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Sun May 6, 2018, 01:16 PM

 

White DUers: Tell Your Stories

A few weeks ago, I posted an OP inviting DUers of color to share their stories of discrimination. The discussions, to say the least, were very interesting.

In the past few days, we've had some very contentious conversation regarding race, terminology, and attitudes, largely driven by disagreements about the term "Wypipo." I see that many white DUers are frustrated by what they see as a double standard and believe that their concerns and issues are being dismissed and not taken seriously.

So, I thought that, as I did with minority DUers, it would be helpful for white DUers to tell their stories, to offer examples of how they've encountered discrimination, profiling or other indignities as a result of being white and to describe how this felt and/or how it affected them.

I also invite DUers of color to share incidents that they have witnessed affecting their white friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

As with my previous "Tell Your Story" OP, this is not intended to start any kind of racial battle on this board, but to help more people understand the situations that white people face and, hopefully, find some common ground.

And, as I said previously, if you don't have a story to share that can help illuminate this discussion, please simply read and think about the posts without pushing back on them. Please don't step in to challenge or argue with anyone trying to tell their stories. This thread is not intended to start any argument or any kind of flame war. I am trying to help people LEARN.

Please let this be a positive learning experience for all of us.

The last time I did this, I led off with my own story. But not being white, that's not appropriate for me to do here, so I'll ask one of my white fellow DUerss to get this started with their own story.

193 replies, 25906 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 193 replies Author Time Post
Reply White DUers: Tell Your Stories (Original post)
EffieBlack May 2018 OP
RandySF May 2018 #1
EffieBlack May 2018 #2
RandySF May 2018 #5
EffieBlack May 2018 #9
RandySF May 2018 #13
EffieBlack May 2018 #21
Sophia4 May 2018 #140
Tipperary May 2018 #4
EffieBlack May 2018 #10
Eliot Rosewater May 2018 #126
JustAnotherGen Jun 2018 #193
BumRushDaShow May 2018 #26
MineralMan May 2018 #44
Tipperary May 2018 #46
MineralMan May 2018 #53
Tipperary May 2018 #54
MineralMan May 2018 #58
Tipperary May 2018 #62
tonedevil May 2018 #65
Civic Justice May 2018 #113
treestar May 2018 #181
Dyedinthewoolliberal May 2018 #151
Drahthaardogs May 2018 #64
MineralMan May 2018 #68
Drahthaardogs May 2018 #124
MineralMan May 2018 #130
Drahthaardogs May 2018 #135
MineralMan May 2018 #138
Drahthaardogs May 2018 #139
EffieBlack May 2018 #75
Drahthaardogs May 2018 #123
JustAnotherGen May 2018 #111
left-of-center2012 May 2018 #47
zanana1 May 2018 #158
EffieBlack May 2018 #162
hunter May 2018 #95
hlthe2b May 2018 #3
EffieBlack May 2018 #7
saidsimplesimon May 2018 #6
EffieBlack May 2018 #8
Tipperary May 2018 #11
tonedevil May 2018 #17
Tipperary May 2018 #19
BumRushDaShow May 2018 #29
.99center May 2018 #33
tonedevil May 2018 #34
Tipperary May 2018 #36
EffieBlack May 2018 #39
tonedevil May 2018 #40
EffieBlack May 2018 #35
Tipperary May 2018 #45
tonedevil May 2018 #61
Tipperary May 2018 #67
Tipperary May 2018 #71
EffieBlack May 2018 #66
Tipperary May 2018 #69
EffieBlack May 2018 #73
salin May 2018 #74
bettyellen May 2018 #48
Tipperary May 2018 #49
EffieBlack May 2018 #32
Tipperary May 2018 #51
Hekate May 2018 #141
Aristus May 2018 #12
zanana1 May 2018 #160
bearsfootball516 May 2018 #14
Tipperary May 2018 #16
tonedevil May 2018 #18
Tipperary May 2018 #20
tonedevil May 2018 #24
Tipperary May 2018 #27
treestar May 2018 #182
Quixote1818 May 2018 #15
EffieBlack May 2018 #37
Quixote1818 May 2018 #133
EffieBlack May 2018 #146
womanofthehills May 2018 #131
Ohiogal May 2018 #22
EffieBlack May 2018 #38
MicaelS May 2018 #23
Mister Ed May 2018 #25
loyalsister May 2018 #28
NRaleighLiberal May 2018 #30
gollygee May 2018 #31
MineralMan May 2018 #41
left-of-center2012 May 2018 #42
Tipperary May 2018 #59
Tom Rinaldo May 2018 #43
bettyellen May 2018 #50
lapucelle May 2018 #52
wasupaloopa May 2018 #55
theaocp May 2018 #56
Hortensis May 2018 #57
GitRDun May 2018 #60
femmedem May 2018 #63
JustAnotherGen May 2018 #117
femmedem May 2018 #120
EffieBlack May 2018 #147
femmedem May 2018 #148
EffieBlack May 2018 #149
meadowlander May 2018 #70
milestogo May 2018 #72
B2G May 2018 #76
EffieBlack May 2018 #77
B2G May 2018 #79
EffieBlack May 2018 #80
B2G May 2018 #81
EffieBlack May 2018 #83
B2G May 2018 #87
EffieBlack May 2018 #89
B2G May 2018 #92
EffieBlack May 2018 #94
B2G May 2018 #96
hunter May 2018 #112
B2G May 2018 #118
Maeve May 2018 #78
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2018 #82
neeksgeek May 2018 #84
procon May 2018 #85
EffieBlack May 2018 #88
procon May 2018 #98
EffieBlack May 2018 #100
procon May 2018 #103
rurallib May 2018 #137
EffieBlack May 2018 #142
ehrnst May 2018 #183
ehrnst May 2018 #180
ehrnst May 2018 #184
EffieBlack May 2018 #185
ehrnst May 2018 #186
ehrnst May 2018 #178
underpants May 2018 #86
catrose May 2018 #90
wasupaloopa May 2018 #91
EffieBlack May 2018 #93
wasupaloopa May 2018 #104
EffieBlack May 2018 #105
wasupaloopa May 2018 #110
elocs May 2018 #97
hunter May 2018 #99
Chemisse May 2018 #101
Hekate May 2018 #102
JustAnotherGen May 2018 #119
hunter May 2018 #125
JNelson6563 May 2018 #106
benld74 May 2018 #107
kentuck May 2018 #108
LeftInTX May 2018 #109
3catwoman3 May 2018 #114
GulfCoast66 May 2018 #115
pnwmom May 2018 #116
ProudLib72 May 2018 #121
mainer May 2018 #122
wasupaloopa May 2018 #127
mainer May 2018 #172
Bucky May 2018 #129
mainer May 2018 #171
Bucky May 2018 #190
mainer May 2018 #191
Bucky May 2018 #128
silverweb May 2018 #132
MosheFeingold May 2018 #167
silverweb May 2018 #174
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2018 #134
UnFettered May 2018 #136
LeftInTX May 2018 #143
Triloon May 2018 #144
EffieBlack May 2018 #145
Straw Man May 2018 #150
betsuni May 2018 #159
EffieBlack May 2018 #152
Eliot Rosewater May 2018 #176
zanana1 May 2018 #153
EffieBlack May 2018 #154
betsuni May 2018 #155
Decoy of Fenris May 2018 #156
EffieBlack May 2018 #163
Decoy of Fenris May 2018 #168
betsuni May 2018 #165
IronLionZion May 2018 #157
marlakay May 2018 #161
EffieBlack May 2018 #166
el_bryanto May 2018 #164
kwassa May 2018 #169
NewJeffCT May 2018 #170
Lunabell May 2018 #173
lovemydogs May 2018 #175
a la izquierda May 2018 #177
EX500rider May 2018 #179
EffieBlack May 2018 #187
betsuni May 2018 #188
EffieBlack May 2018 #189
mainer May 2018 #192

Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:22 PM

1. My son at school

His classmates would call him “white boy” for a stretch of time in 2016-17 (4th/5th grades). I attribute it to Trump but it was still hurtful for my kid.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #1)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:23 PM

2. Thanks.

 

I assume he's in the minority at his school?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #2)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:26 PM

5. Yeah, and I was shocked when we learned of it

He’d been going to with them for years without prior issues.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #5)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:29 PM

9. Interesting.

 

Did you do anything about it or let it play out? Is it still happening?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #9)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:35 PM

13. We talked to the principal

Looking into it, most of the kids were just being kids who didn’t understand the gravity and apologized. But the ring leader was disciplined and moved away eventually.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #13)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:43 PM

21. That's good.

 

So often, kids think only about the "fun" and sense of superiority that come from targeting someone else - yet don't consider the hurt it causes to the target. Kids are inherently decent and empathetic when given the chance. It's great that these kids were confronted with it and had to take ownership. These kinds of teaching moments are the most effective. They'll probably never forget it.

And, as hurtful and unfair as this was to your son, it probably will always be an important touchpoint for him - a reminder of what it feels like to be treated badly and help inform his behavior and choices moving forward.

Thanks for sharing this.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #2)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:29 PM

140. My blond daughter had to run a gauntlet of whistles and remarks on her way

 

home from high school in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood.

Not fun, especially since she was a top student and also had to put up with "dumb blonde" jokes constantly. Needless to say, she is so sweet and shy. And all that negative attention was not helpful to her.

Why can't we all just be kind to each other regardless of race or ethnicity?

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Response to RandySF (Reply #1)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:25 PM

4. Do not fall for this op. It is bait. eom

 

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:29 PM

10. Asking for people's perspectives isn't "bait." But please feel free not to participate.

 

Thanks.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #10)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:44 PM

126. "Bait" in this situation is kinda like the judge who accused Mueller of trying to

"get to manaford to flip"

Flip? If he is innocent, what is there to flip on?
Accusing you of baiting is the same.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:27 PM

193. From JAG - in case you pop in

This is interesting. There is a certain specific type that will always take jabs at well educated affluent black women. Our confidence is described as something else. Noting this thread for a reason.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:48 PM

26. "Bait" for what?

Discussion?

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:11 PM

44. No. It's not bait. If you have something to relate, I encourage you

to relate it. It's not a trick.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #44)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:12 PM

46. I did. eom.

 

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #46)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:20 PM

53. I read threads sequentially as I encounter them.

I reply as I go. So, I did not read the story about your friend.

What happened to your friend was horrible, and qualifies as a story worth telling in this thread. It is an example of what the OP asked for. Why you didn't related it earlier, I do not know.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #53)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:27 PM

54. It still bothers me. Something similar happened to me. I, even at my advanced age, cannot speak

 

of it. And I truly do not believe the op expected any such stories. Only white people can be horrid, right?

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #54)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:30 PM

58. Well, if nobody tells any stories, there won't be any.

I told my story, which is fairly typical. At no time in my life did being white cause me to be discriminated against in any significant way. My story illustrated that.

Knowing the OP from other posts, I'm sure any stories would be appreciated. You made an assumption - one I believe is incorrect. And you made that assumption immediately.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #58)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:33 PM

62. Thank you, Mineral Man. I think you are a good guy.

 

I am just seeing a lot of race baiting with this poster, and perhaps I am wrong.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #62)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:37 PM

65. Where you have gone...

 

terribly wrong is to think race baiting is a legitimate term.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #62)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:24 PM

113. You can't learn about race and its problem, if you deflect by trying to calling baiting.

 

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Response to Civic Justice (Reply #113)

Mon May 7, 2018, 05:43 PM

181. We call it that all the time when Dotard and his types do it.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #62)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:15 AM

151. methinks thou dost protest too much

I find the poster to be articulate, thoughtful and courteous.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #44)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:35 PM

64. How about calling Italians "goombas"

Does that count?

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #64)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:42 PM

68. I don't believe I've ever called anyone a "Goomba."

So, I can't really respond.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #124)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:57 PM

130. Yes, really. I did not apply the name to anyone specifically.

Instead, I referred to the stereotype in general terms, and compared it to a similar Russian stereotype.

I did not call Scaramucci a goombah. I've never called anyone that. You might admire Anthony Scaramucci. I do not. Not in any way.

Goodbye, now.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #130)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:48 PM

135. You called Scaramucci a goomba

And slurred him with mafia stereotypes, even though the only "mafia" connection he has was Goldman Sachs.

It's in black and white for everyone to see, it's a slur against Italians, and you used it along with mafia bullshit.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #135)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:02 PM

138. Mi scusi, ma sei sbagliato.

Per favore rileggilo di nuovo, attentamente.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #138)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:06 PM

139. You have no right to use those slurs

I don't need to re-read shit. I know how italians were treated when they immigrated. I don't need your bullshit rationale on why it's cool for you to use it. It's not and you don't.

Bottom line Scaramucci was NOT mafia and using stereotypes against him is uncool.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #64)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:07 PM

75. It really depends

 

on who called you that and why.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #75)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:29 PM

123. Well known poster here referred to Scaramucci as

"hiring goombas", then proceeded to tell us all why it wasn't racist.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029362298

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #64)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:35 PM

111. My husband is from Italy

In our house it's on par with his paisanos. IE "JAG I gotta paisan coming over he's a real goombah and his wife is a bombola."

But I live with a man from there (not an American of Italian descent) so he has literally a different understanding.

He's saying a Calabrese man who is a good guy and his wife is a sweetheart.

Now - let's talk about the idea that the default setting for Americans of Italian descent is that they are all in the Mafia if they are successful.

Or - how the guys from that Jersey Shore show would get their asses beat in Acri.

Or the constant whining from the Italian Immigrants I'm immersed in - that if your family c came here 100 years ago and denounced their Italian citizenship you aren't Italian. Or how my husband tells them his black wife is Italian - they aren't. I have my citizenship there so technically he's right.

Aaaaand - we don't have red sauce every Sunday. We are having a drunken prostitute for dinner.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #4)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:13 PM

47. Agreed

It's sad to see racism OK on DU against any one.

And sad to see some agree with it, and find it funny.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #4)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:48 AM

158. I agree.

It's meant to disrupt and divide.

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Response to zanana1 (Reply #158)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:11 AM

162. What's disruptive/divisive in this thread (besides the posts claiming it's disruptive and divisive)?

 

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Response to RandySF (Reply #1)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:52 PM

95. I'm a white guy. Our youngest kid got all the recessive genes my wife had to offer...

... and was one of a handful of blond haired blue eyed kids in his school which is maybe 80% Mexican American like his mom. The other 20% kids are white, black, Asian, and mixed up like my kid. Most of my son's childhood friends are Mexican American, but maybe a disproportionate percentage are outsiders like himself. In a perfect world they'd self-segregated in the school cafeteria because they were what's now called STEAM kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) but I know better than that.

My son is perfectly at home in the Mexican American communities. In our community his mom, aunts and uncles are bilingual professionals, overtly Catholic and Mexican-American. My racist Wild West White grandpa would have called the cousins my son grew up with "Mexicans." My grandpa called my wife a "Mexican girl" and boycotted our wedding. Men in his family simply didn't marry Mexican girls. To his credit he got over it, but I can't help wonder if, had he lived that long, he wouldn't have favored his whitest great grandchildren.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:25 PM

3. Well, I'm betting the women could cite a few stories.. I know I could, but...

Having been (at times) mired in past resentment, I have come to the conclusion, that for me, I need to forge forward and hopefully put some of what I've learned to use.

But, in mentioning this, I only want to nudge the collective understanding, that it is not only race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status that leads to bigotry and discrimination... Feminine gender has long been a target as well. Women of minority race or ethnicity undoubtedly have a double whammy in terms of impacts and certainly wealth can be a mitigating factor. But, parallel to the failure to pass the ERA, so too has inequality for women persisted in society and workplaces.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #3)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:27 PM

7. They probably could, but I'm not asking about gender-based discrimination in this thread

 

This is just about experiences of race-based bias experienced by white people.

We can certainly do one on gender at a later point.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:26 PM

6. Hello, Effie

Is it still all about colour? How can I help make a better rainbow world? "Some people say I am a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

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Response to saidsimplesimon (Reply #6)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:27 PM

8. We first have to deal with race to get past race nt

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #8)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:33 PM

11. We are so lucky to have you here to teach us bad white Dems how awful we are.

 

I could actually tell you some stories of being white in a predominantly black school, but you are not really interested are you? I guess as a 12 year old white girl, I deserved everything I got, right?

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #11)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:39 PM

17. You seem really defensive.

 

Like needlessly so. If you have stories tell them or don't, but saying someone isn't interested in the stories you won't tell is bullshit.
Sorry being white has been so hard for you. I feel like I am playing a video game on easy mode.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #17)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:42 PM

19. I am not referring to myself. It was a friend of mine.

 

Not defensive, but sick to death of this divisive crap here. Putin must be proud.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #19)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:49 PM

29. You could always trash the thread

then it won't be bothersome to you anymore.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #19)


Response to Tipperary (Reply #19)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:54 PM

34. Actually the first post...

 

and the subsequent discussion, which except for your snipe, shows a great deal of sympathy and understanding for the position of a white child being taunted by non-white children in school. It makes your position that this is divisive seem petty. You just threw out a hypothetical that apparently you did not experience and declared that nobody would give that legitimate discussion. You were proven wrong.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #34)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:59 PM

36. Oh, I experienced it. My best friend. She committed suicide three years later.

 

The op has not the slightest interest in learning how white children can be victimized. But my friend was. Nothing hypothetical about it. Your responses prove my point about this op.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #36)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:03 PM

39. What happened to her?

 

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #36)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:07 PM

40. At this point..

 

put up or shut up. You can't both withhold a story and say people aren't being sensitive to it.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #19)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:55 PM

35. Asking people to tell their stories so that others can learn from them isn't "divisive."

 

Bitching and whining and accusing those of us who are trying to have a constructive dialogue, however, is.

Perhaps you should go find something else to do - or maybe just trash this thread - if this discussion is so upsetting to you.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #35)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:11 PM

45. You are so right. I will trash the thread.

 

My friend, Adrienne, was 12. Long, blond hair. Blue eyes. Whiter than white. Her family was Swiss. Three girls grabbed herin the bathroom, fondled her hair...exclaiming how “fine” it was. She finally had enough and told them to leave her alone. They told her they could kill her, cut her in pieces, and flush her down the toilet.

Silly sounding now, but she was terrified. Her mother made excuses for these girls. MY mother, horrified, reported it. Principal made excuses.

The next week, they cornered her again. Called her “white girl” and cut off her hair. Hacked it.

She never went back to school. Nothing happened to those girls. Adrienne was a sweet wonderful intelligent girl. She never recovered from that.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #45)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:32 PM

61. The story you tell...

 

is everything you said. Hacking off a little girls hair is an act of unspeakable violence and I can well believe it traumatized her to an eventual death. It also seems quite obviously racially motivated. It should never have been ignored either there are no legitimate excuses for cornering someone in a restroom. It is never legitimate to challenge someone when there are so many against one.
I don't know why you have said repeatedly this will not be taken seriously. If you just told the story and didn't start out with unfounded and inflammatory statements you wouldn't encounter such negativity.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #61)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:40 PM

67. Because it breaks my heart to this very day.

 

Something very similar happened to me that year. Sorry, but I cannot share it. My mother told me to try to understand what those kids were dealing with.

It really did not help my bruised body and psyche. Hey, I was small, shy, and an easy target.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #61)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:45 PM

71. Thank you.

 

I never have spoken of this. Perhaps this is a good thing.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #45)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:38 PM

66. Thats so awful

 

This must have been very traumatic for you, too. Did you go to that school or somewhere else?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #66)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:42 PM

69. Yes. I went to that school.

 

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #69)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:54 PM

73. So it probably really affected you even more deeply.

 

My heart breaks for your friend and I'm sorry you had to go through something like that.

Did you know about the incident when it happened or did you find out about it later? How old was she when she committed suicide?

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #45)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:57 PM

74. That sounds frightening and traumatizing.

I am sorry that you experienced something similar as well.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #19)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:13 PM

48. Why did you refer to yourself as a 12 white girl who

 

Had “stories” then? WTF?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #48)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:17 PM

49. I have posted about my friend.

 

It is a true story. I do not care if you believe me or not.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #11)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:53 PM

32. Please tell you story - that's the point of this thread

 

But if you want to instead just complain, argue and play victim, please take it somewhere else.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #32)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:19 PM

51. You know what? You cannot tell me what to do.

 

Keep posting this divisive stuff on du. You seem to be doing great.

Could you explain how all this race baiting is helping us in the next election?

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #51)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:37 PM

141. I don't feel "baited" and told my own story down-thread. As much as possible, if we can see...

...each other's humanity, and work on empathy, that is a good thing. It's not always easy to experience that, in the moment. Take a break, if this is triggering real negativity. Let it work itself out.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:34 PM

12. As a white person, I don't know that I've ever experienced the kind of discrimination

that people of color still have to deal with even in this day and age.

And I'm not offended by the term 'Wypipo'. I think it's kind of funny.

The only time I've ever been hit with an ethnic slur is when I was in the Army. I was openly considering converting to Judaism. One Friday, a fellow soldier asked me to lend him some money for the weekend. Knowing him to be unreliable when paying back money, I refused, whereupon he spat 'JEW!' at me.

That's far from institutionalized discrimination, and at any rate, I wasn't Jewish, so no one was trying to throw up societal roadblocks in front of me.

I just can't buy into the ludicrous notion that as standards for inter-ethnic equality improve, whites are somehow not getting a fair shake. The ridiculous grievances that drive the white power movement are as pathetic as the people espousing them.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #12)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:54 AM

160. Thanks for that, Aristus!

This "conversation" is something I'd expect to see on a website like Free Republic!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:35 PM

14. I can honestly say that as a white male

I have no recollection of ever being discriminated against in my life.

This really seems like an odd question to ask.

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #14)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:37 PM

16. It is not odd, at all.

 

This poster has an agenda.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #16)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:40 PM

18. Where as you have unbridled...

 

anger.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #18)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:43 PM

20. Aww.

 

You are kinda sweet.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #20)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:46 PM

24. And, you're cute when you're mad. /nt

 

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #24)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:48 PM

27. Everyone says that, so thanks!

 

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #14)

Mon May 7, 2018, 05:49 PM

182. Neither have I

Not for being white anyway.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:35 PM

15. I grew up in a college town in New Mexico and there wasn't much racism. As an adult

having worked from time to time in smaller rural towns and a with a variety of people. I hear the N word a lot more now. My boss's kid started dating an African American kid and his nephew used the N word and my boss about went to blows with him. My boss is very conservative and has his own prejudices but I was glad to see him react that way.

On a different note these same people are even more prejudice against gays and lesbians and make idiot remarks about women too.


Editing as I didn't read your entire post. I thought it was about racism we have seen not what has been directed at us. Yes, as a white kid growing up in a town that was mostly latino there was the occasional latino kid or group of Mexican kids who would call us gringo and pick on us but 99% of them don't treat me any differently than the white kids. Most of my friends growing up were latino.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #15)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:00 PM

37. How did it feel being in the minority?

 

And I don't mean just in terms of bad treatment. But, as an African-American in white majority settings, I always have a send of "otherness," that no matter how much I try to fit in, I'll never really be one of the cool kids.

Did you feel that way as one of the few whites in a predominantly Latino environment?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #37)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:36 PM

133. I don't think what I experienced was anywhere near what an African-American experiences

or even Latino or Native Americans. I can't really explain it but when I see videos of police brutality, profiling etc. I can tell there is a real deep issue going on. We were the minority but the power structure was still set up in our favor.

In the same state a few years go my boss had me drive a bunch of books from Grand Junction to Albuquerque in an old black van. I know where the cops hang out and was watching my speed in those places but still got pulled over twice. I know they were profiling the van. However, as soon as the cops saw me and saw I wasn't latino or black they almost looked freaked out and apologetic for pulling me over. Big time white privilege reactions.

On a different note I had almost forgotten about this one African-American kid in in Elementary school back in the 70's. I remember the Principal was constantly picking on that kid and spanking him. At the time I just figured he must have always been getting into trouble but knowing what I know now, I think that Principal was a prejudiced bastard who was torturing that kid. The Principal had a redneck look about him.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #133)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:49 PM

146. Thanks for this

 

You're experiences may not be as intense as many African Americans' but we're not doing a "whose pain is worse" exercise here Your experience is what it is, it is yours and it's very real - and there are common threads that tie all of our experiences together.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #15)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:58 PM

131. I lived for 30 yrs in an all Hispanic neighborhood in New Mexico

Zero problems. It was a tight neighborhood and we were the only non Hispanics. In fact, most of the people in that neighborhood are now my Facebook friends even though I moved to the middle of NM. My daughter is a very pale blonde with green eyes and she was always popular and had lots of Hispanic friends. When she was in elementary school, she was one of four kids who were not Hispanic. Two were "white" and two were native Americans. She did come home and ask to dye her hair black but other than that all was well. My grandkids are half Hispanic.

Now I live on the outskirts of a very small rural town that is half Hispanic. Most of the Hispanics who grew up in this town are for Trump. Very sad!!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:44 PM

22. When my husband went back to school for his Masters' degree

We looked into securing a loan to pay for his schooling from the Savings and Loan where we bank. We were told that they were offering low interest education loans .....except we didn't qualify, since we are white. The low interest loans were only for minorities. We weren't too happy about it, but we eventually figured out another way to pay for his college. This was around 1993. I don't know if this qualifies for your thread, Effie, but I thought I'd relate this story anyway.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #22)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:01 PM

38. Thanks.

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:44 PM

23. I was picked on a great deal when I was a child...

Simply because I had flaming red hair (think Carrot Top). Never picked on just for being white, though. My school system was in southwest side of San Antonio, Texas. We were 50% White, 40% Hispanic and 10% Black. Never had any racial problems, and this was back in the 60s/70s.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:47 PM

25. I was once pulled over on a pretext, solely because of race.

In my younger days, I worked for a while as a house-painter, doing some work for a local building contractor. Once, he sent me to paint the exterior of a new addition he had built onto a house in an affluent, sprawling private community, full of nice houses on large wooded lots.

Shortly after I finished my day's work and started to drive away, I passed a county sheriff headed in the other direction. I looked in my rear-view mirror and was astonished to see her sliding into a sharp cop-turn to reverse course right in the middle of the road. She followed me for a mile and a half, talking on her radio and obviously running a make on my plates. I toed the line carefully, sticking to the speed limit and signalling every turn, so as not to give her cause to pull me over.

Finally, at a stop-sign near the exit gate, she turned on her lights to stop me. The bogus reason that she gave was that my brake-lights had been flickering when I stopped at the sign. Ever try to prove that your brake-lights didn't flicker a moment ago?

She detained me until the building contractor who had sent me could be contacted to vouch for me and verify that I had legitimate business in the neighborhood.

Now, to be fair, this was the only time I was ever treated that way when driving in that community. Truth be told, I grew up in that community. Learned to drive there. Probably raised a little hell there as a teenager.

But this was the first time I ever showed up there with Terence, my black friend and co-worker, in my car.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:49 PM

28. I've never been discriminated against because I'm white

But, I have been discriminated against because I'm disabled and I look different. Stares.... pity, and sometimes fear. I was once called articulate as if it was an unexpected quality. I have some experiences with discrimination and stereotypes based on how I look.
Still I can count on being given the benefit of the doubt. I once accidently walked out of a store with a watch I hadn't paid for and returned it without a question or a sense that they were suspicious of me.
I had a lot of opportunities I didn't take advantage of. As an adult I have noticed that things were always easier for me growing up than I thought at the time. Much has been and still is given to me out of default because I'm white. I am poor and have been able to get the services and financial help need without jumping through more than the average hoops. I'm disabled, poor, and privileged.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:50 PM

30. perspective from this old white guy

I am going to treat this differently. let's see what you (and others) think.

I grew up in a blue collar town in New England in a lower middle class family. Dad worked 2-3 jobs once I was 12 or so, hardly saw him (before that, he did do lots of stuff with me- and I still consider him a great dad - my mom chose to raise us and keep house rather than work - she had the burden of her own mother - but that is another tangent).

In my elementary school, there was a tiny fraction of black students - same with junior high; in high school, a few more - but I would say that all of my school experience I was in the 98% fraction for race. We had other racial hierarchies and issues where I grew up - lots of Portuguese, some Irish and Italian - and I often heard my mom talk about not playing with that or that friend because they were (fill in the nationality). My parents were a different form of racist - but it seemed to be common in my town and across families - ignorance? Fear? Just repeating what they themselves grew up hearing and were exposed to? Who knows.

My form of torture was being bullied and picked on - I was overweight, and smart - not popular with girls, not athletic - and also shy. Elementary school was tough, middle school was awful, high school was torture. I can only imagine what it was like for the small number of Portuguese students, or the smaller number of black students.

In college, it was more like 75% white, and some of my best friends were black - we really didn't talk about it, and it really didn't emerge as an issue - we just shared common interests, became friends.

I freely admit - and I discuss this with my friends - that I am in that "privileged" group of being white and male. I never take advantage of it, and I struggle to understand inequality about anything - be it differential pay for men and women, and especially, the myriad of issues facing blacks and other minorities in our current country. Do I do enough to help the cause? Probably not - I am not geared toward activism, but am always delighted when my garden talks have audiences that are a mix of everyone you can possibly name.

I can't even remotely recalling being discriminated against for being white. Intense bullying make me realize what it is like to be shunned, ridiculed, hated, despised - that is really my only empathy touch point based on personal experience.

There are many things I don't understand about the world, about our species. My whole life I've tried to be part of the solution, not part of the problem - but I also can't admit to understanding fully what it would be like to be in someone else's shoes - but their stories are always extremely important to listen to.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 01:52 PM

31. I think this will be a short thread

I was called "spaghetti girl" in Jr. High because I was tall and lanky and had long very straight blonde hair. But come on now, that's not an insult - calling someone tall and skinny and blonde. Our society likes tall and skinny and blonde. Simply coming up with a name for someone doesn't make it an insult.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:10 PM

41. I can't say I remember any incidents when I was discriminated against

due to my skin color or anything else. I'm a straight, white, married male with a college education and no physical disabilities. I recognize that I have enormous privilege in this society without having earned any of it that is obvious at a glance.

I know that I have often taken that privilege for granted, as well. I try to be aware of it always, now that I'm older and have more life experience. I'm sure, though, that I sometimes still take it for granted at times.

Oh, wait... I remembered one instance. I remember one time in High School when I asked a Hispanic girl for a date. She turned me down, saying that her parents would never allow her to date an Anglo boy. We remained friends, but I dated other people. That's the only incident I can remember, though.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:11 PM

42. Please stop

You are not funny.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #42)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:30 PM

59. It is truly getting old.

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:11 PM

43. I have nothing comparable to offer to the accounts shared here by people of color

Anything "negative" I've encountered pales by comparison (yes, pun intended). The only things that come up for me at all fall into one of two categories; 1) Generalized expectations projected onto me and 2) "Affirmative Action". Let me address the latter first.

I spent many years working in fields related to mental health and/or community organizing. More often than not the organizations I either worked for or applied to work with recognized the positive (not to mention moral) virtues of work place (and implicitly societal) diversity. I believe that I lost a few jobs and/or promotions during my life to other candidates who were not straight white men like myself, even though I believe (and could sometimes rather "objectively" prove) that I was more "qualified" (from a surface perspective) than were they. And I fully understood and supported those decisions. They were the right ones for those organizations to make under the circumstances, in order to truly further their missions. I strongly believe in affirmative action so I accepted the occasional personal consequences that goes with that. Our society in all fundamental respects can't achieve its true potential without altering the inertia that gave/gives straight white men an inherent inside track for most positions of influence and importance. As Newton once wrote, a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless against acted on by another force. Racism and Patriarchy self perpetuate in varied ways and those tendencies must be directly countered. If that cost me a job or two over the years, so be it.

The matter of "Generalized expectations" is a little more subtle. It involves the concept of being "born into privilege", in my case a straight white male. I undeniably was born into privilege in those regards. I suspect sometimes that those who lacked those "legs up in life" might slightly overlook the fact that other non related limitations or misfortunes can, on an individual basis, more than cancel out that privilege, in some realms, in a very practical sense for an individual. Not all whites get all the breaks even with white privilege. The fact that members of minorities "on the whole" have a tougher road to travel due to the effects of racism doesn't mean that some whites don't have as tough a road due to other factors. We may have been fortunate to be born white without also being fortunate in life. It is easier in general to be white in America than not, but not all white lives are easier lived than those of other races.

Then there is the matter of the voluntary renunciation of privilege. To an extent I am in that category. It is true that the option was always largely there for me to "clean up my act" and be more typically white. And clearly my Caucasian complexion remains evident regardless of my life choices. But at a certain point even a voluntary path of renunciation leads to a point of near no return. The very minor quibble I have is with some POC who simply assume that all of my white privilege, and all the benefits that entails, is still fully in force waiting for me should ever I want to fully reclaim it. In some very real regards it no longer is.

I never mind it when Black People assume that I "can't jump". In my case that happens to be literally true, I suck at Basketball. In other cases I am a lot "less white" than many of my Black acquaintances initially assumed. But it's fun to bust up stereotypes, I don't hold it against anyone who "underestimates me" in some way, unless that'd done with both malice and foresight.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:17 PM

50. I was pulled over by cops that assumed I was buying drugs- it was in my old neighborhood and

 

I had out of state plates and am white AF. I name dropped some connections to the neighborhood, to prove I grew up there and then they were fine.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:20 PM

52. I've been marginalized at times due to my gender and age,

but never due to my whiteness.

Everyone should read (or revisit) this essay.

http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:28 PM

55. In the 80's I was a controller at a manufacturing company in San Diego.

 

When ever I interviewed people for a job in our accounting department I had to tell the applicant that they did not have to complete the question of race/ethnicity on the application. Equal opportunity hiring was the hot issue at the time. Yet I had to keep track of the race and ethnicity of the applicants so if they did not fill out the application I asked them to tell me what their race or ethnicity was if they wanted to. That was in case we ever were taken to court we could show who applied and who got hired by race or ethnicity.

Well I got laid off and had the pleasure of being the interviewee. I found a few temporary accounting jobs but could never get hired full time. I was well qualified but I figured it was because I was a white male during a push for equal opportunity hiring.

Every job ad had these words, "We are an equal opportunity employer, women and minorities are encouraged to apply." Companies without many women or minority employees needed to get up to speed with equal opportunity hiring. Those words in the ad could have said "no white males need to apply." Now contrary to what is said on this board I was well aware of my white privilege since I was a kid. So I kind of knew what was up and felt the shoe was on the other foot now.

Then I applied for a job as a auditor with the CA Board of Equalization. I was a Vietnam Veteran so I got a few extra points in the application process and was called for an interview. Having been turned down numerous times I felt this was another one of those show up for nothing interviews. The group that interviewed me were five women three of whom were minorities. I thought I would do the best I could.

After a while it was clear to me that I was wasting my time so I thought I would try to have as much fun with it as I could. One question was worded like this, "Many of the people you would be auditing will be minorities and may feel uncomfortable having a white male audit them, what could you do to make then feel more comfortable with you?" My answer was, "I was in Vietnam and if the person was Vietnamese and I spoke their language they would feel very comfortable with me." One of the women got a big smile and very wide eyed and asked me, "Do you speak Vietnamese?" I said, "No but if I did they would be comfortable."

Now I understood that the times were not in my favor as they were not in the favor of those who got passed over because of their race and I got the job.

I eventually overcame those times though we lost our house and had to move into a small apartment. I took a laborer's job a friend got me. But I am a positive thinker and knew times would get better and they did.





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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:28 PM

56. When I was in 6th grade...

I was in a mixed magnet school in the mid-1980s. I literally didn't think anything about race because it just wasn't an issue. My friends were of all backgrounds. Unfortunately, my asst soccer coach died of a heart attack. His son was my friend and he had been my coach. He was black, but that never crossed my mind when my teacher asked for volunteers to attend his funeral. I went and "happily" so (it was a funeral, after all).

When we arrived, it occurred to me that it was a prominently black church. I had never experienced anything like this (privilege?) personally, so I voiced my amazement, "There sure are a lot of black people here." My teacher immediately grabbed my hand and told me I was going back with the principal. I was aghast and told her I was only making a statement. While this was true, I understand her reaction now, even if I didn't then. She allowed me to attend the funeral.

This still stands out in my mind as a pivotal moment in my life. It's easy to miss the details when you've never been a part of the story.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:29 PM

57. Well, I was physically abused by police twice before I was 7,

and treated very coldly and callously other times. My mom suffered from severe depression, and her "self medicating" with alcohol and our homelessness due to her inability to hold onto a job brought us to their attention too often. This was California mostly.

Some cops were kind enough. But looking back, I believe that bad conservative cops have no more tolerance for poor white children of dysfunctional mothers than they do for any others. I was an affront to their image of the "natural order" of white supremacy, and also an affirmation of the signature conservative world view that deserving people are rewarded and undeserving are punished.

That's the main reason that here in the south I don't do political bumper stickers on my beloved 20-year-old Ford Ranger. If it were a GMC Sierra, saying all the "right" things about me, I would. It'd also be insured for physical damage.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:30 PM

60. I'm white

I've lived nothing but white privilege.

Let's get the slurs off DU.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:35 PM

63. Three: I was walking up the hill to my house in a diverse neighborhood in a small city.

Last edited Sun May 6, 2018, 10:05 PM - Edit history (2)

1. Most recent (a few years ago): A group of brown tween boys walked down the hill as I walked up. I moved to the edge of the sidewalk so that we all had room without bumping into each other. One of the children thought I moved because I didn't want to be too close to them or was afraid to be close to them. He yelled, "That lady is racist!" I was heartbroken that he thought that was my intention. But I was new to the neighborhood then, and we talk frequently now. I adopted a kitten from his family.

2. Late at night, I was a passenger in a car with a black man driving. Bunch of yahoos started following us, too close, staying with us no matter how fast we went. They followed on our tail for at least ten miles on the highway. We were praying a cop would pull us over for speeding. Now this was more related to racism against the man driving, but I don't think they would have followed him if he'd been alone. It was the two of us together that set them off.

3. Kidnapped, raped and held hostage overnight by a black stranger while I was walking home as a teenager. I don't know for certain that he chose me because I am white, but he did say that I'd be too old to enjoy my art and my books by the time I left, that I'd be in pieces in garbage cans by the time I saw them again. So I would say that if race didn't enter into it, class certainly did, as I was a college student and he was a young, poor black man. (I'm not making assumptions about his income level; he took me to his apartment so I saw what he owned.)

I would say that all of my experiences of racism were born from white supremacy.

Edited to add: a fair number of my friends know I was raped. Very few know the rapist was black. I don't normally tell that part of the story because I don't want to add to that trope.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #63)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:46 PM

117. I'm horrified

By number 3.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #117)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:15 PM

120. It changed the trajectory of my life.

Last edited Sun May 6, 2018, 10:10 PM - Edit history (1)

I couldn't take a bus without constantly thinking the person behind me would pull a knife on me. I would sleep for twenty three hours a day and think I'd accomplished something if I got up to take a bath. I stalled for a couple of decades, became an exotic dancer until I was in my mid-thirties. But it was almost forty years ago. I'm lucky. Time healed my wounds.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #63)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:07 PM

147. This is unspeakably awful

 

You're really brave to talk about it here.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #147)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:27 PM

148. It was a long time ago, Effie. I'm ok.

And it's an anonymous forum.

I wish I had told the story when I ran for office, though. Because in my city, when the police union's contract was up for negotiation, for weeks they publicized a false story (in the press, on the radio) about a woman being randomly raped downtown so people would be up in arms about how we needed more cops.(The victim was a prostitute who quickly recanted, but who had initially said she was being raped in order to avoid being charged with prostitution.) Even after the story was proven to be false, one of the other candidates used the story in the group editorial board interview. I wish I had said I was a rape survivor in order to have more credibility saying how offensive it was to use rape to paint our city as dangerous in order to get more police funding.

I told the story to the police during my interview with the police union, though. That was gutsier, because I told them how insensitive the police were to me (joking about the guy's body type to me when I identified him!) and how I'd felt more betrayed by the criminal justice system than by a random act of violence.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #148)

Sun May 6, 2018, 10:30 PM

149. Don't beat yourself up. People tell their stories when they're ready

 

You didn’t owe it to anyone to tell your story to anyone before you were ready,

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:43 PM

70. OK

Although I'll caveat it by saying I don't feel in any way that I am oppressed or discriminated against as a result of being white, I do have experiences of people prejudging or targeting me because of my skin color, of being a minority and having people make fun of me which, obviously, feels like crap and made me really angry which is why I try not to do it to anyone else.

When I was in college, I worked in a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood. I mostly worked at the customer service desk with another girl the same age as me who was black. We would sometimes have customers come in who would refuse to be served by me and insisted on only talking to the other girl. In one case she asked me a question about how to do something on the cash register and I responded and the customer said "Bitch, nobody asked your white ass" and then looked at the other girl for support. The other girl glared at her, gave her her change and after she left said it really pissed her off when people assumed that she would agree with their racist shit just because of the color of her skin. Then she told me several times that she had had customers make comments about me behind my back to her and that she never agreed with them. I was only about 18 or 19 at the time and it never really occurred to me that people would be that shitty for no reason to someone who was only being polite and trying to help them but I felt really glad that my friend had my back.

At the same store, I was once working at the cash register when an older black woman went up to the customer service desk and insisted that I had flipped her off and called her a racist slur when I was ringing her up. She was insisting that she should get her groceries for free because I was racist. I'd been worked there for two years at that point and everyone knew I wasn't and that she was just scamming for free groceries but it annoyed me that there were at least seven registers open and that she decided to accuse the only white cashier.

I don't really give a shit if people want to use "wypipo" but I don't think it's particularly helpful or constructive. It's not the same as slurs directed at minorities who are actually oppressed but it is mean spirited in its intent and unnecessary. And it fuels the persecution complex of some white people instead of making anything better.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 02:47 PM

72. I am white, I grew up in an all white suburb, and I never knew any blacks till after college

My parents were not overtly racist, but in an all white culture you are subtly taught to fear black people, especially black men.

In college I was the victim of a sexual assault, and after that I volunteered as an advocate for victims. I was bewildered when people asked me if my attacker was black, because I had no idea that there was this awful stereotype about black men. The person who attacked me was a white male.

After college I moved to a well integrated neighborhood in a large city. It was the first time I had lived in the same neighborhood as black people and I have to admit I was nervous. I identified as a non-racist liberal, but I still felt uncomfortable.

I kept doing rape victim advocacy. One night I got a call at 2am to go to a hospital ER to see a rape victim. Outside it was icy and raining. My car was stuck on ice and I was making a lot of noise spinning my wheels. Suddenly there's a tap on my window, and its a black man. My gut feeling was pure fear. My brain told me the fear was not rational, talk to this person.

So I rolled down the window, and he says - "You're making a lot of noise out here."

I said "Yeah I'm stuck."

"Well I was complaining to my wife about all this noise and she said why don't you get dressed and go down there and help that person out. So here I am."

He pushed my car out and I drove off to see the rape victim.

The black man got out of bed at 2am to help me, a complete stranger.

Obviously this is not a story of discrimination against me, but of how I began to overcome my attitude of fear toward black people. It was life changing. I began to feel more comfortable and less afraid. More experiences with real black people helped me overcome the amorphous fear of all black people.


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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:09 PM

76. My niece had the shit kicked out of her in middle school

 

She was jumped by black girls. He crime was evidently being a blonde 'white cunt'.

Does that count?

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Response to B2G (Reply #76)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:10 PM

77. That totally counts

 

When did this happen?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #77)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:13 PM

79. Year ago. She's in her 20s now.

 

But it never left her.

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Response to B2G (Reply #79)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:15 PM

80. I can imagine

 

Did the kids who did it get in any trouble?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #80)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:17 PM

81. They couldn't find them.

 

It happen in a movie theater parking lot. She didn't know any of them.

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Response to B2G (Reply #81)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:20 PM

83. Wow.

 

Terrible.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #83)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:25 PM

87. It was.

 

She had a really hard time in high school as a result. She totally withdrew. She's come to terms with it for the most part, but is still pretty guarded, especially about going out at night.

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Response to B2G (Reply #87)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:31 PM

89. Hardly surprising

 

Has she ever gotten counseling? And has it affected her perspectives on race, in general, and African-Americans, in particular?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #89)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:36 PM

92. Shes actually been in counseling for the past few years.

 

For depression and low self esteem issues. I've wondered if that incident played into it but haven't asked her or my sister in law for specifics. All she's told me is she's 'too hard on herself' and thinks she's not good enough. So IDK.

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Response to B2G (Reply #92)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:40 PM

94. Poor girl

 

Life is hard enough without human beings inflicting intentional cruelty on us.

I hope she finds her way.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #94)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:54 PM

96. Thanks Effie. Me to. Xoxo

 

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Response to B2G (Reply #76)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:12 PM

112. I was called queerbait in middle and high school...

... and frequently had "the shit kicked out of" me.

My only high school ambition was to be invisible and I was never much good at that. I was a skinny, squeaky, highly reactive kid, an attractive chew toy for all the bullies.

Quitting high school was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.

My 99 44/100% Ivory Soap pure straight white high school was a Lord of the Flies experience for anyone who couldn't assimilate.

How did your niece cope?

One of my childhood friends got a gun and killed himself.



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Response to hunter (Reply #112)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:52 PM

118. She pretty much withdrew and kept to herself after that.

 

The friends she was with ran and left her to fend for herself. She has big trust issues now to this day.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:12 PM

78. The closest I have ever come to being discriminated against for race

was when we first moved out to Oklahoma City in the early 1980's and were trying to find an apartment. We didn't know the racial lines in the city and went to see a place I liked because it was really close to a Catholic church and the houses seemed nice. The landlord was black and startled to meet us and told us we probably wouldn't be comfortable in the neighborhood. It soon became clear we weren't wanted as tenants, so we left. But we had other places to try and it was no big deal...later, we were told that there were some lines you didn't cross in OKC.
The house we eventually bought out there was in a lower income area and I was startled one day to be asked by a young white child "Are you white or are you Mexican?" (I had long dark brown hair, but if my skin was much paler, I'd be translucent) I told her "Irish", which I think confused her more....I don't think I'd ever imagined kids sounding that judgmental before.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:18 PM

82. My story is that I don't really have a story.

I grew up in the '50s and '60s in a suburb of a large midwestern city. The only black people I ever saw when I was a small child were porters on passenger trains. When I was about 11, in about 1962, my parents decided my younger brother and I should have piano lessons (I wanted to do it but I'm not so sure my brother did). They hired a piano teacher to come to our house for our lessons once a week - he was the first black person I remember having any direct contact with. His name was Mr. Edwards. I don't think I ever knew his first name. He was very dignified and rather stern; we found him slightly intimidating. Our mother made it very clear that we were to treat him with deference and respect, which we did. I don't know if she hired him as a lesson to us about racial equality (my parents were Republicans but they'd be considered liberal these days), or just because she'd heard he was a good piano teacher. In any event, my first regular relationship with a black person was positive and probably helpful for me as a clueless, sheltered white kid, since he was a professional person and an authority figure.

I took lessons from Mr. Edwards for a few years, then stopped when I started high school, which was also White City. I remember one single black kid in that whole school of about a thousand kids. He sat near me in a history class. He was nice and seemed fairly popular, but I don't know what kind of crap he might have had to put up with that I never saw, and sometimes I wondered what it was like to be him.

College was a good deal more diverse, but once again I pretty much lived in a white bubble, and probably have most of the time ever since. I am not aware of any instances when I was discriminated against in any way because of my race (gender discrimination, yes, frequently, but that's another, different discussion). It has taken me a long time to see the pervasiveness of racial discrimination, and maybe I still don't quite get it because I haven't experienced it. But I am trying to learn and see, and these discussions are very enlightening. Thank you, EffieBlack. I really appreciate your perspective.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:20 PM

84. I hope this is helpful...

I’m white, male, middle-aged, a grey-haired college professor. I rarely contribute to DU anymore but this problem is very much on my mind.

I generally don’t have any issues with people discriminating against me now, and I attribute this to white privilege. White people especially see me as a safe person, or they ignore me.

When I was a teenager, I experienced some special attention from police and security, based largely on how I dressed (black clothes, sometimes fairly disgusting heavy metal t-shirts, long hair...). Never had any charges brought against me, because I hadn’t really done anything other than look scary.

However, there is another area of my life that presents itself more often these days. I’ve known my spouse since 2003, we started dating in 2005 and have been married nine years. She’s of Mexican ancestry, a third-generation US citizen. When she and I started dating, we encountered some racial pushback. One of my former girlfriends, upon hearing that we were getting married, called me “with some concerns” - the first thing she wanted to know was my fiancée’s immigration status. She assumed I was being used.

There have been incidents at stores where people have expressed surprise that she speaks English. I’m very nervous about how she may be treated, to the point of being a bit too defensive sometimes.

The worst was from certain conservative parts of my white family. I have an uncle to whom I’ll never speak again, and I had to adjust my Dad’s attitude about her family quite publicly.

Many of my students are minorities. I want them to know that I’m on their side. But I don’t know how to do this without seeming patronizing.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:24 PM

85. Um, no, but if I was 20 years younger, maybe I'd tap dance and you could toss me some coins.

Better make that 50 years younger, plus a couple of hours to find my old dancin' shoes. I'll even bring you shovel for the nice big hole you're digging.

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Response to procon (Reply #85)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:29 PM

88. What a ridiculous comment

 

Fortunately, most people responding in this thread are doing so with intelligence and respect, creating a context that highlights the foolishness of your post in even greater relief.

You may not have bothered to look at them before posting - I suggest you read a few of the responses before commenting any further. You might actually learn something.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #88)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:01 PM

98. It's a ridiculous thread, yeah?

You've taken on the role of High Confessor.

Look at you, you're even basking in the rosy glow of all this attention you're getting for inviting the guileless white folks to unburden themselves, as if you granted them permission. You must be getting quite a laugh.

I know the agenda, so thanks just the same, but I learned that name called is wrong before I learned to tie my shoes. I learned that belittling people, manipulating and ridiculing them is the first step in dehumanized them.

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Response to procon (Reply #98)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:03 PM

100. No, I said exactly what I meant. Your comment is ridiculous,. The thread is great.

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #100)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:12 PM

103. You keep telling everyone how you want to learn from others,

to have a constructive dialogue, but you are only interested in stories that fit your narrow POV. You become quite passive aggressive toward the folks who have criticised you for being divisive and discriminatory.

Maybe a little more navel gazing is needed before you take your black vs white wrestling show on the road again.

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Response to procon (Reply #103)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:57 PM

137. she asked for stories that fit criteria she posted

And thanks to that we are getting mostly stories that are on the topic.
I am learning a lot from this thread and have learned much from her other threads.

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Response to procon (Reply #103)

Sun May 6, 2018, 08:59 PM

142. If you're interested in a different POV, you're certainly free to post an OP asking for other storie

 

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Response to procon (Reply #103)

Mon May 7, 2018, 06:01 PM

183. Somebody is triggered by this topic, clearly.

 

Especially when Effieblack is posting.

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Response to procon (Reply #98)

Mon May 7, 2018, 05:33 PM

180. Again with the passively worded insults.

 

Again with the implication that Effie has the "understanding" of a preschooler.

Dehumanization? Look in the mirror.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #88)

Mon May 7, 2018, 06:03 PM

184. Why learn when one can lecture people of color?

 

Procon has equated your intellect with a preschooler, or kindergartener with "divisive and exclusionary" language.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=10585746

And clearly, you haven't learned anything more than kids who haven't yet learned to tie their shoes:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=10583473

And then there was this totally respectful gem:

You never were seriously wanting any white people to help you learn new words.


https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=10587151

EffieBlack, you are apparently on par with a "preschooler" who needs a certain posters "to teach her new words" because you are ... (fill in the blanks)?

Certainly feeling that one has to "putting on Tap shoes" to communicate with you indicates something about why:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=10583361

It's just so hard to be caucasian sometimes. One is faced with having to correct people of color about racial issues so often.






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Response to ehrnst (Reply #184)

Mon May 7, 2018, 06:06 PM

185. If only I were more grateful

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #185)

Mon May 7, 2018, 06:09 PM

186. Indeed. Perhaps if he "tapdanced" you would appreciate "learning new words from White people,"

 

who helpfully inform you that you have the understanding of "a preschooler" on racial stereotypes as he so progressively and utterly unoffensively puts it.

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Response to procon (Reply #85)

Mon May 7, 2018, 05:29 PM

178. "Tap dancing"

 

Subtle....

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:24 PM

86. Army related stories - in the Army I definitely felt discrimination from a few black NCO's

This was the early 90's and at least then there were clearly two Armies - white and black.
No sense Nile overt act but generally getting out on certain details. The single best NCO I encountered in the Army was a black guy. BTW - I stopped using the N word in the Army. Transplanting to the South at an early age I fell victim to using it. I haven't said it since I got out.

This isn't Me experiencing discrimination but it was an eye opener/culture shock.
I went to the local mall to get some more up to date American clothes. I hadn't realized that during my 3 years in Germany I'd picked up some European fashion elements that people told me were unusual once I got home.

So I'm in line and let me tell you I was in total don't give a _____ attitude land. If I didn't smell like it you could have seen me from 100 yards away and said "Well he's a pot smoker". In front of me are two middle aged white ladies and behind me a young black guy. He was in slacks a nice shirt and tie. Probably had an office job somewhere in the area. So the middle aged white cashier asks each of the ladies "cash check or charge?" I step up looking like a hippie with a military hair cut gone shaggy (I kept my hair as long as possible while in the Army) and she asked me the same. I get my stuff and step off to the side and the black guy steps up "Will this be CASH?" I let out a "Damn!". She looked at me with a "What's?" look on her face. I looked at the guy behind me and said "Damn man. I'm...." He just smiled, shrugged, and said "Nothing new".

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)


Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:33 PM

91. I just remembered these. I loved to listen to James Brown. He came our town and I wanted to go to

 

his concert. I went with a black female co worker. I was the only white person in the arena as far as we could see.

During the concert James Brown gave away bicycles to kids in the audience. They took the spotlight and shown it around the crowd and if it stopped on a kid that kid got a bike. Well it stopped on me and James Brown said, "we even have white folks in the audience." Now I don't think it was discrimination but I was singled out. But being it was by James Brown I didn't mind.

In the sixties my high school friends and I went to Columbus Georgia to help with voter registration. We were working with students from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH.

My friends wanted to go to Catholic Mass and we went to the closest church near where we were staying. Beside the priest we were the only white folks in the church. After mass some girls came up to us and invited us to coffee and donuts in the church basement. They told us to wait and later they said the coffee and donuts were cancelled that day. I think it was because of us. We did get donuts at the girls' grandmother's house and had a nice time.

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #91)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:37 PM

93. Did you get the bike?

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #93)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:13 PM

104. No but I went to another James Brown Concert. Just couldn't get enough of him

 

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #104)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:14 PM

105. Damn!

 

You should gotten the bike!

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #105)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:33 PM

110. We lived in a segregated town and one time a black family was going to buy a house on our block

 

The neighbors went around and tried to raise enough money to buy the house and resell it to a white family. My dad would not contribute not because of any good reason other than we were poor.

The next morning our brick house was covered with eggs.

I marched in demonstrations and risked my life at times and to read some of these threads about race relations today upsets me because most of these white people don't know what the civil rights days were like. To them it is just a side they feel the need to take.

Racists today are the kids and grand kids of people I knew growing up. It is something learned and can be unlearned too.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 03:58 PM

97. As a very young boy I grew up in the South and lived in Memphis.

My father was a disabled vet from WWII and came from a poor family, cotton pickers in Mississippi. In my very small world at that time I didn't know about racial differences.
Thinking back, I had black women who would babysit me and I distinctly remember my father when talking with them saying, "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" just like any other women. I played with black kids but at the time didn't see any difference in skin color than in hair color. We were all just kids.

When I was 5 we moved to a small city in Wisconsin that might have had a couple of black families. When I was 7 years old at my grade school at recess I saw some older boys taunting and bullying a younger one and I had an an eye-opening experience: I was astounded at what was happening because somehow it came to me that it was because the younger boy was black. I was amazed.

Racial prejudice is a learned behavior. I never learned it from my parents but others do.
I also came to understand that much of racial prejudice and discrimination in the South was societal and in the North a fear of the unknown all of those years ago. But I have also learned that that Wisconsin city where I still live was once a sundown city and one of the most white cities in America.

Frankly it's not surprising that a man like Trump was elected president after Obama. Racists and people bent toward racial prejudice mostly laid in the weeds but now have overt permission to come out in the open. When good people and people of good faith and intent abdicate their responsibility to participate to participate in our electoral process, flawed and imperfect as it is, then evil will prevail.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:01 PM

99. A black cop once laughed at me. In my face. It was horrible. I almost died.

True story.



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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:05 PM

101. I can't say for sure if my experience was because of me being white.

Last edited Sun May 6, 2018, 05:13 PM - Edit history (1)

But when I was 13, I was a runaway and a "hippie" living in Boston. I was staying at a place in a predominantly black section of Boston, which was known to be dangerous.

One night I went to a friend's apartment for whatever ridiculous reason a kid would wander around in a scary neighborhood after dark. He wasn't there but three guys who knew him were there. They were young black men. I had seen one of them before and had spurned an advance from him. I'm pretty sure he was a drug connection for the mostly-white hippie community I was living in.

One of them pulled out a gun and told me to take off my clothes. The others sat silent and watched. I was terrified, and frankly, at the age of 13, I would have preferred to be killed than raped. So I sat there frozen, crying.

I was incredibly fortunate that the owner of the apartment came home right at that time. The gun was quickly hidden away and I ran out of the apartment. I can only imagine how my life would have been haunted if they had raped me.

There were other examples of me being aggressively approached by groups of black men in that neighborhood at night, but I led a charmed life in those years that I was a young girl out on my own, and nothing bad happened to me. And certainly there were plenty of white men who were happy to try and exploit me as well.

Is this an example of racial discrimination or targeting? Would they have done the same to a black girl of that age? Was it simply because I was young and powerless and not related to being white? I have no way to know.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:12 PM

102. As I've watched California tilt toward a minority-majority status...

...I've wondered how it will play out. Well, it is not where I grew up -- the history is all different, the composition of the population is different, it is geographically interconnected with the continent... It will be different.

My previous experience as a minority was as a kid and young adult trying to negotiate first school and later on full time work. There was an advantage in being in a ginormous high school, which guaranteed a level of diversity my friend in a deeply rural community did not have. There, one of her teachers would address her by her last name, kind of spitting it out when he called on her. She has friends-for-life from those days, tho, and fit in otherwise, as she was active in sports and had an olive complexion that tanned readily. She was not shy, was very outgoing and self confident.

I had friends but never completely fit in; I think I tried to blend into some kind of background. I sucked at sports, being hugely myopic. My heritage is Irish, and my people fry like bacon in the sun. There was always someone asking, "Haole girl, your father in the military?" (because clearly I had just arrived and would be going away soon). No, no he was not. He came in as a Lockheed Aircraft employee, and we were blue collar and fairly poor.

When the pineapple cannery recruiters came to my high school looking for summer workers, I signed up. Hard work. One day when I was working my shift a tiny elderly Japanese-American lady walked by and cackled, "You still here, haole girl?"

In college I worked in a major shopping center and my store drew a lot of young tourists. There was always someone who would ask enviously how I had scored this summer job (since I obviously had just gotten off an airplane myself). It was not a summer job -- it was my ramen and rent year round while I attended university.

Fast forward to my years as a young wife and mother: "Your husband in the military?" (because -- entirely without a tan -- clearly I came from somewhere else and would be going back there soon)

Well, you asked.

I ended up back in California after all, having married a Californian. My husband followed me out to the Islands with his new college degree, and ended up working as a bartender in a major hotel for over a decade. It was and is an extremely one-sided economy -- tourism.

I came back for a visit some years later with my second (and final) husband. We got together with one of my old friends I've known since elementary school, Chinese-American. (Yes, this is an important detail.) My husband was a systems analyst at the top of his game -- he was charmed by what he saw in Hawai'i and was sure he could do there what he could so readily do in California in those days: walk into a new job just like that. My old pal just laughed. He drew a verbal picture of what it took to get into various professions, and how many relationships and family connections you had to have, and which ethnicity, and so on and so forth. Being Jewish was no problem -- being haole and not from the Islands was definitely a problem.

Well, you asked.

Growing up, my mother was the arbiter of my reality. She grew up Roman Catholic in Colorado when the KKK was active and I think people forget how much they hated the Catholics. She had a store of memories and thoughts about the evils of racism, anti-Semitism, and the other bigotries. She had a lot to say about that. She thought multi-ethnic, much-intermarried Hawai'i of the 1950s-1960s was really some kind of paradise. She had dear friends in our diverse neighborhood. I was the oldest girl and became the babysitter in our diverse neighborhood. She did not have to ride the schoolbus and be called a fucking haole every day, though.

However, my mother's reality prevailed in those years. Based on her own experiences, she believed high school and junior high were a social minefield in any case, and all would be wonderful in college. That was one thing. The other thing was that she was a genuinely thoughtful, deep person, and taught me to think and to have empathy.

The people who were racist, the people who were full of resentment and could not see past the features of my face and the color of my skin -- they were not everything there was by a long shot. Returning for my 50th high school reunion with my husband, being with all those people who were young when I was young, and catching up a little on their individual sagas, was like returning to -- to home and family and a place I love on a deep deep level. (Whoa, just made myself cry)

It broke my heart to leave when I was 32, knowing there was no going back. It's the place that shaped me and my worldview, always. It's why I know racial/cultural identity is malleable -- and that if young Barack Obama had chosen to stay, he would have married a "local girl" and history would have been very different. It was a choice, in ways Mainlanders cannot grasp. It's why when I read about "code-switching" many years later I knew instantly what that was, and reflected yet again that if I had only done what my chameleon brother did and learned fluent pidgin for use out of our mother's hearing, I would have had a badge of belonging that would have belied my appearance as nothing else could have done. (And now I made myself laugh, remembering our mother's lifelong battle for Correct English At All Times.)

Well, you asked.

This is very very long, I realize. It remains to be seen whether I delete it tomorrow, or add it to my Journal.





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Response to Hekate (Reply #102)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:52 PM

119. Beautiful story Hekate

There are some things I can seriously relate to.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #102)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:38 PM

125. I have Hawaii family and Chicago family.

Barrack Obama navigated those worlds brilliantly.

I'm a native white guy Californian and resident of Mexican Catholic California since the early 'nineties. My great-great grandfather's nineteenth century house in San Francisco still stands.

But of all the bridges I've burned, the bridges back to Illinois and Hawaii still remain. I could check out of Hotel California any time I like but never leave.

My one and only white California high school reunion, years ago, will be my last. Me, my parents, and all my siblings have abandoned that place, a land of colorblind and largely clueless politically bluish-purple wypipo. Ronald Reagan Democrats who believe the myths and would never piss on his grave. My parents raised us there because that's where their work was. Artists can't be picky, they work where the jobs are. When my dad retired my parents left.

My skin is Irish, I grew up on southern California beaches, and now too frequently have scary things cut out of my skin to wait anxiously for pathology reports. I tell the kids in our family to use sun screen. Kid's, you don't want skin like THIS! (Cue screechy Alfred Hitchcock terror music.) I confess, I'm a bit jealous of the darker skinned kids in our family who have never been sunburned.




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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:18 PM

106. Ok, so are those categories firm?

Are we only talking discrimination then for people due only to skin color? Because as a white woman I haven't been discriminated against (that I know of) for my skin color. My gender, oh yes, there's that. But does it not count because it's *gender* based and not race based? I sometime have a hard time keeping all of the categories that differentiate us straight, since many apply to me.

Here are all of my categories, perhaps you can help me clearly understand who I need to be against and whose side I'm on, etc.?

White, female, middle-aged, divorced, atheist, liberal, working class, straight. I'm sure if I were more enlightened I have other categories that would help with this multi-layer division of society, perhaps you could help me with that? Admittedly I do not put much effort in keeping up with this sort of thing but I like to think I can count on assistance from those who do manage to stay on top of it all.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:21 PM

107. We adopted from China in 2002

Wonderful little girl, little sister. Living in all white neighborhood, she was welcomed wholeheartedly.
Her class size was small 14 total with only 4 girls.
One skinny little blonde decided our daughter was different.
School didn’t help. Parish didn’t help. Placed her in another school for grades 7-8.
She’s now in 2nd year high school, still working through issues related to grade school.
Counseling 2 per month.
Found out her family is the same. Dislike Asians, Latinos, African Americans. Completely racist. Hide behind the flag. GOP all the way
Daughter made many friends at the other schools making up various nationalities, without issues.
Sad that kids learn from their home life

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:25 PM

108. I have discovered that we are all people of color.

Granted, some of us are lighter color and some are darker color. But who wants to argue that one is a color and one is not?

It should not be a divisive subject but I tend to think it probably is?

We have much more in common than in matters that divide us. We need each other to survive. Don't kid yourself. We have no political power at all unless we stand together.

Just my opinion.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 04:30 PM

109. I'm Armenian, but I don't look it! I'm Middle Eastern.

I'm supposed to look like Kim Kardashian.

Instead, I look more like Rachel Dratch. (Same coloring etc)

It kinda sucks...I wish I was dark...

I have trouble advocating for Armenian issues because I don't look it. When I talk about the Armenian genocide, I've only got a few seconds to pitch my speech. Based on my appearance, everyone just assumed that Armenia is somewhere in northern Europe. Without a geographical location, I lose my audience. If I mention Turkey, the audience thinks I'm talking about something else or that I making the whole thing up....

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:27 PM

114. I had an enlightening experience in the summer of 1981.

Before I relate it, in the interest of full disclosure, I am of Celtic/English/German heritage and have never been discriminated against because of my color (or, more accurately, lack thereof).

In the summer of 1981, I spent 2 weeks in the then-Soviet Union, on a tour designed to look at health care there, with the particular focus of seeing whether there was anything comparable to the nurse practitioner role in the US. (There wasn't.)

We went to 5 different cities, and were treated very cordially everywhere.

Different story on the Aeroflot flight home. There was no first class cabin closed off with curtains, because the USSR was a "classless society," right? Not exactly. There may not have been a first class cabin, but there were certainly people in the first 6 rows who were held in much higher esteem, by the flight attendants, than the rest of us the the remaining rows. Before the plane even began to taxi, the cabin crew began waiting hand and foot on the passengers in those first 6 rows - wine and cognac in crystal goblets, cheese and fresh fruit on china plates, linen napkins. This service continued well into the flight after we were wheels up. Everything looked delicious.

Eventually, those of us not seated in the privileged first rows were given scanty box lunches, and water in brown paper cups that were not waxed, so got soggy very quickly. The very solicitous service up front continued throughout the flight, in full view of those of us who were regarded as lesser beings. Everyone on the plane was Caucasian - no distinguishing physical characteristics.

What was enlightening about this experience in being treated differently was how quickly I found myself feeling resentful and angry. The flight only lasted a few hours. How resentful would I be, I asked myself, if I were always treated this way, based on some obvious physical characteristic that was the result of which fertilized egg my soul happened to land in. Damned resentful, I am sure.

My skin color is strictly an accident of birth - a random genetic occurrence. I take no pride in it, but have been grateful for it, as I know it has made my life easier in ways too numerous to count.

A related note. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner, and have been for almost 42 years. There are a few families in our practice who refuse to let me care for their children. Most of them have never even met me, so have not had a negative experience with me, but have determined, because I don't have the MD initials after my name, that I am inferior. I have been a nurse practitioner longer than any of my employer have been doctors. Interesting. And insulting.

I know this response is slightly off-topic, but it is as close as I can come to relate an experience of being treated differently.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:31 PM

115. White, straight upper middle class man here. Decent looking and in good health.

I have lots of stories.

However, none are about my race or gender unless 52 years of no drama is a story.

I blend in with the scenery unless I choose otherwise. It is a pretty good way to live.

Too bad a majority of Americans cannot say the same.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 05:36 PM

116. On the bus and on the playground, I got called names

like "Brillo" and "S.O.S." -- by other white kids.

I wondered at the time if black kids got called names like that. I didn't notice it happening, but it might have.

Also, I had a friend who was a redhead. She was always teased about having a temper. And my blonde friend hated dumb blonde jokes. (They were common back then -- but almost always applied only to girls and women.)

When I went to college, I was exposed to anti-Irish jokes, from a roommate who came from Boston. She would never have made such jokes about black people or Jewish people, so that was interesting.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:24 PM

121. I've been stereotyped. Not really discrimination.

Some of my students asked me if I like mayonnaise. When I told them that I hated the stuff, they looked at each other and said, "He's one of those white people who doesn't like mayonnaise!" I was outraged, I tell ya!

But it is pretty funny that they were so concerned about this stereotype and felt comfortable enough around me to ask. And what's doubly funny is that my black student from Africa mixes mayo and ketchup to dip her fries in. Eats that nasty stuff right up! I thought about taking a picture.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:24 PM

122. I'm not white, but here's a story.

I am a minority who grew up in California, then got married and moved to Hawaii. As a medical professional, working in a Honolulu hospital, I came into contact with people of all races. I felt very comfortable there, and I also felt accepted for the first time in my life. Then I got to talking with a white nurse who was from Kansas, and she said she thought Hawaii was the most racist place she'd ever lived in. When I asked her why, she said she felt discriminated against for the first time in her life.

I thought: welcome to my world on the mainland.

When white people move to a place where they're not the majority, they suddenly feel under attack, threatened, and outraged. Suddenly they are NOT in control and NOT top dog. And they think that makes the place racist.

(Just to add, my hubby is white and he lived for years in Hawaii and he'd go back in a heartbeat because he never felt under fire there.)

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Response to mainer (Reply #122)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:46 PM

127. When (fill in the blank) people move to a place where they're not the majority,

 

they suddenly feel under attack, threatened, and outraged. Suddenly they are NOT in control and NOT top dog. And they think that makes the place racist

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #127)

Mon May 7, 2018, 11:06 AM

172. Absolutely not true. I live in the whitest state in the country

I'm a minority, and I've never felt discriminated against here.

There are places that are truly racist. And there are places where one can be a minority and feel absolutely comfortable.

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Response to mainer (Reply #122)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:56 PM

129. When you say white people feel under attack...

Do you mean all white people or just some?

I feel like that would be a useful distinction.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #129)

Mon May 7, 2018, 11:02 AM

171. I should say "some" white people. My husband is not among them.

He loved it in Hawaii.

I was just so taken aback by a white woman from Kansas complaining about "racist" Hawaii, which is the most blended and multi-racial state in the country. Where mixed marriages are the norm, and where no one is really in the majority.

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Response to mainer (Reply #171)

Tue May 8, 2018, 09:15 AM

190. I would challenge you

to embrace the practice of saying "some white people" instead of "white people... feel under attack." It creates a sweeping message and (worse) a negative future expectation of racial hatred from all white people to impute the sins of some people onto everyone in the group.

I'm white but live in a predominently Hispanic neighborhood. I get along plenty good with my neighbors. So it's pretty insulting to lump me or my entire race in with hateful or xenophobic people who happen to share my coloration.

In fact, wouldn't it even more accurate to say "narrow minded people feel under attack" since that, rather than whiteness, is the critical factor here?

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Response to Bucky (Reply #190)

Tue May 8, 2018, 11:16 AM

191. You know, after growing up a minority who had to put up with shit

and always from white people, you can understand that I may be a little more afraid of white people than you think I should be.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:50 PM

128. I've never been more than socially inconvenienced by my race

I'm a little annoyed when people equate whiteness with bigotry and hatred. There are, of course, scads of white Americans who have promoted promoted tolerance, equality, and the ending of oppression. It's wrong to dismiss their contributions, even if they were imperfect by contemporary standards.

As a Houstonian I have the luxury of running in remarkably diverse crowds in the arts scene. On occasion I've had to sit through a poetry performance that used the term white as a sweeping generalization to mean racist violent bigotry.

On the other hand I've been pulled over while driving on a suspended license and let off with a warning. That's only happened because I'm white.

I hope as I read through the rest of these anecdotes I don't see people conflating social inconvenience with economic and political oppression.

Thank you for asking this question. Dialogue is our number one tool for growth

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 06:58 PM

132. Definitely a product of white privilege.

The small, modestly middle-class town I grew up in had absolutely zero people of color. It's now an expensive bedroom community within easy commuting distance to NYC and with 10 times the population it had when I was young. The only black people even now are Haitian immigrants, who work in the grocery stores but don't live in town. "The Blacks" were images on TV when I was growing up, usually involved in some kind of highly publicized disturbance, and MLK was a "rabble-rouser." That was all I knew. Unfortunately, most of my family is still stuck back there in the same old mindset, so I'm very glad I moved to California and my kids were raised here in modest, diverse neighborhoods.

The first black person I ever actually met was at the regional high school, where she was the only black student in a sea of white. I was delighted when we became friends because I had so many questions, and Carolyn was the beginning of my education. One of the first things I learned was that she, too, could get sunburned at the beach! Later, as we smoothed Noxzema on each other's sunburned backs, she laughed that I ever thought blacks immune to sunburn and said I had a lot to learn, which she gladly helped with.

In the '70s, I was giving a coworker a ride home while his car was out of commission. Bernie was black and about my own age, working nights like me and attending college during the day to become a teacher. There was a lot to admire about him and I'm sure he became a wonderful teacher. We became good friends and eventually started dating. When we went to see "The Exorcist" in NYC after it first came out, I was shocked by the hateful comments from a few white people in line. I didn't understand the reason for the venom at all, and was deeply hurt for both Bernie and myself. He took it in stride a whole lot better than I did and said it was "nothing new, just ignore them."

One night shortly afterwards, I was taking Bernie home after work when I drove through a "puddle" that was actually a huge pothole full of water. It wiped out my oil pan and the car quit right there, so we pushed it to the side of the road, locked it up, put a note on it for the police, and started walking. When we were passing an open bar with several black men standing outside, they made comments like "Black women not good enough for you, brother?" and to me, "You don't belong with him, lady." Bernie told me to "ignore them and keep walking," and said something quietly to them that I didn't catch. That was the end of it, but I felt ashamed for some reason, and I wondered at the time why indeed Bernie was dating me instead of a black woman. Was being with me worth all the harassment he took? It was also the first time I realized that not only many whites were unhappy about interracial couples, and I answered them with defiance, but plenty of blacks didn't approve, either. It all still made no sense to me.

About 10 years ago when I lived in San Diego, I was on the trolley one day when a young white guy got on. He sat next to me and started yakking about his home in the deep South and how he was here "to see California." His next question threw me, though, when he loudly asked, "Where's all the white people at?" It was rush hour and the car was full. The demographic was about half Latino, with blacks next in number, then whites, and a smattering of Asians and others. When I didn't answer, he asked again, so loudly that heads turned, "Where's all the white people and the hot white women at?" I answered that San Diego was a very diverse, cosmopolitan city and if he was uncomfortable with that, he and everyone else would be much happier if he went home. Then I stopped responding to him at all and he angrily got off at the next stop. A small smile and wink at that point from an elderly black man sitting opposite let me know I did the right thing.

The most recent incident just last month, the first in a decade, was funny and sad at the same time. A white neighbor, who is severely paranoid and often delusional, called me "racist against white people" because I'm close friends with my next-door neighbor, an exuberant, big-hearted black woman he decided he hates for no reason. His latest delusion is that she's a "gang leader," who intends to signal to "her gang" on the rare occasion that he goes out so they can rob his apartment. When I told him that was ridiculous, he went on a tirade about how I'm biased against him because he's a white man and how I'm a "race traitor" because I'm friendly with the blacks and Latinos in our apartment complex (whites, too, but that didn't count). I wanted to read him the riot act, but decided that with his mental issues he'd just become more hostile than he already was. Instead, I merely shook my head and walked away.

So that's my entire lifetime experience with race relations - from a suffocating, conservative, exclusively white, middle-class upbringing to "race traitor" - all because I broke out of that monochromatic world and found that there's a whole range of people who don't look like me, all multi-faceted human beings I could get to know and like very much, too. Go figure.

On another note, not to digress, but I find this very funny: According to the linked article below, "Wypipo" Explained, I'm partially "wypipo" and partially just plain old white. The deciding factors for wypipo are that I'm vegan and still have a safety pin on my backpack.
Do I really have to get rid of my beloved safety pin???

http://neguswhoread.com/wypipo-explained/

This is a very interesting and enlightening thread, Effie.
Thanks for starting it.

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Response to silverweb (Reply #132)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:37 AM

167. I'm observantly Jewish

I look stereo-typically Jewish. I also am Orthodox, so wear a yarmulke/kippah. Beard. Etc.

I am also "white" in the sense my skin is white, albeit on the swarthy side of white, like most persons of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern origin.

Across the course of my 90+ years on this Earth, I've experienced all sorts of issues, from all sorts of people.

Haters come in all colors.

We dealt with the Nazis as a young boy (although we manged to flee very early-on).

We dealt with Communists at the same time.

I dealt with Irish and Black and Italian gangs as a kid in various less-than-stellar neighborhoods in NYC (and they dealt with our gangs).

I dealt with an LBJ aide calling me a "fucking Kennedy kike" to my face.

I was referred to as the "the Jew" (not in an offensive way, believe it or not) working as a staffer in Congress. Used, as in "Go get the Jew to re-write this." More of an identifier than racist.

I've had in-numerous crazy black guys screaming at me in NYC that I was "not a real Jew". Some minor assaults. (This is how, BTW, I immediately was able to ID the perp in the recent attack of Hasidic men in NYC. Saying a Jewish person is not a "real Jew" is part of a goofy Replacement Theology religion with some prevalence among black supremacists.)

We actually had a real pogrom in Crown Heights in 1992. All I had were windows broken. (Google "Crown Heights Pogrom" if you do not recall.)

I recently (like within 10 years, I can't remember) had a Slurpee thrown on me by kids driving by in a car as I filled up my rental car near Hobby airport in Houston. They screamed "fucking Jooooo" as they drove by. At least the thrower was a black youth. No idea about the driver/other passengers. I flew to Washington DC soaked in red Slurpee.

I've gotten many a hard shoulder and spit on the ground in front of me in countless cities all around the world. By blacks and whites, but mainly recently pretty obvious Middle Easterners.

In Taiwan, back 20 years ago, I had an earnest young man ask me about the secrets of the Jews and our magical money skills. He wished to become Jewish so he could be rich. He was actually very nice. I tried to dissuade him, but I think all I did was frustrate him and make him think I did not want to share our "magic".

Etc.

Haters come in all races.



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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #167)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:18 PM

174. I'm so sorry, Moshe!

What you've been through is absolutely horrible - and the hateful buffoons running things now have been stirring up antisemitic sentiments even more, as well as greater antipathy for everyone except WASPs (what we used to call "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants" years ago).

Haters come in all races, ethnicities, and religions. This does not come naturally, but is learned in childhood from bigoted adults and deliberately fomented by the oligarchs to keep us fighting among ourselves; it's an age-old tactic that has worked well for them for a very long time. Then they are free to exploit us all, as well as the planet, solely for their own profit and power, which are never enough to satisfy them.

If we are to survive as human beings instead of merely drones, we must all stand together and fight back. From what I've seen, our young Millennials and Gen Z are way ahead of us in that regard, so I hope all their elders will catch up soon.

Be safe and well, Moshe.

Click here to see pertinent illustration >

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:42 PM

134. 14 years ago I took my aging mother to visit her sister in Munster IN, a Chicago suburb

She was living in a 4plex of 2 bedroom apts.

It was a nice summer day and we're out back chatting with the landlord's wife. They also lived in the building.

One of the units was vacant and her husband was showing it to two young guys which I guess were to be roommates. One of them was white the other black. Both were clean cut and articulate.

While he's showing them the unit his wife matter of factly says to us, "He won't rent to a black guy."

I was surprised at the comment and normally would have said something like, "You're stupid." Since my aunt was living there and would have to deal with these people I said nothing.

Oh and the people who owned the place were originally from eastern Europe.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 07:57 PM

136. Here it goes

I really don’t post much here only read, but I do have a few experiences in this nature.

I was a white kid that went to a majority African American school. There I met some of the most welcoming and nicest people I have ever met. I have on the other hand unfortunately also met some of the cruelest. There were many many times I felt singled out and even attacked because I was different. There were many fights and times I got suspended just for trying to defend myself. I went home with everything from a bruised ego to a broken tailbone. I was so miserable it ultimately caused me to drop out of school in the eleventh grade to just go get my GED.

Where I live in the Deep South navigating different prejudices and racial issues is everyday life. Racial makeup’s of different areas very greatly from all white, African American and then mixed areas. There are unfortunately people on both sides of the fence that are stuck in the stone age and single out those that are different.

I was dropping off a friend one night after a football game at his house. This particular friend was black and lived in a majority African American area. Very shortly after I dropped him off I was pulled over by a cop. This police officer asked why I was in that area and said I had no business there being white. He kept saying the only reason I have to be there was to buy drugs. I am only 17 at the time I end up handcuffed in the back of his car. He is then in turn tearing everything out of my truck looking for drugs that are not there. When he can’t find anything him visibly frustrated un cuffed me and leaves. In the mean time I am left to put everything back in my vehicle that was just thrown on the side of the road. All for just bringing somebody home.

I can honestly type for hours about these kinds of situations there’s no shortage. I do think my experience is more of a irregularity given the racial make up of the area I grew up. I think minority’s overwhelmingly deal with these type of situations ever single day.

I do believe it that most people harbor some levels of prejudice. Now whether they are honest to there self about it is one thing. It is engrained in our human nature to a certain degree. So there will always be bad apples in every group. The thing I see the most Is misunderstanding of people and different cultures and a lack of communication and dialogue. I think that once people talk and have a understanding of each other it’s eases there fear and tensions.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:07 PM

143. OK: This is really, really white. This is super white:

When I was going to college in lily-white Oshkosh, Wisconsin, we attended an inner-city retreat in Chicago. We stayed in a church in a mostly Hispanic neighborhood, but we took the bus to Jesse Jackson's church. At first the bus was mixed ethnicity. But the people on the bus and the people on the sidewalk got blacker and blacker until we were the only wypipo around for miles. When we were at Jesse Jackson's church, he starred at us.

______________________________

I've only had one real negative experience with a black person. When I was working, I had a black secretary who didn't come to work. If I tried to do anything about it, she would file an EEOC complaint. She showed up on average only 3 days a week. Towards the end, she would show up only 2 days a week. Sometimes, she would not show up for an entire week or two. She offered no excuse for her absences. I had to do her work and my work. I worked for a super-dysfunctional company and they wanted to get rid of me, so I think that is why they tolerated her behavior. (I would not be surprised if they encouraged her behavior) I quit that job.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:20 PM

144. Dear Effie,

I'm a 65 yr old blue eyed devil and I guess I can drag up some old examples of racial bigotry I've experienced. I was raised one of a handful of whites on an indian reservation out west. Everything was great, I loved it, but when I had anything to do with the townies, the white kids at the white school off the res, I was aware, even at a young age, of the division, I was treated like a renegade, living Out There with Them. I have been spit on, shoved and tripped by black folk because I am white. I have been ignored, stared through, snubbed, ridiculed, openly insulted and abandoned on the road because I am white. I have been denied employment for being white, I have been denied training for employment because I am white. I have been romantically rejected because I am white. I have had old colleagues snub me in public because they didn't want to be seen being friendly with a white. I have experienced many small episodes of disregard and contempt for being white. When I was a kid I gave a handful of change to a Black Panther on the corner collecting for the kids breakfast program. He took the money, but wouldn't even look at me. I was in a foreign country and a black guy came out of the blue and shouted at me, "I wouldn't HAVE that white skin!". I was lost in Miami looking for a post office and asked a black guy on the street to point the way. He gave me the hooded eyes look and walked away. I was at a train station in Chicago and there was a group of black women sitting there wearing these brown nun-like outfits. I was curious and politely asked one of them who they were. She looked up from her book, saw me, and went back to her book. Later I found that they were women from the Nation of Islam, so, mystery solved. I was the only white guy on a black contractors crew, the boss was having a dispute with a white homeowner that wasn't working out. He told me she was a bigot and wanted to know if I would take a shot at clearing the dispute. I did take a shot, but meeting with the woman homeowner I was only greeted with being reviled for being a Fool. "Wasting your life working for a Man Like That". My family members had been working in a construction trade for the last 80 years, but I was denied entry to the union apprenticeship program because they were trying to increase their black membership. Me and a white friend walked into a black bar one night, a really hopping place, looking forward to good fun. But a guy leaned over first thing, and coughed on my neck. A big open mouthed phlegmy cough. I wiped off his slime and moved on, and someone else tripped me. I was working in a black home, a very affluent household. I finished what I had to do but had been given no instruction on whether to lock the place up or not, so I waited for an hour so on the porch until the guy got home. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was watching his door til he got home. "Oh," he said, and walked in and shut the door behind him. I cant think but that I might have been treated in a more friendly way had I been black. My sister in law married a black guy. He was wild about her, but would have just nothing to do with me, just a nod.
But - I have mostly been treated with courtesy and civility, with warm friendliness, generosity, hospitality , and grace that has gladdened my heart and brought value to my life.
Why didn't I punch out the guy that spit on me? Why didn't I upbraid any of these for their abusive rudeness to me? I cant say for sure, but in the Old South my family was one of those that owned a lot of slaves. God only knows what atrocities they committed, and god only knows how many black americans are walking around today carrying the generational wounds and bruises that my family personally delivered. I'm not personally responsible for any of that, but I will also not be responsible for adding to the ugly list. I wont be lecturing anyone on how its unkind to spit on a white boy. After all, the guy that spit on me didn't know anything about me. It wasn't personal. He was spitting on a symbol of the oppression that had undermined his life. Thats' how I figured it. None of these things caused me real harm. The guy who snubbed my post office question.. that didn't screw up my life. But I figured maybe his rudeness somehow empowered him a little, let him feel somehow more whole and in control of his life. So, I could absorb that small insult. It wasn't me he was insulting, it was White Society, or something. The truck full of workers that wouldnt drive me up to the jobsite because it was the 'black van' and just laughed and told me to wait for the 'white van'. Well, their actions said nothing about me. I was not dishonored or defined in any way, but their actions did reveal something about the content of their own characters. 'Hey man, it was just a joke.' ha ha. yes, cute and clever. It's amazing how much poison can hide behind Cute and Clever. For instance - I could call you a Picaninny. That's kind of a cute and clever word, lightly comical sounding, like so many racial slurs, but while that would barely describe you in any way, it would go a long way in describing my own heart, for using it. The guy that spit on me did not dishonor me, he dishonored himself.
Wypipo is similar, yes? It's a cute and clever word, lightly comical sounding, but it does nothing to describe the people its aimed at. It says nothing about white people or any slice of white society. It does reveal the contempt and disregard of the people who use it or promote it though.
Take it from a blue eyed devil, born to racism. Racial slurs carry more poison to those that use them than to those that they are aimed at.

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Response to Triloon (Reply #144)

Sun May 6, 2018, 09:27 PM

145. This is really deep

 

There's a lot here - It's going to take me awhile to digest and process it all, but in the meantime, thanks for taking the time to think it through and write it down.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:15 AM

150. I'm a white male.

I lived and worked in Japan for eight years. After several years in an apartment that I had found through an agency that specialized in ex-pats (with listings that were about 25% above market value), I decided to do my own housing search using regular Japanese real estate agencies.

I was turned down countless times because I wasn't Japanese. The reasons ranged from a curt "No foreigners" to the polite fiction that "You won't understand which days to put your garbage out." The places that were willing to accept me straight away were mostly dumps. When I finally found a decent place, I had to get a Japanese friend to sign for me as a character reference and financial guarantor.

It was all completely legal: no laws about housing discrimination at the time (1990s). I read somewhere that in 2016, the Japanese government commissioned a study on housing discrimination. That's a step in the right direction.

In addition to housing difficulties, I frequently had men curse me out when I went out in public with a Japanese woman. Sometimes they would address the woman directly, telling her that she was disgracing her country.

Japan is a marvelous country in many ways, but in other ways, not so much.

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Response to Straw Man (Reply #150)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:51 AM

159. I'm a white woman who married a Japanese man in Japan.

It was years before his parents agreed to let me into their house and meet me. I understood, my husband's father's beloved elder brother died in a Russian POW camp. He blamed America for the war. MY BAD. After finally meeting me, my mother-in-law told my husband that she was relieved I didn't have blonde hair because that'd be too foreign for her. Thing is, if I were Korean or Filipino or Chinese I think it would've been out of question that I was accepted into the family, that's too lower class, former colonial peasants. I still had a sort of white people magic.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 06:31 AM

152. Kick

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #152)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:32 PM

176. Kick indeed.

only way to not be accused of being divisive is to never bring it up.

Ignore the endless examples of non POC privilege, and just never bring it up

I dont even use the W word anymore, when I do I get all kinds of very unwanted attention

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 07:03 AM

153. This post is crap.

Don't fall for it. The poster wants to divide us.

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Response to zanana1 (Reply #153)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:07 AM

154. Why don't you actually read the thread before attacking it and me?

 

You might actually learn something from your fellow DUers’ stories. I did.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #154)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:19 AM

155. These dire warnings not to "fall for it" as if it's Russian propaganda are so funny.

Who's transparent now?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:21 AM

156. Whalep, since you asked...

 

My wife (Jewish, but "white" as far as that goes) works as a teacher in an inner-city school, one of three white teachers there. To the student body, her and her white colleagues are "Those white cunts". She was assigned to the worst-of-the-worst (troublesome) classes in the school, is "asked" to pick up extra duties and to do the work of/for other teachers. That's all she's shared with me though (of her profession), so there's probably more going unsaid.

Myself? I've been told to "keep walkin', white boy" on the street. Been told that a store doesn't serve "my kind". I was aggressively stalked by a group and "asked" if I'd pay money to be shown the "right" way out of town. Been accused of being racist for a -lot- of shit that has nothing to do with race at all (Several stories there professionally, I can elaborate if you'd like.) Been told that I wasn't allowed to date a man's daughter because "You're not us (Phillipino)". Been asked to leave from a party because "You're the only white boy here and you make us uncomfortable."


Some, if not most of the most aggressively or overtly racist shit I've ever had to deal with comes from minorities. Worst part is, I'm not even "white"; I'm ethnically Asian, from a Yakut bloodline, just with light skin.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #156)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:14 AM

163. Thanks for sharing this.

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #163)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:47 AM

168. I struggled with it more than I thought I would, honestly.

 

It's... I suppose it's difficult for some people to share their stories, for one reason or another. For a time, I wasn't even certain if I qualified. Am I "White"? I suppose so, as far as skin tone and life experience goes, but that's not what makes me -me-, y'know? We're all so much more than a semi-arbitrary skin color. Just like black skin doesn't necessarily mean you're Ethiopian or Congolese, white skin doesn't inherently mean you're English or Norse. There's a massive gray area (tan area?) that's kind of indistinct and undefined which can get kind of hairy if people broad-brush by color.

Anyways, thanks for giving us white and "white" folk a chance to share.

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Response to Decoy of Fenris (Reply #156)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:23 AM

165. With a brick?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 08:44 AM

157. My white coworker got pulled aside for extra security screening

we work in a place where we have to go through security screening and metal detectors, but some people get pulled aside for extra screening where they go through our bags in detail, open up containers, we have to take off our belts and shoes, even if there is no metal, etc. It's irritating and really sucks when they make us late for a morning meeting. It's up the guard's discretion how much and how slowly they want to do this.

As a brown person I'm used to this happening to me 100% of the time at airports (flying while brown is like driving while black). But I was really surprised to see my dark haired Jewish female coworker get pulled aside also. That was wild. The security guards here are black. Some are African immigrants, some are black American, but they are all black. In my several months working here I have yet to see one black coworker get pulled aside for extra screening. And we have lots of black coworkers, some are African immigrants, most are black Americans. They are presumed to be safe.

Not a complaint, just an observation. I know that the opposite happens with police encounters but here is one instance where it would be great to be black.

Also, lots of women want to date black men. Nobody wants to date me.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:02 AM

161. I was raised in a all white town

But I had parents who taught me we are all the same underneath.

When I was 18 I lived for a time in a Christian commune and a black woman Pam and her two small children were my roommates. It was my first time to be up close to another race.

It was a great experience and she showed me a lot of love during a confusing time.

Then when I was 19 after finishing secretarial college I wanted to work for State Farm as a typist, I passed all their tests and interviews but found out I didn’t get the job because of a quota they had to have more minorities.

I will say I was disappointed but found another job.

My experiences have not been bad but have shown me if love is given out it is given back. Last time in New Orleans I rented a airbnb in a all black neighborhood that was a mile walk to Frenchman Street where we like to hang out.

I got to see what it was like to walk down the street and be the only white person. We went into a small liquor store and some cash was on the pathway up to it. I handed it to the owner of the small store and he hugged me and said I renewed his faith in white people. Made me cry.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #161)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:27 AM

166. "I got to see what it was like to walk down the street and be the only white person"

 

This reminds me of a speech that Sen. Bill Bradley gave that moved me deeply at the time and has always stuck with me.


I wish I had $100 for every time in the last 20 years that someone - usually a white person - asked me what it was like to play on the Knicks and travel with my teammates. “What was it like?” I’d ask, “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know, guys who came from such different backgrounds and had such different interests than yours.”

“You mean that most of them were black? That I was living in a kind of black world?” I’d ask. “Well yell” they’d finally admit, “What was it like on that team?”

“Listen,” I’d say “traveling with my teammates on the road in America was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life.”

And it was. Besides learning about the warmth of friendship, the inspiration of personal histories, the powerful role of family in each of their lives and the strength of each’s individuality, I better understand distrust and suspicion. I understand the meaning of certain looks and certain codes. I understand what it is to be in racial situations for which you have no frame of reference. I understand the tension of always being on guard, of never totally relaxing. I understand the pain of racial arrogance directed my way. I understand the loneliness of being white in a black world. And I understand how much I will never know about what it is to be black in America.

http://www.billbradley.com/assets/PDF/910716_CivilRights_speech.pdf

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 09:17 AM

164. I never really experienced any discrimination personally.

Latino kid living nearby was my friend when i was like 7-8 and enemy when i was 10 or 11 - and then sort of friend when were 16-17 - weird. Worked with a Black kid at my first job - generally a nice guy, very smart and decisive - but we also discussed his theory that while Black people were descended from apes, white people were descended from pigs - it was sort of just goofing around a job we weren't likely to lose but didn't care that much about, but it did make me vaguely uncomfortable.

I wasn't very aware in those days though; very much an introvert and so didn't really look at people that much.

Bryant

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 10:06 AM

169. I was attacked for being white ...

in high school by a black student. He threw an ice ball into my face, which precipitated a fight between us. It was a ludicrous fight because we ended up wrestling and punching each other in about a foot of powder snow while we wore heavy parkas and gloves. I got a bloody nose; blood shows up well in snow. We were both suspended from school for three days.

Context is important. This was the winter after MLK was assassinated, and for part of that time there were race-based attacks in my high school. It seemed quite surreal, as this was a liberal college town, Oberlin, the first college to admit blacks and women in the country. There were a sizable black community in the town as it had been a station on the Underground Railroad, and there was a pretty good relationship between blacks and whites. There was no segregation in the schools. These racial attacks came out of a frustration with the status quo, I think, and the loss of MLK.

I felt more of a sense of being an outsider when I lived in West Hartford, Connecticut, and most of my school was Jewish, and I wasn't. I didn't feel discriminated against, though.

Now, I am married to a black woman, and have a daughter. I experience racial slights through the experiences of my wife, and what she relates to me about them. I experience racial slights through different expectations from my daughter's teachers than they have of the white students.

I am sometimes, unlike most white people I know, in completely, or near-completely black social situations, and have always been treated very well, including massive family reunions where I am simply treated like family.

We live in a wildly diverse area though, full of immigrants from around the world, of all colors. I think this will ultimately trump the black-white racial polarity in the United States, the increasing changes of race and diversity of our country.



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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 10:32 AM

170. Discrimination against me, no

I heard some Polish jokes when I was growing up because my last name is Polish, but that's about all I can recall. (And, then, I would change "Polish" to "Italian" and retell the same joke to my mom, who is of Italian descent, but that was when I was a teen or younger)

Of course, I grew up in a small town that was probably 96-97% white. I think when I graduated, there were all of 2 Asian American students and 2 Hispanic Americans in the entire school, and maybe 10-12 African American kids out of a little over 400 kids in the entire high school (graduating class around 100 kids)

I would say that now that I've been married to a woman from China for almost 17 years now, I have seen some discrimination, but nothing too serious. We used to go out to dinner on occasion with an older Chinese couple. I noticed that if it was just me (white guy) and three Asians, we would often get poorer service in restaurants than if my wife and I went out with an older couple like my (white) parents. Even if it was the same restaurant a few weeks apart. I am guessing it's partly because Asians often have a reputation as being stingy with tips. (not saying it's true, but the reputation is out there)

But, to be honest, between marriages, I dated women of just about every race/ethnicity out there and never really experienced any sort of discrimination that I can recall. I guess that can be white privilege as well - I'm a clean cut white guy with a pretty good job who is generally respectful and a nice guy, so non-white relatives/friends didn't get too upset about me. At least not to my face. (And, yes, I would ask about that afterwards)




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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:05 PM

173. So, I mulled this over for 24 hours and

my only relatable story is of that of a fat lesbian. Some guy yelled, "fat bitch!" at me out of a fraternity house window when I was walking on fsu campus. I yelled back, " I'm not only fat, I'm a lesbian too!" So, no norhing about my whiteness, just hate toward the fat.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:24 PM

175. I have never faced anything as a result of being white...however

In the run up to the Iraq war the republicans carried out a campaign of hate the French because of France's stance on the war. Remember Freedom Fries?

My mother was from France and at that time there was a French Bistro close to my mother's home. She had gone there a few times to eat and has spoken with the owner.

Rockford does not have many people from France so it was nice to talk french with someone.

During the Hate the French campaign someone or some people vandalized the Bistro one night. Mom went there to talk with the guy who owned it.

Because of mom's accent, living alone (she and my dad were divorced) and the whole atmosphere I became concerned for her welfare.

For a little while I felt like I got some taste, a touch, of what minorities go through.
Not on the scale they do but, a little taste.
It was not fun. It was scary.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 12:48 PM

177. I've spent nearly all my professional adult life...

Working in Latin America. When I’m out in indigenous communities, I’m pretty obviously in the minority.
In urban areas, it’s less obvious. I’m Spanish, Italian, and Irish.
I’m not treated any differently in either place. My tattoos draw stares regardless.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 05:32 PM

179. It was no fun to be blonde and fair skinned gringo..

...in public school in Costa Rica in the 1970's.

I spent 3 years at school where i couldn't use the restrooms on account I would be jumped on by up to 10 boys and that big of a dog pile makes it hard to breath and scary, esp when you are 10yo.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 11:58 PM

187. Some Observations

 

First, this has been an awesome discussion. Those of you who shared stories have really educated and enlightened me and, I’m sure, many others who read them whether they said anything or not.

I commented on many of your stories. But the others I just read and thought about. Everything doesn’t need commentary.

It’s great that you persisted and stayed honest and focused, and didn’t get caught up in any of the distractions and foolishness that cropped up.

As I read your stories, I noticed a pattern - not universal, but a distinct pattern. Most of the negative experiences you had with racism and discrimination occurred on an individual basis, rather than at an institutional level. In other words, they involved encounters with individuals displaying individual, albeit often hateful, bias. That’s not to discount or diminish the experiences - they were still negative and difficult and unfair - but that’s what I saw.

This is an interesting contrast to the stories shared by minority DUers. Most our stories seemed to focus much more on instances of institutional and systemic discrimination. For example, they were more likely to involve people in positions of authority or power over us or larger institutions in society (or people backed up by such power or institutions), e.,g, police, employers, etc. Again, I’m not suggesting that one type of discrimination is worse or harder or easier or less fair or more cruel than another. Getting beat up in a parking lot because you’re white is not less horrific, frightening or wrong than getting pulled over by a cop for driving while black. But the dynamics are different.

As I think about this distinction, it occurs to me that this might help explain some of the disconnect in our discussions.

One of the really clear sticking points seems to be that minority DUers feel that white DUers are quick to scoff at and dismiss the existence of institutional racism. They often approach our attempts to point it out as unreasonable and unfair, and an attempt to blame all white people for racism.

On the other hand, many white DUers seem to resent what they believe is a refusal of minorities to recognize that, even if they do have certain privileges, those privileges don’t prevent them from ever being discriminated against. And pointing that out doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to co-opt or piggyback discrimination faced by minorities.

I think that, given their own personal experiences of being victimized by personal, individual instances of discrimination and lack of experience as victims of larger, systemic racism, many whites just can’t identify with or relate to the latter as a real thing. They don’t see it because they haven’t seen it in their own lives and, therefore, don’t recognize it and don’t understand it.

By the same token, many minorities may have trouble appreciating how whites feel when their experiences a victims are shooed away as no big deal. This may be because minorities have had to deal with those individual experiences as well as the larger institutional ones and those are things we just expect and deal with on a daily basis - and the fact that they’re so common to us makes them seem like not a big deal - at least not in comparison with the bigger systemic crap we have to deal with. So we brush it off when we see it happen to other people with a “Welcome to MY world” casualness, which isn’t always fair to the people who also have to deal with it, even though they may not have to grapple with the more pervasive and sinister forms of discrimination.

So, if nothing else, I hope people will take away from this - I know I will - a better sense of where people who don’t look like us aren’t coming from. And that while it’s clear that whites and minorities are not subjected to equivalent levels and degrees of racism and discrimination - since it’s can’t be disputed that minorities have faced and will continue to face much harsher treatment - our own experiences can provide us a starting point for more empathy for people who don’t look like us.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #187)

Tue May 8, 2018, 12:58 AM

188. Thank you so much for your posts, Effie.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #188)

Tue May 8, 2018, 06:02 AM

189. Thank YOU!

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #187)

Tue May 8, 2018, 11:19 AM

192. Thank you for this thread. Although I do find the defensiveness rather astonishing.

"It's not all of us!" is the general theme of the protests.

No one's saying it's ALL OF YOU. It's just that there's seeming cluelessness about how minorities have spent lifetimes facing discrimination, and we're so used to it, we've learned to just roll with it. But when an instance of discrimination happens to a white person, they're so outraged that they remember each and every instance like it's a perpetual open wound.

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