving birth to my DD. The midwife was so excited when she came out. "Oh, my! She has the beautiful dark hair and skin of her mother. Lucky little girl!" Then she washed her and handed her back. "Oh, she's blond and red. Better luck next time."

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I just re-read and I have totally gotten the traitor thing before!
That one's particularly painful, isn't it? As if my race where a club and I've opted out of it. BTW, you look just like a cousin of mine!

I actually thought of this thread because I watched "Something New" for the first time last night (Simon Baker and Blaire Underwood are soooo fine! -- just had to get that out. Going to watch it again tonight but I'll tie a handkerchief around my neck to catch the drool this time. ) and some of the comments hit home for me. Like I remember nobody minded my dating white guys (Get your swirl on, girl!) but when we announced our engagement my female relatives all asked me why I couldn't find a "nice, black man". Ugh.
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#5 of 417 Old 03-01-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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Our three kids are darker than my MIL. Her family is AA & Blackfeet Indian. She was listed as white on her birth certificate. I SWEAR the officials went into the nursery and just checked it off without talking or seeing her parents.

My in-laws now make the statement that because I have Lumbee Indian in me (and it's a tri-racial group) that I'm not at all white. The 80% German & Amish is somehow forgotten. They say that this is why the kids aren't light-skinned. Of course, this is forgotten when I act like a hippie white girl to them.:

This is compounded by the fact that the kids are much darker than any of their mixed cousins and even a few of their non-mixed cousins. From DH's side of the family, I have to listen to the "Those kids don't look white at all," statement continuously.

Honestly, I get along well with DH's side. We'll see what happens when we move within an hour of where he grew up. Who knows what they will think then.

On my side, the least headstrong child is the one that my parents are attached to. Sadly, they don't even act like the others really exist. We don't see them much because of that. That story is another whole bag of chips, anway.

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#6 of 417 Old 03-01-2009, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We actually get along well with both sides of the family. They just bust out with these annoying statements every once in a while. I don't know if they even realize how ignorant it is.
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#7 of 417 Old 03-01-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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Well, we've been very lucky in terms of family and friends.

However, in dh's home country, I was subject to those killer glares from the girls I'd "taken him away from". I had *no idea* how sought-after he was as a husband. Definitely a little resentment for the white foreigner who nabbed him.
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#8 of 417 Old 03-01-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Cappucino... I laughed so hard when I read your post... I got the same "glares" when I was in Belize...the reality is, I did get one of "the good ones" as many Belizean men drink a lot and do whatever they want and don't treat their wives with respect--not ALL, but a lot...

Even better, when we moved to the US and I STILL got the glares, I finally blurted out "HE'S NOT EVEN FROOOOM HERE!" lol...i'm white and DH is black...funny though, my black girlfriends who are with white men have had other stuff like "ooh, are you too good for us black men?" By now, I just either laugh or ignore it all...

Vanessa: I'm pregnant and when people see me and DH together, they are OBSESSED, literally OBSESSED with guessing "what the baby will look like"..not if he's healthy or anything else...just WHAT he is going to look like...I swear people will be visiting us ASAP after the birth just to "catch a glimpse"
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#9 of 417 Old 03-01-2009, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL! Yeah, guessing what the baby's going to look like was a major sport in our community, as well. NOBODY thought they'd look like they do, including us.

I guess I have a weird point of view after growing up in a biracial family. Whenever I see monoracial couples who look similar it reminds me of incest. My BIL looks like he could be his fiancee's sibling. Eww... I'm just so used to diversity that the lack of it seems strange to me.
My DH thinks I'm crazy. Whenever I visit his family in their hometown (which has had the same genetic makeup for over 2000 years now ) he points people out to me but I can never remember who they are. They all look the same to me. Same light-brown hair, same pale skin, same brown eyes, same turned-up nose, same, same, same. My DH has the same coloring as the others but his father is from a neighboring town so his facial features are at least different (that's probably the reason I noticed him at all).
The funny thing is that my DH has the same difficulty when we visit my extended family. For him it's just one black person after another, he can't tell them apart, even though they're all colors, shapes, and sizes. If I say, "Hey, look! Aunt Betty is here." He just looks around blankly. "Which one is she again?" Isn't that interesting; how our brains are trained to recognize identifiers?
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#10 of 417 Old 03-02-2009, 04:02 AM
 
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Vanessa, the worst about the "guess what the baby will look like game" is when they say "oooh...i hope you have one of those with a light blonde afro, blue eyes, and sun-kissed skin....".... SERIOUSLY...this is what people "hope for".....i honestly think my baby is going to come out with brown eyes, crazy brown hair (jewish/african/mexican/indian--and we have THICK crazy hair), and hell, maybe LIGHT skin haha...will my little sweety be un-blonde and un-loved? lol...
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#11 of 417 Old 03-02-2009, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday I was thinking about this thread and I asked my DH if any of his friends had ever asked him what he was doing with a black woman. He just looked at me for a long moment as if I was a moron and said, "No... of course not." I said, "Oh, you mean they're being PC about it and pretending not to notice?" And, get this, he said very seriously and slowly, "No, you're smart, charming, gorgeous and you have a body like a porn star. They're men. They can guess what I'm doing with you."

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BTW, they claim they don't have a racist/prejudiced bone in their body.
My mom swears she's not racist. She always says, "How can I be racist if I'm married to a black man?" But she's racist against white people. So there you go.
But I think we're all a bit prejudiced. Even if we're not racist we're a bit sexist, classist, homophobic, whatever.
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#12 of 417 Old 03-02-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Some people will ask if they think my kids will get darker. I find it's usually coming from curiosity more. It happens though. When I was young, up til 2, I was as pale as my youngest (he's going for a Vampire complexion - no one in our families in memory has ever been this pale) now I'm clearly brown.

I find people will comment a lot on my youngest's blue eyes, but they just marvel at the uniqueness of it and how blue those eyes are.

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#13 of 417 Old 03-02-2009, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep getting lighter as I age. My father and sister are the same way. I was REALLY dark when I was younger and now I'm lighter-skinned than my mother. So I guess it can go either way...
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#14 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 03:10 PM
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LOL! Yeah, guessing what the baby's going to look like was a major sport in our community, as well. NOBODY thought they'd look like they do, including us.

I guess I have a weird point of view after growing up in a biracial family. Whenever I see monoracial couples who look similar it reminds me of incest. My BIL looks like he could be his fiancee's sibling. Eww... I'm just so used to diversity that the lack of it seems strange to me.
My DH thinks I'm crazy. Whenever I visit his family in their hometown (which has had the same genetic makeup for over 2000 years now ) he points people out to me but I can never remember who they are. They all look the same to me. Same light-brown hair, same pale skin, same brown eyes, same turned-up nose, same, same, same. My DH has the same coloring as the others but his father is from a neighboring town so his facial features are at least different (that's probably the reason I noticed him at all).
The funny thing is that my DH has the same difficulty when we visit my extended family. For him it's just one black person after another, he can't tell them apart, even though they're all colors, shapes, and sizes. If I say, "Hey, look! Aunt Betty is here." He just looks around blankly. "Which one is she again?" Isn't that interesting; how our brains are trained to recognize identifiers?
One thing I find interesting about this, is that you're using the very same language white folks used to use about black folks. Your posts suggest you're pro-diversity, mostly, but then every so often, you let stuff like this slip, showing that maybe you're not as enlightened as you'd like to think.
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#15 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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One thing I find interesting about this, is that you're using the very same language white folks used to use about black folks. Your posts suggest you're pro-diversity, mostly, but then every so often, you let stuff like this slip, showing that maybe you're not as enlightened as you'd like to think.
Oh, wow. Thank you. I'm getting caught up on recent threads, and I can't believe I just posted about how nice it is to have a place that isn't filled with sweeping generalizations and judgments based on stereotypes...and then I promptly stumble on something like three threads that do just that. In the Multicultural Forum!

I'm still gathering my thoughts because I am stunned at the lack of depth and comprehension in labelling some of this so-called "reverse racism".
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#16 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I'm NOT as enlightened as I'd like to think. Of course not. Who is?

Nevermind. Turned into a rant.
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#17 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I said was not that "all white people look alike", which would be ridiculous, but that the people in my DH's home town all look alike. And they do. Even my white relatives who are not from that town (and who come from a more diverse place nearby) have commented on it. I know it's hard for you to believe but there are places where the people have been living in relative isolation and marrying each other generation to generation. Where everybody is the second or third cousin of everybody else. Where they have all of the same markers in appearance. The people from that town can tell each other apart easily but visitors have much more difficulty.
For instance, my cousin was dating someone and switched boyfriends without telling us. Then we saw her with her "new" one and I didn't notice the change. I greeted him really friendly and called him by (wrong) name and it became a total incident. He looked like her ex's twin brother. He was even a chain smoker, Weizen drinker, and auto mechanic like her ex. How was I to know the difference? Does that make me a closet racist? No, it makes me someone who grew up an Army brat and is used to diversity, even intraracial diversity. Being in a place where the population is highly homogenous is quite disconcerting to me.

This is sort of like the way that German men would tell me that I "look exactly like..." Halle Berry, Teira Banks, Vanessa Williams, etc. Whatever light-skinned black girl they'd seen on a magazine cover lately. I didn't really but TO THEM we all looked the same because they didn't notice the differences, only the similarities.

To further prove my point, I was researching for this post and came upon this website. He says it better than I can. And the funny thing was that my DS is sitting on my lap and pointed to the two black men in the pictures and said "Is that Grandpa?" So, is my 3 yo a bigot?
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#18 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 06:32 PM
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What I said was not that "all white people look alike", which would be ridiculous, but that the people in my DH's home town all look alike. And they do. Even my white relatives who are not from that town (and who come from a more diverse place nearby) have commented on it. I know it's hard for you to believe but there are places where the people have been living in relative isolation and marrying each other generation to generation. Where everybody is the second or third cousin of everybody else. Where they have all of the same markers in appearance. The people from that town can tell each other apart easily but visitors have much more difficulty.
For instance, my cousin was dating someone and switched boyfriends without telling us. Then we saw her with her "new" one and I didn't notice the change. I greeted him really friendly and called him by (wrong) name and it became a total incident. He looked like her ex's twin brother. He was even a chain smoker, Weizen drinker, and auto mechanic like her ex. How was I to know the difference? Does that make me a closet racist? No, it makes me someone who grew up an Army brat and is used to diversity, even intraracial diversity. Being in a place where the population is highly homogenous is quite disconcerting to me.

This is sort of like the way that German men would tell me that I "look exactly like..." Halle Berry, Teira Banks, Vanessa Williams, etc. Whatever light-skinned black girl they'd seen on a magazine cover lately. I didn't really but TO THEM we all looked the same because they didn't notice the differences, only the similarities.

To further prove my point, I was researching for this post and came upon this website. He says it better than I can. And the funny thing was that my DS is sitting on my lap and pointed to the two black men in the pictures and said "Is that Grandpa?" So, is my 3 yo a bigot?
No, your 3 y/o is a toddler who's organizing a vast amount of information about people and appearances.

You, on the other hand, aren't looking closely enough. Just like the Germans who think you're Tyra Banks.

It doesn't mean it's okay when either one of you does it.
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#19 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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No Your 3 year old is not a bigot. Your 3 year old is a 3 year old. As for adults, if we are vested in respecting other cultures it would be worth our energy to recognize the differences of individuals. My five year old managed to know the names of all 53 kindergartners at her Waldorf school. Culturally she is far different from most of her classmates. So yes even a child can do it.

But Vanessa referring to people who are not part of a multiracial heritage (although in this day and age everyone has some mixing) as incestuous might be the beginnings of why you would turn people off to any point you would be trying to make. I thought this forum was to celebrate not to put down the alternative in order to build up.

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Whenever I see monoracial couples who look similar it reminds me of incest.
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#20 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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And the funny thing was that my DS is sitting on my lap and pointed to the two black men in the pictures and said "Is that Grandpa?" So, is my 3 yo a bigot?
That's a rather disingenuous question. It's a sort of strawman to the real concern about some of the things expressed on this thread.

So much of what you've described as reverse racism isn't racism at all, but more a reaction to racism.

And yet, you laugh about your husband thinking everyone in your family looks alike. That's strange to me. Like MustBeJelly just said, it means he's not looking at closely enough, he's not seeing individuals. For me, that would be a problem.
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#21 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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When I was in middle school, I was talking with a guy I went to school with. Really popular guy, went on to be our homecoming king. He's black, pretty dark, and he knew exactly the line to walk...We talked often, but I will never forget this particular conversation. He said then, at age 13, he was going to marry a white girl so his children would be lighter and he wasn't going to give them names like "LaVonda", and "LaDonna", and "LaShelle"; they were going to have "normal" names, "white" names, like "Caroline" and "Jennifer".

That wasn't something he was taught at home; I knew his parents fairly well. It was something he was taught by observing how things worked where we lived. It wasn't racism, or reverse racism--it was a reaction to the racism we lived with.

As we grew up, he cultivated friendships in the "right" crowds while still never actually cutting anyone else off. He knew which white girls he could safely date, never doing anything beyond flirting with the girls in the same crowd of his closest friends because those girls were off-limits. He, like I said, was homecoming king. Or maybe it was prom king. Either way, he couldn't have dated the girl who was on the court opposite him and he knew it. He, very sadly, "knew his place". His actions were a direct and absolute result of the racism engrained in our community. He wasn't racist; he was reacting to racism.
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#22 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 07:45 PM
 
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I wasn't referring to monoracial couples in general but to couples in which they look they twins. My BIL has been asked on numerous occasions if his girlfriend is his sister (by other Germans), so I don't think I'm the only one who wonders about it. They look that much alike. Even their neighbors (who are hardly a heterogeneous group themselves) and my DH have commented on it.

Wow! That's impressive. But... um... I'm actually bad with names and I couldn't remember the names of all the children in my kindergarten when I was a child. More proof that I'm a racist!


More proof that he's a racist! Maybe he should take lessons from Yinsum's more enlightened preschooler.
Again mocking my have a tendency to block others' ability to hear what you might be saying. I don't recall anyone calling you a racist. I don't use that term loosely. Too dangerous and deserves a healthy respect when identifying.


I think you missed my point about the incestuous comment. Let me clarify. Incest is a horrible crime and conjures a great deal of pain for many people. When you use such a painful image to describe a group of people any people, you again potentially close the door to open conversation. Your comment appeared to belittle one group in order to uplift another.

Not calling you a racist simply wondering about the lack of sensitvity
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#23 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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I hate that I had just commented about how nice it was to have a forum that didn't dwell on generalities and then fell right into a thread that does just that.
It is a bit of a downer
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#24 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think that your friend's experience is the same thing as my German cousin's black DH's mother saying, "You and your black child can come visit but you need to leave the white girl and her baby at home." Both of the children are his although one is much darker than the other. He didn't visit.

Or my black aunt looking completely disgusted when my little one cries and her face gets all red and blotchy. Or my mother insisting that my children must be anemic because they're so pale. I had them tested twice. It was just that my mother and my aunt think white people look gross.

Yes, that's reverse-racism (people being prejudice against white people). Same as black women I hardly even know asking me how I can stand to marry a white man since "They're all just a bunch of rapists. Do you know what they did to black women back in the slave days?" I kid you not.

Or black people calling me a "half-breed" or an Oreo.

Go to most "African-American" forums and you can bathe in it. Threads like "Sistah's doin the swirl -- how can she stand it?", or "Obama's not black!", or "Why white people are ugly", or "Are you a race traitor if you date a mulatto?", or "Why BM need to stay with BW". Listen to some of the things Chris Rock says. It's cringe-worthy. Or did you see the comedy act in "Something New"? They put that in the movie to show that this type of mentality is common in the AA community. I have yet to see an AA forum that didn't at least occasionally have a thread like this so I've given up on them.

Maybe you've never received such comments, looks, or behaviour. Consider yourself lucky. But it's real and it's out there and it's disgusting.
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#25 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Make fun of the smart kid when your argument is weak & hard to defend.
The smart kid? Are you questioning my intelligence? Being able to memorize people's names is not, in fact, a sign of higher general intellect. It's sort of like being able to recite all of the baseball players who have ever played for the Yankees. My point is that memorizing people's names that you spend every day with is not pertinent to my argument that after being introduced to 150 black people who are all related to each other my DH (who had never personally met a black person other than myself) can't remember the name of each specific one. And that that isn't something I hold against him. He can tell them apart NOW but he couldn't the first time he came to a family reunion.

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because from your blog, you're like, 15 shades lighter than Tyra Banks
I'm a completely different color in the summer but I have no summer pics on the blog. Mixed people are like that sometimes.
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#26 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 08:41 PM
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Really? I had NO IDEA that bi-racial people changed colors! Huh. I wonder how I never noticed that, when my dad is black, and my mom is white.

No, I wasn't questioning your intelligence. I was saying that your comment belittled your argument even further.
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#27 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 08:44 PM
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But to the pertinant point...NO that is not racism. Racism is academically defined as power plus predjudice. And, while some individual folks of Color might have the power, systemically speaking, we're still at a disadvantage, economically, academically, and so on. So to that end, there is no such thing as 'reverse-racism'. I can link you to some books that you might be interested in, if you want to learn more about it.

That being said, you can certainly find predjudice on all shades of the spectrum. And lord knows, ignorance knows no color. But racism? It's a pretty much one-sided dealio.
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#28 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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Vanessa you mocked my daughter... not cool to mock a child. My point was that it is within us to distinguish individuals. Whether you can remember names or not.


And please please don't put out there that MOST AA Forums are some bastion of hate that white slave master. Perhaps your search skills require assistance. There are tribes here; try PMing a sister. Many good positive forums by AA that don't revolve around "you sold out to massa".
It's unfortunate that your white mother has issues with white skin. That's another issue all together. Labeling it racist when she doesn't have access to systematically deny and block opportunities to other whites because of their skin color might be subject to opinion.
Girl you need a new set of friends if the lot of black women you encounter are giving you such grief about marrying a white man. I must be mistaken because I saw that you have mentioned the benefit of living in a haven free from that sort of ridicule.
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#29 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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Main Entry: rac·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
Function: noun
Date: 1933
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

this is the definition of racism. I would say that most people have predjudices and stereotypes and that is normal but I don't think anyone is calling you racist VanessaS and I don't think you should call anyone else racist. Its not a word we should just be throwing around.

Also can I say it is ok if you are wrong.. That is how we learn. We are a community that sticks together and teaches one another. I think some people need to admit they don't know as something or may be ignorant to a subject and then maybe we can help. Otherwise we'd all be stuck in the same place
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#30 of 417 Old 03-04-2009, 09:01 PM
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http://www.edchange.org/multicultura...eb/racism.html

Quote:
As the dawn of the 21st century nears, racism‹the most important and persistent social problem in America and in the world today‹is on the rise in increasing ways. Whether we are talking about ethnic cleansings, group hatred or retraction of equity laws under the guise that these are unfair, the underlying issue is the same. One group, threatened by the perceived loss of power, exercises social, economic and political muscle against the Other to retain privilege by restructuring for social advantage. Such actions and efforts call for an understanding of the basic concepts of prejudice and racism, and how to lessen their destructive effect.

At the heart of prejudice lies two concepts: ignorance and fear.
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