Since you do so with considerable elegance, do feel perfectly free to speak for me.
By the way, we means,
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
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