Skip to main content

View Diary: Slippin' into whiteness: Melungeons and other 'almost white' groups (318 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  No one is born racist. No one.. (7+ / 0-)
    People in GENERAL are racist, period.
    ..It's learned. How to unlearn requires study and learning anew
    ......................................................
    Thx Denise Oliver Velez for a very informative posting & links for research
    •  thank you n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Lost and Found

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:37:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is an interesting question, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Denise Oliver Velez

      because everything we do and think is somehow "learned". And I do believe that racism, if it is learned, it's learned and taught as part of your upbringing in your family's and environment's home culture, home tribe, home language or dialect etc.

      It is also clear that people desperately need their own "family" and "own tribal culture" to be able to identify themselves belonging to "something". You need to be able to self-identify. The search for self-identification is crucial to develop self-worth and being member of a community.

      (Thinking about peoples whose cultures have been oppressed, whose youth are desolate and isolated and in need of self-identification and tribal, family belonging, you can see that promoting one's own cultural (tribal) belonging, is a matter of healing).

      It would be nice, if it were as easy as "unlearning" all what you grew up with and what makes up your own ethnic, family or tribal identity and sense of belonging.

      •  I have a different take. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Denise Oliver Velez, mimi

        Unlearning bigotry is very difficult. Many of the corrupted processing tools your mind has developed growing up have to be replaced with clean tools.
        In order to do that you have to trust in others to help you which could be accepting an unfamiliar source - not an easy thing

        Also: culture, family, or ethnicity does not necessarily or even should it include racism or hatred of another culture.

        It would be nice, if it were as easy as "unlearning" all what you grew up with and what makes up your own ethnic, family or tribal identity and sense of belonging.
        So I don't believe that one has to lose/unlearn their culture, family, or ones identity in order to accept another person as they are.

        Belonging does not demand that you give up ones own individual identity or the willingness to learn new ways to communicate imo

        P.S. I can see your point (sort of) if you're referring to the past or maybe even today when living in an harsh & virtually isolated or remote society, but Denise Oliver Velez was concentrating on what is happening in this country today.

        •  I understand what you are saying, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson

          most of today's "racism" as I witnessed it, is subtle and the "hatred" mostly not openly and directly thrown in your face. (and when it is, of course this is something that can and must be unlearned and contained through legislation - and I think it can be. I know in this country today this is an ongoing fight as it is pretty much everywhere in the world. This thing seems to always creep up and lurk again and again, if you don't pay attention to it).

          I just don't see how many people can overcome an almost instinctive feeling of "not trusting" or "not understanding" the other ethnic or racially different group of people. And this "unease" of "not understanding" leads to fear and with that often to a mechanism, where people unconsciously put down those they "don't understand".

          I can't speak for myself, but I can assure you that my son most probably wouldn't be able to support this statement:

          Belonging does not demand that you give up ones own individual identity or the willingness to learn new ways to communicate imo.
          ...
          So I don't believe that one has to lose/unlearn their culture, family, or ones identity in order to accept another person as they are.
          In his experience it is a constant, unspoken, but clear expectation to a multiracial person to "take sides", when they try to egg-dance in today's society. And it can make a pesron sick. May be we had unusual experiences. And for a multiracial person the problem is that their own individual identity is not a given, natural thing, but mostly a missing one that has to be discovered. So often there is no clear individual identity to begin. And what you don't have you can not give up.
          •  Your son has maybe already learned through.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mimi, Ahianne

            ..love more than are giving yourself credit for.

            "hatred" mostly not openly and directly thrown in your face. (and when it is, of course this is something that can and must be unlearned and contained through legislation
            It sounds like your son has a head start. Legislation may be the solution on a macro scale but learning from a parent is way more powerful, starting right at home..
            In his experience it is a constant, unspoken, but clear expectation to a multiracial person to "take sides", when they try to egg-dance in today's society.
            ..with a parent who has clearly identified that peer pressure to "take sides" is his choice in the end, and I'll bet that he senses from your own example that the choices remain his to make.

            It sounds like he has a very strong foundation from his mom imo

            P.S. I'm no expert on this, so this really is just my limited opinion

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site