Class, Race, and Social Issues - page 5

by TheCommuter 11,025 Views | 71 Comments Senior Moderator

Issues such as race and social class can rub peoples’ nerves the wrong way, especially if one uses poor wording or an inappropriate tone during discussion. For this reason, I will try to generate discourse regarding the... Read More


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    I have never been to Hampton University but I did graduate from an HBCU (which I amvery proud of by the way). I believe that braids and dreadlocks may have beenbanned from that program for the same reason dlashon says she doesn't show hernatural kinky hair for a job interview. We are afraid of how we may be perceivedby on lookers who don't fully understand our culture or care to try. I believeHU is simply trying to avoid a lot of this prejudgment and give its studentsand graduates a better chance for success especially in the cutthroat businessworld. Not saying that I fully agree with these ideas but I can see where theyare coming from. I don't believe they are trying to cut anyone down or considerthis ban the equivalent of maliciously calling each other derogatory names. Imerely consider it us all as African Americans trying to get in where we fit inin White America. Hope I didn’t offend anyone with my comments but there is mytwo cents on the issue.
    Last edit by KayRN1 on Jan 20, '13 : Reason: typos
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    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    Touchy subject. One thing that has not been addressed by any posters as of yet is that sometimes the problem is that the minority race person sees problems that aren't actually there. I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist, but many minorities seem to look for racism in any negative situation that they encounter. I've had a buddy claim he was fired because "Our boss doesn't like Mexicans," yet this boss never had a problem inviting Hector to his house along with the rest of us to watch a game, or for a party or anything of the sort. I later found out that he was fired because he sold a defective compressor (that was still under warranty) to the metal recycling company instead of sending it to the manufacturer for a credit. This cost the company nearly a thousand dollars. He admitted it eventually. And I have other buddies that swear to God that the reason they can't find a job "Is because I'm Black." As far as they're concerned it has nothing to do with the pre employment drug test they failed ("I drank 2 golden seals, there ain't no way I failed that ****** test. They just don't want to hire my Black ***").

    I've also been asked what sport I play at every school I've studied at. This is because I stay in shape and train (Krav Maga, plus I used to Box as a teenager). Granted, maybe sometimes some people are asked this because of their race, but sometimes the person asking is just being friendly and striking up a conversation.

    I debated on whether I should post this comment being that, while I'm half Hispanic, I look 100% white. And I've noticed that I have to be careful when I say anything that is not bright and cheery about another race because I'm immediately seen-by those who don't know me anyway-as a racist. Even other white people. The issue is so sensitive that if you're not a minority yourself, it's like you have no right to say anything negative about one whether or not it's true.

    Just something to think about. I'm not trying to start a spitting match or anything. But I do think that what I posted should be considered.
    It's called being "properly paranoid". That is how it feels to grow up and live as a minority in the U.S. and it doesn't come out of nowhere either. It builds up after years of being looked at as a group of negative stereotypes (whether you have actually done something negative or not!) rather than an individual; the loss of idealism where cynicism takes its place.

    Racism is covert today, so when it does happen we get told we're playing the race card and no one takes us seriously when real racism is happening. People seem to think that unless a cross is burning in your yard, you are overreacting.

    It's like having to walk around with an extra awareness. It's depressing as hell to haVe such thoughts flicker through your mind in which you know your white counterparts would never even dream to entertain.

    I don't believe everyone is racist or that everything negative that happens to me is because of racism versus being my own fault or lack of talents compared to someone else. But the years have hardened me, and while I harbor no ill will, I don't fully trust white people at all.
    Trilldayz,RN BSN likes this.
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    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    Fascinating thread, took courage to approach this topic.


    In reply #8, the post (although, overall, a kinda sweet post)
    this remark jumped out at me, and it doesn't appear anyone has mentioned this remark:

    //"She was usually very helpful and taught me a lot, but not this day. She didn't let me do anything, and barely even said a word to me. She finally let me take someones BP and as I was taking it she pushed me out of the way and mumbled under her breath "white people are so stupid." I was dumbfounded, and I am sure the look on my face was priceless. I just could not understand why these people acted the way they were."//


    Here, the author seems to taking one (1) person's remark, and extrapolating that one(1) person into "them", as if "they" were all the same, all shared that one (1) person's views, since they were all the same race. Almost always a mistake to do that.
    Hi Jean Marie46514

    Here is the paragraph you are referring to in post #8 in its entirety;

    [ Later on that day my preceptor found me to do vitals. She was usually very helpful and taught me a lot, but not this day. She didn't let me do anything, and barely even said a word to me. She finally let me take someones BP and as I was taking it she pushed me out of the way and mumbled under her breath "white people are so stupid." I was dumbfounded, and I am sure the look on my face was priceless. I just could not understand why these people acted the way they were. Of course I knew about racism in our countries history, but I did not know it still existed. Later on I found out that my preceptor heard the nurse talking to me about likeing my job and being the "only white PCA." I guess she misheard our conversation, or only heard the nurses comments. I tried talking to her, but she and all of the other PCAs made my life miserable after that to the point where I had to leave. ]

    The poster went on to say how all of the other PCA's gave her a hard time. "All" of the other PCA's do constitute a "Them" and "They" label, as she was talking about "All" of "Them." Granted, if the post was written in a 600 level English class she would have lost a letter gradefor jumpin the gun (I forget what the actual error is called lol), but on AN, I guess she felt that she didn't have to have her "Proper English" guard up

    I don't blame you for that "catch," though. You've provided another example of what I talked about in a prior post. That negative and or racial triggers are spotted even when they are not there. This is because the race issue has been made so sensitive that that is how many of us are. I blame society for that one. BTW I'm not being sarcastic-I really blame society for that one.
    Last edit by PRICHARILLAisMISSED on Jan 20, '13 : Reason: Added the last 2 sentences.
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    If your hair is naturally kinky, who cares. If you're bald, who cares. If you have braids, who cares. Not me. I will hire you if you appear professional, well dressed, well groomed, answer appropriately, and interact with me in the interview. All of those things can be achieved regardless of your natural look. It is a fine line, however. Without being said, you have to make sure it is presentable. My friend has her hair kinky and natural, its incredibly beautiful. If you come in with your extensions hanging half off and 4 different colors, I might have a problem- not personally, but because it causes my elderly patients to react. You have to consider your audience as well, but as a manager, it should be done TASTEFULLY. Come on in, au naturale, and make a statement! On a side note (and I KNOW it's not the same or even comparable, but may offer some insight) I have tattoos that cannot be seen with shirt/slacks on. I had to turn down an applicant that has tattoos in visible areas because its our corporate policy to not have them. I HATE it. The tattoos were very tasteful. problem is, that's my opinion, and some of our patients (LTC) dont like it, so they wont let certain people take care of them. It's horrible, and makes me feel bad. Sorry about the tangent. I suppose the moral of the story is that if yo ugo in for an interview dressed and acting like a professional and you get turned down for your hair or your sex or whatever, you DONT want to work for that company... We should be more progressive than this, but unfortunately we're not. I hope we get there...
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    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    RE: multiple remarks about "that's not racist, it is just ignorant."

    it is racist, to accept some stereotypes, but, ignore ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the other examples
    which are hard to miss in todays society,
    and try to extrapolate some of the stereotypes--------all the while ignoring (?) denying(?) all the other examples of humans in a race or gender group which do NOT fit into the stereotype----------------
    is a choice one is making, whether or not they realize it.

    It's pretty darn hard to find anyone in much of today's world
    who really can be oblivious to all the examples which do break the stereotype.

    That choice, is racism.
    IF IF IF IF IF it were possible, for someone to stay completely isolated from any other examples than those seen in stereotypes
    no books, no tv, no internet, no news, no radio, just no one around at all, to break up their stereotype,
    yes, yes, i could agree, "Oh yeah, that isolated person with no radio, no tv, no news, no books, really just has NO other example to bust up their stereotype."

    but, it's real hard for me to imagine where this person would live.


    Ms Jean Marie...

    I have to respectfully disagree with this entire post.

    This to me is the main reason that race is so sensitive an issue in this day and age-because some ppl just want to see it there. Don't get me wrong, I do know that there is real, actual racism in this country, but there is a difference between ignorance and racism. I'm sorry, but just because you or anyone else chooses to call something racist, that does not summarily make it so. There is a HUUUUUGGGEEE difference between ignorance and racism (both of which's definitions can be looked up. I provided the difference in plain speak in an earlier post, but apparently ppl believe whatever they feel like believing) .

    It is not racist to accept a stereotype for lack of additional information, after all one can only work with whats available. It is racist however, to get that additional information and still believe a negative stereotype just because you want to. That is what's unacceptable. And "No," you don't have to live in total isolation from the rest of the world to be considered ignorant rather than racist. If one set the rules that way then racism would always be there.

    Also, not all stereotypes are negative, and the act of racism is by definition negative. I'll give you a personal example;

    Generally-not always but usually-when I'm not single, my girlfriend is usually Black or Latina. In general I find them very attractive. So because I see Black and Latina women as attractive (therefore stereotyping them), am I racist towards Black and Latina women? Anyone who answers "Yes" is just a thick headed fool that just needs to see some racism so they have something to fight against. I'm sorry, but that person is just looking for a reason to complain.
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    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    ah, i can no longer find the remark i was about to reply to, it must have gotten deleted, or, i am not finding it, but, it was from a person of one group, pointing at another group, and making claim "they" are "most racist" of all,
    which was almost amusing.
    It's probably rare for one to feel the brunt of racism from within their OWN group!! rofl. If i were a white person, it'd be kinda unbelievable for me to claim, "i've suffered so much racism from my white pals cuz i am white." Would anyone believe me if i said that?

    and then, since other white people haven't much discriminated against my whiteness, then make claim that some other group, must be "most racist" since some in the other group have treated me differently since i was different race than they were, but, my own group never much discriminated against me.

    fascinating way to make a conclusion....

    Also, not eveyrone does, but, i view reactionary racism as slightly different from general racism. If someone has experienced oppression, was raised by parents who experienced blatant racism and oppression, has relatives and other people they know very well that have been victims of racism, and has tons of evidence that racism does exist,
    well, imo, that person's difficulty in getting past their inner fear or resentment,
    is kinda more understandable to me, than someone who hasn't been oppressed based on their skin pigment.

    it's not quite the same thing in my mind anyway.
    Hello again. That was my post... Here it is;

    [ I know what you mean, jadelpn. I was the only white guy in both my Junior HS and my HS. And let me tell you, the other students never let me forget it, either. Not trying to start any crazy debate where moderators take action or anything but honestly, the most racist and hateful people I've ever met were minorities. At school it got to the point that to make the "White boy and Vanilla Ice" comments stop I had to put hands on people and hurt them a bit.

    Much of the general public thinks that only White people can be racist, and forget that that just isn't the case. BTW, my daughters are also half Black (same mother). One of them looks straight Black (her mom still hasn't forgiven me for getting DNA tests on her, but I'm nobodies fool.) and people have a hard time believing she's mine lol. ]



    I don't see where I stated anywhere in that post that people within my own race discriminated against me. I don't even see how it could have even had a glancing chance of conveying that. BTW I did not excerpt it when I re-posted it above for your convenience. This is the post exactly as it was typed. I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but this is what I'm talking about when I say sometimes minorities see racial triggers that aren't actually there.

    Oh, and to comment on the last sentence of your post above, I have experienced racism for all of my pre military life. I've lost count of the fist fights I've had in school over my race. I literally lost count but it was always more than 1 a week. Always. And outside of school I can recall like yesterday when I was 14 (yes, 14 years old, this in not a typo), I was at Fulton mall with my girl at the time who was Black (fulton Mall is more like a market. It is several streets full of all kinds of stores back in Brooklyn), and some guy was doing his corner "Blame the White man" thing. The guy saw me and my girl, stopped saying what he was saying and started shouting to her how I'm poisoning her. I got into an argument with him (obviously he embarrassed me with those comments) and was about to fight him. Now keep in mind that I was small for a 14 year old. Also keep in mind that this was a grown man who was about 6 ft or so, and frankly he had an impressive build. This guy's shape was in the ballpark of how mine is now, and I've been training since I was 13 years old as a fighter. Also keep in mind that he had 2 other guys with him that got in it as soon as the first punch was thrown. If I didn't have my box cutter on me I honestly believe they would have beaten me to death. Not to say I didn't get my *** kicked be fore I started cutting them. They ran when they heard the sirens, All the box cutter did was get me some distance to hold out until the police came. And of course me and my girl ran too.

    Please don't imply again that I can't possibly know anything about racism, ma'am. While I admit that the things I went through were likely not anywhere near as bad as what your generation went through, I'm sure my understanding does qualify as more than just scratching the surface.
    Last edit by PRICHARILLAisMISSED on Jan 20, '13
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    I agree with much of this article. I am an African American Woman and I am taking nursing. I have to say that I disagree with the hair pressed or relaxed theory. I am 30 years old and natural, all of my sisters and our mother is as well. None of us ever had to straighten our tresses for a job interview to acquire employment. I believe that the style you choose as a natural is what counts. I am a hairstylist and I pinned up my sister's twists into a bun for her job interview and she was hired immediately. My mother wore her hair in a rod set for her interview to be a teacher, and she was hired as well. I wore my twist out to a job interview for a real estate position and was hired. I think wearing a nice neat hairdo is what counts not texture. That theory in my opinion is old hat :-)
    Trilldayz,RN BSN likes this.
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    Quote from missivywilliams
    I have to say that I disagree with the hair pressed or relaxed theory...None of us ever had to straighten our tresses for a job interview to acquire employment.... That theory in my opinion is old hat :-)
    I think that the decision on whether or not assimilation is necessary, with regard to altering the appearance of our hair, is relative to the culture of the community in which you choose to work.

    I'm a few years older than you, and live on the west coast. My experience has shown that in certain work places-- be they hospitals or offices,
    Natural / ethnic looking hair is acceptable; while in other business or medical settings, a more "white" or preppy look is seen among the staff.

    I am acutely aware that when I wear my long hair in a curly style, there is a distance placed between myself and my coworkers and I only do it once a professional rapport has been established. I don't believe in radical hairstyles for anyone-- white/ black/Hispanic etc. I believe in blending in.
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    Perhaps the child of a physician is more likely to go to college than the child of a poor farmer is due to college being expected of the physicians child, by the parents, where it is not expected by the parents of the farmer.
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    Quote from dlashon
    But the name thing is more so class related. Lower socioeconomic don't understand that giving their children these names may hinder them from getting a job.Its not the interviewers fault but the stereotypes that are associated with people with those names. When I have an interview I know not to wear my natural kinky hair or braids because as my mom says "it might scare them off." What she means is, they are more apt to listen to what you are saying if your hair looks like theirs because they are thinking about your hair and what it means about your personality.

    As a former teacher from a Hispanic high school, the lower socioeconomic students didn't always have the parents pushing for college but more so to get a job. The students whom parents graduated high school knew they didnt have a choice but to go to college. So you are right it is not a race thing but the family's belief system of how to be successful and what success looks like.

    But to get on the topic of being treated fairly in school. I attended a predominately white school and the instructors were fine but the other students weren't. While sitting at the UC having small talk with this young lady, she asked me "what sport do I play?" as if the only way I could be there was because I played a sport. It was hard for me to break into their study groups and you never really understood why.
    Some people just don't have the brains they were born with.


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