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i need to sleep, but i am pissed off and need to rant...
the situation:
we got a new cashier named nicole. nicole is somewhere around 20 years old and she's black. her age puts her in the category of people marie wants to befriend, so marie turns on her ghetto girl charm whenever nicole's around. nicole is unimpressed, and doesn't seem to care what marie thinks. however, nicole really likes teena and tyrone.
so today, marie comes in to the store. it's her day off. she stands on the outside of the low door and i stand on the inside and we play with each others hands while the following conversation occurs between marie and teena:
marie: what's going on with nicole?
teena: what do you mean?
marie: well she acts like she hates me... what did i ever do to her?
teena: i'm sure it's nothing. she probably just takes a while to adjust to new people.
marie: she seems to like you just fine.
teena: yeah, but that's different.
marie: what do you mean?
teena: i'm black. you're not. it's like a rule of the sisterhood, you know... we stick together, automatically. you, you're white. you've got to work to earn her respect.

with marie's hand in mine, nothing bothers me. but when she goes home, i'm quite bothered... how is that right? how is that any different from me saying, 'yeah, i automatically like most white people, but those blacks... if they want my respect, they've got to earn it, because, well, they're black'? i know if i said that to any black person (and probably most white people), they'd be calling me racist and prejudiced and probably a bunch of 4-letter words before i even finished my sentence, but a black person can say essentially the same thing, and it's fine? it doesn't seem right to me, and it makes me mad... i'm not mat at nicole, because i know that there are plenty of valid reasons for disliking marie that don't involve race, and i have no idea if that's her real reason for disliking marie. but i'm mad at teena, for saying that, like it's a perfectly good reason to dislike someone... i think that's bullshit.

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Hey, long time no speak :)

Race issues are always tricky. While I don't agree with what Teena said, or the way she phrased it, I think I understand the attitude that underlies it. As a non-white person living living in a predominantly white country (regardless of whether you were born there or not) there is always a sense of... wariness.

I know that sounds somewhat paranoid, but it's a caution often based on experience. Practically every non-white person I know has suffered some form of racial abuse from white people in the past, which has the knock-on effect of making them more cautious around white people in the future. Related to this is a desire for acceptance and familiarity... And where else will you find that but with people who are likely to have the same experiences and background as you?

I'm not agreeing with what Teena said - you're right, it is racist. For me, respect has no relation to the colour of a person's skin. I think what she was probably trying to get at is that it takes time for non-white people to get over that initial wariness when encountering new white people. Probably not the way it should be, but it is the result of the experiences of a generation (or generations).

Anyway, that's me done for now. TTYL.

hey, you're back and dave's back! that's two treats in one day :-)

and in regards to the race thing, when i think about it, you're probably right. the way she worded it made me mad, and i didn't really stop to think about what she was trying to say. if i stop to think about it, i can see that... i'm not prejudiced against straight people, and they don't have to work any harder to 'earn my respect' than gay people do... but i still tend to feel more of a connection with a gay person, just because i feel like they've automatically got something in common with me. and also, it's comforting to know for sure that they won't be a jerk about my sexuality. i realize that the majority of the straight people (at least the ones around here) won't care either, but i can't immediately assume that about everybody i meet, so i have to get to know them first.
hmmm... i can't find a good way to explain that... i sound like i'm prejudiced against straights now, don't i?
ok, ok, i forgive teena. it looks like her concept of 'sisterhood' is a hard thing to explain without sounding racist.

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