a reply to: theantediluvian
I'm not (what seems to have become) a typical ATS poster. I don't post often but I have been here for something like 8 years and I will always admit
to a mistake (uncommon of late on these forums as that may be). Which, I of course, shall do now.
I used the context of the OP because at the time I was unable to watch videos or open the doc file. In that capacity and context, I still stand by my
original post. I also stand by the relevance to the topic... in that capacity and context, of course. So I must apologize to you for my indignant
response, it was my own fault for assuming the content of the attachments was represented wholly by the text of the post.
Now, if you're genuinely interested in my opinion on the subject (hell, even if you're not i'm still going to express it now that I know the proper
context) here goes.
Firstly I hardly see how I have "painted myself into a corner" here, however I must admit to another assumption. I thought you were alluding to black
Americans. Again, my fault completely but for whatever reason the main example that really stuck in my brain was the "you are so articulate" line.
Where I live and was raised we have a very "down the middle" kind of racial makeup. The areas around here are about 50% black and 50% white. To say I
see it on a daily basis would be an exaggeration but I'll say at a minimum of twice a week I see a white person say to a black person, usually with
great enthusiasm and excitement of some kind, that they are extremely articulate and "educated" sounding. This is what I was referring to when I said
plain old racist and bigoted. Again, because I assumed wrongly that you were referring to black Americans. I won't involve anecdotes but I will say
I've experienced more well spoken blacks than whites in this area over the past 30+ years. I won't bother elaborating, if anyone doesn't see the
racism there, intentional or not, you're a bigot.
On to Asian and Hispanic Americans which I now see this doc was more geared towards. Asians get the "where are you really from" line, at least in my
experience, from sheer ignorance of a usually born and raised white Americans regarding their own language. While I am far from dismissing this as a
totally acceptable question, it's (again, in my experience) generally a person with good intentions making conversation while lacking the command of
their native tongue to formulate the question in a less presumptuous manner. For example, I worked with an ABSOLUTELY STUNNING woman a few years ago.
It was obvious she was mostly Asian but not wholly. She was the kind of beautiful that makes you feel the need to ask. So I did. My exact words were
"hey Vange, if you don't mind my asking, what nationalities make up your family's lineage?" Yes, I probably could have picked better wording but she
was not at all offended and I think you get my point. If anyone cares, it turned out her father was Korean and her mother Hawaiian and Brazilian. Good
old melting pot of NYC.
Hispanics deal with much the same as the Asian example. The problem there is that of all Hispanic people I've met, a very large percentage are raised
speaking Spanish (or Portuguese around here) as a first language followed by English further on. I've learned to assume nothing because of this
because often you'll meet Hispanic peoples around here and other places I've visited or lived who do indeed have an extremely thick accent. The
natural response is to ask where they're from. Again, it's ignorance. I don't condone it by any means but if there's a way to stop ignorance, it
clearly hasn't been implemented even if based only on this god awful, beating a dead horse election.
Somewhere in the grey area of on and off topic, I do have another slightly related opinion though. This reminds me a great deal of almost every
experience I've had in rural and suburban areas of Europe. Even if you're fluent in the language of the country you're visiting, it is almost
unfailingly assumed upon the utterance of the words "i'm from New York" that you are an ignorant, self absorbed, uneducated moron present only because
you lost your way between tourist destinations and not possibly because you're just visiting family or just visiting and don't like cities. It is
annoying, to be sure, but it does not send me off onto tangents of "YOU HURT MY FEELINGS!" and the like. So while I agree that yes, these kinds of
things are and probably always will be problems in society... most people really do need to grow a thicker skin.
So there's my long-winded "brief" summary. If you genuinely feel interested in a discussion, feel free to message me.
Once again, my sincere apologies for my own ignorance based "micro aggression" ha! (Maybe not so micro).