I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

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I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Tesseracts » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:02 pm

John Cheese wrote his first new article in a billion years, and I enjoyed reading it. It's an unflinchingly honest examination of the bigoted attitudes ingrained in him at a young age.

I'm kind of horrified by the kind of family John Cheese was raised in. Was your family racist? My parents never said anything like this, nor did my grandparents or any other immediate family members. Where I come from it's pretty taboo to make racist jokes or do anything of the sort. It's not until I got older that I realized some of my relatives are kind of racist. Like, one of my relatives who I didn't see that often started ranting about the Asians moving into her town. She said Asian children are "creepy" and they're "everywhere" and they're allegedly "trying to start their own school." I found her stupidity really annoying.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby PSTN » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:28 pm

Really?!

Jesus, can you believe the gall of those slant-eyes? Trying to educate themselves, like they can improve their position in life or something!
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Crimson847 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:21 pm

No, but they had some horrid ideas.

Cheese wrote:That was a huge turning point for me, because I started to question every dumb joke we'd ever made about ... well, name a race. Not white, though. White people are the setup -- rarely the punchline. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't oblivious to the idea that what we were doing was mean as shit. I understood that when we made jokes and comments like that, it was making fun of someone's race. But it didn't register with me until right then that if these kinds of things were bad to say in public, why are we saying them at all? It was the first time I remember thinking, "Wait a minute ... we're all dicks!"


This gave me serious deja vu. When I was a freshman in high school, I once mentioned during a class discussion my parents' theory that humanity is getting stupider and less "fit" because the smart successful people hardly have any kids and the stupid failures have lots of kids. The room turned cold, and one girl started to explode at me before the teacher swiftly moved on to a different subject. I didn't understand why she was mad until I talked to a classmate after class and they told me she had like 8 siblings. Now, I sort of knew this girl; we weren't friends, but she was part of our school's team in a math competition I participated in two years prior, and I knew she was no dummy.

When I got home I told my mom what happened, and she laughed and said "well of course you're not supposed to say that in public!". It was made clear to me that others were too stupid to understand this fact and I should keep it to myself, but I thought most of the people I met out in the world were pretty smart and didn't get why they wouldn't understand this. So after that I started questioning some of the demented shit they told me about the world, especially after I got into therapy for the first time and had an opportunity to bounce some of that shit off a relatively sane, educated person in a nonjudgmental environment to see what they thought about it.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby JamishT » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:38 am

I was raised off of rural route 3, out past where the blacktop ends... Wait, sorry, I got sidetracked by a Brooks & Dunn song, I was actually raised off of rural route 1 (but by the time I came along it was known as North Liberty Rd), out close where the blacktop ended. Out there, there is no people of different races, it's just white people, so yeah, I definitely know a lot of straight up racist jokes and I find it easy to come up with new ones. A classmate had the Stars & Bars on their back porch (and this was in Ohio), and there was blatant racism flying around willy-nilly when Obama was elected. However, there was like 2 black people in my school, and I never heard a racial comment made toward them. In fact they were kinda popular (because they were good at sports naturally).

But yeah, this article made me think a lot. I've definitely changed my mind about some of the stereotypes I once believed, and I don't say many things aloud because I recognize how hurtful they are. I'm still working on self-improvement, of course, but I'd like to think I've made significant improvement. Now excuse me, I need to go blindfold an Asian person with a piece of fishing string.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Andropov4 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:43 am

JamishT wrote:Now excuse me, I need to go blindfold an Asian person with a piece of fishing string.


Dude, what is wrong with you? It's fishing line, not fishing string.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:45 am

You'll need a whole bed sheet if they're Japanese:
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby JamishT » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:56 am

Andropov4 wrote:
JamishT wrote:Now excuse me, I need to go blindfold an Asian person with a piece of fishing string.


Dude, what is wrong with you? It's fishing line, not fishing string.


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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Fun With Mr. Fudge » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:07 pm

Well I can't really relate to the article directly for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I'm a Chocolate American. But I can say that I encountered racially driven mistreatmen/preferential treatment from both white and black people during my upbringing which instilled some racial biases in me.

My family never ingrained in me some notion of how people of different races were supposed to act or that certain races were bad. But the black TV programs we watched and certain offhand comments from immediate or extended family did give the impression that white people were racist. I also did hear anti-white remarks from older black people (but if you grew up during the era of school segregation and were regularly attacked/harassed by whites, you might hate them, too). There were a lot of black kids my age who also weren't fans of whitey (sorry if that's offensive, I meant it jokingly), but many of them didn't like me either.

I wasn't one of those kids who spoke ebonics, and I was good at school and kind of quiet. When I went to predominanly black schools (so up until high school), a lot of black kids would mock me for seeming "too white" or just generally keep their distance. Of course some were awesome to me, but not enough that the whole "you're not black" thing didn't get to me. And then there were the weird black adults who seemed to see me as some shining example for the black community, also in a sense "one of the good ones" (which is nice but creates a kind of pressure that I've never wanted and haven't lived up to anyway).

A lot of white kids I knew, especially ones from middle class families, seemed kind of drawn to me and were defenitely more comfortable with me than with other, "more stereotypical," black kids. White adults (aside from cops or store employees who would ocassionally profile me) seemed to like me when they heard how I spoke and that seemed nice, but some would eye me with suspicion or not at all beforehand. That always gave me the impression that some white people kind of viewed me as "one of the good ones" or "not really black" (some white people I've met in my life have essentially said as much). Others were just awesome people who I think would have gotten along with anyone.

So the general lessons about race most strongly instilled in me could be summarized as "people look for reasons not to like you, and race is somehow an easy/prominent one." That and "if you're not a dick to me, I shouldn't care what you look like." I grew to kind of hate being identified by my race as anything but a description of skin tone. After all, I was pretty often rejected or at least held at a social distance by people who looked like (but often didn't talk or act like) me and were supposed to be "my people." On the other hand, though I was clearly on the receiving end of racism from some white people, whom I was taught to expect racism from, a lot of white kids were among the first to extend the hand of friendship. Those kids' white families allowed me to experience things I mostly didn't or couldn't living as a poor black kid (traveling somewhere by car, going to the beach, going on trips that cost significant amounts of money).

So I became a hodgepodge of egalitarian ideas and randomly surfacing racial biases. When I see a white cop eyeing me too long or get asked one too many times if I need help in a store I still get nervous. I sometimes expect white people to think I'm kind of stupid when they look at me (and the thing is I am kind of stupid, but not because of my skin color, so it gets confusing). But I also sometimes get nervous around groups of black people on the street if they remind me of individuals who used to have a problem with me and my "oreo" ass (also, when you grow up in places where gangs and shootings are a thing, you just get a bit nervous with groups of guys hanging out outside anyway). I worry that I will not know how to relate to black people who more closely fit the "urban stereotype." Thankfully, I got old enough and aware enough that I could think to remind myself of times people have violated my randomly racial expectations in positive ways. It acts as a kind of buffer against unfair assumptions, which from what I can tell don't occur much in my head these days because I've tasted many different flavors of awesome and asshole across different races and nationalities as I've gotten older.

All of these experiences also make me fairly comfortable with conversing with people who tell me that they used to (or partly still do) harbor negative feelings about people of a certain race, even my own. Not because I think it's good or OK but because prejudice is an inductive monster which plays man's natural inclination to seek patterns, and, ironically, doesn't discriminate in who it inhabits. Also, I appreciate the honesty and think those kinds of dialogues are important for getting past prejudice or at least keeping it in check. And who doesn't want to be the guy who can make a racist think twice about their prejudices?
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby octoberpumpkin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:10 pm

My family was kinda racist, yeah. Maybe it comes from having like 4 black people around the area I grew up. I'm exaggerating, but really there were very few. My mom has made openly racist comments in the past when she was a drunk drug addict, but then again she said some terrible things to me and about me as well.

My grandmother says she isn't a racist and will say things like "I like black people. They have nice hair!" which is kinda.... yeah. But I've noticed her distrust of them. Like one day we were waiting to pick up my uncle and she saw two black people talking and she rolled down her window to eavesdrop. When I asked why she said because she was just "doing her civic duty since they may have been planning a crime" and insisted she would do the same for anyone, despite not doing it to any white people she saw. Don't get me wrong, she was always nosy, but that was to another level.

And my mom's aunt once kicked her husband out because he brought like Bill Cosby standup in the house or something and she said she didn't want that [censored] in her house.

But aside from a few isolated incidents, it wasn't really something that happened a lot. I'd never heard my aunt or uncle say anything, I'd heard my mom when she was drunk or high, and a few things from my grandmother despite insisting she was not a racist. But there was never conversation or laughter or anything like that.

My mom's husband is in Boston and he has acted racist in order to "fit in" (his words, not mine) but I told him to knock it off and made him get rid of all racist items he had laying around since my son lives there. He doesn't need to go in to the basement and see a sign with a black person and an X over them and junk like that. If he wants to do it with his "friends" when my son isn't around, whatever. It's still stupid but he's a grown man and I can't stop him. But I have told them both to make sure there is none of that around him. My mom has improved a lot (in a lot of ways) and she's much more accepting and stuff now, thankfully.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Cordslash » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:01 pm

Oh boy. Ohboyohboyohboy.

My parents weren't, and aren't racist. We were raised to show respect to all people, regardless of race, colour or creed.

That being said....I grew up as a white kid in 1980's South Africa. The racism was incredible. Almost every person I knew besides my parents was racist. Every single person in my school was white. By law of course. Black kids had their own schools. Just not as good as ours were. Some of our teachers made openly racist jokes and used racial slurs in the classroom.

In Sunday school we were told that apartheid was God's plan, and that it is the natural order of things for white people to be in charge. We were the children of Noah's son Japheth, while black people were the sons of Ham, and therefore water bearers. They were only good for manual labour. And this wasn't just some cult but a mainstream church. FFS there was a loud whistle in my town that went off every night at 9 pm that signalled the end of black people being allowed in white neighbourhoods (they were usually there to do some work).When the whistle went off everyone had to withdraw back to their own neighbourhoods or face arrest.

So yeah saying there was racism around when I was a kid is an understatement. Fortunately I wasn't raised to participate in that kind of thing. That blatant kind of racism has dissipated over the past 20 odd years or so, but you still sometimes get people who are like that. Only in private. The uncle who still tells racist jokes at a wedding or family gathering etc. Their generation will hopefully be the last to be like that.

Anyway. Grew up in a huge racist environment and it luckily didn't turn me into one.

Edited for typos
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Last edited by Cordslash on Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:25 pm

Cordslash wrote:Their generation will hopefully be the last to be like that.


I don't think we're going to run out of racists for a long, long time. People will remember the awfulness of apartheid for a while and clean up their act for a few generations, but human psychology seems almost hardwired to feel superior to somebody for some reason. When racism finally dies out because easy world travel and cross breeding has merged us into a single race, there will be five other "isms" to take its place, three of which will be brand new and appallingly innovative.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Cordslash » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:31 pm

Agreed Jenna. It brings to mind the South park episode where they travel to the future to see that everyone are now atheists, but having a war between the different kinds of atheists on what to call themselves.

Forgot to add this in my previous post:

What did older people call you when you were a kid? In the 80's if you were black you would have called me kleinbaas (little boss). That's right, all black people regardless of age referred to my peers and me in that way. "Little boss". Even if they didn't know my family or were old enough to be my grandparents. All because I was a white boy.
Adult white men were called Baas (self-explanatory), women were called either Miesies or madam, and girls were kleinmies (little miss).
Again that was the standard form of address when black people talked to white people regardless of whether they knew them or not.

Strangely enough I never took exception to the term as a child. Everyone called me kleinbaas. It was just the way the world worked. Hell, the day an elderly black man first called me baas was a good day because in the eyes of others I had become a man (I was 15 at the time).

Daaaamn. How times have changed. I haven't heard the kleinbaas term used in many many years. Or any of the others really, except ironically. Of course that is a massively good thing.

Just thought I'd share another little racism nugget.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:44 pm

Cordslash wrote:What did older people call you when you were a kid?


This is closer to sexism than racism, but I've often wondered American adults will address young males - even strangers - as "son," but have no such familial endearment for females.
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:13 pm

Cordslash wrote:Their generation will hopefully be the last to be like that.


That depends on just how long they spend hiding in bunkers in fear of a "night of the long knives".
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Re: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned

Postby Cordslash » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:34 pm

Ericthebearjew wrote:
Cordslash wrote:Their generation will hopefully be the last to be like that.


That depends on just how long they spend hiding in bunkers in fear of a "night of the long knives".


Don't even get me started on those fuckers.

For those who don't understand the reference, Eric is talking about a group of white supremacists calling themselves "Suidlanders" (Southlanders). They were kind of big during the late 2000's. Their raison d'être?
That all of the black people were waiting for Nelson Mandela to die before rising up and killing all the white people. Because he wouldv'e been disappointed in them if he were still alive.
Seriously just try to drink in that logic.
41 million people all secretly planning the genocide of 4.5 million people as soon as one person dies. It was (unimaginatively) called the "Night of the long knives".

Anyhow several thousand white racists fell for it. The only one I knew of personally was the manager of a local semi-pro rugby club whose wife left him to join said cult. They really did build bunkers and were ready to fight the oncoming genocide....

And then Nelson Mandela died in December 2013. Which was a very said time for most of the country.

But none so much for the Suidlanders, because the predicted genocide didn't happen.

Whatever became of those fucks and the poor people who believed in them I don't know. Except that they're now only remembered as a punchline. Which in itself is fitting.
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