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View Diary: I just realized I starred in a racist school program 50 years ago (103 comments)

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  •  My Irish grandmother used to tell my Irish father (10+ / 0-)

    not to hang around those "other people" too much. It wasn't until later he realized she was referring to Italians.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:06:44 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  My immigrant Irish mother was as open minded (12+ / 0-)

      as she could be. But her relatives (her mother's American relatives) forbid my at the time 16 year old mother to hang out with other ethnicities. So when she was 17 she moved out on her own and shared an apartment with friends. Another Irish girl, an Italian girl and a Pureto Riccan girl. (Forgive my spell check). My mother's relatives were horrified and I had little contact with them because relations between them and my mother got even worse when my mother married a Northern Irishman.

    •  ...wait, what? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, Tonedevil, Powell, ajwagner, sethtriggs

      My parents... My mom is Irish and my dad is Italian. Ive never heard of such things! I have no reason to doubt you at all, mind you I just...it doesnt make sense from what ive seen.

      I was born in the mid 1980s, if that makes a difference. Sorry its just...I find that all rather astounding honestly. Again its not that I dont believe you guys..I tend to trust this community a good bit!

      It just isnt what I experienced and im kinda shocked after reading these things. But I had to ask cause...it just confuses me.

      The only Bug-type Pokemon that can learn the move Fly - Volcarona and Genesect - Are not Flying types.

      by kamrom on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:22:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Being born in the 80's makes a big difference. (18+ / 0-)

        I was born in 1939, and my parents of German heritage, from conservative Nebraska, routinely used insulting terms for other ethnicities.  They wanted me to go to a high school that didn't have so many Jews.  Visiting relatives didn't want to sit on public transportation because Blacks had used it. On the other hand, my Jewish friends in elementary school wondered if my family supported Hitler, which they didn't.  

        Now my parents never were anything but conservative Republicans, but even they were changed by the sixties.  They didn't say anything when I dated a black man for a while, although I'm pretty sure they didn't like it, but I think the other prejudices that earlier were so common, against Catholics, Jews, Italians, Polish, and on and on, were dropped.  I think television had a lot to do with that, just because they were exposed to different groups that had been totally foreign to them, no matter that they were American. And it was becoming more and more evident that public opinion was turning against the old prejudices, so that what they had believed was no longer sure to be the norm.

        I don't think people born after the fight for equal rights have any idea how universal bias was or how much the world has changed for women, as well as for ethnic groups, gays and lesbians, and people of color.  The social revolution of the sixties and seventies changed even those who didn't personally participate, and there is no going back, even though the Tea Party and talk radio are trying to do just that. Young women in particular today just assume they can direct their own lives and try to be anything, even though there are still some barriers, but they owe a lot to the feminists who struggled for them.  When I was young, women were mostly housewives, secretaries, teachers, and nurses, and much of what women do today was either exceptional then or discouraged. It's often hard to see progress, when there is so much still wrong with the world, but there are so many ways in which these times are better than those of my childhood.

        •  Barbara Marquardt, so many truths in your comment (5+ / 0-)

          especially this:

          I don't think people born after the fight for equal rights have any idea how universal bias was or how much the world has changed for women, as well as for ethnic groups, gays and lesbians, and people of color.  The social revolution of the sixties and seventies changed even those who didn't personally participate, and there is no going back, even though the Tea Party and talk radio are trying to do just that.
          And this:
          When I was young, women were mostly housewives, secretaries, teachers, and nurses, and much of what women do today was either exceptional then or discouraged.
          I was raised in what was a very socially stratified era & communities- the early 50s, the 60s & entered "adulthood" in the early 70s.

          Although raised within a military community-aside from  school out of country-I attended local schools in both Georgia & Texas.  Until I entered high school, I never saw or knew an African American human being in school or in the community.

          Except as an occassional (adult) nanny or maid.

          Same regarding those living with disability. In high school, sadly, my few Jewish peers went to great lengths to keep secret that they were Jews.

          The first Hispanics I met & went to school with was when I was in middle school yet never in any of the multiple subdivisions in the town I lived in or at social events until well into the late 70's.  Same with the few African Americans that lived in my area.

          My first glimpse of racism was when I was in 1st grade in GA.  At the time kiddos lined up to enter the school when the bell rang.  The little white boy behind me was talking about "bringing a scythe to school if any "n word" were allowed to attend our school.  And chop their heads off".

          Having no clue what a scythe or a "n word" was or why anyone would want to chop their heads off, as soon as I got home I demanded from my parents an explanation.

          To add to the complexity of racism & discrimination that I was surrounded with, the military of that era also had rigid rules of no fraternizing between non commissioned & commissioned military (NCO+officers).  I kid you not, this extended to everything from separate living areas, pools, clubs to friendships & dating.

          In the mid 70s, the city I lived in hired the first 2 female law enforcement beings.  One was a US Marshall-the other a police woman.  I happened to be working for the entity that hired them.  It was horrific for both these young women on a daily basis (sexism & distrust) & for a long time our city was referred to as "petticoat junction" by surrounding law agencies.

          I've traveled a lot & lived in many places throughout my life both in & out of country.  Sadly, no matter the year or the place, I have encountered or witnessed both overt & covert discrimination, racism & plain soul mean-ess.  Which has never failed to astonish or affect me in a visceral way.

          That being said, I whole heartedly agree with this comment of yours:

          It's often hard to see progress, when there is so much still wrong with the world, but there are so many ways in which these times are better than those of my childhood
          My heart & soul hope is that going forward, progress continues, past hard won victories are never forgotten & abused so that all future children will only know a world better than those before them.

          Kudos for sharing & for such a comment that enlightens & holds truths that need to never be forgotten.

        •  Half the CEOs I have reported to have been female (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Powell, sethtriggs

          but when my wife first graduated from college and was looking for a job things were different.  At Household Finance (now known as HFC) she was told that they were going to go out on a limb and offer her a management-in-training position, the FIRST time they had considered doing that for a female .... but of course they couldn't pay her the same as the male MITs.....

      •  Might depend on what part of the country (7+ / 0-)

        someone was raised in, and when. Local customs, ethnic groups and time of arrival in the US dictated alot of the bigotry. In Chicago the old Italian and Irish neighborhoods were next to each other. Many of the childen went to the same Catholic schools, so there was "intermingling" at school among the younger generations. Familiarity and hormones led to a lot of "mixed marriages". As long as the other was Catholic it smoothed the road.

        My mother fell in love with a Jewish man when she was a young woman. The families absoluttely forbid it. She pined away for her true love the rest of her days. And her father's family had Jewish roots!

        Don't "boo". Vote! President Obama, to the voters at his rallies

        by lexalou on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:59:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  that makes a GINORMOUS difference! (0+ / 0-)
        I was born in the mid 1980s, if that makes a difference.
        my ny jewish mother was practically disappeared from her family, when she married my ny irish-welsh, catholic father, back in the early 50's. worse yet, dad is only first generation native born, as both his parents immigrated in the early 1900's, so as far as my grandparents on my mother's side were concerned, he was only just barely out of the trees. for all they knew, he probably spoke gaelic as a first language!

        if it makes you feel any better greggp, i went to catholic schools, in the south (NC & VA), in the 60's. at neither institution do i remember any children of a non-white hue attending. of course, my brothers and i were oddballs ourselves, as we were the only children who's father wasn't a navy or marine officer. i still have memories of "Whites Only" signs in stores and eating establishments.

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