Racism and Prejudice in Daily Conversation

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Racism no longer exists!

-Some Earthling from 7510

Astute 1960s music aficionados will recognize the aforementioned, 7510, as the year that Zager and Evans said, “If God’s a-coming, he ought to make it by then…”

That’s right, over 50 years ago our dear singers predicted that 7510 would be the year of Divine judgment!

Personally, I believe that we are being judged daily–by our own conscience.

That’s assuming that we have one.

Anyway, I find it kinda eerie that while Zager and Evans titled the song, In the year 2525, they don’t say much else about that year–other than to wonder “if man is still alive…”

In fact, it appears as if they simply opted not to complete their thesis about what 2525 might bring.

I shudder at the thought!

Anyway, this post has very little to do with that song other than to illustrate how much farther, as a society, we have to go in order to become more advanced in our thinking; I pray we get there before 7510 because 2525 is beginning to look like a freaking wash!

Ok, so after watching and listening to a whole lot of people talking about racism these days, I decided to put in my proverbial two cents by offering a couple of suggestions on how to avoid racist/prejudice talk in your daily conversations.

I might even throw in a little story.

And so…

In essence, if you are interested in having a genuine conversation on race–or anything else–with black folks, please refrain from saying any of the following:

  1. “Racism does not exist.”
  2. “You’re being overly sensitive.”
  3. “How do you know <insert complex, intellectual, technical, little-known, sophisticated topic here>
  4. “How did he/she/they get a better grade than I did?”
  5. “How did she/he/they get that job, house, car, thing?”
  6. “Family doesn’t mean much to Black people” (Said by some foolish ass congressman, very recently.)
  7. “That’s not racism!” (An easy out for people who are uninterested in learning about racist remarks and behaviors.)

This list is not exhaustive.

While some of the above points are blatant, others are very subtle yet highly offensive. In fact, I’m NOT even going to include the REALLY blatant shit that people say.

That said, I am willing to offer a more slick example of how prejudiced beliefs and attitudes slither into a daily conversation. (This is an example of my 3rd point from above)

For your consideration:

Once upon a very recent time, LadyG was having a conversation with a couple of co-workers about travel.

During the conversation, Lady G stated, “I’d like to go visit Findhorn someday.”

To which one of the co-workers, a white female who fancies herself to be very well versed on just about every damn thang, inquired, “What is Findhorn?”

To which LadyG replied, “It’s a beautiful community in Scotland where they have been known to grow gigantic vegetables by working closely with spiritual beings that inhabit the land.”

Before LadyG could complete her sentence, her co-worker had whipped out her iPhone, looked up Findhorn, and was instantly amazed at how accurate LadyG was in her description of the joint.”

“Hmm,” dear co-worker responded, “And how do you know about that?”

To which LadyG shot back, “I’m just nosey as hell.”

-THE END

Granted, the average person in Georgia has no clue what Findhorn is–never mind where it is.

Hell, some of you are also probably wondering how I knew about it.

Let’s just say that I am an avid reader who loves to learn about new people, places and things.

At any rate, it’s not so much that she asked that question, it’s more the way she asked the question.

It was clear to me that she didn’t think it was possible for me to have any knowledge about a subject that she did not already know about.

Who was I to know so much about something that she had never heard of?

Now, I can hear someone in the ethers saying, “How is that racist, she’s just a know-it-all.”

True dat!

She definitely was a know-it-all!

But here’s the thing…do you think she would have asked a white woman or man the same question– with the same kind of undertone?

Would she have been completely amazed that another white person could know about Findhorn?

I’d wager that she would not have asked another white person that question–at least not in the same way.

She asked me with an air of suspicion–disbelief.

Now, if, in fact, she had asked another white person, it would have been out of genuine curiosity–a “tell me more” kind of situation.

Trust me, as a black woman, I know the difference.

I’ve experienced this, or something like it, more times than I can properly count.

Seriously, I could give you a thousand other examples; including the one where the white male student asked my Political Science professor how I got a better grade than he did on an essay exam. It should be noted that the professor, who was also white, was the one who told me what the guy said.

Oh! What about the time a white co-worker told me that I was not “black… black.” By that, she meant that I was not like “regular black people”–whatever that is.

Or, the time my white Biology professor told me that I was one of only two black students to ever get an A in his class. Why did he feel the need to tell me this?

Oh yeah, what about the white English professor who stopped me after class one day to ask where I was from because she could tell from my writing style that I couldn’t be “from around here.”

Whew chile…it’s tiring y’all!

So, I think I’ll stop here and encourage anyone who is ready to have a polite and meaningful conversation about anything that I mentioned in this post to drop down in comments so we can chat.

The Flowering Vine: A Family Story

 

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Have you guys seen this commercial by a large cosmetics company that purports to tell the ‘story’ behind a given celebrity’s skin color?

Seriously!

In one spot they have a celebrity like J-Lo saying, “There’s a story behind my skin.”  And there, near the bottom of the screen, flashes the phrase “100% Puerto Rican.”

Or another celebrity’s “behind the skin” story is “100% Mexican-American.”

Better yet, there is a well known singer/performer who is identified as “African-American, Native-American and French.”

Now, in the words of Oprah Winfrey- circa 1987, “Caller you say what?”

Um…yeeaaahhh…

I think part of the problem is the confusion that so often accompanies terms like race, ethnicity, nationality and God knows what else.

Granted, these are all human constructs but that’s a conversation for a different day.

Anyway, I decided to touch on subjects of ethnicity and race in order to introduce a new series that will explore the experiences of a Southern family with an extensive biracial heritage.

Just so we’re clear, it is my family’s story.

Guys, believe me when I tell you that I am so excited about this endeavor because it is a collaborative effort among several family members including me and my cousin Ron as well as our parents(his Mom, my Dad) –whom most of you know are full siblings.

There may also be guest posts or pictures from others in our family who might like to contribute.

By the way, the new series will be called “The Flowering Vine” and it will replace Ron’s Time Tunnel on Fridays.

Now, before you decide to gather the villagers and attempt to burn me at the stake for replacing Ron’s Time Tunnel, I’d ask you to note that “The Flowering Vine” is Ron’s brainchild and it was his decision to end the Ron’s Time Tunnel series.

Whew!

But, that said, he will continue to share his amazing writings on his own blog, The Time Tunnel.

And so…

You know they say you should never mix metaphors.

Now watch me mix the aforementioned floral imagery with talk of food.

Here goes…

Like most African-Americans, the story behind our family’s skin color can best be described as a tasty gumbo or stew–No doubt a complex preparation that took years to perfect–albeit often involuntarily.

That said, for those of you who would like to know more about the recipe, I am including the following list of countries/ regions/groups that have contributed ingredients to our particular stew:

Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Benin/Togo, Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Asia.

Don’t forget a dash of Native-American.

Oh yeah, before I go, let me advise you that with this new series comes a caveat.

In the words of my dear cousin Ron, “All the lies we tell are true!”

LOL!!!

No seriously, The Flowering Vine will include writings based on historical records,  DNA ancestry reports and events involving real people and places. However, we reserve the right to include a little hyperbole, exaggeration, imagination and poetic license.

That’s how we do it in the South 😉

Also, when reading these posts, please bear in mind, that one person’s perspectives and version of reality are his own and they may or may not resemble or align with those of another person–even when referencing the same set of events.

—–End of Caveat!

I hope you guys are open to explore this new project with us.

Any thoughts?

Hit me up in comments 🙂

Lady G 😘💋

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Fun!

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Hello Friends!

I hope today finds you doing extraordinarily well!

As we prepare to embark on a new week, I thought it would be nice to shift our focus toward something fun! Therefore, I decided to share a video that does a magnificent job of shattering stereotypes related to gender, age and race. More importantly, it accomplishes this goal in a delightful, charming, pleasant and gut-busting manner 🙂

Before I proceed, let me acknowledge that this little gem has been circulating for a few years, so there is a good chance that you’ve already seen it.  But, in light of both national and international events, I’d urge you to watch it again; I can assure you, it will bring a touch of light your way.

And so….

Please enjoy watching this 70 year old white dude dance circles around these sistas!

 

Mind you, this is NOT my video; I found it on Youtube.  But baby let me tell you,  I done watched this thang fifty-eleventeen million times!

DEAD!

Enjoy the rest of your day my dears!

Lady G

❀

💋😘