Interacial Compatability?

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    Jul 05, 2008 6:53 PM GMT
    Although everyone may not speak openly about it, there is clearly a difference in the cultures between different races. This can range from holidays celebrated, to foods eaten, to television shows enjoyed and so on and so on. Depending on your culture/race and the way in which you were brought up you can also see the world in completely different views. You can see the way in which are treated differently, you can see your opportunities in life as different. You can see yourself as having advantages, or as being at a disadvantage in certain pursuits. Just in general, you may look at the world from a totally different angle. I bring this up, and specifically to those in interacial relationships or have been in them in the past, does conflict ever arise between you and your partner? Are comments made by either party that you take as insensitive and have had your feelings hurt or where you just see your partner as complaining and looking for excuses? If so, how do you deal with the conflicts? Do you ever have to bite your tongue so to speak as not to offend?Do you find that your relationships with the same race are easier or harder than when you date interacially? I am not sure if this makes sense... but I think I got the point across.
  • tinman511

    Posts: 28

    Jul 05, 2008 8:24 PM GMT
    After 10 years my partner and I have resolved most of our "racial" differences. In the beginning, it seemed that I couldn't open my mouth or speak my own mind without making him cross.
    Although I grew up in a predominately black area with friends and neighbors of many sorts I still said things that come out insensitive. People raised differently will always have different views. We understand that we may disagree but we have to be able to listen to each other.
  • Barricade

    Posts: 457

    Jul 05, 2008 8:48 PM GMT
    Well, my last bf was white and he was raised in eastern Kentucky, so he had known maybe 2 black people before he met me. He had alot of stereotypes based on the stuff he had seen on tv and so on. Some things left me in awe. We once had a fight and he called me the N word several times. I was more hurt than angry. In the end we had more things in common than not. He taught me alot of new things and vice versa. I think alot of is just peoples preconceived notions of how they think a certain race is. Therefore everyone in that race must be like that. We got over that. I have always been able to talk about stuff like that and not be offended. I messed around with an asian guy for a few months and we joked around about a few things(rice/cotton. was a running joke between us.) I just had to remind him not to say those things around others, or he might get hurt. lol
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Jul 05, 2008 9:45 PM GMT

    Well with a previous LTR, I don't think that we ever resolve this issue. It wasn't the main issue why we broke up but it was certainly was one of the issues that corroded things. Yes at times, I felt like I was 'walking on egg shells' around this issue. It just felt like he had a 'race trump card' that he could play at any time. And there was nothing that I could do or say that could challenge it. We ended up going to couple's counseling, then to individual counselors then things ended. I really felt that he used racism as a crutch most of the time. If something went wrong, then it was because of other people's 'racism' - not because of him. It was a way of avoiding personal responsibility. But again, that's my side of things. I'm sure that he would have a complete different opinion.

    Are same-race relationships easier? Sometimes. It depends on the other person and where they are at. I do think that different race relationships do take more work in general.
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    Jul 05, 2008 9:59 PM GMT
    As a person of mixed race (black Hispanic and white), this one's hard for me. All of my relationships, including my current one, are with white men. From my perspective, the differences that are often discussed in terms of 'race' are really better understood in terms of class and background. I grew up in a wealthy area: my friends were of many different races but what we shared were common tastes based on our experience of the world. That, to me, says more about class than race.

    I've never dated a black person and I think that is largely because I don't have anything culturally in common with most working class black people-- which is, I think, the kind of person we're really talking about when someone says 'a black guy'. Now, if the guy was black, well-spoken and well-travelled, I would see potential for a relationship. But that's not what we think about when we say 'a black guy'. I tend to think the same applies when we think of 'an asian guy' or any other non-white member of the gay community. People think in stereotypes of the ethnic minority who has little cultural connection to the ethnic white majority.

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    Jul 06, 2008 2:42 AM GMT
    Barricade said We once had a fight and he called me the N word several times. I was more hurt than angry. In the end we had more things in common than not. He taught me alot of new things and vice versa. I think alot of is just peoples preconceived notions of how they think a certain race is. Therefore everyone in that race must be like that. We got over that.


    So even after he MAJORLY disrespected you on a verbal level that was unforgivable , you simply got over it and you still talk to him.....

    As far as interracial relationship's goes i don't mind them, but i am just not made for such things. I just do not have the patients to get over all of those hurdles so that i may feel comfortable with someone. Its to much going on and at the end of the day there are still things left unresolved. Its like you have to walk on egg shells when your around such a person. And i do not want to deal with what friends and everybody else have to say. But then again, everybody always has something to day anyway.
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    Jul 06, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    Malibu saidAs far as interracial relationship's goes i don't mind them, but i am just not made for such things. I just do not have the patients to get over all of those hurdles so that i may feel comfortable with someone.


    I am not directing this at you specifically, but imagine how difficult it is being multi-racial? All those hurdles to get over just to feel comfortable with yourself.

    I have dated people of other races before. The only cultural difference was that when he was on the phone with his grand parents he spoke Korean.
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:10 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie said[quote][cite]Malibu said[/cite]As far as interracial relationship's goes i don't mind them, but i am just not made for such things. I just do not have the patients to get over all of those hurdles so that i may feel comfortable with someone.


    I am not directing this at you specifically, but imagine how difficult it is being multi-racial? All those hurdles to get over just to feel comfortable with yourself.

    I have dated people of other races before. The only cultural difference was that when he was on the phone with his grand parents he spoke Korean. [/quote] You know this may offend some, but im going to say it anyway. I truly believe Multi-Racial people make up a lot of the things they talk about. I just, don't see what makes their life just SO much more harder than the next mans. At the end of the day regardless of skin color, your upbring truly makes you who you are.
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:21 AM GMT
    Why do people fear other cultures so much? I mean really guys is 2008...there is so much information out there about other peoples cultures that you can "brush up" on info about them and discuss with your partner what makes you most uncomfortable. Open conversation should be a valued part in any happy relationship. Ask questions.

    I have dated guys within 2 of my 3 races (I have yet to date a gay native american) and find that dating a white guy is like dating a black guy is like dating an asian guy. Truth of the matter is that there is not too much difference. This isn't 1920 when people were segregated to their little community and you really would not have a clue what is going on with them or how they live. We live in the era of Condo's and McMansions where black/white/latino/asian all live together in a semi comfortable, semi harmonious symbiosis. Granted youll have bad apples running wild throughout but for the most part - lots of good folks just trying to provide for themselves and their families for a better life. That is a universal trait and I apply that (and expect it to be expected of me) by the person I date. I have already looked past your color because in the grand schema of things, it's the most meaningless part about you.

    I realize I am probably in the minority (dang it, always in the minority - never the majority) when I say that to me race and color is meaningless - because I firmly believe it is. I mean if Michael Jackson changed his, how important can it really me?

    As for other cultures, thats the joy of being a human and learning. How boring would the planet be if we all looked and acted the same way?!?! That isn't something I would want to be a part of - regardless how easy it would be to live. So we have a place where there are all different types of our species and a brain/eyes/mouth/ears to process our differences and similarities. It's called learning and comprehending that again we are all different - and it's beautiful.

    So go talk to that hot asian guy across the way or the muscular black guy at the end of the bar. Just because he looks different than you, does not mean that he is.
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    Jul 06, 2008 3:51 AM GMT
    LaSalle,

    I would tend to agree with you that people should date others of all races but I think a lot of people legitimately have concerns about cultural compatibility-- tastes in music, food, interests, background, etc. I think that it's great if two people can come together and there are differences between them to explore. But I also know from experience that too much difference can be really hard to manage. My boyfriend is British, so even though he's white and we have a lot in common in some areas, we've both had to work really hard to understand where each other comes from in a broader sense-- our cultural reference points.

    I don't think skin colour matters at all; for me, I look for someone who can fulfil the more cultural and background similarities. I would be uncomfortable dating someone who tastes and habits and modes of behaviour were too different from my own, or who didn't have any interest in high culture or travel or the things that I enjoy. And I strongly believe that all of these differences do not really come down to race but simply to exposure. For me, the people most likely to be exposed to the things I like are white men. But, that being said, I am not so naive as to think I am only compatible with white men. Far from it.
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    Jul 06, 2008 4:04 AM GMT
    But if there is too much difference won't you know that before getting into a relationship with a person...I mean its not like anyone is holding a gun to your head and saying you must like and date him regardless how painful your relationship is. You make your own choices.

    Personally I go for the guys I am compatible with personality wise, I will learn the rest later. If you can keep up with me that is half of the battle won. I have found that if you keep things simple - that is when they will work out best. If you can't keep things simple, keep them as simple for the situation you are in. Never try to overcomplicate things by being the full on understander of everything (from how a person acts to their culture) because if you didnt grow up in the same environment, then youll never really know. An Fabio my rants are not an attack on you or anyone else who responds here.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 06, 2008 10:47 AM GMT
    Oh hogwash...

    Yeah.. there are a few differences in perspectives
    but that happens in between any nationality or group of people
    be careful of separating yourself TOO much
    I've dated some black men
    and noticed that their dicks worked exactly the same as anyone else's
    relatively speaking icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 06, 2008 11:28 AM GMT
    Actually I always preferred dating outside my background. I never actually dated another WASP. I grew up with them, went to school with them, and was totally sick of them by the time I came out at 25. My partner and I have been together 10 1/2 years now, and although there are obvious differences (he is Filipino) I think those differences actually make the relationship more interesting. You get to experience more out of life.
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    Jul 06, 2008 11:31 AM GMT
    fabionyc saidI've never dated a black person and I think that is largely because I don't have anything culturally in common with most working class black people-- which is, I think, the kind of person we're really talking about when someone says 'a black guy'. Now, if the guy was black, well-spoken and well-travelled, I would see potential for a relationship. But that's not what we think about when we say 'a black guy'. I tend to think the same applies when we think of 'an asian guy' or any other non-white member of the gay community. People think in stereotypes of the ethnic minority who has little cultural connection to the ethnic white majority.



    Where the hell do you get off using the word we? you can not and should not attempt to speak for anyone else but your self.

    I've chatted to many black men and I can tell you, the only thing that makes him black is his skin, they have all had there own personalities, ideas and thoughts.

    I've also spend some time chatting to GobB and I wouldn't classify him as "working class" in any way let alone how you seem to be coming across as "black working class" GobB has been intelligent, witty, interesting and fucking hot as hel! (erm, didn't need that last touch hehe but, well, couldn't help my self)

    I have dated Asian guys, british fellas, Indian and a few others too, they all have there own unique qualities that they bring to the relationship, race doesn't matter when both people are adults about there background and life.

    It doesn't matter if you are black, white, green or pink, what is more important is not the couples race but there willingness to overlook each others minor flaws and still find things that are important about each other.
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    Jul 06, 2008 12:47 PM GMT
    well said liltanker and LaSalle04!!

    dating/and or sustaining an interracial relationship might just as well compared to your personal taste in food -- most of us tend to only eat food that they grew up with and some of us love to diversify our taste palette. i, personally, adore a person or persons that know how to appreciate world cruisine.

    fabionyc -- your post sounds a tad racists; perhaps you don't mean it but sure has a racist tone. it is too simplitic to label others as a "country bumkins" if they don't meet your personal standards. classism is elitism, hence, it's a turn off... so pretentious!

    malibu -- i guess you are not made for any type of relationships regardless race or nationality since you crave simplity. one must go through daily life hurdles in a relationship regardless of your partner's race, nationality, age, personality, etc...etc...As Gramdma puts it in the movie Parenthood, "Life is like a roller coaster." better buckle up and enjoy the ride ..... what i am trying to say is that all relationships takes an effort from both parties to make it work minus all personal biases.

    now i challenge all to try a new cruisine this week -- you never know -- you might find your new favorite restaurant .... *smile*

    cheers

    A


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    Jul 06, 2008 1:11 PM GMT
    n2briefs2 saidwell said liltanker and LaSalle04!!

    fabionyc -- your post sounds a tad racists; perhaps you don't mean it but sure has a racist tone. it is too simplitic to label others as a "country bumkins" if they don't meet your personal standards. classism is elitism, hence, it's a turn off... so pretentious!



    Thank you N2! Certainly appreciate the compliment icon_smile.gif.

    I have to disagree with you SLIGHTLY however about Fabio. I would not say that what he is saying is necessarily racist. I somewhat get what he means but he used the wrong terminology. What he is talking about is the African American male that you see on television getting ready to commit a crime - or the one the news always seems to pick to discuss a shooting at Church's chicken. The guy that is considered "hood", a thug, etc. Now the issue w/ Fabio's statement is that the places that Fabio would be going and the people he is meeting and surrounding himself with more than likely will not have that element with their group. Also, thugs are a part of EVERY culture, uneducated people (or people that are not up to specific intellectual standards) are a part of every culture as well - regardless of race.

    What frightens me a bit about Fabio's statement is his general lack of touch with "working class" black folk. Coming from a similar background as Fab, I grew up in the "gritty" inner city as well as very posh suburbs (where kids drove better cars than adults working in these towns) so I have experienced all types of people which I think has helped me to grow up as well rounded as I am and realize that there is beauty in every race and every culture - not just the lighter ones. For Fab though it sounds like he does not have much experience with people of our race in a lower "class" which is fine. But just do not lump every working class black person as a thug drinking a '40 on the corner because it is unfair and blatently untrue. Just like working class white and asian and latino these people have the same hopes, dreams, needs, and wants that you do. Since they were not as lucky to be born into a privilaged life they have to make due and get by to support their family.

    You get my point - and I am sorry for the soap box I just hate generalizations over a race of people based on a simple stereotype that has plagued the media for years.
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    Jul 06, 2008 1:33 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]lilTanker said

    [/quote]

    Where the hell do you get off using the word we? you can not and should not attempt to speak for anyone else but your self.

    I've chatted to many black men and I can tell you, the only thing that makes him black is his skin, they have all had there own personalities, ideas and thoughts.

    I've also spend some time chatting to GobB and I wouldn't classify him as "working class" in any way let alone how you seem to be coming across as "black working class" GobB has been intelligent, witty, interesting and fucking hot as hel! (erm, didn't need that last touch hehe but, well, couldn't help my self)

    I have dated Asian guys, british fellas, Indian and a few others too, they all have there own unique qualities that they bring to the relationship, race doesn't matter when both people are adults about there background and life.

    It doesn't matter if you are black, white, green or pink, what is more important is not the couples race but there willingness to overlook each others minor flaws and still find things that are important about each other.[/quote]

    Edit: Obviously littered with grammatical errors that morethanmuscle so graciously pointed out.

    Lil:

    I think fabionyc was just refering to such stereotypes as they are portrayed in the media. I cannot begin to tell you the number times, outside of academia, where people have commented me on my ability to be articulate. While that is definitely a complement, and ultimately intended as such, one cannot help but conclude that it is a complement most likely based on a pre-conditioned notion (molded by the media and other social constructs...and unfortunately by some stats) that I should not be as articulate as I am considering that I am a black male.

    So yeah, I think fabionyc was refering to the general stereotyped perspective most people have regarding blacks.

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    Jul 06, 2008 2:36 PM GMT
    LaSalle04 said[quote][cite]n2briefs2 said[/cite]


    I have to disagree with you SLIGHTLY however about Fabio. I would not say that what he is saying is necessarily racist. I somewhat get what he means but he used the wrong terminology.



    Ditto. Point well taken. I did mentioned in my previous post that the tone of fabio's post has a racist tone. Please don't get me wrong, I have no right or power to judge a person without actually getting to know that particular individual. I am just reacting towards the post and my interpretation of it.

    Sadly to say -- we all live in a world that condone stereotypes. Just refer to any popular entertainment .... we are all conditioned by what we watch everyday hence our perception on other "foreign" cultures are skewed. I know first hand -- I am in a binational biracial relationship .....

    Cheers

    A
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    Jul 06, 2008 6:59 PM GMT
    Hmm. Not sure I'm really welcome to weigh in here anymore. But I would like to clear up a couple of points.

    First, I did not mean to tinge my comments with racism. That would, in my view, be somewhat self-destructive since I, as you may have seen, am mixed race. Nor did I mean to finger any particular thread participant as 'working class' or stereotypically anything. Rather, I was trying to draw your attention to the fact that a lot of these stereotypes are not inherently racial, but rather cultural.

    I will admit that LaSalle has it slightly right: my experience of black working class people is very, very limited. That, however, does not mean I lump 'them' all together and think 'they' are all thick, rap-loving criminals. No, I do not. Nor did I mean to imply that about anyone. I've studied a lot of race and gender theory so I am not about to think that everyone is the same and is easily categorized by race, class, gender, etc.

    I find the real problem in discussing race and class, and how they intersect, is that these sorts of accusations-- about whether or not someone is being racist-- tend to crop up. It is not racist, for instance, to point out that a lot of these discussions start from the premise that black and white men are fundamentally incompatible, that there are 'differences' that need overcoming and that these issues come down to race exclusively.

    But which kind of white men or black men are being discussed? White working class and black middle class men? White middle class and black middle class men? Hispanic middle class men and white middle class men? I argue that as long as both parties find the other's skin tone attractive, the majority the 'differences that need resolving are based around class. And class encompasses a lot more than just monetary status: tastes in food, clothing, music and leisure; background; education level; access to society; upward/downward mobility, the list goes on.

    Moreover, I think that even more than a different racial experience might pose an obstacle for a couple to succeed, it can be overcome by a frank discussion of where the other is coming from. Class-based differences are not so easy-- because then one or both partners are being asked to change their tastes for the other person, to act, speak, dress, and conduct himself in a manner that fits the expectations of one party. And all of those difference are malleable, but they are difficult.

    I do think that often when difficulties arise it is easier to put them down to a difference in race than it is to think about how an individual's tastes reveal their class background. This is an idea that we as Americans-- and I use 'we' intentionally-- are very uncomfortable discussing for two reasons. First, we don't believe that America has a class system. And second, even if we do believe America has a class system, we think it all comes down to how much money one has.

    Both are untrue. Two people maybe able to afford a holiday in France but if one complains loudly that no one will speak English, while the other at least attempts French before being told speaking English is fine, a class difference has been established. Two people, of the same means and nationality, have shown the differences in their exposure to and expectations of another nationality. That is a class difference. I am not arguing that these rules are immutable, or that one is necessarily right or better than the other. I am, however, trying to suggest that there is difference and that these differences, unlike race which is immutable, can be learned and unlearned.

    So, if they can be learned or unlearned, that means that anyone of any race can fall anywhere on the class spectrum. It would be correct to point out that class and race often coincide: the black middle and upper class is much smaller than the white middle and upper class in America. It is therefore not unreasonable to suspect that the way in which people think about races and difference tend to conflate these two issues-- that the black guy is a thug, the white man is educated, the Asian man is aspirational-- whatever. But this thinking is incorrect. Tying race to class is a very two-dimensional way of thinking about how a lot of different learned behaviours and ideas act on a person.

    To sum up, what I am saying is that looking at someone of a different race and saying 'the racial differences mean I can't date them' is a red-herring. The differences are based on other characteristics that can change. It is entirely different to say 'I'm not attracted to black/Asian/Hispanic skin color.' That is a racial preference. But that is not what I said or what I am trying to point out. I am trying, I repeat, to point out that 'racial differences' is a code for 'class/cultural differences' and that while those differences are important and can help or hinder a relationship, they are by no means fixed.
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    Jul 06, 2008 7:15 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle said
    And for this post. I don't think I'd get along well with Fabio. In a nut shell he comes off as a snob 'wannabe' elitist that dates white guys in order to help himself feel whiter. In Latin America that's called a coconut. Brown on the outside and white on the in.


    I am sorry you feel this way. But I think the descent into name-calling says a lot more about you than me.
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    Jul 06, 2008 10:20 PM GMT
    fabionyc saidMoreover, I think that even more than a different racial experience might pose an obstacle for a couple to succeed, it can be overcome by a frank discussion of where the other is coming from. Class-based differences are not so easy-- because then one or both partners are being asked to change their tastes for the other person, to act, speak, dress, and conduct himself in a manner that fits the expectations of one party. And all of those difference are malleable, but they are difficult.


    I have issue with this statement.
    You have obviously never had a long term relationship, nor do I believe you will (as harsh as that sounds) until you grow up a little more.

    A relationship is not about changing for another person, in fact, a real, solid, dependable relationship I believe is built on an ability to put aside what you "think" you need in a person and accepting what is really there.

    You do not want them to change to fit you and you do not change for them, a relationship is about accepting each other for who they are, from the best of them to there possible worst. Food, choice in clothing, how they act, speak and conduct them self's is all part of who they are.

    And might I recommend you not use the inclusive word of we when in reality the word you should use is I, I am capable of speaking for my self and I do not appreciate having anyone try to convey my thoughts or feelings on any subject.
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    Jul 06, 2008 10:41 PM GMT
    Should I ever be lucky enough to be in a relationship I'd like to think I'm open minded enough to experience his culture and heritage as a show of respect, courtesy and good faith. While I might not agree with it or even like it I will still honor it since it's something he holds dear and important to his heart and I believe when you find someone who means that much to you you'll go the distance to make things work no matter what.

    Fabio, I don't think you meant to make your comment sound a little snobbish or prejudice but given where you have posted it it certainly comes off that way.

    Speaking as a person who is several generations of mixed heritage on both sides of the family I can understand where you might be coming from but I feel you have limited yourself from experiencing something far better then what you are currently use to.

    While a bit crude in comment, I think MuchMore has you pegged but don't take it to the full extent. If white guys are your thing then that's cool and no one should really judge another because of their preferences but please do yourself a favor and be a little more open-minded to the possibility of dating someone that isn't white. If you feel you don't need to then kudos I guess.

    As for me, I live by a very simple rule when it comes to dealing with men. As long as they are hot (physically and mentally) and the chemistry is mutual then it's game on. I feel I'd be a hypocrite and a disgrace to my family name and heritage if I was to only be attracted to one particular race since technically I'm made up of several.

    I was born into a good life but I still had to work hard for everything I own. My parents weren't the type to just give us anything so in that sense I learned the value of things and I learned to value myself as well regardless of my skin color. You will eventually get what I mean and I hope things work out well for you in the furture.
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    Jul 06, 2008 10:46 PM GMT
    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREYou're funny, Ortho. You claim that you're articulate but apparently can't articulate the difference between complement and compliment. And last time I checked "commented me on my..." isn't grammatically correct either. Hell, as I read what you typed it's really bad English. Reread your post. It looks like a 3rd grader typed it. It's humorous because while you can't apparently construct sentences you're boasting of your "academia" background.

    Compliment is praise. Example, 'It's gracious to thank someone for giving you a compliment.'
    Complement is to complete. Such as, 'This shirt complements this pair of pants perfectly.'
    You can always remember complement with an 'e' and how it's used because it's like 'complete.'

    And for this post. I don't think I'd get along well with Fabio. In a nut shell he comes off as a snob 'wannabe' elitist that dates white guys in order to help himself feel whiter. In Latin America that's called a coconut. Brown on the outside and white on the in.
    [/quote]


    Yeah...ummm...ouch! I guess you can chalk up my mistake to a version of a Freudian slip and me trying to type while I was still half asleep. I'm still trying to get over your insult laced post. Obviously, you are doubting my intellectual capacity! That's fine! But what is most disturbing is that, for some reason, I feel the need to demonstrate that I am, indeed, NOT stupid (as your pseudo-covert diatribe suggests). Also tt was not necessary for you to spend time emphasizing the denotative difference between those two words. But thanks anyway.

    While it is my duty to ensure I clearly convey my opinion, I am baffled by the lack of utility of your post. It was simply a tawdry attempt to make disparaging remarks about me.

    And I guess if that is how you want to play the game then so be it. Just don't run out of the kitchen when I fire gets too hot.

    Since my comprehension and grammar level is comparable to that of a 3rd grader's can you please take my MCAT for me 7 weeks from now. You know there is a verbal reasoning section and writing section on that test and I want to be sure I ace it. I have to pass that section if I am going to be your physician one day. Don't worry about getting caught, I'm one of those silver spoon black kids (who clearly was a major beneficiary of affirmative action policies...I mean...we all know a 1480 would have never gotten me accepted to college) who has contacts all over this country. $$$ talks and I am sure this AMEX black card will work wonders.

    rolleyes.gif






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    Jul 06, 2008 10:56 PM GMT
    Since you do so with considerable elegance, do feel perfectly free to speak for me.

    By the way, we means,

    we |wē|
    pronoun [ first person plural ]
    1 used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together : shall we have a drink?
    • used to refer to the speaker together with other people regarded in the same category : nobody knows kids better than we teachers do.
    • people in general : we should eat as varied and well-balanced a diet as possible.

    2 used in formal contexts for or by a royal person, or by a writer or editor, to refer to himself or herself : in this section we discuss the reasons.
    3 used condescendingly to refer to the person being addressed : how are we today?
    ORIGIN Old English , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wij and German wir.

    and therefore Fabio's usage is perfectly correct.

    It seems obvious he doesn't presume to speak for any specific we (though I repeat, he can speak for me anytime), should he so choose.

    Racial differences exist and so do class differences. Those differences certainly can cause problems (as can cultural differences). Living abroad, even for long periods of time, is befuddling because cultural differences can be so profound that they simply cannot be bridged. At least that is my experience with Europeans in general and Italians most specifically.

    My experience of long-term relationships (speaking of my own) that go across class and cultural divides (my partner is German and I am American, we come from radically different social backgrounds, etc.) is that over time everyone changes, even dramatically.

    At first those changes are adjustments to being partnered and not alone, and later, or so it seems to me, they tend to be about how that partnership relates to the bigger world outside.

    For example, my partner learned to eat foods he didn't have much experience with because fitting into a social context really required that he do so. That change wasn't about pleasing me, it was about our lives going smoothly where we like to be together, travel together, and in the company we enjoy.

    I am lucky because I have changed my way of interacting a great deal based on my partner's European ideas of interpersonal relationships that I did not understand at all a decade ago.

    None of that is a compromise, it is all additive. We are more together than we are apart.

    It would be silly to say that differences don't exist. I am grateful that they do. As we move toward being globalized consumers of 15 or so mega-brands I fear that we risk subsuming cultural identity (entirely different than multiculturalism) to some bland gray soup consumed in one giant anonymous airport shopping mall.

    Just as a last aside, it isn't wrong to be born into a middle class family or to have failed to experience life in "the hood". I doubt anyone who is haranguing you for that has had a comparable experience anyway.

    Peace to you
    Terry

    fabionyc saidHmm. Not sure I'm really welcome to weigh in here anymore. But I would like to clear up a couple of points.

    First, I did not mean to tinge my comments with racism. That would, in my view, be somewhat self-destructive since I, as you may have seen, am mixed race. Nor did I mean to finger any particular thread participant as 'working class' or stereotypically anything. Rather, I was trying to draw your attention to the fact that a lot of these stereotypes are not inherently racial, but rather cultural.

    I will admit that LaSalle has it slightly right: my experience of black working class people is very, very limited. That, however, does not mean I lump 'them' all together and think 'they' are all thick, rap-loving criminals. No, I do not. Nor did I mean to imply that about anyone. I've studied a lot of race and gender theory so I am not about to think that everyone is the same and is easily categorized by race, class, gender, etc.

    I find the real problem in discussing race and class, and how they intersect, is that these sorts of accusations-- about whether or not someone is being racist-- tend to crop up. It is not racist, for instance, to point out that a lot of these discussions start from the premise that black and white men are fundamentally incompatible, that there are 'differences' that need overcoming and that these issues come down to race exclusively.

    But which kind of white men or black men are being discussed? White working class and black middle class men? White middle class and black middle class men? Hispanic middle class men and white middle class men? I argue that as long as both parties find the other's skin tone attractive, the majority the 'differences that need resolving are based around class. And class encompasses a lot more than just monetary status: tastes in food, clothing, music and leisure; background; education level; access to society; upward/downward mobility, the list goes on.

    Moreover, I think that even more than a different racial experience might pose an obstacle for a couple to succeed, it can be overcome by a frank discussion of where the other is coming from. Class-based differences are not so easy-- because then one or both partners are being asked to change their tastes for the other person, to act, speak, dress, and conduct himself in a manner that fits the expectations of one party. And all of those difference are malleable, but they are difficult.

    I do think that often when difficulties arise it is easier to put them down to a difference in race than it is to think about how an individual's tastes reveal their class background. This is an idea that we as Americans-- and I use 'we' intentionally-- are very uncomfortable discussing for two reasons. First, we don't believe that America has a class system. And second, even if we do believe America has a class system, we think it all comes down to how much money one has.

    Both are untrue. Two people maybe able to afford a holiday in France but if one complains loudly that no one will speak English, while the other at least attempts French before being told speaking English is fine, a class difference has been established. Two people, of the same means and nationality, have shown the differences in their exposure to and expectations of another nationality. That is a class difference. I am not arguing that these rules are immutable, or that one is necessarily right or better than the other. I am, however, trying to suggest that there is difference and that these differences, unlike race which is immutable, can be learned and unlearned.

    So, if they can be learned or unlearned, that means that anyone of any race can fall anywhere on the class spectrum. It would be correct to point out that class and race often coincide: the black middle and upper class is much smaller than the white middle and upper class in America. It is therefore not unreasonable to suspect that the way in which people think about races and difference tend to conflate these two issues-- that the black guy is a thug, the white man is educated, the Asian man is aspirational-- whatever. But this thinking is incorrect. Tying race to class is a very two-dimensional way of thinking about how a lot of different learned behaviours and ideas act on a person.

    To sum up, what I am saying is that looking at someone of a different race and saying 'the racial differences mean I can't date them' is a red-herring. The differences are based on other characteristics that can change. It is entirely different to say 'I'm not attracted to black/Asian/Hispanic skin color.' That is a racial preference. But that is not what I said or what I am trying to point out. I am trying, I repeat, to point out that 'racial differences' is a code for 'class/cultural differences' and that while those differences are important and can help or hinder a
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2008 1:32 AM GMT
    A few quick points and then I'm leaving this alone.

    First, lilTanker, as someone who is in a long-term relationship (2.5 years) with some one of a different nationality-- who has been with the same partner and lived on two continents with him, I do not take your counsel on what I am capable of-- romantically, or otherwise.

    Second, I've never meant to suggest that the 'changes' that a person goes through for another person are complete or wholesale. One need not renounce what makes one different; but you can bet that there will be changes in behaviour based on new situations. But they do exist and I think anyone who has been in a long term relationship, especially with someone of a different background, can attest to having to adjust expectations as the relationship grows. Dealing with difference I maintain can be difficult, but it need not be negative. Indeed, out of much struggle grows beauty.

    Third, it's not that 'white guys are my thing.' That is something I've never maintained. I have said that, based on my experience, they have been the only ones I've been compatible with. But those 'white guys' have been South African, German, British. And, actually, thinking of it, there has been one very handsome, very lovely black British man too. I'm not close-minded and I find the inability to discern an argument about the intersection of class and race from my own personal preferences somewhat uninspiring.

    Finally, I apologize if what I've written has come off as snobbish or prejudiced. I am really not either of those things, though I admit my experience in life has been privileged. But do not think I've never worked for anything and am just having a brat-rant. That assumption is also incorrect.