- This topic has 115 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 3 months ago by absurdfiction.
Ele4phantAugust 19, 2015 at 2:41 pm #372619
Yeah race and prejudice is super complicated, and there’s so much when it comes to intent and perception and social position, I think we all get it wrong on occasion, the key is to not be defensive and try to be constantly be listening to others and to self reflect.
I do struggle with “feeling” as though something you are the recipient is racist. I want to stop being specific to mim0sa’s encounter, because ultimately she was there and I wasn’t, and even if I was, as you mentioned she is not white and I am, so by our very nature we would likely experience it differently.
That said, I think the moment white people feel a smidgen of discomfort at “being the minority” for the first time or are being forced to confront their prevlidge, they get all panicky and think they are being threatened or experiencing reverse racism. Which they’re not, they for the first time are being made aware of social dynamics that they otherwise have the privilege of ignoring or pretending don’t exist.
Everybody’s A Little Bit Racist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovF1zsDoeM
And everyone should see Avenue Q!
But yeah, you’re a little bit racist MimOsa. Solution: Admit that to yourself (Idgaf what conclusion you come to on this forum), and then enjoy the ride as the irrational fear that black people want to commit a hate crime against your boyfriend leaves your brain.
Problem solved.Ele4phantAugust 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm #372622
I can’t figure out how to edit the above – but I want to clarify. I meant to say:
I struggle to get on board validating when people “feel” they’ve been the recipient of prejudice or racism. Just because you felt some discomfort does not mean that your perception is correct. Sometimes it is, but sometimes you are just being forced to experience social dynamics have to experience all day every day.
“That said, I think the moment white people feel a smidgen of discomfort at “being the minority” for the first time or are being forced to confront their prevlidge, they get all panicky and think they are being threatened or experiencing reverse racism. Which they’re not, they for the first time are being made aware of social dynamics that they otherwise have the privilege of ignoring or pretending don’t exist.”
The first time I was the minority as a white person, I was 17 and had just started college. Was I uncomfortable at times? OF COURSE. But then, I thought about the fact that the new friends (now old friends!) I was making had to deal with that discomfort basically EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I get pretty frustrated with the attitudes of my white friends and family who can’t seem to wrap their heads around the concept of privilege. They see it as invalidating their hard work and feel defensive over what they have achieved, and who they are as people. The fact is that they have very rarely had to navigate places where they are in the minority and experience that feeling of otherness, which IS, in fact, white privilege, but I digress… It’s becoming more culturally understood, but man, I wish people could just acknowledge their privilege and stop taking it so dang personally.bittergaymarkAugust 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm #372624
Again, Having somebody loudly call out your race in a public space to others is more than just plain fucking weird.
And thinking so has nothing to do with privilege. To imply that calling attention to the race of random strangers is somehow just being friendly or just making a casual observation or just wanting to make conversation is fucking INSANE.veracitybAugust 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm #372627
Yep @bgm – if you’re going to get a coffee in peace, why does a stranger feel entitled to ask if you’re from around here or not, or bring up something completely nothing to do with anything – namely your perceived race, gender, age or sexually – if not to question your legitimacy to be in that space? I can’t see that as anything but aggressive, and am surprised at the defence of it. It isn’t acceptable behaviour WHOEVER does it.veracitybAugust 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm #372628
Being uncomfortable because you’re simply not around similar faces is a problem of privilege – having YOUR difference actively drawn to your attention at a random moment in time when you were not particularly bothered by the different faces around you in the first place and were not actually engaged in a discussion with that person is a VERY different experience.veracitybAugust 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm #372629
Also, the bf’s oblivion may be the product of privilege – assuming nothing can happen to him cos it never has before. Why would it – he is white, male and beefy after all.Ele4phantAugust 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm #372631
The white folks can’t park is off – I acknowledge that. Whether it could be classified as threatening, to the point of being afraid of violence, I really don’t know that’s a logical leap to make. But I can agree at minimum though that it was inappropriate.
The coffee shop comment though – I don’t think I can agree that’s a clear case of prejudice or an attempt to make them feel out of place. Again none of us where there and didn’t hear the tone – but it doesn’t sound like race, gender, any other identifying factor was brought in, that was assumed. Maybe the person asked if they weren’t students because they didn’t have backpacks and everyone else did? Again, I wasn’t there but it’s not a given they were singled out because they were the only nonblack people there, or that the person asking questions meant to make them feel unwelcome.
And are you really telling me you’ve never had some stranger try to strike up a conversation with you? I’m pretty standoffish so I don’t like when people try to get all chatty with me and ask me questions like where I’m from or what I do – but there are definitely people out there is in this world that are curious and think nothing of asking strangers what I consider personal questions.
I don’t know if mim0sa encountered someone who was trying to make them feel out of place or if they just encountered someone chatty, but given her tendency towards anxiety I can totally buy it might have been the latter.
I’m with you ele4phant!
Also, on the parking thing. In Atlanta, where we saw an overwhelming majority of black people, several (especially older guys) would like playfully tease people. I especially saw that on the streetcar, several passengers were making jokes at others expense. Like we went by this street fair thing, one of the guys said something about white people not being able to dance, etc. I found it funny, to be honest. Maybe the parking comment was something like that?
It reminds me of that movie, White Men can’t Jump, to be honest haha.