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mr. and mrs. mayonnaise q. whitebread - Idiot Control Now
bees on pie, burning rubber tires
mellowcandle
mellowcandle
mr. and mrs. mayonnaise q. whitebread
I filled out our census form today, so in "honor" of that, I'm posting this passage from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

***

At the beginning of the term, Teacher called the roll and asked each child her lineage. The answers were typical.

"I'm Polish-American. My father was born in Warsaw."

"Irish-American. Me fayther and mither were born in County Cork."

When Nolan was called, Francie answered proudly: "I'm an American."

"I know you're American," said the easily exasperated teacher. "But what's your nationality?"

"American!" insisted Francie even more proudly.

"Will you tell me what your parents are or do I have to send you to the principal?"

"My parents are American. They were born in Brooklyn."

All the children turned around to look at a little girl whose parents had not come from the old country. And when Teacher said, "Brooklyn? Hm. I guess that makes you American, all right," Francie was proud and happy. How wonderful was Brooklyn, she thought, when just being born there automatically made you an American!

***


On the form, I listed my race as simply "American". I asked D if I should do the same for him, and he said hell yes.

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7 pathetic excuses or justify your existence
Comments
peacewish From: peacewish Date: March 18th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with the other citizens of the American Republic.

- Teddy Roosevelt
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: March 19th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly.
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: March 18th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh boy. We were just going over Diversity and Identity and Racism in a Negotiations class yesterday. It was an emotional discussion.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: March 19th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
D's had similar discussions in his sociology class, and he's been so annoyed with all the liberal bullshit he has to sit through.
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: March 19th, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm conservative and can recognize liberal bullshit, but I also think it's important to be reminded from time to time that sometimes people aren't playing the Race Card when they share (with great reluctance and difficulty) painful personal experiences.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: March 19th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
But there's a difference between "personal experience" and "grand generalizing".
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: March 19th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very true. Being White does not mean growing up with a consciousness of privilege and superiority. Being black does not predispose towards stupidity, laziness, and violence. I think an important first step is to recognize the limitations of our experiences and perspectives--for example, just because I haven't experienced being harassed by police does not mean that there are minorities who have suffered at the hands of bad cops. My own experiences inform my opinion that cops are generally there to protect me, but for some of my classmates this is not the case.
7 pathetic excuses or justify your existence