What WOULD it take for people of different races to "get along?" - page 2

I've been following some of the threads that include issues of race. As is natural, the discussions have veered from the original topics b/c at the center of the issues it seems race is the factor. ... Read More

  1. by   jnette
    What would it take?

    I think first, it would take OURSELVES getting along with one another beginning with our SELF..( I gotta know me, love me , get along with me, and recognize my own faults before I can get along with anyone else)..then our own families, then friends, then neighbors and so on ... but it must start with ME.. knowing myself, knowing my fears, misunderstandings, prejudices and biases. It takes being honest with and understanding MYSELF before I can ever attempt to understand another.. no matter WHAT race.

    I often wonder how if there were no other races/colors to judge, blame, etc., etc..... we'd still be fighting ourselves every chance we got ! (and we DO !) But throw in the race card, and "WHEW!
    Relief !" (somebody ELSE to pick on, takes the heat off of ME/US) and we can focus on their faults instead.... ??? Am I making sense?
    Last edit by jnette on Jul 2, '03
  2. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I will say this:

    A couple years ago, I moved to an area of the country that is 97% hispanic (U.S. Census Bereau Stats).
    About 40% of the poplulation could speak english.

    I am from Ariz. So I thought it would be similar- every kind of person of every race and culture, getting along very well for the most part.

    I am "white". I was treated w/ open hostility at times. I felt very lonely and isolated. I found it very unsafe to care for pts in a surgical unit when we could not speak the same language.

    When I would run into another "white" person at a grocery store or some other public place, we would make eye contact and silently acknowledge each other. Sort of like how two obviously pregnant woman might acknowledge each other if they passed in a store aisle, or something.

    It was very weird. The general atmosphere of "you are not wanted here" was very palpable at times. Of course, not everyone was like that. Some were very nice and friendly. But for the most part, people let me know in no uncertain terms that I was unwelcome.

    I went to a meeting of a local club called "The Newcomers."

    What it turned out to be was a bunch of lonely, isolated white women who had moved to the area because of their husbands' jobs, and were looking to find other lonely white women to befriend.

    We gave it our best shot, but decided it was not the place for us. My husband and I high-tailed it out of there as soon as we could.

    Made me sad, bewildered and angry to feel like a foreigner in my own country.
  3. by   LaVorneRN
    I am black. One of my best friends on the planet is white. (Do I sound like white people who say "I have a friend who is black"? )And she's not the only one I have. I happen to have many who are like sisters to me.
    I grew up in Brooklyn with 3 sisters and a brother (and all the other kids whose single mother or crackhead father wouldn't care for)by my little West Indian mother. My father left us and she did the best(as a CNA) she could. I am the first to go and graduate from college. I was raised in a Black, West Indian, Hispanic, Asian community until moving to Houston where my graduating class of 300 consisted of 5 black students including myself. I did not go to college until 6years ago because that is when I could afford to go.

    She was raised in Wisconcin by both parents, went to schools predominantly white, went to college right out of high school and I am her first black friend. When we first met we were the only ones who laughed at each others jokes. We think the other is hilarious, brilliant, beautiful, and deeply open-minded.

    We have discussed and embraced our differences over the last 8 years of our friendship. She has been to places with me she would have never thought of going and I have done the same with her. She can name any black actor/actress, artist, author etc.(just an example) and is not intimidated to go anywhere where she is the minority. She learned that from me since I am used to being in that position.

    She watches "Girlfriends", "Best Man", "Love and Basketball" with me, has been to "Def Comedy Jam" with me, and has aquired a love of R&B, reggae, and Jazz. She watches the "Essence Awards" and understands why there is an "Essence Awards." We have met each others friends and families and have become very close to them too over the years. She has shared many theories she has with me including most white men fantasize about being with a black woman but it's still too tabooand they are scared of how they will be judged. Lucky for me my husband doesn't care what others think! Umhmm. He's white. That's another thread.

    I have been updated on "Sex in the City", thanks to DVD's at Blockbuster, from the first episode to current. I've learned to ski, play golf, and polka (among many other things) thanks to her. What she didn't understand about how black folks live, feel, deal she has asked me about how I feel and has investigated for herself. (She's the one who recommended I look into the Black Nurses Association for a scholarship-I'd never heard of it before then.) She now understands, accepts, and has an opinion based on her own personal knowledge.

    We both love "Moulin Rouge" and sing along with the DVD I bought her for Christmas. I don't get "That 70's Show" because it wasn't my 70's-it was hers-and that's okay. She doesn't care for Toni Morrison's movie "Beloved" and neither did I. We both would love to be on Oprah.

    My point is that we embraced each other, respected each other, and accepted each other from the get go. I never looked at her as a white girl I have nothing in common with and she didn't see me as a little black girl she should keep her distance from. We both laughed at the same corny joke no one else thought was funny and I knew she was the girlfriend for me! And visaversa. You don't have to give up any of who you are to embrace others. She doesn't talk and act black now or when she's around me or other blacks(that one really gets me going!)

    We don't agree on everything and have had an argument or two but they had nothing to do with race. She and my other friends are comfortable with me and my family because they took the time to know us.

    To be colorblind is to be ignorant of the obvious and in denial of truth.
    Peace and blessings
  4. by   jnette
    Originally posted by LaVorneRN

    To be colorblind is to be ignorant of the obvious and in denial of truth.
    Peace and blessings
    Beautiful, LaVorne ! Just beautiful. I also must emphasize your remark that "THEY TOOK THE TIME TO KNOW US". Makes all the difference in the world. And we do this one individual at a time.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    LaVorne . . .thanks.
  6. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    LaVorne's post gives me hope!
  7. by   Mkue
    I don't want to be colorblind..I just want to appreciate who people "of color"
    Dr. King's dream of a colorblind society is interpreted as

    "to not judge someone by their color".

    Just wanted to make that clear.
  8. by   maureeno
    people have to know and understand each other to get along
    they have to see each other's common humanity
    common problems, common joys, common fears.
    unfortunately housing patterns in our country are mostly segregated
    leading to segregated schools
    segregated churches
    segregated clubs
    segregated minds
  9. by   jadednurse
    LaVorne, great story. Thanks for sharing! Where have you been lately?
  10. by   gwenith
    Thank- you La Vorne a true and touching story. Since yesterday I have thought about hte question asked by this thread.

    It is time to confess.

    I come from a country that has the sad distinction of being the only country in the world to successfully carry out genocide. The Tasmanian Aboriginal is no more. A few survive from communities in the Bass Straight Islands but the mainland Tasmanian Aborigine is gone.

    We were more nearly successful in committing cutural genocide on the mainland Australian Aborigne than anyone today wants to admit to. We took Aborignal children from thier parents to raise them in dormitories and with white people so that they would not know thier cultural roots. It was a goverment plan to "assimilate" the aboriginal into white Australia. For assimilate read anihilate.

    In the 19590's we had a "White Australia" policy. No onw not "white" was allowed to Immigrate to Australia.

    As a white Australian confessing this is hard especially to people outside our shores. We were perhaps the most racist people on Earth. "Terra Nullis" was the accepted definition of Australia it meant that Aborigines were not only treated as less than white but until the1960's were not classified as human!!!

    Our shame.

    How did we and are we turning this around to become a vibrant multicultural society? Several initiatives but maybe one of the most successful was SBS. Special Broadcasting Services a goverment semi-fuded TV station that had as it's brief the encouragement of multiculturalism in the community.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/sbs_front/index.html
  11. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    and i completely agree!

    i think the one thing is being able to listen to what the person is saying & not just hear it. i find that some folks have a knee jerk reaction/response because they only hear one thing & haven't listened to the whole story before reacting/responding.

    cheers!
    moe
    originally posted by tcw
    i honestly wish i knew the answer to this one. i try to avoid posting on the race debates because they only make me angry. if i had to take a stab at it though i would say mutual understanding, respect, looking at the individual and not the color of the skin and as someone else said, getting to know one another on a personal level.

    some of these threads got really out of hand imo because a few posters simply posted in anger without actually thinking about what they were saying. i'm not going to point anyone out because i don't believe that would be appropriate. i just feel that in life in any situation we all need to think about the other person first. i guess that is the golden rule really...nothing new.

    i know i am rambling and haven't been as eloquent as some posters but i just wanted to jump in here with my .02 cents.

    tonya
  12. by   live4today
    Originally posted by jadednurse
    I've been following some of the threads that include issues of race. As is natural, the discussions have veered from the original topics b/c at the center of the issues it seems race is the factor. Lots of opinions, LOTS of resentment, and it just got me to thinking...what does one race EXPECT from another?

    Now I'd imagine the obvious answers would be respect and understanding, but if the answers come so easily then why doesn't the solution?
    Hello jadednurse:

    IMHO: RACE is NEVER really the TRUE issue, it is only the one used too conveniently for some who have gripes about how life is personally beating them up. People need someone or something to point the finger at when things don't go right for them, so they pick something that THEY themselves are usually uncomfortable with for whatever reason.

    RACE is only one way of describing oneself, but it in NO WAY defines who or what a person truly is in their heart...their character...their personality.

    When the HEART speaks through a person's mouth, what it is saying tells wonders about how comfortable or uncomfortable that person is with themselves and how they view their own personal place in society.

    Everyone gets beat up in life in some fashion. No one EVER lives a life free of pain. No one EVER ask to be born looking a certain way. We come here with the genes long before we even knew anything about our genetic makeup. Do we blame the parents? The ancestors we do not know, or barely know? Do we blame our "Manufacturer" for placing our soul in a body that will cause people to either like or dislike us? Who do we blame? We blame each other.

    Like poverty, RACE will always be with us. There will always be "the haves" and the "don't haves" among us. There will always be sibling rivalry........and yes, we are ALL brothers and sisters.......kinfolk........not as separate as we like to think.

    Soooooooo....since we cannot do a dang thing about the genetics we came to Earth with, let's stop blaming each other for the way we turned out and begin speaking from our very core of who we truly are.......what is in our hearts defiles the body or blesses the body. YOU CHOOSE! Now CHOICE is what we still have the freedom to do! You can't change your race, but you CAN choose how to live in the body you didn't ask to be born in.
    Will you use it to curse yourself and those around you, or will you use it to bless yourself and those around you?

    You guys and gals be good to yourselves and to one another.

    We ALL were given RED BLOOD....now THAT's a fact we can all agree on. :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 2, '03
  13. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    ...sooo many minorities feel this way...whether natives of this country or immigrants. it's ashame that this had to happen to you (in your own country)...but now that you've walked a friction of a mile in our shoes...you sort of know what we've been feeling for sooo many generations (in this...our own country) too.

    can you imagine how one must feel to go to war...fight on other shores for the sake of righting great injustices & for this country...only to return & be told/treated like 2/3 rd of a person? how it feels to run up in order to open a door for a lady only to have her clutch her handbag? or have someone walk out of an elevator because you step on (out of fear or hatred)?

    that's a fraction of stuff that *still* goes on in this country today for many minorities (not just blacks). hopefully this discussion will be one of listening & understanding.

    cheers!
    moe
    originally posted by hellllllo nurse
    i will say this:

    a couple years ago, i moved to an area of the country that is 97% hispanic (u.s. census bureau stats).
    about 40% of the population could speak english.

    i am from ariz. so i thought it would be similar- every kind of person of every race and culture, getting along very well for the most part.

    i am "white". i was treated w/ open hostility at times. i felt very lonely and isolated. i found it very unsafe to care for pts in a surgical unit when we could not speak the same language.

    when i would run into another "white" person at a grocery store or some other public place, we would make eye contact and silently acknowledge each other. sort of like how two obviously pregnant woman might acknowledge each other if they passed in a store aisle, or something.

    it was very weird. the general atmosphere of "you are not wanted here" was very palpable at times. of course, not everyone was like that. some were very nice and friendly. but for the most part, people let me know in no uncertain terms that i was unwelcome.

    i went to a meeting of a local club called "the newcomers."

    what it turned out to be was a bunch of lonely, isolated white women who had moved to the area because of their husbands' jobs, and were looking to find other lonely white women to befriend.

    we gave it our best shot, but decided it was not the place for us. my husband and i high-tailed it out of there as soon as we could.

    made me sad, bewildered and angry to feel like a foreigner in my own country.
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on Jul 3, '03

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