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Author Topic: In a Simple Lawn Ornament, Echoes of Slavery, Revolution
kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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It's more likely that I have poorly translated what was in my head into text. I'm notoriously bad at explaining my point of view. I don't even know why I bother. I think it is in hopes that I will eventually get better at it.

I apologize, I'm not usually so antagonistic. I am grumpy and sick at the moment and I most likely misinterpreted something along the way. I will reread it later when I feel better and will probably end up smacking myself on the forehead at something I misread.

I did, however, just ask my roommates about racial connotations with the word "boy" and no one knew what I was talking about. I also asked if they read To Kill a Mockingbird, and two of them have (back when they were in junior high), but still drew a blank. Guess I should read it so I'm not getting second hand information.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by ComicBookGeek:
quote:
It is ridiculous to think that racism does not still exist.
I didn't become a racist until I was repeatidly called one, simply due to my race and origin.
You're blaming others for your racism?

Fascinating.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Kallrynne, I think your not understanding the racial connotations of "boy" may be, at least in part, generational. It's natural for our opinions to be formed by our own experience, but it's important to be open to learning things that are beyond that experience.

For many years, especially in the south, it was common for black men, regardless of their age, to be called "boy" by white men. A white teenage boy might call a much older black man "boy." It was a deliberate act of disrespect, intended to convey that a black male, regardless of age and experience, would always be inferior to any white male, regardless of age and experience.

From Wikipedia.com:

quote:
Another story related by Martin Luther King, Jr. was that once the car his father was driving was stopped by a police officer, and the officer addressed the senior King as 'boy'. King pointed to his son, saying "This is a boy, I'm a man; until you call me one, I will not listen to you."
People are recommending that you read To Kill a Mockingbird because it will give you an understanding of institutionalized racism in the southern US in the early-to-mid 20th century. It is also, IMO, a heartbreakingly beautiful novel about people choosing to live with integrity and courage, even when doing so puts them at odds with everyone around them.

I also recommend the movie, and not just because I adore Gregory Peck. [Wink]

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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Lainie, thank you for actually explaining and citing as opposed to cryptically saying I should read To Kill a Mockingbird. Though I do now plan to read the book, it wasn't very helpful at the moment to simply have the book pointed out to me. I couldn't exactly run in the other room, read it real quick and come back to the computer enlightened.

I just hate when things go from debate to argument. I realize I probably started off badly by not rereading my original post and seeing how much it sounded like an attack on AnglRdr.

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
Kallrynne, I think your not understanding the racial connotations of "boy" may be, at least in part, generational. It's natural for our opinions to be formed by our own experience, but it's important to be open to learning things that are beyond that experience.

For many years, especially in the south, it was common for black men, regardless of their age, to be called "boy" by white men. A white teenage boy might call a much older black man "boy." It was a deliberate act of disrespect, intended to convey that a black male, regardless of age and experience, would always be inferior to any white male, regardless of age and experience.

I don't think it's a generational thing. I'm younger than Kallrynne and I'm fully aware of the racial heirarchy prevalent in the South. It's not as common as it used to be, but still exists in small pockets...the kinds of towns in which you don't want to run afoul of the social mores. I'm white and grew up in a white community, so when I encountered these cultural pockets they always made a deep impression on me. Also, although racism was not openly waved in my family or town, it was subtle enough for me to learn the "rules" even when I was a young kid. Also I absorbed the cultural history of the South from books, television, and movies.

I find it very hard to believe that a native Georgian who claims to have been the only "white" person in her high school class (but then also says she's part black) has never encountered the use of the word "Boy" in a racial context, nor heard the phrase "good darkie", nor encountered the racial history of lawn jockeys. I'm not calling Kallrynne a liar, I just find it very hard to believe.

I capitalize the word "Boy" because of the way it was used as a form of address. It did not just denote inferiority because race or age, but was a form of dehumanization - a black man wasn't "allowed" to even have a name. If he was a "good darkie" to his massah, he was treated at best like a pet.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
find it very hard to believe that a native Georgian who claims to have been the only "white" person in her high school class (but then also says she's part black) has never encountered the use of the word "Boy" in a racial context, nor heard the phrase "good darkie", nor encountered the racial history of lawn jockeys. I'm not calling Kallrynne a liar, I just find it very hard to believe.

Look, maybe I'm not the best example of a southerner. My background was, in a very complicated and purposeful way, kept simple. I went to a VERY small Christian school, we went to school functions and church funtions, and that was about it. We rarely watched TV, though I did get to watch some saturday morning cartoons, and a few approved movies (I've seen Jesus of Nazareth I don't know how many times, and some how, Star Wars was ok). Everything I watched, read, or did was prescreened. The books in my school library were littered with little black marks where words were censored. So I don't find it hard to believe at all that there is a term everyone else knows that is just now getting to me.

And, yes, I look white, therefore I am considered white. I have a couple of cousins who are darker, and, to me look hispanic. I have an aunt who definitely shows the italian. I look more Irish. Therefore, "white."

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
I don't think it's a generational thing. I'm younger than Kallrynne and I'm fully aware of the racial heirarchy prevalent in the South.

I'm younger than Kallrynne as well, and I was fully aware of it.

Kallrynne, I'm betting it's because of your extrodinarily sheltered background. I had a similar religious background, but lived in a trailer park, and had very outspoken, old-style relatives, so I got exposed to the whole thing. I even remember my parents making that old "The blacks were better off in slavery" argument.

Perhaps, instead of assuming your background encompasses everyone's experience, you should get out a bit more or read a bit more before rendering judgement on deep-seated social problems.

You can start here, if you want quick and dirty update on the most recent bigotry:

Southern Poverty Law Center

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Perhaps, instead of assuming your background encompasses everyone's experience, you should get out a bit more or read a bit more before rendering judgement on deep-seated social problems.

I never assumed that my experience was everyone else's. Why do you think I stepped back? As soon as I realized people were discussing things I had no experience with, I flat out said I hadn't heard it. And it feels like I'm getting slammed for it. When the discussion of the term "boy" came into play, I said "I'm sorry, I don't know the connatations of the term." I admitted I didn't know. I was hoping for an explanation, I wasn't saying people didn't know what the hell they were talking about, i was saying *I* didn't know what the hell they were talking about.

As far as me rendering judgment on deep-seated social problems, I was giving my opinion. That was all.

I'm going to stop right here. I enjoy a good debate. Though, as I said, I'm not always good at it, as long as there is no anymosity in it, I always find it quite educational. I started out on the wrong foot here, and now I'm going to step out.

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Cowboy Joe
Deck the Malls


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Let's be careful not to hang all the racism on the south, though. Segregation was a fact of life all across the nation. Out here in eastern Montana, we have lifing breathing racists walking around with no shame whatsoever about their views.

We have a state law that mandates Indian Education for All. You ought to hear what some of these kids beleive about Native Americans. Cigar store Indians are just a western version of lawn jockies.

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"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." -George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Cowboy Joe:
Let's be careful not to hang all the racism on the south, though. Segregation was a fact of life all across the nation. Out here in eastern Montana, we have lifing breathing racists walking around with no shame whatsoever about their views.

Absolutly. I've just found racism against African-Americans to be more blatent in the South. Other sections of the country have other targets, or are more subtle about it.


quote:
Originally posted by Cowboy Joe:

We have a state law that mandates Indian Education for All. You ought to hear what some of these kids beleive about Native Americans. Cigar store Indians are just a western version of lawn jockies.

Reminds me of the guy in Cherokee, N.C. who dresses in full plains garb and has a teepee set up in the res tourist town. A teepee. And people pay to have their pic taken with him. [fish]

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Cowboy Joe:
Cigar store Indians are just a western version of lawn jockies.

They most assuredly are. Thanks for pointing that out!

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by kallrynne:
I never assumed that my experience was everyone else's. Why do you think I stepped back? As soon as I realized people were discussing things I had no experience with, I flat out said I hadn't heard it. And it feels like I'm getting slammed for it. When the discussion of the term "boy" came into play, I said "I'm sorry, I don't know the connatations of the term." I admitted I didn't know. I was hoping for an explanation, I wasn't saying people didn't know what the hell they were talking about, i was saying *I* didn't know what the hell they were talking about.

You didn't ask for an explanation, though, and I think that may be where the confusion arose.

There are people, even on this board, who will do what you were wrongly accused of doing: assume their own narrow experience to be the whole truth of the world. If you straightforwardly ask for an explanation when you need one, you can avoid being mistaken for one of those people.

Plus you'll learn a bunch of stuff. I've learned a lot about a variety of subjects by speaking up and asking direct questions here.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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ComicBookGeek
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I think everyone is a racist in some form. It all depends on how much are you willing to admit it, even to yourself

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My Blog

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by ComicBookGeek:
I think everyone is a racist in some form. It all depends on how much are you willing to admit it, even to yourself

Hmmm...

Nope; I gotta disagree with you on that one.

Remember: don't assume others share your prejudices.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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misfitguy
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by ComicBookGeek:
I think everyone is a racist in some form. It all depends on how much are you willing to admit it, even to yourself

My first response to this statement was to disagree, but, then, remembered my own plight caused by my father disliking Mexicans. I felt as I entered adulthood in the 60's that I was not a racist and even openly supported the African-American community in their protests.

When I married a lady with two sons that were half Mexican, though, a lot of the "taught" distrusts came back to haunt me. I raised those boys into young men and they helped me overcome a deeply embedded fear/distrust for Mexicans. This also caused me to ponder all the other "isms" I was raised with, not related to race, but, instead, ethnicity and gender.

I was taught through slurs and jokes that the Polish were stupid, the Dutch were liars, the Jews were devious businessmen, the Irish were drunks and wife-beaters, never trust an Indian, Italians always had an angle but were good cooks, and, maybe because my dad was of German descent, Germans were hardworking and trustworthy.

Talk about a lot of baggage one had to get rid of.

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Go to http://www.misfitcityforum.com/forum/index.php

Why not?

"We are the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch, the drops of one wave..." Baha'u'llah

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pob14
Jingle Bell Hock


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ComicBookGeek, I'm confused. First you said:
quote:
Originally posted by ComicBookGeek:
I didn't become a racist until I was repeatidly called one, simply due to my race and origin.

Then you said:
quote:
Originally posted by ComicBookGeek:
I think everyone is a racist in some form. It all depends on how much are you willing to admit it, even to yourself[.]

These don't seem consistent. Are you trying to work something out in your own mind by your posts here? Because your posts could be interpreted as just offering random excuses for racism.

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Patrick

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