1. says:

    June 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Lord, the people who don't even realize it's wrong scare me. Living in California, I have co-workers who make REALLY F*CKED UP Mexican jokes when talking to me, expecting me to laugh.

    I grew up in North Carolina in the nineties people, they BEAT anti-racism into our heads. And it worked.

    • Martha says:

      June 5, 2010 at 10:09 am

      Margaret, I think that happens everywhere. This was an extreme example. But I could relate many more stories where white people made inappropriate comments and didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with it.

  2. says:

    June 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

    But, Martha… that's the most beautiful little black baby girl! *laugh* Ugh (sorry, I tried to not say it, I promise, but I kept saying it my head and laughing to myself the whole time I was reading it).

    I grew up in a very small town near Charleston, SC. I hate going back there. It is nearly physically painful for me, the ignorance and stupidity… heck, from my own family even… it just sickens me. My mother and baby sister has made leaps and bounds actually. I like to think because I've said a few things to her about it (even about homosexuality a little, it's interesting to watch her views change a little – I hope I had something to do with that!)

    My other sister, on the other hand. Oy. The last time we were down… well, it's a long story, but we were talking about self-employment and paying our own insurance and laughing about the cost when her boyfriend piped up about the n–ger President and how he was going to get us to pay for all his other n–ger friend's health coverage.. blah blah… I'm sad to say that my husband and I just stared at each other, didn't know what to say and just changed the subject. It hit me as such an inappropriate comment and so far out of left field. Nevermind the political aspects (we don't discuss politics with anyone LOL), but the ignorance was amazing. We had just met this man and this is what he chose to say to us? I can only assume he was trying to make a point. My family is well aware of our "crazy liberal ideas" – apparently that means liking people no matter their skin color.

    It's sad, but really, there's so little we can do about it. I didn't say anything to that man because I didn't want to start an argument. Nothing I say would have changed his attitude. To him, black people are obviously lazy and no good and looking for hand outs, right? Sigh.

    Having said that, while we still see some racial issues here in Austin, I'm generally pleased that we don't see near as much of it. Even my kids noticed it in the way people spoke about each other while we were visiting family. I like that my kids don't think twice about their friends and who they play with. I will say that I notice the ESL kids do seem to segregate themselves a little in the kid's school, but I hope once the language issues are lessened, it won't be as prevalent. The rest of the kids seem to play with each other without really making a big deal of it. My kids did one day ask me what the difference in Chinese and Japanese was because the kids they knew had the same skin tone. It was kind of fun explaining the cultural differences (and I learned a few things at the same time!).

    I sometimes really miss living in Hawaii. We were there for seven years. I was the minority, a BIG time minority. I never felt weird or looked down on. Everyone talked pretty openly about their culture. It wasn't about what you looked like, but who you were. I got to do so many cultural events while I was there. My favorite was participating in Chinese New Year, they also had authentic Japanese tea houses there. Anyway, the cultural climate there was so different than here on the mainland.

    Um, sorry to hijack your post. LOL. You need to put one of those comment notifiers on your blog though so I don't forget to come back and check out other comments. *laughing* Cuz, ya know, it's all about me. Umm… yeah, hijacking again. And telling you what to do. I rock!

  3. Martha says:

    June 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Candy, you do rock! I don't mind you hijacking. LOL I'm glad you shared your story. I need to do a LOT of things to my blog but searching through the massive amounts of plug-ins gives me a headache.

    But anyway, yeah, it's amazing how much we grow and change as we move around and diversify our lives. I am learning so much being the mom of a child of a different color. I know that it will take years of educating and mixing the races before racism becomes a non-issue. With every generation it gets better and better.

    I hate to think that people who use racist terminology get a pass just because people don't know what to say. But I have been in that boat more than once. And I have never known what to say. Now that I have a Black daughter though? If I heard that from anyone I think I would go ballistic, no matter who it was or where we were. I just don't think I could handle it.

    It's funny. I have made comparisons between Annika and President Obama. LOL Both of their fathers are full-blooded Africans, not the same country, but same continent. Both mothers came from mid-western American families. Who knows, maybe she'll be the first Black woman president! 🙂

  4. Lorien says:

    June 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I don't trust myself to get into a full fledged confrontation with people who are blatantly racist. They aren't going to change, and I would be more frustrated and angry than I was to start with. I prefer to loudly mumble a sarcastic "NICE!" and walk away from the person. What can they do? Argue that they were, indeed, being nice? I don't think even they are truly that clueless.

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