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Rachel Udin
07-30-2012, 11:34 AM
Be aware of a rant... and do not extend Foyt into this.

As I said, I'm PoC, but my family here isn't... As a PoC growing up in a white family, I had my share of F* ups. (Which I sincerely, had to reverse.)

Example of how White privilege works:

So it started by comparing my white cousin to Pocahontas. I said nothing.... I didn't know the movie, so I didn't know if they'd red faced. It's better to shut up.

Then it got worse when a friend of the family who had given same cousin a bracelet from the midwest said, "Look, the bracelet I gave you is Native American."

So I slowly said, "But they aren't the same tribes..."

The person snapped (not my cousin) "I know that."
I said, "then don't you think that's a little.... prejudiced?"
(to substitute for "racist" You know how some people are when you role out with their version of the "r" word.)

She said "You only see it that way."

Excuuuuseee me? I just pointed out your white privilege. Get a hint.

Silence fell on the table. No one backed me up at all. I'm like, Uhhh... Duhhh... and then I realized I was the only PoC at the table versed enough to call it as I saw it. (One other PoC as well). And I'm not even defending my own PoC group either.

Powhatan. Algonquian language. Virginia. That's Pocahantas, your bracelet you gave my cousin, not even close to Virginia, I've studied enough to know that's Native American South West. I'm ignorant as hell, but I'm not stupid enough to try to name the tribe from a bracelet. I know my level of ignorance. I wish to overcome it. (I got a TON to learn) But I'm not stupid enough to mix a tribe from a whole other region and think it's acceptable. I didn't get that in grade school, but they sure did make sure I got it in High School.

I'll say from experience that it's often easier to defend our position of power than it is to back away and say sorry. If this woman had the maturity to say sorry. Sorry, not just for me, but sorry for mixing up tribes, sorry for not getting that different Native American tribes produce different art and sorry for insulting everyone.

See, what else pissed me off was that no one else was willing to back me. The majority at the table was white. And this is how it goes. You step in the race issues, and I find that if the majority is white, they automatically shut up. It's silencing. And then it's the race card for the PoC that brought it up.

But what if someone said, "I kinda agree here?" (And to be clear, I knew that other people at said table agreed and knew the difference.) Doesn't that break the back of being in a position of power by saying yes, I don't fully understand and neither do you, but I'll at least *try* not to screw things up. And especially when I know better.

I've got rules when talking about cultures other than my own:
Don't know it? Shut up.
Questions before statements.
Verification until I'm not nervous (Which believe me, is usually 3-4 times, if not more, then re-reading and back verification on the references)
Things I think I know when it comes to the culture? Verify anyway.
No crutches (respect boundaries, do not use only one person, do not blame the person when I screw up, do not use people from those countries solely without doing my own work.).

When I screw up the only words I'll say are, "I'm sorry!" maybe with the word "very" stuck in. Maybe follow it up with how others should not follow my example and how they and I could do it better. Show I can listen.


"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance"--ConfuciusI paste this one up somewhere when I'm researching something I don't know, especially when it comes to a group of people.

I still get a shock when I go into a pharmacy, look in the make up section and then the only PoC I can see on the labels is Queen Latifah... (Still confuses me, 'cause I'm thinking.. what will look good on me? And isn't this a heavy Latino area?) and none of the base foundation colors seem to support PoCs??? Marketing fail? Every single time. Still gets me. Which is probably why I don't buy it often.

Privilege is not something you see, but something you live with. You don't see it until you are suddenly without it. The danger of persistent privilege is that you may never be without it, which means you have to work that much harder to see the world without those glasses. Being called the so-called "r"-word--I see that as a learning experience to expunge my ignorance. Yay. Get rid of that crap cluttering my brain.

Anyone else have examples and how they overcame it either RL or through writing?

Kerosene
07-30-2012, 12:00 PM
I'm still kinda hazy with what you mean.
You're native american, complaining about "white" culture's collective ignorance over your culture and calling it a privilege on their part?
Like red wine saying, "All white wines taste the same," but you know better... or not? And you accept it...
See my problem?


I'm half native american, my father's full. But I just look hispanic. :Shrug:
My mother is a "collector" and because of my blood heritage, she's always tried to collect native american trinkets.
Despite how much I tell her, "it's all the same, no matter where you buy it," she still buys it.
I've learned to stop correcting her and allow her wallow in her own waste.

If you're talking about ignorance and your objection to it, thus trying to correct it; why correct it at all? You can't change a person's mind no matter how hard or loud you scream at them. So why waste your time?

Sorry, I'm still unsure what you mean. But, hope this helps.

Kitty Pryde
07-30-2012, 09:23 PM
I'm still kinda hazy with what you mean.
You're native american, complaining about "white" culture's collective ignorance over your culture and calling it a privilege on their part?
Like red wine saying, "All white wines taste the same," but you know better... or not? And you accept it...
See my problem?
.

But that's not what she's saying. She isn't Native American either. It was not a statement that "white people are all racist", it was a statement that "when certain white people are racist it is frustrating".

And sorry, no, people's minds and hearts can be changed. That is in fact the only way to fight for equality. If you feel like accepting things as they are, feel free, but other people will still be fighting. Maybe I've been reading too much "Yo, Is This Racist?" but the advice to give up the good fight is awfully grating to me.

Rachel Udin
07-30-2012, 10:00 PM
But that's not what she's saying. She isn't Native American either. It was not a statement that "white people are all racist", it was a statement that "when certain white people are racist it is frustrating".

And sorry, no, people's minds and hearts can be changed. That is in fact the only way to fight for equality. If you feel like accepting things as they are, feel free, but other people will still be fighting. Maybe I've been reading too much "Yo, Is This Racist?" but the advice to give up the good fight is awfully grating to me.
This.

And also when certain white people are racist, it would be nice have back up from white people that know better too.

I don't pretend to speak for other groups. But I don't like it when people are deliberately spreading lies either. If I know it's wrong and it's speech that belittles another group, I'll speak up. Why? Because I've kicked myself for not doing so before.

This group I refer to had three big advocates of racial equality at the table. One was proud to play the Native Americans in the Cowboy and Native Americans game when they were a kid... (Cowboys were evil and they were specific to a certain tribe, but I don't remember which...) and racial equality is often a subject raised on a bigger scale in that household. Ironically behind them is an abstract picture of the square where Martin Luther King spoke--a pride they have and they point to where they were. Protests, rallies, speaking out, flyers are OK, but none of them spoke when it was one of their friends talking. Someone they knew. Only I did and I find that a bit frustrating--good on a big scale, but not brave enough to stand up to a friend? And a friend that knew it was wrong?

So, OK to talk about how you want Obama and are afraid he's going to be judged for his race. Not OK to softly correct someone who thinks that racism no longer happens after Obama got elected? OK to proudly talk about Pocahontas and know her life through and through--even mention which tribe she belongs to. Not OK to correct a friend that the tribes from the American Southwest is no where near culturally similar to the tribes of Virginia... Frustrating.

Rufus Coppertop
07-30-2012, 10:22 PM
Can ignorance about different cultures be an example of white privilege when white's don't have a monopoly on such ignorance and not all whites have such ignorance?

If you can find poc with ignorance of other cultures, then surely ignorance of other cultures is shared, hence, not the exclusive prerogative of whites.

Mutive
07-30-2012, 11:09 PM
Can ignorance about different cultures be an example of white privilege when white's don't have a monopoly on such ignorance and not all whites have such ignorance?

If you can find poc with ignorance of other cultures, then surely ignorance of other cultures is shared, hence, not the exclusive prerogative of whites.

To be fair, not all whites are of the same culture, either. (Esp. if you extend "white" to cover Indians, North Africans, and all people of European heritage.) Even if you only use it for people of decidedly Northern European heritage, a Pole and Irishwoman aren't really all that alike, despite having similar skin tones and likely following the same religion...

missesdash
07-30-2012, 11:16 PM
Can ignorance about different cultures be an example of white privilege when white's don't have a monopoly on such ignorance and not all whites have such ignorance?

If you can find poc with ignorance of other cultures, then surely ignorance of other cultures is shared, hence, not the exclusive prerogative of whites.

I don't quite get her story, but I think she meant the dynamic at the table was white privilege, not the ignorance of culture.

Shadow_Ferret
07-30-2012, 11:18 PM
I'm trying to figure out if this is white priviledge (since I can't figure out what the exact priviledge is in this case) or just a good example of American ignorance and poor education regarding a race they nearly exterminated.

Alpha Echo
07-30-2012, 11:19 PM
I don't quite get her story, but I think she meant the dynamic at the table was white privilege, not the ignorance of culture.

That might be what she meant, but to me, it just seemed like ignorance of culture. I can't distinguish between the tribes. I know there are different tribes and that they are all very different...

I don't know, but the OP didn't sound to me like someone lording supremacy over anyone else just b/c he/she is white. It sounded like someone who either wasn't thinking or didn't know, and that person got defensive when corrected because she felt sort of silly and/or stupid.

That's my take on it.

But obviously, the OP knows the person she was talking about, and I don't.

Rachel Udin
07-30-2012, 11:20 PM
Can ignorance about different cultures be an example of white privilege when white's don't have a monopoly on such ignorance and not all whites have such ignorance?

If you can find poc with ignorance of other cultures, then surely ignorance of other cultures is shared, hence, not the exclusive prerogative of whites.
The privilege didn't kick in at the ignorance. The privilege kicked in when the person acknowledged and knew it was wrong and insisted on it and then the room of better educated people backed them up by staying silent. They could afford to do that. Why? Because the race issues at the stem of the problem don't effect them. I KNOW that they know better. The woman in question knew that she knew better. They can all afford not to speak up. But I couldn't see it that way. I see how prejudice is interconnected.

It's one thing to be ignorant. It's another thing to know better and insist that it doesn't matter, especially when you are in a position of power.

Privilege isn't about lording either... prejudices are ingrained into society. It's difficult to overturn them.

kuwisdelu
07-30-2012, 11:31 PM
Despite how much I tell her, "it's all the same, no matter where you buy it,"

Wait what?

Sure, if you buy it at places run by white people...

Xelebes
07-30-2012, 11:34 PM
Kind of reminded of how I learnt that the many native tribes of North America do not get along with each other. At work, sitting with a guy (who is Cree) and shooting little home stories with each other on the lunch break. Some of his stories are heart breaking (the party with the big pot on the stove. . .) and some of them actually humourous and hopeful. One of them kind of got onto talking about tribes and he snips along the lines about "those filthy Blackfoot. They still skin heads." (Talking about the Tsuu T'ina, specifically.)

Of course, I had to go look up the Cree-Blackfoot Wars of the 1870s (one of the wars that led up to the Northwest Rebellion in the 1880s) to understand the context. Threw me in a loop because I had never heard anything so vicious.

crunchyblanket
07-30-2012, 11:37 PM
To be fair, not all whites are of the same culture, either. (Esp. if you extend "white" to cover Indians, North Africans, and all people of European heritage.) Even if you only use it for people of decidedly Northern European heritage, a Pole and Irishwoman aren't really all that alike, despite having similar skin tones and likely following the same religion...

'culture' and 'race' are definitely two different issues. I have white privilege, no question. But my cultural background (Irish Romani) puts me somewhere toward the bottom of the 'white privilege' scale. Not that it's especially important, since privilege is privilege, when you get right down to it.

Rufus Coppertop
07-30-2012, 11:41 PM
The privilege didn't kick in at the ignorance. The privilege kicked in when the person acknowledged and knew it was wrong and insisted on it and then the room of better educated people backed them up by staying silent. They could afford to do that. Why? Because the race issues at the stem of the problem don't effect them. I KNOW that they know better. The woman in question knew that she knew better. They can all afford not to speak up. But I couldn't see it that way. I see how prejudice is interconnected.

It's one thing to be ignorant. It's another thing to know better and insist that it doesn't matter, especially when you are in a position of power.

Privilege isn't about lording either... prejudices are ingrained into society. It's difficult to overturn them.Fair enough, but to really understand exactly what went on, I'd have to know exactly what was said. I can't really get to grips with it from your OP.

backslashbaby
07-31-2012, 12:15 AM
Wait what?

Sure, if you buy it at places run by white people...

That was my first thought, too.

For the OP, I'd probably rather you let the NA girl decide how to take the gift.

You'd be absolutely right that my brother would be offended as hell.

OTOH, I buy work at Pow-Wows and jewelry, etc, from folks who have a Aho Mitakuye Oyasin philosophy about it all. In the Southeast you see that a lot. The Western tribes may be quite different on that, although the phrase itself is Lakota, so I like to think it couldn't get too ugly :)

I guess generally speaking, you shouldn't be surprised if some NA folks like any NA stuff. There's a big culture and smaller cultures, and you'll find lots of folks who stand up for the big culture on any occasion, sure.

kuwisdelu
07-31-2012, 12:44 AM
OTOH, I buy work at Pow-Wows and jewelry, etc, from folks who have a Aho Mitakuye Oyasin philosophy about it all. In the Southeast you see that a lot. The Western tribes may be quite different on that, although the phrase itself is Lakota, so I like to think it couldn't get too ugly :)

"All Things are Connected" was our theme for our regional AISES conference this year. But I would say that you can only connect things that were different in the first place.

I generally buy from co-ops, markets, etc. Any direct-from-artist-like venues. The pair of Lakota earrings I gave my friend as a gift last week I bought out of the back of a Lakota guy's trunk in front of the Wounded Knee landmarker. Rez style. :D

Shadow_Ferret
07-31-2012, 05:56 PM
Maybe you could start giving them gifts. Like if no one is German, get them leiderhosen and say, "I was thinking about your European heritage."

Mutive
07-31-2012, 06:10 PM
'culture' and 'race' are definitely two different issues. I have white privilege, no question. But my cultural background (Irish Romani) puts me somewhere toward the bottom of the 'white privilege' scale. Not that it's especially important, since privilege is privilege, when you get right down to it.

I agree completely. They're entirely different things. But if someone is going to whine about how thinking different groups of Native Americans are all the same (obviously not - I agree that there are a ton of different cultures in the Americas, which differ pretty radically), they should at least note that not all whites are exactly the same, either. There may be similar privileges (and I'd argue that different groups of Native Americans, Africans, etc. often share similar degrees of discrimination), but they're not the same by a long shot, either.

backslashbaby
07-31-2012, 09:39 PM
Maybe you could start giving them gifts. Like if no one is German, get them leiderhosen and say, "I was thinking about your European heritage."

I'm going to surprise you by being a two-fer, then ;) I'd love a Lakota bracelet or a box of Moravian cookies thankyouverymuch. My dad's German side of the family gets a lot of love, although not so much via leidershosen :D My dad still appreciates getting those big ole beer steins as gifts... really! It's not just Indians who like little reminders of their culture.

kuwisdelu
07-31-2012, 10:45 PM
I agree completely. They're entirely different things. But if someone is going to whine about how thinking different groups of Native Americans are all the same (obviously not - I agree that there are a ton of different cultures in the Americas, which differ pretty radically), they should at least note that not all whites are exactly the same, either. There may be similar privileges (and I'd argue that different groups of Native Americans, Africans, etc. often share similar degrees of discrimination), but they're not the same by a long shot, either.

I'll make a note to make sure to take the time to appreciate the myriad differences among white cultures before saying anything the next time my culture is marginalized.

Rachel Udin
08-01-2012, 03:34 AM
That was my first thought, too.

For the OP, I'd probably rather you let the NA girl decide how to take the gift.

You'd be absolutely right that my brother would be offended as hell.

OTOH, I buy work at Pow-Wows and jewelry, etc, from folks who have a Aho Mitakuye Oyasin philosophy about it all. In the Southeast you see that a lot. The Western tribes may be quite different on that, although the phrase itself is Lakota, so I like to think it couldn't get too ugly :)

I guess generally speaking, you shouldn't be surprised if some NA folks like any NA stuff. There's a big culture and smaller cultures, and you'll find lots of folks who stand up for the big culture on any occasion, sure.

White cousin ain't close to Native American (She's a Jewish-Hungarian)... She was in error compared to Pocahontas which raised my eyebrow. And it was compounded by someone else who thought that they could say that Native American cultures are the same.


I agree completely. They're entirely different things. But if someone is going to whine about how thinking different groups of Native Americans are all the same (obviously not - I agree that there are a ton of different cultures in the Americas, which differ pretty radically), they should at least note that not all whites are exactly the same, either. There may be similar privileges (and I'd argue that different groups of Native Americans, Africans, etc. often share similar degrees of discrimination), but they're not the same by a long shot, either.
*Whine* is a strong word there. That's kind of trying to silence, I think. I'll give you benefit of the doubt in this case, but I think you miss it.

It's easier when you are outside of a continent to assume that all countries are singular or a whole continent is singular. It's a privilege that's ingrained into you, if you know it or not. The majority by American census is white (70%). In World History, the majority of the focus is on Europe.

The focus is on differentiating different white cultures in school. If you're lucky, your local history program also went over your region's Native American tribes (Which for the state I had, I later found out was required.)

My school went over the different countries of Africa, North and South America, Asia, and a little into Polynesia, in ADDITION to Europe through a really cool Mr. Bailey (We had no book... he did it all through hand written notes.) and also through another cool teacher that's now retired. However, the majority of "World History" is European History. Try it. Ask people what they studied in World History. (Or even better, try to find a world history book that doesn't include Europe. I asked once--hey, is there everything but Europe book? No... no...)

It's easy for even a PoC to be able to tell you, "That's England, that's France. Germany should be about here..." Eastern Europe is sketchy... (Because ya know, marginalized group, though not as much as say... differentiating the different tribes of Africa)

So it becomes easier to live with that privilege that your history, your geography and your general continental heritage can be separated easily. It's taught as part of the curriculum.

So by you saying, "What about the white people--they have different cultures too." You miss the systemic racism. Whole continents are missed and skipped over. And that also is part of the system. Europe in schools aren't marginalized.

It's less likely that it'll be said by a PoC in the US that all Europeans are the same. However, the reverse is not true. The lack of teaching about cultures also is a type of ingrained silence and it's a privilege to have your culture talked about in great detail over others. And in fact, if you point it out, it's the "race card" and "What about the Europeans?" Not the point. Europe is well-taught in schools. Differences between the cultures of the various minorities is not.

It's another on the bucket list of:
http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

But in this case it's not ignorance. I take what she said at face value. She just don't want to know or acknowledge.

You mentioned Ireland. Doing this off the top of my head from History classes I remember...

Ireland: I remember that Ireland was divided into North and South. There was extensive talk about the differences in Catholicism and Protestantism and how that divided the country. I also got the bit where Norse peoples were big contributors to the Irish genetics. (Tall also the blonde is thought to play a role). Also the history of oppression in Ireland, the relations with Scotland. And a bit about the former religion--the druids. (As I said my Mr. Bailey was awesome).

There was a whole section dedicated to France. In both Mr. Bailey's class and in the subsequent class. (The name is a bit more rare... so I'm leaving it off). We went from almost the Gauls all the way to the present. We went over American-French relations and English-French relations. (Though I'd supplemented it a little with Jean Plaidy).

And because my Mr. Bailey was all kinds of awesome, he also briefly went over Hungary, drilled into our brains about the plague and went over the invasion of Genghis Khan. (Even covered a little bit about Romani...)

I know Europe well. And though he tried his best to get Hammurabi's Code and give mnemonics for remembering things, that region is still sketchy to me. Though he drilled about the Fertile Crescent and went over the belief system of Islam, I didn't know what Shiia Islam was. I could tell you all the different types of Christianity forwards and backwards and the impact on history, but I didn't learn that there was a huge difference between the different sects of Hinduism until I got out of High School. (though we did cover that too) (I either forgot or wasn't taught the Northern v. Southern Buddhism... Zen Buddhism yes.)

I didn't know what a miko was until I studied further into Japan. (Independent study) I didn't know what a mudang was until I got out of High School. But I could have told you the difference between a Priest a Pastor and a Reverend with which religions they belonged to and the historical significance of that in carving out the first States. William Penn for a 1,000. Who is the founder of Pennsylvania, or where my mom grew up and a huge amount of Amish live.

When I mentioned Korea... the most people know about it is that it had a war. If you mention Japan, the majority can't place Emperor Hirohito on the timeline.

Let's test this... without looking... (Off the top of my head from HS classes, though it's been at least 15 years)
Henry VIII is best known for what?
Which Louis of France was the one that had a ton of mistresses, and through his excesses, probably was the real one that caused the French Revolution for his son? (Dying of syphilis)
What were the major causes for the rise of Hitler?
Can you mention the day WWII turned around?
England is what type of government? (Extra points if you happen to know the houses of parliament)
Why did Queen Victoria dress all in black for so many years? (which would look more obscure to an outsider)
What was the Marshall Plan?

Compare to:
Why is "Eskimo" a wrong term?
Igbo--do you know which continent that group comes from and what general region they occupy?
What is the historical friction between the Hmong and Laos?
What is a Kimchi in Korea which is not the food?
Which countries of Africa have English as their primary language? When was it adopted?
What was the difference between the Aztecs and the Mayans?
The Meiji era was marked by what major events? (Thanks Mr. Bailey)
Who is Empress Wu and her significance in Chinese History?
What is the Iroquois League?
African Americans usually have a heritage from which part of Africa?

Made my point yet?

Europe is well-taught. White America and imperialism from that point is also well-taught. Is that not a privilege? So why are you insisting that we need to differentiate white groups when it's so well-covered? It affords more people in the majority to ignore the diversity within nations outside of Europe by saying, "Why aren't we talking about Europe?" It was done, a ton of times.

To me, it's like going into a women's studies class and talking about the different viewpoints of women and going, "Well, men have a different views too... why aren't we talking about them?"

(Though some of it confounds me... like how people can't tell the difference between a Japanese and a Korean show, but that's more on the deliberate stupidity side. (you know, the label, and the writing...))

BTW, I think a better cover than insisting, "Only you think that."

Would have been, "I'm sorry. Hey, let's talk about the differences. Make this fun..."

Understand the privilege yet?

Mr Flibble
08-01-2012, 03:51 AM
Okay I shall flaunt my ignorance here. Flame me at your will.

Comparing somene to Pocahontas - it maybe depends what the comparison was? Or am I wrong? My brother - white - has been compared to Prince many times because, well, because apart from skin tone they are doppelgängers. I know a black guy who gets compared to Pierce Brosnan and is thrilled by it. Is it because of the liberties taken with the film? Or....They look very similar/spmethng else? What? But from the OP it's hard to tell why the original comparison was offensive. I would love to know.

And then someone gives her a bracelet and says it is NA. This may or may not be related to the original comparison ( can't tell from the OP)

So someone gives a gift and gets called out for being prejudiced because it doesn't relate to a separate comment?...


Okay, I'm not getting it. I'd like to know why I'm not getting it (maybe the OP just doesn't explain the context? Or maybe I'm a ditz? Or...) I'm not getting it - I am obviously missing some subtext here. Undoubtedly due to privilege/ignorance/whatever. But then I can't know everything. I'm not sure how giving someone a gift they might (or maybe not) like is prejudicial?

The op isn't very clear here, and again this is certainly my ignorance.

Basically..and I know this isn't your job, to educate me, but if I don't ask how can i know? can someone explain the problem? Because the OP feels very vague as to what the problem is.

M.Macabre
08-01-2012, 04:42 AM
Echoing everyone else that's confused. Is it because she knew they weren't the same tribe, but insinuated that it didn't matter by labeling it ''native American?'' But isn't labeling tribes to areas the same as labeling NA? And I don't agree with the idea that if you don't know about a culture, you shouldn't talk about it. You should always discuss things.

Also, I can totally relate on being a POC raised by a white family. Making a very long story short, I was raised by my extremely racist grandmother for the first half of my life who denied that I wasn't ''full white.''

Theo81
08-01-2012, 01:45 PM
[...]

Let's test this... without looking... (Off the top of my head from HS classes, though it's been at least 15 years)
Henry VIII is best known for what? Being King of England, breaking from Rome, marrying 6 times.
Which Louis of France was the one that had a ton of mistresses, and through his excesses, probably was the real one that caused the French Revolution for his son? (Dying of syphilis) The Revolution was caused by many things. This question is a gross oversimplification. But, Loius the ... 16? Maybe 15.
What were the major causes for the rise of Hitler? Economic issues, unemployment, the reparations imposed after WW1
Can you mention the day WWII turned around? Oh, God, If the answer to this is Pearl Harbour, you are getting such a kicking. It's a question I'm not sure I understand. The day the Spitfire was invented?
England is what type of government? (Extra points if you happen to know the houses of parliament) A Democracy? Also, more on this particular question later.
Why did Queen Victoria dress all in black for so many years? (which would look more obscure to an outsider) She was in mourning for her husband Prince Albert.
What was the Marshall Plan? No idea.

Compare to:
Why is "Eskimo" a wrong term? It only refers to Eskimos. Not all "Eskimos" are Eskimos.
Igbo--do you know which continent that group comes from and what general region they occupy? No.
What is the historical friction between the Hmong and Laos? Don't know.
What is a Kimchi in Korea which is not the food?Don't know.
Which countries of Africa have English as their primary language? When was it adopted? Botswana, at a guess.
What was the difference between the Aztecs and the Mayans? They're different people
The Meiji era was marked by what major events? (Thanks Mr. Bailey) Contact with Europe?
Who is Empress Wu and her significance in Chinese History? She was the last monarch to hold power in China (as a regent for her son) or something.
What is the Iroquois League? Don't know
African Americans usually have a heritage from which part of Africa? Don't know.

Made my point yet?

Europe is well-taught. White America and imperialism from that point is also well-taught. Is that not a privilege? So why are you insisting that we need to differentiate white groups when it's so well-covered? It affords more people in the majority to ignore the diversity within nations outside of Europe by saying, "Why aren't we talking about Europe?" It was done, a ton of times.

To me, it's like going into a women's studies class and talking about the different viewpoints of women and going, "Well, men have a different views too... why aren't we talking about them?"

(Though some of it confounds me... like how people can't tell the difference between a Japanese and a Korean show, but that's more on the deliberate stupidity side. (you know, the label, and the writing...))

BTW, I think a better cover than insisting, "Only you think that."

Would have been, "I'm sorry. Hey, let's talk about the differences. Make this fun..."

Understand the privilege yet?

Okay, that question I've bolded above perfectly outlines what I want to add to this.

England doesn't have a parliament. It is the only nation of the United Kingdom which doesn't. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have devolved parliaments. That's okay - why *would* you know that? It's not as though it impacts your daily life.

If you buy a block of Caerphilly Chedder and tell your friends you've made them dinner with this really nice "English" cheese you bought, should it be a problem? Is it an example of your privilege? No - it's an example of you ignorance.


White minorities exist. Take the Welsh.

We look different. We have our own language (two of them, in fact - North Walian and South Walian). We have our own religion - Chapel.

But have you ever been taught anything about Wales? About their history? Do you know you don't know anything about them? Is Wales "well-taught"?

Do you know, for instance, the equals sign was invented by a Welshman - Robert Recorde? Or that, without the Welsh, Henry Tudor (Henry the seventh) would not have won the Battle of Bosworth Field, hence no Henry the Eighth?

Did you know that the Welsh have been the butt of racist jokes for years? Check your Shakespeare - Henry V and the Merry Wives of Windsor.

Did you know that for centuries the English forced all official business to be conducted *in* English? A language the Welsh didn't speak?

How about that the language was, in 1847, cited as one of the reasons for the general ignorance, laziness and immorality of the Welsh? That the language was banned in schools and any child speaking it would be given a thrashing? That the main reason it survived where Irish Gaelic didn't was due to Edward VI's (Henry the VIII's son) protestant reforms - the Bible was printed in Welsh in Wales (amazingly). They had a written text to keep the language alive which Catholic Ireland didn't.

The Welsh have been an oppressed minority for centuries (and before you ask, yes, being Welsh is reason enough to get a boot in your head from some quarters), but I don't know if you know that. Even today, you have the comedy Welshman stock character - he's usually male, fat, lovable but dim. Rhys in Torchwood, for instance. How many Welsh actors can you name who aren't forced to "English/American up"? When have you ever seen Catherine Zita Jones in a role using her natural accent? Where are all the roles for Welsh actors? Literarture is actually one of the areas with a strong Welsh contingent, which is good, but it doesn't have much of an international foothold. You don't see much of it outside Wales.

What I *think* is you need to differentiate between white privilege (which is a big and important issue and needs discussing) and general ignorance. I see your original example as the second.

That said, privilege is usually a cause of ignorance.

I'm not trying to be all "won't somebody think of the menz" about this, I'm just trying to explain there are white minorities who face similar issues and have similar cultural histories with "whites" as PoC do, and who are marginalized even today, who have to smile and laugh when people say "Oh, God, I hate the bloody Welsh!" because pointing out the racism would be an affront to all the PoC who get "real" racist remarks made about them.

quicklime
08-01-2012, 06:31 PM
The privilege didn't kick in at the ignorance. The privilege kicked in when the person acknowledged and knew it was wrong and insisted on it and then the room of better educated people backed them up by staying silent. They could afford to do that. Why? Because the race issues at the stem of the problem don't effect them. I KNOW that they know better. The woman in question knew that she knew better. They can all afford not to speak up. But I couldn't see it that way. I see how prejudice is interconnected.

It's one thing to be ignorant. It's another thing to know better and insist that it doesn't matter, especially when you are in a position of power.

Privilege isn't about lording either... prejudices are ingrained into society. It's difficult to overturn them.


you know, in this case, it may have been a bit of a matter of ettiquette, as well.....I'm white and don't pretend to understand how frustrating this may be for you, but at the same time, this was a nice dinner, no? And I'm not entirely sure either you OR the gift-bearer knows how similar or dissimilar the item would be across the various native cultures, let alone if it was even reflective on the culture as a whole, or just kitsch.....I'd like to say I was better educated myself, but at the same time if I heard one person railing at another at a family event because they used jasmine rice in sushi instead of short-grain, sticky rice, or told they couldn't possibly call that gravlax, because it was made with cilantro, I'd be thinking "yeah, they're right, but still......you don't have to be a knob about it."

I'm not sure that's how things went down here, but I can't help but get a bit of a whiff of it, and if so, the next question is, do you want to be the one to enlighten, or brow-beat? Because nobody learns anything from the latter, except to avoid you and dismiss your thoughts before you even give them.

quicklime
08-01-2012, 06:36 PM
side note as well; most native tribes were forced westward....several tribes originally from New England and the area wound up on reservations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc....meaning it is entirely possible there was heavy Algonquin influence in anything given in the first place....maybe, maybe not, but since you took the time to brow-beat the giver, surely you verified this was not the case?

kuwisdelu
08-01-2012, 09:28 PM
but at the same time if I heard one person railing at another at a family event because they used jasmine rice in sushi instead of short-grain, sticky rice, or told they couldn't possibly call that gravlax, because it was made with cilantro, I'd be thinking "yeah, they're right, but still......you don't have to be a knob about it."

Well, if you're going to make sushi with jasmine rice, you might as well not bother making it at all. (http://www.justhungry.com/2003/11/japanese_basics_1.html) (Sushi rice isn't made with sticky rice, either... the rice happens to be sticky, but it's a different kind than what is commonly referred to as "sticky rice." (http://www.justhungry.com/2007/01/looking_at_rice.html))

Shadow_Ferret
08-01-2012, 09:46 PM
I'm going to surprise you by being a two-fer, then ;) I'd love a Lakota bracelet or a box of Moravian cookies thankyouverymuch. My dad's German side of the family gets a lot of love, although not so much via leidershosen :D My dad still appreciates getting those big ole beer steins as gifts... really! It's not just Indians who like little reminders of their culture.
I like those reminders, too. I do collect German beer steins. But my point was, as a German-American, if someone gave me a shirt that said, "Kiss me, I'm Polish" and said, "because of you're European ancestry" I'd be a little annoyed because I don't have any Polish in me. So I was trying to show that that was similar to homogenizing all native American culture. Maybe I'm having trouble expressing my meaning. Giving someone a Cherokee item when they are Monomonee would be as thoughtless as giving me something Polish, or French, or Italian. Unless its food. I'll eat anything. :D

kuwisdelu
08-01-2012, 10:06 PM
I like those reminders, too. I do collect German beer steins. But my point was, as a German-American, if someone gave me a shirt that said, "Kiss me, I'm Polish" and said, "because of you're European ancestry" I'd be a little annoyed because I don't have any Polish in me. So I was trying to show that that was similar to homogenizing all native American culture. Maybe I'm having trouble expressing my meaning. Giving someone a Cherokee item when they are Monomonee would be as thoughtless as giving me something Polish, or French, or Italian. Unless its food. I'll eat anything. :D

I certainly wouldn't be offended at receiving a gift from a different tribe provided 1) the person knows it's from a different tribe and 2) the person chose this particular gift for a reason more personal than "because it's Native American and so are you."

And it would probably also bother me if 3) the person didn't know what tribe it DID come from (which suggests the same thing to me as that it doesn't matter, because "it's Native American" ...though I can think of a few cases where it wouldn't bother me).

backslashbaby
08-01-2012, 11:40 PM
Yeah, the lack of knowledge that there are such different cultures with Native Americans is a huge problem and could definitely show when giving a gift. That is a tough one. Like I said earlier, my brother would be really pissed if someone gave him a gift that had nothing to do with the tribes he's a part of (he's Lakota now, and we aren't).

The Pocahontas thing said to a white girl makes total sense now, and yes, it's irritating as hell! I don't know how to explain it except that it's so clueless. I'll give a real-life example from my childhood that may help:

At my little prep school, the snooty girls were talking about my best friend (a pale blonde girl) wearing her hair in braids: 'She looks like Pocahontas *snarky laughter*. She looks like an Indian!'

Me: 'She is Cherokee. Her fullblooded grandmother lives with her. She is Indian and she means to look like that.'

Why it would be funny to look like an Indian I have no idea. Only Pocahontas or only at Halloween is the impression that's out there, and that's really screwed up.

quicklime
08-01-2012, 11:58 PM
Well, if you're going to make sushi with jasmine rice, you might as well not bother making it at all. (http://www.justhungry.com/2003/11/japanese_basics_1.html) (Sushi rice isn't made with sticky rice, either... the rice happens to be sticky, but it's a different kind than what is commonly referred to as "sticky rice." (http://www.justhungry.com/2007/01/looking_at_rice.html))


apologies; I know jasmine rice doesn't stick, which is the point, but you are correct, "sticky rice" is different than sushi rice which hapens to be short-grained and sticky.