In Life

Practically every culture and race is biased to some extent; it’s not just based on colour

DISCLAIMER:

If you can’t behave yourself and you’re going to write hateful comments about anyone, I suggest you stop reading this post immediately.

This is not a hate post, or a racism post, or a what have you post.

I am not looking to start fights in comments about this versus that, I am just bringing up for some education, civilized discussion.

Anyway back to my topic.

It’s more of an observation I made listening to the news, and reading (great) articles like this one: How I lost my dad.

(Hat tip to Revanche for the link)

Upon listening to the wave of stories and history of everything that’s been happening in all parts of the world, I realized that it was all the same thing everywhere else just with different people.

We humans just don’t like other humans who are not like us.

Isn’t that true?

I mean I talked about this a bit with my rant about the PF Blogging community that should really just STFU and let people wade into a sea of debt if they’re reading PF blogs and still choosing to make bad-for-their-financial-future decisions.

EVEN BABIES DO IT

There was a study I read recently in the Metro News in Toronto that said that babies don’t like people who aren’t like them.


baby-mommy-swaddled-family

Babies, like adults, prefer individuals who like the same things they do.

A new study reports that they want individuals who share their tastes to be treated well by others, but want those whose tastes differ from their own to be treated badly.

(Source)

It’s not really something that is TOTALLY, 100% learned from our parents and society. It’s also innate.

On to adults!

BLACK VERSUS WHITE

The most commonly heard of “case” for racism is between black people and white people.

But if we think about it who’s really black and white, these days?

It’s so vague.

If you ask Italians, would they call themselves “white”? Or Mediterranean?

How about the Spanish? Greek? Portuguese?

Are they considered ‘white’? Do they consider themselves ‘white’?

BLACK VERSUS BLACK

Among black people, there also seems to be a divide between black people themselves, and I’ve heard stories of friends saying that they were told they weren’t “acting black enough”.

(But she says they totally bond over hair troubles)

What does that even mean – “not acting black enough”?

What do they have to do, to be “blacker”?

Is it the colour of their skin? I think not.

Alek Wek (a top supermodel) is darker in her skintone than Tyra Banks (also a top supermodel), and they’re both considered black, and identify with being black.

So is it attitude? Lifestyle?

What is it that makes someone “black enough”?


funny-Victorias-Secret-vs-Dove-women

WHITE VERSUS WHITE

Back to the Italians, Spaniards and the rest of the non-Scandinavian white folk.

I have a story of an Italian girl who told me her mother was SO AGAINST her dating outside of her “race” (read: Not Italian), that when she and her sisters grew older, they started saying things like:

I’m going to date an Asian boy!

I’m going to date a black boy!

…all just to annoy their mother who would have heart attacks hearing this all the time.

They didn’t grow up with their mother’s need to “stay within the race”, and tried to make her see how ridiculous it was to want them to date Italian boys just because she wanted them to ‘keep the culture’ alive.

They proved to her over time that being Italian was part of them, and it wouldn’t die if they didn’t marry another Italian.

I dated a few Jewish boys while I was in school, and the things their friends and family would say sometimes, made me do a mild double-take.

For instance a friend of an ex, said:

I myself unlike your boyfriend, can only marry a Jewish girl.

I can date other girls, but that’ll never be serious a thing for me, unless they’re Jewish.

O_o

Not that I cared much about what he thought, but it surprised me that he would feel the urgent need to bring it up to me and point out who he would marry or not.

It was like a compulsive need to declare this to every shiksa that crosses his path.

Another ex who was very liberal, was pulled aside by a family friend who was “concerned about his dating a shiksa, and what would his parents have to say about all of this!?”

(Shiksa = Non-Jewish girl)

He brushed off the family friend, but I wasn’t dumb.

I could feel her eyes on me the entire time. I’ll bet she was pleased when we broke up (for other, non-Jewish-related reasons).

JEW VERSUS PALESTINIAN

Speaking of Jews, recently, I have been on a “Curb your Enthusiasm” streak with Larry David as its star (starring himself), and in the episode: Palestinian Chicken (Season 8 Episode 3):

… I not only laughed at the genius that is Larry David, but realized that it’s the same thing.

They may not identify differently because of colour, but they do it by culture, and what’s great about Curb your Enthusiasm, is Larry David’s ability to make fun of everything that is held as sacred.

It’s like putting bacon in matzoh ball soup!

(The rest of the episode is hilarious because he ends up sleeping with that woman, and it becomes a huge divisive problem when it comes down to the Jewish deli versus the Palestinian chicken shack.)

ASIAN VERSUS ASIAN

Even within continents we have problems with trying to pin down who is called what.

East Asians are not typically considered or referred to as “Asian”, as in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, etc, even though India IS in Asia.

They are technically “Asians”, but when I say “Asian”, I always mean Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, etc.

As a result, we have to refer to them as “East Asian” to clarify. Or “Indians from India”, not to be confused with “Indians”, as in “Native American or Native Canadian Indians”.

Just try leaving a comment about how great you think M.I.A. the rapper, is. She’s a Brit, whose roots are from  Sri Lanka.

“Don’t call her “Indian”, people say because she’s “Sri Lankan”.”

Or how about within Chinese?

When I was in Hong Kong, I read lots of newspapers about “Mainlanders”, as in mainland Chinese folk.

Mainland Chinese, are those from mainland China, not from the territories of China (Macau, Hong Kong).

Even in Taiwan and Singapore, the Chinese there, don’t associate themselves with being “Mainland Chinese”, and consider them to be a different group of Chinese folks altogether.


HOW ABOUT IMMIGRANTS?

Immigrants or even non-immigrants who don’t look conventionally “white”, are always asked:

What country are you from?

If you snippily reply:

Canada / America..

…they say:

No I mean what are your ROOTS. Your race and where your PARENTS are from?

They’ll basically keep going until you FINALLY give them an answer because it seems to matter greatly to them to know where you come from.

So even if you were born in this country, and raised as a Canadian / American, you are not “Canadian” or “American”, because taking in the age of the world, they’ve forgotten that not too long ago in 1787 and 1897, all “Americans” and “Canadians” (respectively) from Europe, were immigrants themselves.

Only Native Americans and Native Canadians can call themselves true natives of the country.

Yet no one is going around asking them what their background is — Irish, English, Italian, etc.

HOW ABOUT BI-RACIAL? BLACK VERSUS WHITE, ASIAN VERSUS WHITE…?

Then there was an article I read of a bi-racial girl (gosh I wish I had documented that link somewhere) who was born to a black father and a white mother.

She went back to her father’s country in Africa, and she was told she wasn’t black enough.

They didn’t consider her to be “black”.

Yet living in America, she wasn’t white enough, they considered her to be “white”.

She was in limbo in between these cultures because of her colour, yet she could identify with both.

Or just look at American President Obama — everyone considers him “black”, but he is half black, half white.

Or how about just within Asian versus White?

I have a friend who is half-Chinese and half-white, who’s grandmother (on the Chinese side, who hates his white mother) offered him $20,000 IMMEDIATELY upon marriage to a pure-blood Chinese girl, so he could “bring the Chinese blood back into the family”.

I was shocked and insulted on his behalf.

As if he is any less of a person because he is half white.

He felt really uncomfortable, particularly since he doesn’t look very Chinese to begin with (think: sandy blonde hair with Asian eyes, but white features), and his grandmother who even though she loves him, is always comparing him to other kids who are half-Chinese, half-White, but were born with black or very dark brown hair and more “Asian” features.

Anyway, these are just thoughts I had over the past few weeks, and I thought I’d put it out there that no matter what culture you’re in, where you live, or who you meet, you will always find a slight racial or cultural bias in them.

It’s just in us.

The thing, is to be aware of it, and to work against such a bias, even though you know it exists.

It’s a bit like knowing that every parent has a favourite child.

(Obviously, I was my parent’s favourite until I had a big fight with my dad and he decided to demote me, and make one of my brothers his favourite child.

I’m now just my mom’s favourite. 😛 )

I don’t care what my parents say, or what I’ll say as a parent in the future, but we will ALL have favourite children in the family, just as we pick and choose who our friends are in real life.

It’s inevitable.

But as long as your parents are aware that they are (naturally) connecting better with certain favourites in the family, and work against heavily favouring them to the point of being unfair to the others, it’s a step in the right direction.

What do you think?

Feel free to (civilly) chime in with thoughts.

As it is with talking about money, I don’t think we talk about these issues openly and honestly enough.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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11 Comments

  1. Michelle

    All babies love me. I’m serious, I’ve been called the “Baby Whisperer.” I enjoyed this post because it points out the ridiculousness of it all. But, I would say a lot of this is years of colonial rule and the damage that caused to the mindset of those colonized places.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Me too. Babies love me .. Toddlers too. They say it is a sign of an innocent, childlike heart that kids recognize as good innately 😉

      Reply
  2. r
    raluca

    Babies liking people like them is one thing, blatant racism is another.
    Babies also poop themselves and cry afterwards, but we have different standards for adults.

    It’s easy to point to innate preferences and say, see, we’re all racist. But it does matter how much of a racist you are.

    Babies having preferences is not as bad as people saying “That’s so gay”, somehow implying that to be gay is to be bad. (not racism, still discrimination).

    That, in turn, is not as bad as people saying “I don’t want my kids to grow around muslims/jews/blacks/etc”.
    And even those people are still not as bad as somebody who actively working towards limiting rights for black/muslims/jews/gays/women/etc.

    And on top of everything else, there are the assholes who even don’t treat jews/blacks/muslims/gays/women as humans, who don’t want to afford them the basic right of being alive and safe, who somehow see them as sub-humans, only fit to be exploited or killed.

    On the left side of the racism there are babies having preferences, on the right side, you have Hitler.

    Some people try to use the fact that we’re all a bit racist as excuse to treat others like sub-human. Those people are assholes. We are all imperfect, but some have slightly tarnished souls and others are rotten to the core.

    Reply
    1. K
      Kara

      Yeah…what Raluca said, better and more passionately than I said!

      Reply
      1. save. spend. splurge.

        Yes she is wonderful, no? 🙂

        Reply
    2. save. spend. splurge.

      Excellent and logical trains of thought. We are still taught racism for sure, even in my own family I hear it and we actively try to combat it through discussion.

      Reply
  3. K
    Kara

    Yes, I think some of the bias is innate but I believe the majority of it is poor self esteem on the part of the narrow minded person who is being prejudice. They “push others down” in an effort to lift themselves up. One of my suitemates in college was African American and she said her family always told her she was ugly because she was too light skinned. One of my husband’s friends will only date blonde women because in my opinion he is narrow minded and shallow. People are judged based upon their coloring, their size, their nationality, their religion…it is sad.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Do you think he is shallow for only liking blondes or just had a childhood imprint/preference?

      Reply
      1. K
        Kara

        I would think it was a childhood imprint/preference if it was an unconscious decision and he just so happened to date only blondes but he will not even talk to a woman to see if they are compatible unless she is blonde.

        Reply
        1. save. spend. splurge.

          Hmm. I knew a guy like that too…. But on the other hand you like what you like…

          Reply
  4. T
    Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    This is pretty much why I think we should bring forced integrated schooling (busing) back in vogue. Self segregation is totally a thing, but I think that inclination becomes stronger and the situation is made way worse when structural institutions also reinforce de facto segregation.

    Reply

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