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#121 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
Totally OT, Annette where can I get those crayons?
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#122 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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I did want to add...for those who say they haven't been exposed to racism at all I have a hard time believing that. I've actually found, as a white person, when I'm around all white people their little jewels of hate start showing the most. So, is everyone who thinks they haven't been exposed to it telling me they've never heard anyone talking about "those damn Mexicans" or "learn to speak English" or anything like that at all? Tell me how would your parents react if you had married a black man? How would your dp or dh react if your daughter married an Indian man (and I mean from India)? Or like Kama said do you feel fearful around certain races?
MAN, I think I did say that I grew up in a very small, white, christian town and that I didn't experience racism there. I didn't ever hear anyone say anything about other races. I knew about racism because I saw it on TV and my parents talked about it with us. I have heard people make lots of horrible comments since moving from there. What I was trying to say was that I've never personally seen a person treating another person badly or making comments directly to a person of a race different from my own. Yeah, last time I heard someone say "those damn Mexicans", I didn't get a chance to say anything because my dh completely lost it and flipped on them. My parents wouldn't care who I married, and I certainly don't care who my children marry. I don't feel remotely fearful around any race.
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#123 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kama'aina mama
offtopic:
The plural of lei is not leis. In the Hawai'ian language you do not add an 's' to words to create a plural. You say 'na' before the word. So more than one lei is "na lei" (Na sounds like nah, not nay.) Did you know they don't even sell lei in the grocery stores in NY?
cool! I love learning stuff like that. Thanks mama!
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#124 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
Are you *trying* to make me go broke! Gonna have fun there!

Doodlebugs, thanks for your response. I wanted to put it out there in general as well because I have heard people say that before and also when people say they aren't racist they mean they don't use racial slurs and that's it, kwim? So I guess too I just felt like I needed to say that. There's always those a lurkin, yk?
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#125 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 04:51 PM
 
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Child care supply companies are GREAT places to get deals on toys- they even have wooden stuff!

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#126 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 05:18 PM
 
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Adensmom your analogy isn't worth answering, because it doesn't work. You can't turn off racism in society, period.

I'm done. What could a person of color have to offer a group of white people in a discussion on racism?
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#127 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mahdokht
Racism is primarily about power. It is not just about having to hear bad things sometimes or even often. I think the main problem here is that many people are trying to address racism without actually understanding what it is.


Kama I'm really wishing we had finished that anti-racism project we had started on eons ago.
mahdokht and kama, what was your project? if you are POC, it must be really frustrating to listen in on these discussions. please know that if you don't wanna do it, i will keep up the discussion here. If you do wanna keep educating, i am here to support you.

Here iare some definitions I work with. It comes from lots of research and personal and professional conversations:

Derman-Sparks and Phillips (1997) explain that racism is an “institutionalized system of economic, political, social and cultural relations that ensures that one racial group has and maintains power and privilege over all others in all aspects of life” (p. 2). This definition emphasizes that racism is not comprised of individual acts of hatred or discrimination. Instead, it is a systemic problem that is either reinforced or undermined by the behavior of individual participants. While there are obviously great differences within the White and of Color racial groupings, within each group, the individuals members are united by their particular positions in a racist system. In the current incarnation of racism, White people hold institutional power and receive privileges based on their skin color and, therefore, are the dominant group. The of Color group is united because they are denied institutional power in a racist system.

White Privilege:
Racism ensures social, political, and economic benefits for White people (Clark & O’Donnell, 1999; Derman-Sparks & Phillips, 1997). Peggy McIntosh (1989) calls these benefits, collectively, “White Privilege.” Put simply, White Privilege is the pay-off White people receive for their participation in a racist system.
One of the most insidious privileges White people possess in a racist system is the privilege to choose to ignore, or escape, from racism. As long as we do not interrupt it, it will not be directed at us. When we choose to call attention to, or voice our opposition to the racism of others, we will be come the target of that racism. This aspect of White Privilege is crucial to our understanding of the White anti-racist's experience of conflict with other White people.

White Anti-racist:
A White anti-racist is a White person who has an acute awareness of how White privilege operates in his or her daily life, and who understands the role of White Privilege in supporting and maintaining racism. Additionally, and most importantly, a White anti-racist is someone who takes action to undermine racism within his or her own sphere of influence (Derman-Sparks & Phillips, 1997; Tatum, 1995). I use this term with the knowledge that the identity is dynamic. That is, a White person who embodies awareness and action with regard to racism will make mistakes, get tired, and will be a beneficiary of White Privilege regardless of his or her anti-racist intentions. For these reasons I add that, to be effectively anti-racist, a White person must demonstrate a commitment to doing the work of anti-racism in the face of exhaustion, criticism, fear and failure. The components of White anti-racist identity will be further explored in the literature review.

I know this is dense, but if you really want to understand and end racism, you HAVE to think deeply about this stuff.
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#128 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by adensmom
I think I understand what racism is. Do you only define racism as when white people screw with other races?
I am not your typical privileged white chick. I've been deep into the deep of the bad side of town, and third world areas. I understand racism full well because I've lived it. And the "not even white people" crack doesn't make sense to me.
adensmom, you can see in my above definition that in this case, racism is indeed about white people screwing with other races. In this society, Whiteness carries power and privilege. When POC behave in discriminatory, hateful and judgemental ways, that is an unfortunate thing, but it is not racism becasue those groups do not hold institutional power. That is why ending racism is not just about being nice to everybody.

I just want to add that i know we are all good people. Nobody wants to be labeled racist and i will not do that in this discussion. We all learned the stuff when we were to young to have a say and now we are trying to do our best to unlearn it. So nobody needs to get defensive, or feel like we are attacking their knowledge or expereince, ok? Lets just honestly share our expereinces.
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#129 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your post Annette, it was really helpful. Can we have more of that...more storeis, activities, inspiring experiences.

Much love
Ellen
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#130 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mahdokht
Adensmom your analogy isn't worth answering, because it doesn't work. You can't turn off racism in society, period.

I'm done. What could a person of color have to offer a group of white people in a discussion on racism?
I saw your reply before you changed it, and I must say, you don't know anything about my life or who I am. You don't know where I've been, nothing. I won't feel guilty about my "privilege" of being white. I am white. I am grateful that I don't have to put up with what poc do. I am only being honest here. I'm sure a lot of white people after they strip away the vague feelings of guilt and were honest would say that they would not want to walk in a poc's shoes.
If poc being horrible to white people isn't defined as racism, then okay. But I think that is splitting hairs. I left my white bread town at 18 thinking I was all politically correct with visions of myriads of different colored friends running through my head. What I encountered was something completely different, and hurtful, and yes, poc have to endure it every day, but those poc that treated me that way were completely 100% to blame for the way they behaved. If it can't be defined as racism, then how about hatred, or just plain evilness? Is that a better definition? I sure don't feel sorry for them, if that's what I'm supposed to feel. Not in the least. I'm not going to shove myself down so other people can crawl over me.
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#131 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 06:17 PM
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adensmom-what stops you from calling it evilness, or meanness? Why is it racism?

The kind of statements you have made are ways for you as a white person to continue implanting racism in yourself and other white people, by proving to all, that poc are evil, bad people to be feared and hated.

My dd went to an all white Catholic school. Rather than telling me to my face that they did not want their children around my savage, they did what they could with the power they had. They 'lost' all my written notes to them explaining my daughter would be missing school because of the upcoming birth of her sister. The white Principal charged me with Educational Neglect according to the No Child Left Behind Act. My case went to trial, where the Judge dismissed it because the Principal was wrong. But, it is still on my background check, therefore making it close to impossible that I will ever find work again.

Racism is not always being called names, being beaten, or shot becuase of skin color. It works in much more powerful ways than just that.
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#132 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 06:20 PM
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No one is asking white people to feel guilty. No one is asking them to feel ashamed. We are asking that you stop hurting us.
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#133 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 06:28 PM
 
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No one is asking white people to feel guilty. No one is asking them to feel ashamed. We are asking that you stop hurting us.
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#134 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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I think a lot of people "out there" would agree with Adensmom. I hear those sentiments a lot. I don't feel that there is real understanding on a deeper, day to day level of what it feels like to walk around being a poc in the US, I'm not sure she's understanding the inherited heartbreak and the current bruises poc receive - in everything from the media, to toys, to everytime you walk anywhere in public, to comments from the well meaning to the rednecks, to letting people in New O stay in a filthy hell hole for 6 days. If there were white babies being gang raped in Connecticut, I assure you, more would have been done. How can this type of daily onslaught of messages that you are not valued or cherished, how can that not speak to the core of your spirit as a poc? How can that not teach your child their worth in the eyes of their country? How can that not break your heart? I understand not apologizing for your color. It's not your "fault" your white. Personally, however, I do think poc are owed a big freaking apology. We could start with getting the dead bodies, floating like trash, out of the water in New Orleans.

And furthermore, because I can't seem to shut my mouth today ,...I would like to add that you cannot treat an entire people inhumanely and expect them to be happy for you that you're white. I know there are some that will absolutely not agree with me, but I think the guilt of our forefathers DOES rest on our heads. Because we haven't made amends. New Orleans isn't an incident in itself. It's just one of many in a succession of white America turning a blind eye to problems that affect poc in this country. Racism is everywhere. The lure of privilege and power is so strong and to be honest I have to direct my mind to stay open, focused and committed to not being a hypocrite. I find racism in my own heart on all levels. However, I am committed to eradicating it, because I truly believe we are all just spirits in a body. And spirit has no color. We are all beautiful and valued in the eyes of the Universe. I want that sentiment to be my path as well.

I'm going to shut up now and take a nap. I just can't stop getting into these threads today, and I'm starting to annoy even myself.......maybe I need more drama IRL???
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#135 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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I don't feel that there is real understanding on a deeper, day to day level of what it feels like to walk around being a poc in the US, I'm not sure she's understanding the inherited heartbreak and the current bruises poc receive - in everything from the media, to toys, to everytime you walk anywhere in public, to comments from the well meaning to the rednecks, to letting people in New O stay in a filthy hell hole for 6 days. If there were white babies being gang raped in Connecticut, I assure you, more would have been done. How can this type of daily onslaught of messages that you are not valued or cherished, how can that not speak to the core of your spirit as a poc? How can that not teach your child their worth in the eyes of their country? How can that not break your heart? I understand not apologizing for your color. It's not your "fault" your white. Personally, however, I do think poc are owed a big freaking apology. We could start with getting the dead bodies, floating like trash, out of the water in New Orleans.

And furthermore, because I can't seem to shut my mouth today ,...I would like to add that you cannot treat an entire people inhumanely and expect them to be happy for you that you're white. I know there are some that will absolutely not agree with me, but I think the guilt of our forefathers DOES rest on our heads. Because we haven't made amends. New Orleans isn't an incident in itself. It's just one of many in a succession of white America turning a blind eye to problems that affect poc in this country. Racism is everywhere.

Wow-yes mama.......as much as I try to understand the trials and pains of my MIL and FIL or my dh or any of his other family-I CAN NOT.It is not the same IMO.....I hope everyone takes from this thread HOW REAL IT IS INDEED, and how much needs to be done to free ourselves STILL.I see people stare at my children with sympathy and have even heard on my side of the family that they could "never fit in with either side" and it breaks my soul,spirit heart everything I have and am is in both my daughters eyes and everything they are is both my husband and I-what a complicated vision.White IS power-it IS privelege-it IS easy-it is JOBS-it is HOUSING-it is CARE-it is all of these things most of us mamas wish for EVERYONE though that is not reality.Reality is racism and judgement of those different than caucasions.We today ARE responsible for our yesterday-those days ARE NOT over-just modernized.Just as our children will be responsible- I just pray their load is a bit lighter. Sorry if this was choppy-I get so worked up I can hardly type for my brains rapid thinking on this.It is such an epidemic......among AMericas MANY others.
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#136 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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It has taken me a day to catch up with this great discussion. I wanted to hop back in to say that I was using the definition of racism as prejudice+power, just as has been cited before. That is why I have said that it is up to the white majority here in the US (not talking about other countries) to fix the issue. And why I said it really doesn't matter that one isn't racist, it matters what benefits and priveleges you have because of racism and that you use that position for good. That, I believe, is the price of privilege...responsibility. I think that is true beyond race, for things like living in the first world, living above the poverty line, etc. Just because I am a Chicana, doesn't mean that I don't have privileges that I am accountable for, including achieving a first-rate education, living in a middle-class neighborhood, etc. I know that that was built on the back of my farm-working father who, among other things, had to use separate restrooms in segregated CA, of all places.

Sure, people of color can be prejudiced against other races/ethnicities/religions, it just isn't called racism. They can have biases, be mean, make generalizations, base things on stereotypes, etc. But they can't be racist. Some say that is splitting hairs. I say that saying it's splitting hairs ignores the reality of the power structure in the country, who benefits from it, who is hurt by it, and what we can all do, working together to make our society a better place. It isn't splitting hairs to say racism is a white issue because it recognized white privilege for what it is. But I don't give up in working against racism just because I'm not white. Heck, if that was the attitude of POC, I don't even want to think of where this country would be. I don't think anyone would suggest that all of us need to contribute to solutions.

I don't think anyone here would condone hateful, damaging behavior between two people/two groups regardless of color or other factors. So, what we're really talking about is how to teach children to be anti-racist, and how to do that at different age levels.

I especially liked the pp who said to be careful of utilizing stereotypical images of other cultures (i.e. a Mexican in a sombrero), as those are probably not applicable for most American kids. Introducing clay, dolls, books, etc. and talking about differences is great. I liked the Dr. Seuss Starbellied Sneeches (sp?). It is a great way to invite inquiries and discussion.

And another anti-racist effort can be to learn about terminology (like why it is offensive to many to say Oriental, instead of Asian, for example, or why some use Black while some prefer African American), and use that as a teaching tool. Words are very powerful. I personally identify as a Chicana, as opposed to Hispanic (many have pointed out that the word came into being when white wanted to start counting in the census= "His*Panic"), although I am also comfortable with Mexican American (not Mexican, as I was not born there). This just highlights for kids the variety of cultures, countries, ethnicities, etc. that exist in the US, and opens lots of avenues for discussion and exploration.

I'm sure it will take me another day or two to catch up with this thread, but I will definitely come back to get more of those websites where I can find diverse toys for my baby to play with. Can't get much in the stores that look like him.

Keep it comin' mamas!

Teresa
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#137 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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Derman-Sparks and Phillips (1997) explain that racism is an “institutionalized system of economic, political, social and cultural relations that ensures that one racial group has and maintains power and privilege over all others in all aspects of life” (p. 2). This definition emphasizes that racism is not comprised of individual acts of hatred or discrimination. Instead, it is a systemic problem that is either reinforced or undermined by the behavior of individual participants. While there are obviously great differences within the White and of Color racial groupings, within each group, the individuals members are united by their particular positions in a racist system.

I gotta love anyone who quotes Louise Derman-Sparks.

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#138 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 08:57 PM
 
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mahdokht and kama, what was your project? if you are POC, it must be really frustrating to listen in on these discussions. please know that if you don't wanna do it, i will keep up the discussion here. If you do wanna keep educating, i am here to support you.
There were a handful of people inspired by mahdokht, who tried to start an anti-racist tribe here... maybe about a year ago?? I will see if I can find the thread. I am not a woman of color. I have just read what I can, learned what I can from the great mamas here who keep fighting the good fight and educating others. I sometimes get frustrated... but I try to remember two important things: That I still have the luxury of choosing which days I will think about and discuss racism, which is something my sisters of color do not have. Also, I still recall the first time I heard about institutional racism, the first time someone explained white privilege to me.... and that my mind rejected it. That I have the opinion I have now because several people took the time and energy to talk to me.
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#139 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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Also, I still recall the first time I heard about institutional racism, the first time someone explained white privilege to me.... and that my mind rejected it. That I have the opinion I have now because several people took the time and energy to talk to me.
I hear you. The first time I was exposed to the idea was in graduate school- I was working on my masters in early childhood, and we had teachers of all races. The class was called "The Child in Community" and one of the African American teachers began speaking her truth, very calmly, about what it was like to be suspect in stores for no other reason than the color of her skin. What it was like to have people cross the street because you were walking by. What it was like to be spoken to as if you were stupid, as if you were low-class, as if you were nothing, for no other reason than your skin color. That was her truth, and it hit me hard. I had never thought about it. I wanted with all my heart to reject it, not out of guilt of who I am, but because it was unimaginable to me that there were people on God's earth who were treated like crap just because of the color of their skin, and that there were other people who were given special blessings, again, just because of the color of their skin. It sucks. It's a truth I don't want to own, but that doesn't make it any less true. It doesn't cost me anything but a little discomfort to honor that truth that other mamas live every day of their lives, and it hurts those women to deny their truth. No one is asking me to feel guilty. Hell, no one is even asking me to take action. Just to acknowledge it, which I do.

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#140 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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I'm done. What could a person of color have to offer a group of white people in a discussion on racism?
I truly wish you would stay for the sake of those of us willing to listen.

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#141 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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I'm done. What could a person of color have to offer a group of white people in a discussion on racism?
LOTS!
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#142 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=144080

Our previous discussion about "isms"
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#143 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 10:29 PM
 
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LOTS!
It was actually a rhetorical question in response to everything she's said being rejected and disputed. It was really kind of her (and *a lot* to put up with) to come onto this thread and give her perspective and knowledge. This is coming from a POC...what more could you ask for, kwim? She knows how much she has to bring to this discussion and how valuable her perspective is for us...just others were somehow unable to see that.

How will we ever get anywhere when people chose to remain so closed off to something coming from ...um the source!?
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#144 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 10:32 PM
 
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It was actually a rhetorical question in response to everything she's said being rejected and disputed. It was really kind of her (and *a lot* to put up with) to come onto this thread and give her perspective and knowledge. This is coming from a POC...what more could you ask for, kwim? She knows how much she has to bring to this discussion and how valuable her perspective is for us...just others were somehow unable to see that.

How will we ever get anywhere when people chose to remain so closed off to something coming from ...um the source!?

I get it!
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#145 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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I just had to make sure everyone did.
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#146 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but dp and dd are on my back to get off the 'puter and go get a burrito so...

I'm glad to see this discussion. I'm a white mom with a white partner and a white kid....we are actively anti-racist in our political lives, but sometimes I'm not totaly sure how to bring active anti-racism into my parenting. Most of my anti-racist white friends don't have kids, right, and most of the work I do ends up beig with other white folks around reconizing and chalenign whte supremacy.

annettemarie, i really appreciate the links you're putting out, and I'm looking forward to following them.

I just want to say, the reason why it's important to teach our white childrn (for those of us who have white children) about institutional racism (as opposed to just trying to teach them to be not racist) is that, as white peple in this country (I speak of the US b/c we have a special situation wrt white supremacy here...), even if they aren't raised to be racist, unless they are aware of and acively opposing white supremacy,. they'll be benefitting from it. It doesn't mean they're bad, its just the way this cuntry is. My parents were not racist, and i still grew up with an amazing amount of crap thanks to media and other people around me.

I want my kid to not only grow up to not use racial slurs, but to actively oppose the structures that support racism.

more later, thanks to the op for starting this hread!
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#147 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 10:54 PM
 
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I just looked up the definition of racism in a couple different dictionaries, and nowhere in any of them is there a mention of what race someone has to be to indulge in racism. It is defined as abusive or harassing behavior toward someone of another race. So unless someone has rewritten the english language, yes anyone can indulge in racism. Sorry, but "unfortunate behavior" just doesn't have the same sort of ring to it.
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#148 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 11:00 PM
 
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A very beautiful childrens story: Nina Bonita!
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#149 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 11:01 PM
 
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I'm reading along as well although I don't have a lot to add at this point. For those that want to hold off on teaching about racism, well, I think proactively preparing to deal with this topic is a really good idea. It's not that your child is going to actively participate in racist behavior necessarily but the things he/she does may make your own race issues come up.

Embarassing story from me...

Last year at the pool my son said "Hi, brown face" to an African American man. I completely freaked (well, not outwardly). I didn't know what the heck to say or how to handle it. I'm still not sure what I should have done. I'm embarassed to say that what I said to my son was "Don't say things like that!" It was so awful, I'm so embarassed to even write about it.

So, yes, some practical advice on how to deal with this issue is most definitely welcome.
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#150 of 377 Old 09-10-2005, 11:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adensmom
I just looked up the definition of racism in a couple different dictionaries, and nowhere in any of them is there a mention of what race someone has to be to indulge in racism. It is defined as abusive or harassing behavior toward someone of another race. So unless someone has rewritten the english language, yes anyone can indulge in racism. Sorry, but "unfortunate behavior" just doesn't have the same sort of ring to it.
We are having a discussion about a sociological phenomenon. That is why we are using a sociological defenition.
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