Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Did I overreact? (Long post)

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 12:45 AM
Bah, never mind :D .

I went back and edited this post, trying to make it shorter, and ended up just seeing places that needed more detail in order to adequately explain the situation.

Sooooo......I thought I'd give up entirely- it was really too long- and I came back here to delete it completely, BUT the "delete" option is no longer listed. Just the editing option is.

Moderator, could you help me out on this, please?

twinmommy
May 10th, 2005, 11:09 AM
Awww c'mon now I'm curious!!! :D

Princesss04
May 10th, 2005, 11:19 AM
That is what I was thinking. LOL I clicked on there and was like umm that is so not a long post. LOL :D

kandy
May 10th, 2005, 11:37 AM
You can't do that! ;) You get everyone curious and then say oh, nevermind? That's not fair! Now you gotta tell us!! :D

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 12:55 PM
LOL sorry everyone! . I'm actually flattered that it merits your curiosity :) .

It was a rant about something racist that happened in my grocery store. People aren't too nice to the Navajo here, and it just gets under my skin.

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 01:53 PM
Well, then no, you weren't overreacting. Nothing is overreacting to racists.

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 02:20 PM
Thanks, Prin :) .

Rick C
May 10th, 2005, 06:09 PM
Bah, never mind :D .

I went back and edited this post, trying to make it shorter, and ended up just seeing places that needed more detail in order to adequately explain the situation.

Sooooo......I thought I'd give up entirely- it was really too long- and I came back here to delete it completely, BUT the "delete" option is no longer listed. Just the editing option is.

Moderator, could you help me out on this, please?

If I knew what you were talking about, I'm sure I would stick up for you.

Howz that?

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 06:20 PM
LOL thank you, Rick C.

I live in a state that is largely Navajo reservation. There are many people who are prejudiced against the Natives here.

Basically, the cashier at the grocery store was very rude to a Navajo elder (she must have been in her 70's) who didn't speak English. The woman bought some items, including an orange. She brought the orange right back in, cut in half to show that it was rotten. The cashier kept being very nasty to her and saying "I don't know WHAT you expect ME to do about it, IT'S ROTTEN", as the woman gestured timidly from the orange to the fruit section, clearly just wanting to exchange it.
I told the cashier "Come on! A monkey could figure this out!" and asked her why she was being so rude to the woman, why she wouldn't let the bagboy carry her bag out, why she yelled at her to get at the "END OF THE LINE" that didn't exist, etc.
In the end, the manager gave the Elder a bag of oranges, and I told the manager that if I see that cashier behind the register the next time I come in, he'll be seeing a headline that reads "RACISM CONDONED AT SMITHS" (Smiths is the name of the store).

There. That's the condensed version. You still in my corner :D ?

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 06:24 PM
YEY!! Kick a**!! You're one of the good guys you know? Uhhh... Good Gals? :)

Rick C
May 10th, 2005, 07:56 PM
LOL thank you, Rick C.

I live in a state that is largely Navajo reservation. There are many people who are prejudiced against the Natives here.

Basically, the cashier at the grocery store was very rude to a Navajo elder (she must have been in her 70's) who didn't speak English. The woman bought some items, including an orange. She brought the orange right back in, cut in half to show that it was rotten. The cashier kept being very nasty to her and saying "I don't know WHAT you expect ME to do about it, IT'S ROTTEN", as the woman gestured timidly from the orange to the fruit section, clearly just wanting to exchange it.
I told the cashier "Come on! A monkey could figure this out!" and asked her why she was being so rude to the woman, why she wouldn't let the bagboy carry her bag out, why she yelled at her to get at the "END OF THE LINE" that didn't exist, etc.
In the end, the manager gave the Elder a bag of oranges, and I told the manager that if I see that cashier behind the register the next time I come in, he'll be seeing a headline that reads "RACISM CONDONED AT SMITHS" (Smiths is the name of the store).

There. That's the condensed version. You still in my corner :D ?

Well, I'm sticking up for you then. I can just picture your footprint on that cashier's forehead as you were walking out the door.

In spite of the prevailing opinions in Nevada, I think any businessman in a state that "is largely Navajo Reservation" would be smart enough to fire on the spot anyone who disabused a Navajo, for purely economic reasons if nothing else.

I'll be interested to hear from you if the cashier is still there on your next visit.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Lucky Rescue
May 10th, 2005, 07:57 PM
That is so pathetic.:( Bravo to you for not standing by and saying nothing!!

When I was very young I saw a horrible, cruel incident of racism by a bus driver but was too timid to say anything. I wish I go back in time and rip him a new one! :mad:

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 08:17 PM
WOW, thank you everyone! I sure appreciate your support on this.

Rick C, I'll let you know if I see her working there again. And I'll let our local paper know, too. They've printed every article I've submitted thus far. I've been lucky that way.

Prin- lol thanks! Your enthusiasm is awesome!

Lucky, you did say that you were very young. Be easy on yourself.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
May 11th, 2005, 12:06 AM
Racism still exists.. my husband is Asian and one morning while walking our son to school someone yelled at him to go back to China.... he said he would have said something but just wanted to get our son out of the situation. Now my son tells us he doesn't like being half Asian as he thinks he is different.So now we are trying to teach him that he should be proud of who he is and how its wrong not to like people or yourself just for your skin colour.

Cactus Flower
May 11th, 2005, 12:32 AM
See, this is what gets my eyes watering. Quite literally.

How can this go on in this day and age? We've got groups to protect the rights of a ROCK, and kids can still be harassed for their ethnicity?? That is so damaging!

I am VERY SORRY, researchbulls, for the IGNORANCE of these people- and that your family is subject to it!

I think that parents have a responsibility to teach their children not only "tolerance" and "acceptance", but the wonders and appreciation of diversity. It has got to start in the home.

Your husband does not deserve this kind of treatment, either, by any means.
My heart goes out to you all.

Sometimes I am so ashamed of how cruel human beings can be.

Prin
May 11th, 2005, 12:36 AM
I know what you mean researchbulls. When I was in Vancouver for a bit, I couldn't believe the things I overheard. :mad:It's disgusting. In Montreal, it is so rare that people are so openly racist.

I sincerely hope your son grows to love who he is.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
May 11th, 2005, 01:12 AM
We are actually from Vancouver where there is a lot larger ethnic diversity than there is here. We never really experienced it until now. My own neighbour wont let her kids play with our kids same age same school but she will let all the other kids on the block play with her kids and go in her house. She will let her kids in our house but my kids arent allowed in her house. I cant say for sure if she is racist but we haven't really done anything that bad to warrent her treatment of us either. IT could be that she just doesnt like us. Its just hard to explain to a 4 and 7 year old why the other kids are in their backyard and they cant go especially if I don't have an answer.

moontamara
May 11th, 2005, 03:14 AM
Racism still exists.. my husband is Asian and one morning while walking our son to school someone yelled at him to go back to China.... he said he would have said something but just wanted to get our son out of the situation. Now my son tells us he doesn't like being half Asian as he thinks he is different.So now we are trying to teach him that he should be proud of who he is and how its wrong not to like people or yourself just for your skin colour.

My husband is Korean and we always wonder if our future children will have a harder time growing up in Korea or in Canada in regards to racism... Actually, one of the factors that made us decide to move to the city where we are now is that it is the most educated city in Korea (not that education always means more tolerance, but in Korea it usually means openmindedness). It is disappointing to hear that even in Canada it isn't all that easy sometimes.

As for you Cactus Flower, you did the right thing, definitely!

Stewart
May 11th, 2005, 03:38 AM
Cactus, BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE !!!! From over here ....... I truely admire the native american people also and thier ways ! So to whitness this abuse by some nerd of a cashier you did take the correct course of action ;) Especially with the age of the victim also ...... no damn respect huh ! :mad:

mona_b
May 11th, 2005, 09:48 AM
You get a HUG from me.... :thumbs up

You are an :angel: for speaking up for this elderly woman.


I know my nephew used to get picked on all the time.He is half Ojibway(Native Indian)..He is right at home living on the reserve with his Mom,my ex SIL.

kandy
May 11th, 2005, 10:05 AM
I totally agree that you didn't overreact!! That is terrible! The bad thing is the cashier probably learned that attitude from her parents and will teach it to her kids - prejudice in any form is a vicious circle. And to be mean to an elderly person - no matter what ethnicity - is totally disgusting! :mad: What ever happened to simple respect??

heeler's rock!
May 11th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Good job Cactus!! That was an awesome thing fo ryou to do fo rthat lady! :D

I know what you mean about racisim still existing, even now. I am east indian and my husband is spanish. I faced a TON of prejudice growing up, and still sometimes do. When I was younger, I wanted to be white soooo badly! The kids would always tease me about my skin colour, and they'd always
call me a "packi". I HATE that word! It's so rude! One time, a boy on my street threw rocks at my bike as I rode past, and almost got one stuck in my spokes. Another set of boys, who ironically are now 2 of my good friends, chased me around the block with battery acid! My sister is 13 and in the same neighbourhood I grew up in with our parents, and she's not facing it as bad as I did, but I'm sure there's the odd comment. She's tougher than I was though, and she doesn't let people get to her. :)

I find people in our neighbourhood great now. I'm not sure what kind of prejudice my husband faced, but now that we're older, I don't see it as much. We still get "looks" from people, but for the most part, people can't tell that we're different ethnicities. :o

Princesss04
May 11th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Very nice CF you did good! I can not stand people like that! I am very proud of you! :D

meb999
May 11th, 2005, 10:39 AM
GOOD FOR YOU CACTUS FLOWER!!!! I would have done the same thing.

Nothing gets to me more than racism, at school I have to deal with it all the time and it REALLY bothers me -- it's actually more language-ism than racism. I go to a VERY french school, and ALOT of the students hate the english. There's actually a huge grafiti on a wall where i come into the school that says : ANGLOS GO HOME. I've been going to this school for 2 years and grafitis come and go, but that one has never been washed off....People are so ignorant. I have an english last name (I'm biligual) and I've actually been kicked out of a study group for it (my first semester, my first study group .... I'm glad they kicked me out though, because most of them have dropped out of school!!!) They told me an english student wouldn't be able to understand complicated french laws. Idiots.

you get a big HOURRAY from me Cactus http://bestsmileys.com/cheering/3.gif

Writing4Fun
May 11th, 2005, 10:50 AM
There. That's the condensed version. You still in my corner :D ?
More so than ever!! :grouphug: You did very well. I don't know many people who would have spoken up like that. :thumbs up You just earned yourself some major bonus Karma points there, kiddo! :D

Joey.E.CockersMommy
May 11th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Cactus flower good for you for speaking up I would have done the same thing.

Sorry to monopolize this thread but I would like to mention an incident my husband had with our son and a cashier.

My oldest son is speech delayed and on occasion hard to understand
They (hubby and son) were going through a checkout and my son was chatting about something. The cashier replied "ha ha what language is that did ya make it up yourself, hey why don't you learn english ha ha"

my husband didn't reply as he thought he would get to mad, but I would a ripped a piece out of her and probably made a formal complaint too.

I think we should not tolerate discrimination of any kind and once again good for you for speaking up.

Prin
May 11th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Nothing gets to me more than racism, at school I have to deal with it all the time and it REALLY bothers me -- it's actually more language-ism than racism. I go to a VERY french school, and ALOT of the students hate the english. There's actually a huge grafiti on a wall where i come into the school that says : ANGLOS GO HOME. I've been going to this school for 2 years and grafitis come and go, but that one has never been washed off....People are so ignorant. I have an english last name (I'm biligual) and I've actually been kicked out of a study group for it (my first semester, my first study group .... I'm glad they kicked me out though, because most of them have dropped out of school!!!) They told me an english student wouldn't be able to understand complicated french laws. Idiots.
Hey! I'm one of the anglos who is supposed to go home. We used to share bus drivers with the French school up north because there weren't enough English kids to afford our own buses. We were picked up first, had to sit at the back of the bus and dropped off last. When we moved to the city and I learned about the segregation of black people and how they had to sit at the back of the bus, I realized what our bus driver did. Unbelieveable.

And one French guy who came to our school was beat up every other week for being a "traitor". An English guy who went to the French school was kicked so hard he had one of his testicles removed at 7.

And when I was on the phone for Star Choice, I had one guy tell me not so nicely "I want to speak to my own kind".

It made me grin when the 8 French families went to court to fight to allow their kids to go to English schools and they lost. It's mean I know, but we had to apply for certificates of eligibility to be allowed to go into English school. And it's just nice to see that the English and the immigrants are not the only ones oppressed by 101. What a stupid law. Seriously. You think BSL is bad? Try getting a fine because your store sign in Chinatown doesn't have the French twice as big as the Chinese on it (they actually ended up backing down because of the outrage). Or the city of Beaconsfield having to change ALL the street signs because they only have the road name. Like "Elm" is illegal. It has to say "Avenue Elm". Waste of money and resources. :mad:

Cactus Flower
May 11th, 2005, 12:30 PM
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! I'm very VERY moved, reading your supportive posts. I wish we had more people like you in my area.

I'm also moved by how many incidents like this have been experienced personally by members on the board. I don't mean to be repetitive, but I really can't believe that this still happens in our "modern" world. There was never an excuse for it, but with all the knowledge we have about the psychological damage it causes, the ability to broadcast heartwrenching accounts of such incidents across the globe, and marching to the creed of "equal rights" for all..........how can people still be so close-minded and hateful?

I had no idea that so many of you have suffered through this!

If only we could implement a spay/neuter program for those who would raise their children in such a way.

Jackie467
May 11th, 2005, 12:45 PM
Go cactus flower. I have absolutly no tolerance for racisim. I'm white (like a mix of a million things but mostly Italian and German) and my husband to be is full mexican but born in America (neither of his parents were). Unfortunetly some of my family is racist, in particular my Uncle. I love my Uncle, he used to care for me when I was young, but I now don't talk to him at all because he makes very snide remarks to us. once he even said to tomas "Why can't you dirty Mexicans stay in Mexico, you make the US look bad". since that moment we have not talked, that was 2 years ago.

Cactus Flower
May 11th, 2005, 12:56 PM
¡eso está loco!

But I do know what you mean. My ex bf is Navajo, and you would not believe the reactions we'd get around here. It seems that certain forms of caucasion cowboy are exceptionally challenged by seeing "ONE OF THEIR OWN" (their words, not mine) with an INDIAN (*gasp!*).

We'd see it all the time. One or two scowling faces in the corner of the diner, glaring at me, then at my bf, then back to me and then shaking their heads. I used to just turn to my bf and laaaaaaaaaaaaaay on the affection, BIG TIME. Hey, if they're going to stare, I say give them something to really stare at ;) .

I've actually had people come right out and ask me "What are you doing with an Indian? What's wrong with you? What have you got against white people?"

Rick C
May 11th, 2005, 02:47 PM
¡eso está loco!

But I do know what you mean. My ex bf is Navajo, and you would not believe the reactions we'd get around here. It seems that certain forms of caucasion cowboy are exceptionally challenged by seeing "ONE OF THEIR OWN" (their words, not mine) with an INDIAN (*gasp!*).

We'd see it all the time. One or two scowling faces in the corner of the diner, glaring at me, then at my bf, then back to me and then shaking their heads. I used to just turn to my bf and laaaaaaaaaaaaaay on the affection, BIG TIME. Hey, if they're going to stare, I say give them something to really stare at ;) .

I've actually had people come right out and ask me "What are you doing with an Indian? What's wrong with you? What have you got against white people?"

You'll find this pretty funny then . . . . my wife used to have a big crush on Ted Nolan, who used to coach the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.

One time she got us seats at the Saddledome right behind the Buffalo bench when the Sabres were visiting Calgary.

Nolan is aboriginal. My wife told one of her friends about her crush and the friend reacted: "You like that sort of thing?"

Funny thing is that one of the rumbles out of Buffalo over Nolan's firing and subsequent blackballing out of the NHL was he was getting a little too familiar with a certain Czech goaltender's spouse, among other things.

Ah well, all of that has nothing to do with me . . . . er, uh, hey wait a doggoned minute!!

http://www.warriorsonice.com/images/nolan.jpg

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

meb999
May 11th, 2005, 04:48 PM
And one French guy who came to our school was beat up every other week for being a "traitor". An English guy who went to the French school was kicked so hard he had one of his testicles removed at 7.


When we first moved to montreal (from ottawa) I was in 2nd grade. Our parents sent us (I have a brother and siter, both older) to a french, very french, elementary school. We were beaten up every single day because our last name is english. I'm perfectly bilingual, and to speak to me in french, you would never notice that I'm english...the kids only hated us because of our last name. My parents finally pulled us out of the school when my brother got 2 black eyes on the same day!!! These kids learn this from their parents, you can't tell me that 7 year old kids have predjudices of their own...I remember being called names, kicked, punched and threatened every single day. I was ashamed to know 2 languages, and I used to tell my parents I hated them for teaching us english!!

We finally went to a WONDERFULL elementary school in st-Lambert that had a french immersion program. It was like heaven, there wasn't any majority culture there, we were all mixed together, greeks, french, english, asian, indian, italians, latinos...it was so wonderfull. Unfortunetly that school was closed, and re-opened as a french-only school :sad:

We need more people like you, Cactus flower, to speak up and stand up for the rights of minorities...especially those who can't speak for themselves

Prin
May 11th, 2005, 06:27 PM
What ticks me off the most is that French and English are such similar languages. They are both latin languages and share so many words. And they're fricken languages. Who cares what language you speak? Really. As long as we can understand each other in some way, who cares.

I'm sorry you got beat up though. It really sucks to have to grow up like that.

coppperbelle
May 11th, 2005, 06:54 PM
Cactus, good for you. I work with kids and I teach them everyday to stand up for what they believe in. I think you will find that most people think like you. There are only a handful like the clerk that you encountered at the grocery store.
Here in Quebec we experience similar things because of language differences. God forbid that you meet a clerk who doesn't want to speak English because she/he doesn't have to.
You did a wonderful thing and I am sure that lady appreciated it. :) :thumbs up

Sneaky2006
May 11th, 2005, 09:20 PM
Heya CF, I really have nothing to add except a big fat NO to your title question! And great job standing up to the ignorant!

Cactus Flower
May 11th, 2005, 09:25 PM
LOL Rick C!!!!!

Thank you Meb, Sneaky and Copperbelle :) .

As for most people "thinking like me" in regards to racism.....I wish I could agree. I think it just varies from area to area. The high school that I went to in Florida was shut down a few times because of race riots that erupted- VERY grisly "Black versus White". This was in the 80's, but friends there say it hasn't mellowed all that dramatically. The schools aren't having riots, but things outside of school are relatively unchanged. I remember the brooding resentment on BOTH sides of that race issue.
When I moved to North Carolina- it was like a breath of fresh air. There was no neighborhood that "blacks" had to avoid, and none that "whites" had to, either. Everyone got along- TOGETHER- harmoniously.
It is a beautiful place, inside and out, for people of any ethnicity.
Then when I moved back to Toronto, I found it to be certainly more accepting than the town I lived in in Florida. The exception being "Paki" and "Towelhead" comments that were incomprehensible to me. That was in 1989, 1990. I hope that particular sentiment has changed since then. But overall I found that racists in Toronto were in the minority.
Now I am in an area that is really 50/50, as far as racist views go- and that comes from the side of the Navajo as well. Many young Navajo people have racist views against white people, which is just as unacceptable as the reverse.
I think you'd have to be here to realize how different the area is. Some people describe New Mexico as "going back in time". That is charming when it comes to old time lifestyles, buildings and geography- but not necessarily when it comes to close-minded attitudes about our diverse cultures.

nymph
May 12th, 2005, 12:08 PM
There. That's the condensed version. You still in my corner :D ?

NO you did not overreact! Good for you to stick up for the elderly. 2 things that really get to me are: racism and elderly abuse!

As a Canadian Chinese, living with racism is pretty much a part of me: I've learned to accept who I am and have learned to be aware of the unfairness in the world. Society has learned to show racism in more subtle ways, but make no mistake, racism still exists. One time this otherwise very nice female colleague told me that "Toronto was such a bad city to live these days because of too many Blacks and Jamaicans", and I responded to her: "There are tons of Chinese too", she was dead silent.

Sometimes people don't realize the underlying racism, e.g. someone once said "Doesn't a country in Asia also eat dogs?". While this statement could very well be true, the generalization was however racist in nature. I was very upset that city councillor of Ottawa Jan Harder got re-elected after making the outrageously racist comment about Somalian kids in Barrhaven, this showed that we still have a long way to go in the fight against racism.

Prin
May 12th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Hey, that was me who said that, but I was asking. It was posted here before and I was asking. Sorry if you found it offensive, but I just wanted to clarify. A lot of threads get posted about "facts" that have no basis.

lilith_rizel
May 12th, 2005, 12:22 PM
Thank you! I myself have Native American in me (not sure what tribe, grandmother who is 1/2 native passes away when I was young and was an orphan :sad: ) I will meet some of my hubby's co-workers, and them and James will start talking about something or another and lot of the time I hear "Damned injuns" or something of the sort they say.... and my husband tells that that I am native, and they look at me all embarassed! It gets annoying listening to all the wise cracks of different races!

And my grandfather is VERY racist. He disowend (sp?) his own daughter for marrying an african american! And he doesn't care for my cousin Michelle. But she, knowing my grandpa's hatred, went up to him and introduced him to her fiance, who is african american!!!

Luvmypit
May 12th, 2005, 12:49 PM
I dated a black guy in highschool... someone kept calling our house in the middle of the night telling my mom that her daughter was a N lover. It was bad. My mom was cool and said she bet it was some white guy that liked me and was more worried about my safety then me dating a black guy. I credit my family in raising me so anti racist. But in my highschool it was great one day when these Armenian guys called my friends brothers friend a paki. Let me tell you the greeks, the italians, white black asian all stood these fools down at the entrance of the school. The Armenians called their big brothers and threatened to beat my friends brother and his friends up. Needless to say when they showed up they quickly realized in our school no one shared their sentiments. I remember feeling so proud that day. And when I say armenians I don't mean offence as there were plenty armenians that didn't believe in what these fools where doing.
Also I have an extremely racist guy at work. i dont know why he is this way. If you talk to this guy you would throw up. I have spoke up against him a million times. But he still does it. If you are talking about someone he will ask what are they? What does it matter what race they are?? I won't repeat the things he says. Funny thing is hes minority too (east indian). Trust me he has said some mean things about everyone excluding his own race and white people. Usually people say these things thinking you will agree I don't know but I have made it clear I don't want to hear it.

I have also encountered seemingly normal people that out of the blue assuming because Im the same race as them that I agree will use the N word or other derrogatory terms about all kinds of different races. I live to tell people off for such things so I dont have trouble finding my voice.


I also hate people who think because they are a minority that racism is ok towards white people or other majority races. Racism is racism!

As for Toronto. There are racist people but for the most part i think most people are very proud that we are so multi cultural and living very well togther. I am for one very proud of this city and take pride in all the cultures. I love learning about new things. And in Toronto you can get ANY type of ethnic food you could ever imagine! Love it!

nymph
May 12th, 2005, 01:18 PM
"Just asking" eh? And how convenient was that? Do you realize that your underlying thought behind that statement was racially motivated? It actually caught me by surprise that you simply brushed it off by saying "I was only asking...".

I urge everyone interested to read about Margaret Cannon's "The Invisible Empire: racism in canada", an excellent book, some excepts:

"I have know all my life that racism is a lot more than name calling on the playground. It is a way of life, of thinking, a complete worldview that entraps both the believer and his victim, and it has its own moral, social, religious, and scientific imperatives."
--Margaret Cannon, The Invisible Empire: racism in canada, pg 16

"As one group -- like the Jews -- passes into the mainstream, they are replaced by another -- like the Blacks, or South Asians, or Orientals. Whatever the group that is defined as the Other, the method is always the same. The Other is inferior, a bearer of disease, a harbinger of death, a polluter of language, culture, or land. Every racist knows the signs. Everyone raised to be a racist knows how the system operates, whether the fashion of the moment be cross burning or pinstriped suits."
--Margaret Cannon, The Invisible Empire: racism in canada, pg 18

"Not that I'm a racist, but ..." How many times do we say that? How often do the actions or the clothes or the food of those who are different, prompt us to make a comment, carefully qualified by "not that I want to sound like a racist here, but ..." when that is exactly what we sound like."
--Malene Arpe's Review of The Invisible Empire (http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_06.08.95/ARTS/bo0608c.htm)

Cactus Flower
May 12th, 2005, 01:59 PM
I am for one very proud of this city and take pride in all the cultures. I love learning about new things

and my husband tells that that I am native, and they look at me all embarassed!

this otherwise very nice female colleague told me that "Toronto was such a bad city to live these days because of too many Blacks and Jamaicans", and I responded to her: "There are tons of Chinese too", she was dead silent.

:thumbs up **********APPLAUSE********** :thumbs up

Prin
May 12th, 2005, 03:45 PM
"Just asking" eh? And how convenient was that? Do you realize that your underlying thought behind that statement was racially motivated? It actually caught me by surprise that you simply brushed it off by saying "I was only asking...".
The thing is, I WAS just asking. I wasn't conveniently brushing it off. I take ownership of it but I also know what my intentions were. If you don't believe me, fine, but like I said, my intentions were not bad in anyway. It would have been worse, I think, if I had taken the initial thread as gospel, without asking.

chico2
May 12th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Cactusflower,way to go,I like you would never let such an incident go unanswered,hopefully the manager learned a lesson.
When we stayed in Pincher Creek Alberta,I was stunned at the way people felt about the Natives,granted most of these people were real old-time cowboys.When I questioned their actions,the answer I got was"You don't live with these people you know nothing"..
I especially remember one incident while we were all sitting around a bon-fire...one woman came running,completely hysterical,because her son had been thrown in jail.The reason being he had beaten up a young native boy,who was severely wounded in the hospital.
The woman honestly thought beating up an Indian should not be punishable by law.
They were actually even a little snarky to us,being from France and Sweden,needless to say the visit was not a good experience and I wish our friends had not introduced us to their friends.
Rick,I know not all Albertans are that way,you for one being a perfect example :thumbs up

heeler's rock!
May 12th, 2005, 05:12 PM
It is very different in small town Alberta. I moved a few years ago to Lethbridge for about 3 months, and although Lethbridge is bigger than it used to be, there's still a lot of racism. All my friends there were white guys, so we'd all get stared at by the older folks. It didn't really bug me much, but it was kinda funny to see. There was maybe one east indian family there when I was there, and they were stared at too.

I think the bigger cities in Alberta are more tolerant obviously because of their size. The one thing that ticks me off is when minorities try to get into a club, and the bouncers let the girls in, but tell the men to go home as they have enough east indians, asians, blacks, etc. inside already! That's just not right.

One time, there was a story in the paper after 9/11 about an east indian elder who tried to get on the bus. He got on when it stopped, and he was carrying a sword. It's a traditional Sikh custom for very religious men to carry swords. It's part of the Khalsa Sikhs. Anyways, the bus driver told him to get off, which is understandable as the man had a weapon, but as the man was trying to get off, the bus driver closed the doors catching his sword inside, but he was hanging outside, and he was speeding off! The poor old man was dragged like 20 feet or something like that! I was so mad!! I'm telling ya, after some of the things minorities go through, it's no wonder some of them have developed hatred for the majorities.

chico2
May 13th, 2005, 07:43 AM
Heelers,I am sure this sort of thing exists in many small towns in Canada,not only Alberta.
Racism and discrimination has always been present and always will and lives among all cultures,even minorities and probably will never be eradicated.
All the laws in the world will not change the way people feel.
I wish we did not have such a clicky society,like China town,little Italy etc..or three highrise buildings with mostly people from Somalia,as in Toronto.
When we left Sweden,we did not come to Canada looking to live with Swedes,we came to start a new life.
If different people intermingled,gotten to know each other and to realize we all want the same,no matter what colour shape or form,we would live in a kinder society,it would be no more "us and them".

Rick C
May 13th, 2005, 08:09 AM
It is very different in small town Alberta. I moved a few years ago to Lethbridge for about 3 months, and although Lethbridge is bigger than it used to be, there's still a lot of racism. All my friends there were white guys, so we'd all get stared at by the older folks. It didn't really bug me much, but it was kinda funny to see. There was maybe one east indian family there when I was there, and they were stared at too.

I think the bigger cities in Alberta are more tolerant obviously because of their size. The one thing that ticks me off is when minorities try to get into a club, and the bouncers let the girls in, but tell the men to go home as they have enough east indians, asians, blacks, etc. inside already! That's just not right.

One time, there was a story in the paper after 9/11 about an east indian elder who tried to get on the bus. He got on when it stopped, and he was carrying a sword. It's a traditional Sikh custom for very religious men to carry swords. It's part of the Khalsa Sikhs. Anyways, the bus driver told him to get off, which is understandable as the man had a weapon, but as the man was trying to get off, the bus driver closed the doors catching his sword inside, but he was hanging outside, and he was speeding off! The poor old man was dragged like 20 feet or something like that! I was so mad!! I'm telling ya, after some of the things minorities go through, it's no wonder some of them have developed hatred for the majorities.

I live southwest of Calgary and have an office not only in that city but also in a small town south of there and my business takes in many of the smaller communities around there.

Through the last 18 years I've been pretty surprised how cosmopolitan, integrated and open minded those communities have been . . . . frankly, I haven't seen anything of the red neck reputation I might have supposed I would find.

I grew up in a small town near the central Alberta city of Red Deer and, although its true I might be out of touch with those communities since I left decades ago, I certainly remember them as Red Neck Heaven. In my infrequent visits back there, I haven't seen much that would change my opinion. Quite a bit different than where I am now.

Frankly, there are noodleheads no matter where you go, including in downtown Manhattan, New York. Its just a matter of degree.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

nymph
May 13th, 2005, 08:54 AM
chico2: You said it! We too came to Canada in search of a brand new life. Although I treasure my cultural background dearly, I am a proud Canadian, that's what I tell people while travelling: that I'm from Canada.

However I don't quite agree with your view on "clicky society", well I haven't really made up my mind yet. There is a fun debate on Wikipedia about cultural diversification policy. There are primarily 2 methods used today: multiculcuralism (Canada & Australia) vs. melting pot (United States). Frankly I could see benefits/shortcomings in both policies. As an immigrant, I could certainly appreciate an official policy that encourages immigrants to preserve their own culture; but on the other hand, I also have your worries regarding the "cultural ghettos". I'm going have to do more research in order to come up with a more definitive opinion.

heeler's rock!
May 13th, 2005, 10:31 AM
My impression of Lethbridge was from a small group of elderly people, so maybe I should have been more clear. The young people there welcomed me with open arms. It was a bit easier for me too, because I went clubbing a lot and thanks to the university there, I would see people of all races at the clubs having fun. I am very much aware of racial views existing everywhere, but yes, it just depends on the degree of racism you find. Even here in a big city, I still see people facing prejudice all the time. It's kind of sad because I think as a majority, we have become somewhat desensitized to it, and most of the time let little racial slurs pass.

My parents have had a hard time here, and have faced prejudice a majority of the time they've been here. My mom tries to be upbeat about these things and not judge a group of people based on a few instances, but my dad says some of the most racist things, and I know that's because he's been hurt by comments about him. I still tell him 2 wrongs don't make a right, but I understand where he's coming from. I don't agree, but I understand.

Lucky Rescue
May 13th, 2005, 11:23 AM
e.g. someone once said "Doesn't a country in Asia also eat dogs?". While this statement could very well be true, the generalization was however racist in nature.

Forgive me, but I'm having a hard time understanding why such offense is being taken to this.

To me, it's like someone saying "Don't they eat cows in Canada?" or "Don't they eat sheep stomachs in Scotland?"

It's a fact that dogs are eaten in some countries, just as cows and chickens are in other countries. BUGS are relished by some cultures as well!

While eating dogs is taboo in many parts of the world, there are places where eating cows is considered wrong, and others where eating pork is also seen as taboo. I wouldn't consider it racist if someone pointed out that cows and pigs are regularly eaten in Canada, or that some Amazonian tribes eat bugs..

If we approve, disapprove or are indifferent, these are just facts.

To be honest, all the people protesting the eating of dogs should take a look at the way animals are treated in slaughterhouses in North America. Just because a species is not one WE have arbitrarily chosen as a pet does NOT mean they are not worthy of humane treatement.

And all the people screaming about dog and cat fur being used as clothing in parts of the world should be screaming just as loudly about the abuse inflicted on wild animals whose skins are stripped off and are worn every day here.

Lynxes, coyotes and foxes have the same capacity for pain and suffering as our pet cats and dogs do.

This ends my rant. Back to your regularly scheduled program.:D

nymph
May 13th, 2005, 03:28 PM
"While eating dogs is taboo in many parts of the world, there are places where eating cows is considered wrong, and others where eating pork is also seen as taboo. .."

Totoally agree! I was itching to say something in the protest against dog eating in Korea, well unless you are a true vegan, it's really not your place to voice such protest. In fact almost every culture has some kind of unusual food, making a big deal out of it only shows ignorance and disrespect to other cultures, IMO.

However given the context of the original thread, I didn't think this question was raised just to find out the fact. It is still quite difficult for me to believe that was a genuine question with no ill intention. Prin, I don't know you personally and that's how I felt and still feel towards your response in that thread. I otherwise have no hard feelings against you.

Lucky I agree with you that facts are facts no matter what, but would you tell an ugly fat woman that she's fat and ugly? So I rest my case.

Prin
May 13th, 2005, 04:33 PM
In the original thread was about by-products and you said you ate by-products and millions of Chinese did too. And you stated this:
You were TOLD to believe that animal by-products are not good for your pets.

The French eat snails (escagots) and diseased goose liver (foie gras), the Scots eat Haggis (sheep's stomach, stuffed with oatmeal and steamed), Canadian maritimers eat dulse (which have bits of green algae, small stones, flotsam, and so on), and almost every culture has some sort of food using pig/cow/sheep blood. You want to talk nutrition? OK, let's list the unhealthy things we can find in a Texan grits or a Quebec poutine...you get my point now?
How is asking if Asians eat dogs out of context? I don't get it at all. In the previous thread you were attacking me more than I was attacking you. I thought I had cleared it all up on the previous thread too, but I guess there is still a grudge there despite everything. If you don't like me fine, but please don't call me racist.

Lucky Rescue
May 14th, 2005, 01:35 PM
but would you tell an ugly fat woman that she's fat and ugly? So I rest my case.

No comparison. "Fat" and "ugly" are subjective terms, opinions, and meant to be derogatory and insulting.

To illustrate the difference more clearly:

"That woman weighs 350lbs and has dark hair", is a fact that is not arguable, nor is it an opinion.

"That woman is fat and ugly" is an opinion - a judgement - meant to be insulting.

"Dogs are eaten in some cultures" is a FACT, not an opinion and not subjective.

How can a fact be bigoted, racist or insulting? Do you see the difference?

CyberKitten
May 14th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Bravo Cactus Flower! You did the right thing!!!! I think most of us would have done the same thing and if not, shame on us!!!

As for the other debate, I am so exhausted I do not know if I can even discuss that rationally, lol I have looked at web sites with pictures of how dogs and cats are treated in Korea (am assuming it is South Korea since God knows one sees NOTHING from North Korea) and it is deplorable. But I essentially agree with Lucky! When you look at how some chickens and cows are treated in factory like farms- as small farms are overtaken by large ones - it really amounts to the same thing. I can actually do something or lodge a protest about that to Agriculture Canada or my local provincial govt Dept of Agericulture or try to change laws regarding the treatment of animals. But South Koreans will not listen to me! It does make me sick to look at the pictures but we only have many resources.

I have spent a lot of time in many different countries in my work with Medecins Sans Frontieres and believe me, one has to prioritize our energies. Now if someone else has more time, money, energy and ability than I do to actually influence the South Korean govt in some way (sanctions, UN involvment, etc) go right ahead. They might also try to stop the sale of young women at the same time. I have treated children from South Korea who were "purchased" by some westerner and surprise, surprise, ended up with AIDs and somehow in Canada.

Cultural differences are not a new issue and while someone might be shocked that I eat ferns, crustaceans and seaweed, (and I have even tried haggis), I am equally appalled at anyone eating a dog and I am not too keen on rabbit recipes either! And Prin, we in the Maritimes do actually wash our dulse so we get most of the algae!! Not to mention, algae or not, dulse is very good for you!! Has tons of iron!

Crazy Hippie
May 14th, 2005, 02:29 PM
Lilith Rizel...we have something in common! My grandma is also half Native, but I didn't know this until a few years ago (I knew she had it in her background but didn't realize her mother was full blood). Anyways we live in London Ont., my dad lives in Ipperwash. I had a discussion with him recently about my plans to be a nurse for Native people, and he totally shot down my ideas...I couldn't believe how racist he was! My own father! His wife (my step-mom) is just as bad..I've heard her make comments about the Natives before but always brushed them off when I was younger, even though I knew what she was saying was wrong (stuff like, "well we would have gone to the fireworks at the beach but it was all Natives"). You should have seen his face when I told him that we (his children) are part Native..he didn't even know! Hahaha, that one was priceless. I told them both to quit making comments about the Aboriginal race in my presence..I don't think his wife likes me any more! Mwahahahaha :)

Cactus Flower
May 14th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Thank you again, everyone, for your comments and support.

Wow. So many diverse experiences here.

The point that is currently being argued is a good example of how easy it is to offend someone or hurt their feelings when you don't mean to, as well as how sensitive someone can become when they are accustomed to being attacked on the basis of their race/culture.

All the more reason to pay close attention to how we phrase things, and how we interpret things.

I still think that a lot of racism boils down to arrogance, and a lack of appreciation. I know that there is no magic pill to teach people appreciation of other cultures, but I sure wish there was.

Appreciation often begins when we start to look at how much we "borrow" and enjoy from other cultures in the first place . There is an infinite list of things we enjoy in our daily lives that do not originate from our own cultures- food, medicine, types of dress, furnishings, technology......

There's nothing quite as ironic as sitting in Taco Bell and hearing someone at a neighboring table complain about those "damn Mexicans"- as they dig into their burrito.

In Florida, I'd hear peers make fun of some black people for the way they look. These same gals were working on their best tan (trying to get as dark as they could), getting perms to make their hair curly, and using that "lip plumper" that you put on underneath your regular lipstick. Yet they'd make disparaging comments about these peoples'- you guessed it- skin color, "big lips" and hair. I'd have to wonder....are they just jealous, or what? (Maybe this problem was more about not being able to admit appreciation?).


I am really impressed with everyone who posted, and who shares the fight against racism and unfair judgments in general. As long as you all keep talking, communicating your feelings, experiences and objections, awareness will be raised and eventually your collective voices will be louder than those uttering their slurs. I think we're pretty loud already :D .

nymph
May 16th, 2005, 10:40 AM
How can a fact be bigoted, racist or insulting? Do you see the difference?

If no fact could be bigoted or racist or insulting, then we no longer need lawyers in court. Yes facts could be given in a bigoted and racist way, come on we are not kids anymore. I could cite countless examples on this. I am well aware of the difference between a fact and an opinion, but there is no clear-cut distinction in many circumstances, it's really all about perception.

Unless you've been discriminated against, racism is only a punch word to you.

Prin: I was not the only one who thought that your "Asians eat dogs" comment was offending and inappropriate, just so you know. I'll say it again that I have otherwise no grudge against you. :)

Cactus Flower: I agree wholeheartedly with you that racism boils down to arrogance and lack of appreciation. I'll add one more trait to your list: ignorance. Arrogance comes from ignorance, so does lack of appreciation. This is a terrific post, thanks for starting the thread and to standing up for someone who could not fight for herself. :thumbs up