My whole opinion has changed.

Like Tree74Likes

Spider I understand. I will give you specific examples.

I have a friend who is half native indian and half white. I had a bird. She would put my birds feathers in her hair and run around like one of those indiansin the old westerns. Do you know what I mean? She would go to our white friends and say "white skined devil, I will scalp you for raping mother earth and killing my people". It was a joke for us and we would laugh.

For an event in dc called santarchy, everyone who participates dress in christmas themed attire. A jewish friend just wore his cloths. Some stranger asked him why he wasn't in costume and she seemed really peeved that he wasn't and had a nasty attitude so he told her "I am. I'm on my way to pick up chinese food. That's what jews do on christmas." And a black friend followed. Up with, " and I'm going get me a 40!"

I have had one white friend who would come over and hang out and when they were ready to leave would say, "let me get my cr@cker @$$ out of here"

I on several occasions have called myself a mutt.

I have blacks friends who say the n word all the time.

I was hanging out with my cousin who is gay. These couple was making out in public. The guy was wearing skinny jeans. My cousin says, "only gay men should wear skinny jeans." We told him that dude could had heard you. His replly was, "I don't care he should know he looks more f.... then me."

These are just a few of the extreme examples. Most of these events happened many many years ago. My friend doesn't run around pretending to scalp people. Since skinny jeans have become more popular my cousin no longer cares who wears them. Most of the time when we do use slurs or act in stereotypes we are att private events

yeah I have heard of this stereotype. my dad does home improvement and house painting. Are you familar with the mt. washington or roland park area? there is a big jewish population there. my dad has done work there. Once when i was a little girl i went with him to a job. he told the homeowner the cost. my dad asked him something like, "does that seem fair?" the guy laughed and said,"yeah, it seems kinda cheap though, and thats coming from a jew". i was too young to get it. but didnt see anything wrong. he told a joke and they laughed. i got older and discovered that is was a stereotype.

But "jew him down"? really? it makes it seem as if being a jew is something bad.
Originally Posted by thelio
Speaking generally its been Pikesville that's been sort of the focal point of the Jewish community in the area, but Mt Washington is adjacent to Pikesville. My husband lived in Mt Washington when we met.

--
Sent from my phone, please excuse typos or brevity.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
Did you drow up in the baltimore area or did you just move there? I know this has nothing to do with my original post, but its just groovy to find a baltimore curly.

liberty hts use to be the focal point of the jewish population that now lives in pikesville. There is still a beautiful synagogue (sp) there. I will be the first to say the neighborhood is not the safest.

But roland park and mt washington both have a nice sized jewish population. My dad has done a lot of work in the areas and had to rescedule a lot to accomedate holidays and such. Pikesville and another area, I can't remember the name, has a big orthodox jewish population.

Last edited by thelio; 03-31-2012 at 07:35 AM.
Thanks for the feedback curlies. You have gotten me thinking because of a lot of the points you all have made.

Because I have always had such a diverse group of friends, I always felt us using slurs or behaving in streotypic behaving was our way of further strengthening our bonds. That doing this we were telling the world, "hey throughout the centuries there have been people trying to keep races\ nationalties\ genders\ religions ect., apart, but we laugh in your face." For instance, one of my blacks friends just last week was saying how much he loved watermelon. An asian friend said, "wow how black of you!" No one took offense. e are still friends. We knew he was joking. I also has middle eastern friends, we ask them if they are going to blow us up today. They always have a witty comback and we all laugh

I also have realized most of my friends are some type of minority, a lot of non-american. We have had discussions on racism in america, and a few of them has just kept asking why? they couldn't get that how us as a group got along find, when others couldn't. None of the america born had any answers.

I also have a lot of friends who feel we should be able to say waht ever we want. Even we people spurt our hateful rhetoric. They feel if you censore them you have to censor all. I have also come to understand that.

While I don't think avoided some slurs are being pc, I do think the pc movement have gone a little too far. I know at a friend's daughters school they canceled th "winter" party. The pc'ers wanted the party to have nothing to do with any religious holiday. The non-pc'ers wanted a old st. Nick there and traditional christmas carols. No one agreed so the kids party was cancelled, because of there parents.
Spider I understand. I will give you specific examples.

I have a friend who is half native indian and half white. I had a bird. She would put my birds feathers in her hair and run around like one of those indiansin the old westerns. Do you know what I mean? She would go to our white friends and say "white skined devil, I will scalp you for raping mother earth and killing my people". It was a joke for us and we would laugh.

For an event in dc called santarchy, everyone who participates dress in christmas themed attire. A jewish friend just wore his cloths. Some stranger asked him why he wasn't in costume and she seemed really peeved that he wasn't and had a nasty attitude so he told her "I am. I'm on my way to pick up chinese food. That's what jews do on christmas." And a black friend followed. Up with, " and I'm going get me a 40!"

I have had one white friend who would come over and hang out and when they were ready to leave would say, "let me get my cr@cker @$$ out of here"

I on several occasions have called myself a mutt.

I have blacks friends who say the n word all the time.

I was hanging out with my cousin who is gay. These couple was making out in public. The guy was wearing skinny jeans. My cousin says, "only gay men should wear skinny jeans." We told him that dude could had heard you. His replly was, "I don't care he should know he looks more f.... then me."

These are just a few of the extreme examples. Most of these events happened many many years ago. My friend doesn't run around pretending to scalp people. Since skinny jeans have become more popular my cousin no longer cares who wears them. Most of the time when we do use slurs or act in stereotypes we are att private events
Originally Posted by thelio
Ugh, I hate when people do stuff like this often.

My own personal opinion is that they do it because they are in some way uncomfortable with themself and the situation and they are trying to over-compensate or set themselves or others at ease.

i.e. I went to law school with a few people who had parents of Indian or Pakistani descent. The vast majority of students were white and the school had a very elitist air. These students were constantly talking about how they were brown, making white jokes, making comments about being "the brown girl" or cracks that "you're all racist, etc." They played it like they were these really cool, "exotic" people who were popular with everyone, but if real race discussions came up they got offended that people were talking about race, when no one talked about it more than them. I think now that they felt extremely insecure and intimidated by being such a small minority and that was how they dealt with it.

I would think that the person descended from Aboriginal people did have some internal beliefs that her Aboriginal ancestors were wrongfully dispossessed of their land, but because also has white blood and because she is in a diverse environment, she didn't feel comfortable expressing that except as a "joke." The Jewish person at a Christmas celebration felt uncomfortable, and the Black person responding to that discomfort wanted to make the point that they are also a minority and don't always fit in.

At the least, the people calling themselves racial slurs seem to like drawing constant attention to the fact that they are different than others - so it seems that race is highly significant to them in social situations for some reason. I mean, when I am at the house of a friend of a different background and I'm ready to leave, I don't know why I would be drawing their attention to my racial background unless it has been troubling me that I am socializing with someone of another race, or I think I'm doing something great and I deserve tolerant and non-racist points, or something.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Thanks for the feedback curlies. You have gotten me thinking because of a lot of the points you all have made.

Because I have always had such a diverse group of friends, I always felt us using slurs or behaving in streotypic behaving was our way of further strengthening our bonds. That doing this we were telling the world, "hey throughout the centuries there have been people trying to keep races\ nationalties\ genders\ religions ect., apart, but we laugh in your face." For instance, one of my blacks friends just last week was saying how much he loved watermelon. An asian friend said, "wow how black of you!" No one took offense. e are still friends. We knew he was joking. I also has middle eastern friends, we ask them if they are going to blow us up today. They always have a witty comback and we all laugh

I also have realized most of my friends are some type of minority, a lot of non-american. We have had discussions on racism in america, and a few of them has just kept asking why? they couldn't get that how us as a group got along find, when others couldn't. None of the america born had any answers.

I also have a lot of friends who feel we should be able to say waht ever we want. Even we people spurt our hateful rhetoric. They feel if you censore them you have to censor all. I have also come to understand that.

While I don't think avoided some slurs are being pc, I do think the pc movement have gone a little too far. I know at a friend's daughters school they canceled th "winter" party. The pc'ers wanted the party to have nothing to do with any religious holiday. The non-pc'ers wanted a old st. Nick there and traditional christmas carols. No one agreed so the kids party was cancelled, because of there parents.
Originally Posted by thelio
I also have always had a diverse group of friends and we have never felt the need to behave like that.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Thanks for the feedback curlies. You have gotten me thinking because of a lot of the points you all have made.

Because I have always had such a diverse group of friends, I always felt us using slurs or behaving in streotypic behaving was our way of further strengthening our bonds. That doing this we were telling the world, "hey throughout the centuries there have been people trying to keep races\ nationalties\ genders\ religions ect., apart, but we laugh in your face." For instance, one of my blacks friends just last week was saying how much he loved watermelon. An asian friend said, "wow how black of you!" No one took offense. e are still friends. We knew he was joking. I also has middle eastern friends, we ask them if they are going to blow us up today. They always have a witty comback and we all laugh

I also have realized most of my friends are some type of minority, a lot of non-american. We have had discussions on racism in america, and a few of them has just kept asking why? they couldn't get that how us as a group got along find, when others couldn't. None of the america born had any answers.

I also have a lot of friends who feel we should be able to say waht ever we want. Even we people spurt our hateful rhetoric. They feel if you censore them you have to censor all. I have also come to understand that.

While I don't think avoided some slurs are being pc, I do think the pc movement have gone a little too far. I know at a friend's daughters school they canceled th "winter" party. The pc'ers wanted the party to have nothing to do with any religious holiday. The non-pc'ers wanted a old st. Nick there and traditional christmas carols. No one agreed so the kids party was cancelled, because of there parents.
Originally Posted by thelio
I think a lot of this behavior is something you grow out of as you mature. When you're a kid you think you're being defiant and avant garde by ignoring the societal context of slurs and hurtful language, but when you grow up you see it for what it is, and you stop.

Also, this whole idea of the PC police versus the non-PCers is insane. People wanted an inclusive, non-denominational party rather than an exclusive, Christian party, and because Christians have this insane persecution complex when it comes to secularism, they got the party cancelled. That is not "pc going too far," that's Christians throwing a hissy fit when they're not given everything they want.
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"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
I can somewhat relate because I used to be like that with my friends. I mean, I didn't use the "n" word or the "c" word, but I have said some pretty ugly things with my friends in jest. Yes, I was/am young, so I thought I was being cool, flying in the face of racism, showing that racism didn't have any power over me and that it was just plain stupid.

But I started to realize that there were problems with this. First of all, some of the friends that I was "joking" with didn't seem like they were joking after a while, or they took the joke too far. One example I can think of is a white friend who had a preference for black men (as in, she exclusively dated them), and she constantly joked about not wanting to have girls with "nappy" hair. She hoped all her kids were guys. I didn't realize that she was not joking until she started railing on one of my friends and myself for having nappy hair. While I didn't get offended because I wasn't insecure about my "nappy" hair (I would just return with some silly joke like, "Not everyone wants to have straight, oily, stringy hair"), there was one friend who wouldn't respond to those jokes, or she would withdraw into herself whenever they happened. It turned out she felt really insecure about her hair because she grew up with "bad" hair in a family that really stressed the whole "good hair, light skin, light eyes is ideal" thing. It took me about a year to realize that this was a problem, and I defended the other friend, saying, "There's nothing wrong with nappy hair. She was born with it, just as you were born with straight hair."

After that, the first girl and I weren't quite friends anymore.

Another problem I realized I had was that sometimes, as Amneris mentioned, I used those jokes to air my insecurities. Like one time I was tired of feeling "othered" on a daily basis, so after one of my white friends joked about slavery with me, I said something like, "At least I don't look like a Nazi." (Um, yeah, I realize how awful that is now and I regret every ugly thing I said during those years.)

As I grew older and a little more conscious of the ugly prejudices that do exist in our society, I stopped using those words and saying those things, even jokingly. You never know when someone might use those jokes against you. Like my younger sister used to joke with her two friends (one mixed with Korean and white, the other Persian and Polish) about race and it backfired when she found out that the latter friend was dating a racist. A few months after breaking up with this guy, the friend told my sister that she just found out that he was racist. When my sister let her know that she always knew he was racist, the friend asked, "How?"

My sister replied, "Well, he was always steering you away from black guys at the mall because you have a 'fat ass.'"

And the friend had the nerve to reply something along the lines of, "Well, it's true. Black guys do like white girls with big butts."

Anyway, we have both been learning our lessons these days, especially with all this race-related stuff that's been coming out in the news lately. Ugh.
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Last edited by forbee; 04-01-2012 at 11:32 AM.
thanks curlies you all have given me alot to think about.

but as a side note, santarchy is more of an anti-traditional christmas celebration. its just an excuse for people to wear crazy outfits, go bar hopping and sing profane versions of christmas songs.

as an update, my friend was reported to facebook. he had to take the post down. i will probably see him sometime this week. i probably wont say "so you remember, that post you put up a week ago?" but i know we will get into a discussion about news and current events and the martin/zimmermen case will most likely come up.
Spider I understand. I will give you specific examples.

I have a friend who is half native indian and half white. I had a bird. She would put my birds feathers in her hair and run around like one of those indiansin the old westerns. Do you know what I mean? She would go to our white friends and say "white skined devil, I will scalp you for raping mother earth and killing my people". It was a joke for us and we would laugh.

For an event in dc called santarchy, everyone who participates dress in christmas themed attire. A jewish friend just wore his cloths. Some stranger asked him why he wasn't in costume and she seemed really peeved that he wasn't and had a nasty attitude so he told her "I am. I'm on my way to pick up chinese food. That's what jews do on christmas." And a black friend followed. Up with, " and I'm going get me a 40!"

I have had one white friend who would come over and hang out and when they were ready to leave would say, "let me get my cr@cker @$$ out of here"

I on several occasions have called myself a mutt.

I have blacks friends who say the n word all the time.

I was hanging out with my cousin who is gay. These couple was making out in public. The guy was wearing skinny jeans. My cousin says, "only gay men should wear skinny jeans." We told him that dude could had heard you. His replly was, "I don't care he should know he looks more f.... then me."

These are just a few of the extreme examples. Most of these events happened many many years ago. My friend doesn't run around pretending to scalp people. Since skinny jeans have become more popular my cousin no longer cares who wears them. Most of the time when we do use slurs or act in stereotypes we are att private events
Originally Posted by thelio
These are very good, interesting examples! But honestly, I find the behavior troubling. Personally, I don't find any of it funny and it smacks a lot of internalized racism/self hatred and/or, as Amneris said, discomfort w/in the group.

The Black guy talking about the 40 oz, especially.

And the Native American girl making the scalping jokes? Did anyone address her remarks in a serious manner? The colonization of this country by Europeans and the resulting genocide of Native peoples is truly a shameful aspect of our nat'l history. I think someone should have acknowledged that and commiserated that point, instead of laughing. Seriously, thousands Native Americans are still "interned" on these reservations where they suffer poverty, disease, isolation, shortened lifespans, etc. and the suicide and alcoholism rates there are the highest of any group in the country...bc of the oppression they've endured. That is soooooo not funny. Either she is speaking out of pain or she is speaking out of abject ignorance...but either way, her comments shouldn't have been laughed off.

rant over...I am glad the OP is beginning to see things differently.
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Spider I understand. I will give you specific examples.

I have a friend who is half native indian and half white. I had a bird. She would put my birds feathers in her hair and run around like one of those indiansin the old westerns. Do you know what I mean? She would go to our white friends and say "white skined devil, I will scalp you for raping mother earth and killing my people". It was a joke for us and we would laugh.

For an event in dc called santarchy, everyone who participates dress in christmas themed attire. A jewish friend just wore his cloths. Some stranger asked him why he wasn't in costume and she seemed really peeved that he wasn't and had a nasty attitude so he told her "I am. I'm on my way to pick up chinese food. That's what jews do on christmas." And a black friend followed. Up with, " and I'm going get me a 40!"

I have had one white friend who would come over and hang out and when they were ready to leave would say, "let me get my cr@cker @$$ out of here"

I on several occasions have called myself a mutt.

I have blacks friends who say the n word all the time.

I was hanging out with my cousin who is gay. These couple was making out in public. The guy was wearing skinny jeans. My cousin says, "only gay men should wear skinny jeans." We told him that dude could had heard you. His replly was, "I don't care he should know he looks more f.... then me."

These are just a few of the extreme examples. Most of these events happened many many years ago. My friend doesn't run around pretending to scalp people. Since skinny jeans have become more popular my cousin no longer cares who wears them. Most of the time when we do use slurs or act in stereotypes we are att private events
Originally Posted by thelio
These are very good, interesting examples! But honestly, I find the behavior troubling. Personally, I don't find any of it funny and it smacks a lot of internalized racism/self hatred and/or, as Amneris said, discomfort w/in the group.

The Black guy talking about the 40 oz, especially.

And the Native American girl making the scalping jokes? Did anyone address her remarks in a serious manner? The colonization of this country by Europeans and the resulting genocide of Native peoples is truly a shameful aspect of our nat'l history. I think someone should have acknowledged that and commiserated that point, instead of laughing. Seriously, thousands Native Americans are still "interned" on these reservations where they suffer poverty, disease, isolation, shortened lifespans, etc. and the suicide and alcoholism rates there are the highest of any group in the country...bc of the oppression they've endured. That is soooooo not funny. Either she is speaking out of pain or she is speaking out of abject ignorance...but either way, her comments shouldn't have been laughed off.

rant over...I am glad the OP is beginning to see things differently.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
we were kids when she use to do this. she doesnt do it anymore, I swear!!!

but she is very well aware of the issues natives has faced and is still facing. her dad is 100% cherokee and use to be semi active in the issues the natives faced, (he is now too sick to do much).

I just wanted to note, we dont do this all the time. this isnt our whole conversation everytime we get together. while we do joke 85% of the time, we can be serious about race and other issues. we also have do problem discussing it. living in dc, 90% of the time a serious topic will come up and we will discuss it seriously. topics we find serious, we never joke about (i wont say never, its hard for nay of us to not crack wise at anything), ie: how much the republicans hate the fact a black man in the presdent, a friend made the observation that america finds black men threatening unless they are funny(whos afraid of chris rock, eddie murphy, richard pryor red fox??)

i have to say most of our jokes have to do with how crapping the gov is.

But yes spider I am starting to see things from a different perspective. I'm learning!!!
I think when people are young and figuring things out, these sorts of jokes are a pretty normal way to deal with the feelings that come about with the dawning realization of some pretty ****ty history.

I remember being very strident and also bitterly sarcastic as a youth. A combination of coming to terms with the real world and the many and varying ways in which I was NOT prepared to do so. Not everyone handles everything the same way, not everyone comes out of the womb all mature and ready for anything. For some of us, our parents did a crap job preparing us for life. Humor is an acknowledged healthy way to deal with things that make us deeply uncomfortable.

I'm glad you're realizing you feel differently about these things now, thelio, but I don't think you and your friends were out of line or anything. If we couldn't blow off steam with our friends in our youth, a lot of us would be completely lost.
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"I am. I'm on my way to pick up chinese food. That's what jews do on christmas."
Originally Posted by thelio
FYI this really is a Jewish tradition for Christmas (albeit a tongue in cheek one). And it's certainly not a hurtful stereotype. At least back in the old days, most people who owned Chinese restaurants weren't Christian. So those were the only restaurants that would be open on Christmas.

And gay guys calling each other "f*gs" is generally tongue in cheek. The word "queer" has become an important identity to a lot of people. And "d*ke" is used in a positive way to describe lesbian-culture things, especially to distinguish stuff aimed at lesbians from "lesbian" stuff aimed at men.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 04-02-2012 at 01:41 PM.
While I don't think avoided some slurs are being pc, I do think the pc movement have gone a little too far. I know at a friend's daughters school they canceled th "winter" party. The pc'ers wanted the party to have nothing to do with any religious holiday. The non-pc'ers wanted a old st. Nick there and traditional christmas carols. No one agreed so the kids party was cancelled, because of there parents.
Originally Posted by thelio
Personally I'm okay with a "winter party." But Christmas is often a pretty painful time for non-Christian children in the US. It certainly was for me. I remember one time I asked a teacher, "Are those winter decorations or Christmas decorations?" She said they were winter decorations. "Then why are they all Christmas colors?" At which point she made it clear that the discussion was over.

ETA: Yes, I asked that question to be a smart*ss, because I thought it was BS to call it a "winter party" when everything indicated that it was a Christmas party.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 04-02-2012 at 01:57 PM.
While I don't think avoided some slurs are being pc, I do think the pc movement have gone a little too far. I know at a friend's daughters school they canceled th "winter" party. The pc'ers wanted the party to have nothing to do with any religious holiday. The non-pc'ers wanted a old st. Nick there and traditional christmas carols. No one agreed so the kids party was cancelled, because of there parents.
Originally Posted by thelio
Personally I'm okay with a "winter party." But Christmas is often a pretty painful time for non-Christian children in the US. It certainly was for me. I remember one time I asked a teacher, "Are those winter decorations or Christmas decorations?" She said they were winter decorations. "Then why are they all Christmas colors?" At which point she made it clear that the discussion was over.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
In this case parents let their pettiness ruin things for their kids. i dont thinking any of the kids cared, they just wanted a day to not have school work adn have fun.

Thats sad Eilonwy. i'm sorry you felt that way growing up. christmas just passed i decorated my lab with christmas and chankkuh(sp) decoration, and winter none-holiday affiliated stuff.
Thats sad Eilonwy. i'm sorry you felt that way growing up.
Originally Posted by thelio
Thanks. At least my teachers acknowledged Hanukkah. There was no recognition at all of my many Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu classmates, or those who mainly just venerated their ancestors.

This is why I feel it's inappropriate to have religious holiday parties at non-religious schools. (Not to mention the First Amendment.) Someone's always going to be left out, and you can have just as much fun with a winter party. A winter party is rooted in Christianity and Judaism, but winter break coming up is definitely worth celebrating. Although, there may be kids whose families don't celebrate occasions other than their own religious holidays.

To be honest, being excluded at Christmastime played a pretty big role in shaping my political opinions.
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Last edited by Eilonwy; 04-02-2012 at 02:26 PM.
Spider I understand. I will give you specific examples.

I have a friend who is half native indian and half white. I had a bird. She would put my birds feathers in her hair and run around like one of those indiansin the old westerns. Do you know what I mean? She would go to our white friends and say "white skined devil, I will scalp you for raping mother earth and killing my people". It was a joke for us and we would laugh.

For an event in dc called santarchy, everyone who participates dress in christmas themed attire. A jewish friend just wore his cloths. Some stranger asked him why he wasn't in costume and she seemed really peeved that he wasn't and had a nasty attitude so he told her "I am. I'm on my way to pick up chinese food. That's what jews do on christmas." And a black friend followed. Up with, " and I'm going get me a 40!"

I have had one white friend who would come over and hang out and when they were ready to leave would say, "let me get my cr@cker @$$ out of here"

I on several occasions have called myself a mutt.

I have blacks friends who say the n word all the time.

I was hanging out with my cousin who is gay. These couple was making out in public. The guy was wearing skinny jeans. My cousin says, "only gay men should wear skinny jeans." We told him that dude could had heard you. His replly was, "I don't care he should know he looks more f.... then me."

These are just a few of the extreme examples. Most of these events happened many many years ago. My friend doesn't run around pretending to scalp people. Since skinny jeans have become more popular my cousin no longer cares who wears them. Most of the time when we do use slurs or act in stereotypes we are att private events
Originally Posted by thelio
Ugh, I hate when people do stuff like this often.

My own personal opinion is that they do it because they are in some way uncomfortable with themself and the situation and they are trying to over-compensate or set themselves or others at ease.

i.e. I went to law school with a few people who had parents of Indian or Pakistani descent. The vast majority of students were white and the school had a very elitist air. These students were constantly talking about how they were brown, making white jokes, making comments about being "the brown girl" or cracks that "you're all racist, etc." They played it like they were these really cool, "exotic" people who were popular with everyone, but if real race discussions came up they got offended that people were talking about race, when no one talked about it more than them. I think now that they felt extremely insecure and intimidated by being such a small minority and that was how they dealt with it.

I would think that the person descended from Aboriginal people did have some internal beliefs that her Aboriginal ancestors were wrongfully dispossessed of their land, but because also has white blood and because she is in a diverse environment, she didn't feel comfortable expressing that except as a "joke." The Jewish person at a Christmas celebration felt uncomfortable, and the Black person responding to that discomfort wanted to make the point that they are also a minority and don't always fit in.

At the least, the people calling themselves racial slurs seem to like drawing constant attention to the fact that they are different than others - so it seems that race is highly significant to them in social situations for some reason. I mean, when I am at the house of a friend of a different background and I'm ready to leave, I don't know why I would be drawing their attention to my racial background unless it has been troubling me that I am socializing with someone of another race, or I think I'm doing something great and I deserve tolerant and non-racist points, or something.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I hear you, Amneris...this was an issue with my ex. He was black (African American) and his family/friends were extremely prejudiced. They would constantly make racial "jokes" at my expense. I'm of mixed race but light-skinned to the point of looking mostly white or something besides black.

His mother was cold and disdainful to me in the whole time we dated, which was about 6 years. She would say things about my "pasty" skin and there was a time when a friend of his family called me a cracker. I constantly felt like I needed to justify my existence to these people, because they clearly had a problem with me based on my appearance and other things. But they never failed to remind me that I had "nappy" hair (which is bad in their eyes) and that I was still just a little black girl (because you know us mixed folks think we're better, right?)

His father would actually interrogate me about my background and my family tree as if to prove something, as if it mattered. Then he would start telling me all about his so-called Cherokee ancestry and how this relative looked whiter than me and I should be proud of my blackness, etc...ugh. But his dad, despite being a member of the "soul patrol", was obsessed with non-black women and with black women who bleached their hair blonde. Hypocrite.

My ex would hang out with certain people who were obsessive about race. Somehow the conversation would always return to racial slurs and ethnic "jokes". I felt so uncomfortable, but especially when certain people would cross the line. He didn't see anything wrong with his white or white-identified Hispanic friends using the "n" word. He didn't see why it would be uncomfortable for me in particular.

There were nasty, racist comments about my skin, my hair, and my Jamaican culture. Now he is with a Colombian girl and they have a baby. I wonder how they will raise this child and what they will teach her.

So I understand where you're coming from. While I do believe that being PC can go too far in some instances, I also believe that it was created out of a need to make things slightly more balanced. It didn't quite work completely but I agree with you...we should never underestimate the power of language.
I can somewhat relate because I used to be like that with my friends. I mean, I didn't use the "n" word or the "c" word, but I have said some pretty ugly things with my friends in jest. Yes, I was/am young, so I thought I was being cool, flying in the face of racism, showing that racism didn't have any power over me and that it was just plain stupid.

But I started to realize that there were problems with this. First of all, some of the friends that I was "joking" with didn't seem like they were joking after a while, or they took the joke too far. One example I can think of is a white friend who had a preference for black men (as in, she exclusively dated them), and she constantly joked about not wanting to have girls with "nappy" hair. She hoped all her kids were guys. I didn't realize that she was not joking until she started railing on one of my friends and myself for having nappy hair. While I didn't get offended because I wasn't insecure about my "nappy" hair (I would just return with some silly joke like, "Not everyone wants to have straight, oily, stringy hair"), there was one friend who wouldn't respond to those jokes, or she would withdraw into herself whenever they happened. It turned out she felt really insecure about her hair because she grew up with "bad" hair in a family that really stressed the whole "good hair, light skin, light eyes is ideal" thing. It took me about a year to realize that this was a problem, and I defended the other friend, saying, "There's nothing wrong with nappy hair. She was born with it, just as you were born with straight hair."

After that, the first girl and I weren't quite friends anymore.

Another problem I realized I had was that sometimes, as Amneris mentioned, I used those jokes to air my insecurities. Like one time I was tired of feeling "othered" on a daily basis, so after one of my white friends joked about slavery with me, I said something like, "At least I don't look like a Nazi." (Um, yeah, I realize how awful that is now and I regret every ugly thing I said during those years.)

As I grew older and a little more conscious of the ugly prejudices that do exist in our society, I stopped using those words and saying those things, even jokingly. You never know when someone might use those jokes against you. Like my younger sister used to joke with her two friends (one mixed with Korean and white, the other Persian and Polish) about race and it backfired when she found out that the latter friend was dating a racist. A few months after breaking up with this guy, the friend told my sister that she just found out that he was racist. When my sister let her know that she always knew he was racist, the friend asked, "How?"

My sister replied, "Well, he was always steering you away from black guys at the mall because you have a 'fat ass.'"

And the friend had the nerve to reply something along the lines of, "Well, it's true. Black guys do like white girls with big butts."

Anyway, we have both been learning our lessons these days, especially with all this race-related stuff that's been coming out in the news lately. Ugh.
Originally Posted by forbee
I always like what you have to say on various issues, Forbee...this comment in particular has given me food for thought.

I'm about to say something that might be offensive to some people, but please bear with me.

With regard to your two white female friends, this is an attitude I've encountered in a few white women. I have no problems with white women in general, just the few with this attitude that they are better/prettier because of their whiteness.

I'm very light-skinned but I am very sensitive about my hair and other aspects of my appearance. So while I can't relate to your dark-skinned friend's feelings on the issue of skin color, I understand how painful it must have been for her when this white girl would say things about "nappy" hair.

People have said extremely racist and offensive things to me about my hair all my life. I've been told that I have "n*gger hair", I've been called ugly because of my hair texture, etc.

As to the other girl who said that black men like white women with big butts, that is another issue. Some white women (I'm not generalizing, just observing) do indeed have this mindset that they are superior to women of color. It's like, "I'm white AND I have a booty, so naturally black guys will be all over this!"

Some of these women know that their body types will not be appreciated by the majority of white men so they look to black men for validation. But in doing so, they also disrespect women of color by putting down our ethnic features (i.e., "nappy hair"). They believe that their whiteness gives them leverage in a sense.

All of these things, hair texture/skin color/eye color/body shape, play into anxieties and insecurities because of the Eurocentric beauty standard.

I once had a friend who happened to be white. She was pretty in a generic, all-American way...long blonde hair, big blue eyes, big boobs. She had a bubbly personality and liked to flirt.

I'm not sure what happened, but she became somewhat envious of me. She was dating an Indian guy who was kind of a weird dude and she was insecure about their relationship. She thought I wanted her boyfriend and she was jealous of any guy who looked at me. Years later, I realize that it went beyond normal insecurity and race had something to do with it.

See, clearly she thought that she should be the center of attention while I should be the sad brown wallflower who never received a second glance from anybody. She became very competitive and spiteful and pulled some mean stunts...like inviting me to a party and when I showed up, no one was there.

She couldn't handle the fact that some guys thought her dark-eyed, weird-looking "ethnic" friend with the shy personality and frizzy hair was actually cuter than her. So she did some pretty effed up things to hurt me.

Sorry for my tangent, but yeah...this is just one example of a white woman thinking that her whiteness or blondness made her better than me. I don't recall her ever making racist jokes, though. But I did have a white friend who called me the "n" word when she was angry. We weren't friends after that incident.


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