Hidden Prejudices - What Have You Seen?
December 29, 2006 10:50am CST
As you can tell by my picture, I'm as white as I can be *grin* - but one of my favorite things are black gospel choirs, so I started one a few years back that actually did very well. However, I began to witness first hand the fact that racism is still very much alive. It wasn't blatantly honest by any means - it is not socially acceptable to be racist or prejudice these days - but yet, I still see what I call "hidden" prejudices. Take for example some of my older relatives - you ask them and they claim proudly that they're not racist by any means...yet you hear them make racist jokes about it all the time. When you try to call them out on it, they claim, "I'm not prejudice, I'm just telling you what I see." I watched Rev. Al Sharpton talking about this on a news program two nights ago - talking about what kind of jokes were okay and were not. And I wonder the same thing. Is it okay to make fun of your own race and not another? Is there something to those stereotypes? What type of prejudices do you all see? Any at all or do you think it's a farce?
29 Dec 06
I see a lot of racism. My husband isn't white, and we're living in a predominantly white country, and he receives a lot of racist abuse. People shouting names at him on the street etc. Horrible! I also find the same thing as you're talking about with the 'older' generation. Some older relations even make racist jokes to me, knowing I have a non-white husband and daughter, and are totally astonished when I don't find them funny!
• United States
29 Dec 06
My cousin married a black man, and I thought the family would completely reject him. To my surprise, they did much better than I expected and welcomed him with open arms. In fact, I have found that because of the awesome man that Davin is, he has changed the opinions of many of the family members. But there are also the family members who do the exact same thing to her that they do to you - I can't imagine how people would think those things are funny. And I truly believe that part of it is that the white culture here in america has never quite experienced anything like that - they don't know what it feels like to be denied something simply because of something they were born with (i.e., skin color, handicap)
29 Dec 06
Yes the whole issue is really weird! My family and all of my relations in fact ADORE my hubby - they think he's a lovely guy, hard working, good to me, great sense of humour etc. etc. They all give him Christmas and Birthday presents etc. and have all welcomed him into the family with open arms, really sincerely I think, INCLUDING the older ones who make racist jokes to me.... I think it is SO weird. That said, these older relations all grew up (as I did, but obviously later than them!), as white South Africans. At the time that they were growing up racism was SO ingrained in their society they must have been totally brainwashed. Still diffcult to believe that my really lovely Grandmother has a non-white great grand-daughter who she adores, yet still makes racist jokes and cannot see why that's an issue....
8 Jan 07
I don't even make fun of my own race, or anyone's race, or any other difference. Forget it!! I'll never forget the day in 2000 when my Dad, upon hearing a German Big Band CD from the early 1960s, accused me of listening to Nazi music. I'm half Danish (not his half!!!), and the Nazis invaded Denmark. Our family resisted in their own way, not reacting violently, but making sure the Nazis were uncomfortable. We realized that only the Nazis were the problems, and we still LOVED the rest of the Germans. What right does my Dad (or anyone) have to make a joke like that?
• United States
17 Jan 07
This is definitely the type of behavior that is frustrating. I always wonder how I should react in those situations, because I'm not sure anything I would have to say would have an impact. Something has to change inside of people in some way for them to see the "light" so to speak.