Class, Race, and Social Issues - page 3

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... Read More

    I just wanted to bring something to light here.

    A racist person believes that people of a race other than their own are automatically inferior to them. This means that racism is negative.

    An ignorant person may believe certain stereotypes of other races, but not because they think the other races are automatically inferior to their own, but simply due to a lack of information or even being in possession of the wrong information (such as TV, movies ect...). Ignorance is not negative. In fact, ignorance can be cleared up with just a little information.

    Now, as I said in an earlier post about some minority race people seeing problems that aren't there, or trying to find a racially related reason to any negative situation-or perceived negative situation (I know this is not my exact wording from before, but I'm too lazy to go back and check lol) this is one of the things I meant. Many minorities mistake ignorance for racism, and immediately take it as an insult. Some of them get mad not because they they are insulted, but because they believe, or have been taught, that they are supposed to be insulted. So they choose to get mad-if for no other reason than because they feel they have the right to-rather than choose to clear the situation up with just a few words-just a little information to clear up the ignorance.

    Not to pick on dlashon (please understand that I better make points on forums using examples, dlashon...), but the post above is an example of this. I say this because-at least how I'm interpreting the post, anyway, if I'm wrong let me know, please-s/he says "I think that it's sad that you wouldn't want to hire me because you are intimidated by my experience and educational background." This is not what I said. I said that I wouldn't hire her/him because with all of her/his experience (it is the 7 years experience as a HS science teacher especially that would most make me nervous btw.), I would think that s/he would quit and take the first higher paying opportunity that came along. And let's be honest here, in all likelihood, s/he would. I know I would, and any one that tells me that they would stick with a $12 an hour job as a PCA out of loyalty after being offered another for $48k or so a year, would have a hard time convincing me of that. That stuff about the experience and educational background was something I added for future reference as friendly advice-which I still highly advise any of you posters to read and consider. It is not about me personally being intimidated by an applicants education and experience, but it is the way of the world-right or wrong. That is an example of something automatically being taken negatively.

    And no, asking someone who is Black "What sport do you play" is not necessarily racist. Thinking all Mexicans can't speak English is not necessarily racist. Thinking all Black people are loud and can dance is not necessarily racist. These are examples of ignorance. Now, If these same examples were spoken or thought of in a derogatory way, then they would be examples of racism. But they are not automatically so.

    Last edit by PRICHARILLAisMISSED on Jan 19, '13 : Reason: Typos, and lots of them
  2. by   jadelpn
    Actually, I was once on a series of shifts where I was the only white person (and interestingly, my Grandpa was an immigrant to this country, could hardly speak a lick of English, and such a dark Italian man that many presumed him to be African American by looking at him alone). One of my children are more "mixed" looking than one would expect, considering my other children. So, back to the point. As the one white person on the shift, I felt as if I was a definate outsider--so much so that when their families would bring in plates for everyone on the shift (which was lovely) they didn't bring one for me, as they said that they expected me to "not like their food". And comments about how they were never friends with "white girls". Thankfully, I am at work to work and not to get into being BFF. Interestingly enough, when my kid came to get me one day, all were amazed and assumed that I was married to an African American. That at least opened up dialouge. My family by blood, marriage, and other is like the United Nations. And I would have it no other way. I like the idea of intellegent nurses who have amazing skills--and they come in just about every color.
    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.
    Last edit by PRICHARILLAisMISSED on Jan 19, '13
  4. by   dlashon
    Well, this will be my last comment but let me state this. I am working as a PCA for experience not because I can't find another job, I quit teaching making over 50,000 to yes..become a nurse but I am not qualified to be a nurse (no BSN or ADN). So I wouldn't quit. A lot of people are PCAs/PCTs and are nursing students so they wouldn't quit they would get PROMOTED when they have the qualifications.
    I don't agree that you can separate racism from ignorance. It sounds like this is a sugar coating to not call a spade a spade. Racist are ignorant but they have chosen not to learn about other races however to continue believing what they believe. If I never ate chocolate ice cream, only vanilla because I believe chocolate would be nasty, whose fault is this? The chocolate ice cream would just remain at the store and never purchased by me unless I decided to try it. Let that marinate.

    jadelpn, I hate that happened to you. That wasn't right for them to leave you out intentionally because they assumed you wouldn't like it. They just weren't raised right. I worked with a white lady whom was the only one in our department and I always asked her no matter what it was. That is how we break these barriers of "ignorance". Not everyone eats collard greens and cornbread but hey.
  5. by   dlashon
    There are black racist, yes I call my mom this every time she says something negative. Yes she is ignorant and hasn't been exposed to other races like I have, but because she uses certain comments she is a racist. Blacks believe they aren't racist because they don't have the power to discriminate which is what racist people do that have power. This is truly my last comment.
  6. by   LadyFree28
    Interesting comments jade lpn and PriscillaisMissed...I think you do bring up points that minorities can have the same issues on race as well. I think people should be cognizant to the human race's caste system that was in place centuries well as the phrenology theory about what characteristics define intelligence...humanity has had an unfortunate mix of what is pleasing and fact that makes it harder to break through on what histories we have learned of what is "acceptable" translating to what is "white" "black" "ethnic" "our culture" v. "your culture" etc. when the reality is our history is anything but clear cut...more or less, it's the United Nations!!! The difficulty is unlearning such practices that they are still there...for generations, the government used "redlining" as a practice to prevent integration of races, cultures, and incomes in certain housing areas, setting up decades of lack of access to economics, schooling, and healthcare. That's institutional racism and bias...and that is still alive and well...when you see that as an ethnic person, especially coming from a background of less means, it really does create a deep wound mentally...and the lack if trust really seeps through, especially, when the chances of advancement are slim, yet achievable...and that thought those memories are still fresh, especially when you encounter difficulties in nursing. In the south, most black nurses were LPNs for a period of time because most schools were not welcoming to blacks coming to universities or hospital schools to level the playing field, so to speak...there were segregated hospitals. These paths in history are REAL, and people have lived through those experiences...and the history is passed down. Those REAL moments cannot be forgotten, because it has created a lot of the health disparities that are present today. I think about those issues when I hit the floor as a nurse, however, I still treat people how I want to be treated, regardless of race, ethnicity, etc...I'm sure I've been all over the place, but those are the realties of a lot of minorities in America...and they have been really pushed in the fronts of many minds, especially with the current political climate of our country right now.
    On a positive note, I think this thread is wonderful in pointing out that each poster has described a great deal of experiences I am sure we can relate to. We are all human with complex, interesting backgrounds!
  7. by   Trilldayz,RN BSN
    Wonderful post LadyFree! History can definately define someone's present and future.
  8. by   LadyFree28
    Thanks Trilldayz...history can define people's present and future, even when you are aiming for a better future...there will be people who remind you of the thinking of the past, however, I have lived "in the now" knowing the past, looking at the present, in order to look to the do my best regardless of the circumstances!
  9. by   somenurse
    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.
  10. by   somenurse
    slightly off topic,
    but, to form paragraphs, instead of hard-to-read monographs,
    one just hits the "enter" key every few sentences....

    WA-LA! look, a little blank space appears if you hit the 'enter' key.

    sure makes it easier to keep one's place while reading long long long monographs, is using paragraphs.
  11. by   somenurse
    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.
    Last edit by somenurse on Jan 20, '13
  12. by   somenurse
    Denying racism
    is the new racism.

    well, it's part of it, anyway. Institutional and systemic and general racism and sexism do exist.
    Last edit by somenurse on Jan 20, '13
  13. by   somenurse
    Quote from wordsofmymouth
    I'm still shocked that people my own age (early 20s) say such derogatory things about people. I'm a white girl, I grew up playing with and talking to all kinds of people, and I've never understood racism or sexism. Not too long ago someone talking to me started with "you know how black people are." Look out. Idiot crossing. The only thing I struggle with is knowing what labels to use. I've taken to asking people (people that I know well, not strangers at Walmart). "Do you like African-American or black better?" "Do you prefer Hispanic?" I personally don't like being called white, but no one likes the idea of European-American apparently.

    ETA: Sorry, but Caucasian just sounds weird.
    I use the terms black and white, if the topic comes up. I am old, i grew up when the terms "black power" and "black is beautiful" and similar phrases were being promoted during the civil rights era,
    so to me, the term "black" has powerful and positive connotations to it. Very positive associations in MY mind to that word. but, again, i'm old.

    I used to use the terms "african american" til a black coworker of mine mentioned to me, he himself dislikes the term, and feels annoyed whenever HE is referred to as "african american"....he is a recent immigrant from Ireland, his family was there for centuries, and he sees himself as Irish, and feels his family tree has no more to do with africa than anyone else.

    Then i thought about it, and i don't refer to my white pal, as "german-american".
    I wouldn't refer to my white coworker a "french american".

    If we aren't breaking up white people by country of origin, why do it to black americans, many of whom had family trees in america going back for centuries.

    plus, if scientists are right, we are all from africa, if we go back far enough.
    Last edit by somenurse on Jan 20, '13