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Old 16.07.2015, 11:32
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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This is very true---although one can never really comment on what 'feelings' of persecution another has lived through, be it real or in their mind.

I grew up in as one of the only non-white in a fairly white-bred town, and really felt as an outsider and treated differently, I'm still at a lost of words when the only thing here people at work can talk about is how dark my skin is, or just the other day "Your skin is so dark, we should call you the Tunisian from now on!" Is it racism? Probably not, they're just making small talk jokes and I might still have some complexes because of my skin colour. I just have to HTFU! Too many people aren't anymore.

Topical piece on the onion:

http://www.theonion.com/article/pare...nor-daug-50851
I'd make a test to determine whether the feeling of persecution is real or not: make the same comments/jokes etc to people who deny it even though they never experienced it themselves, or feel no shame to behave like that with others......and on a daily basis, at that. Then see the results, which might turn out to be quite surprising when the perspective is changed...
Anyway, you're right when you say it's good to HTFU....it's the most reasonable thing to do. Humans as a species are far away from respecting or understanding each other, or even tolerating each other......to quote a living classic "Ah, humans. They'll never get along with each other."

P.S. Quickly read that article: funny...

Last edited by greenmount; 16.07.2015 at 11:56.
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  #82  
Old 16.07.2015, 12:18
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

This last weekend, in a little german village, I had a strange lady come up to me and comment on my dark skin (olive skin, tans quickly to very dark brown) - and warn me against the "dangers of the sun".

I laughed and told her I`m from South Africa and am used to the sun, plus at my advanced age and the amount of sun I`ve been in, I should actually already be dead, but am very much alive and still healthy, thank you for your concern.

"OOOOhhh ...realy..... Africa?!!! Well us white people have to be careful of the sun".

Was she being racist? Was I included in the "us"? Or was she inferring that I was of another race?

Should I be concerned about what race people assume I am?
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  #83  
Old 16.07.2015, 12:32
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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This last weekend, in a little german village, I had a strange lady come up to me and comment on my dark skin (olive skin, tans quickly to very dark brown) - and warn me against the "dangers of the sun".

I laughed and told her I`m from South Africa and am used to the sun, plus at my advanced age and the amount of sun I`ve been in, I should actually already be dead, but am very much alive and still healthy, thank you for your concern.

"OOOOhhh ...realy..... Africa?!!! Well us white people have to be careful of the sun".

Was she being racist? Was I included in the "us"? Or was she inferring that I was of another race?

Should I be concerned about what race people assume I am?

first, it's not really that she insulted you in any way- just commented on skin color and assumed you were african because you said you were from south africa. makes sense to me. i think the difference in many of these cases is people making false assumptions about where you are from or what you speak etc. while all those examples may show ignorance- it's not at all the same as knowing someone's race and making blatantly negative comments.

what is interesting is that people who probably have little experience with day to day racism (whether this first example is that or not i have no idea) can easily compare it to false assumptions of language, background, etc. which, imho is far different than being denied a job, being the victim of discriminatory remarks or violence due to something you can't change (i.e, race, language/accent, culture, etc)

i think that the minute someone experiences racism in this sense you can see the difference between being able to change clothing, stay out of the sun etc etc etc and when negative/biased/racist comments are said regardless.
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  #84  
Old 16.07.2015, 12:40
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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This last weekend, in a little german village, I had a strange lady come up to me and comment on my dark skin (olive skin, tans quickly to very dark brown) - and warn me against the "dangers of the sun".

I laughed and told her I`m from South Africa and am used to the sun, plus at my advanced age and the amount of sun I`ve been in, I should actually already be dead, but am very much alive and still healthy, thank you for your concern.

"OOOOhhh ...realy..... Africa?!!! Well us white people have to be careful of the sun".

Was she being racist? Was I included in the "us"? Or was she inferring that I was of another race?

Should I be concerned about what race people assume I am?
She probably was first warning about over doing the tanning, and maybe when she heard Africa assumed that some of your colour was genetic rather than sun induced and therefore lowered your risk of skin cancer.
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  #85  
Old 16.07.2015, 16:44
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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People constantly try to speak Russian to me (yeah, I get it - they are tryin' to be nice), whaaaambulaaance

I've also had Northern German thrown at me and Swedish.
I get Spanish, Italian, Greek etc. I have dark hair and eyes, my skin is really pale in winter but goes dark easily. I've lost count already of the number of times people have commented on my skin colour this summer, "dark/dunkel", brown and someone said chocolate!!!
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  #86  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:19
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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It's an Indian greeting used mostly by Hindus.

We are neither of those and to assume we are just because we have traditional clothes on and are brown is ignorant.
I'm a bit late to the discussion but I'd love to tell you the story of German Hannah, the only white foreigner on the housing estate I grew up on. We weren't so kind as the people trying to make a friendly greeting to you. As children we were horrible and ignorant and said some really wicked stuff.

She was Austrian, she didn't get angry or insulted or subject us to a lecture on our ignorance. She showed us an atlas, she explained how many countries spoke a German language in Europe, most of all she helped diffuse some of the subliminal prejudice we'd picked up through our environment.

I would question your own reasons for being insulted, before accusing anyone of ignorance.
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  #87  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:32
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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I'm a bit late to the discussion but I'd love to tell you the story of German Hannah, the only white foreigner on the housing estate I grew up on. We weren't so kind as the people trying to make a friendly greeting to you. As children we were horrible and ignorant and said some really wicked stuff.

She was Austrian, she didn't get angry or insulted or subject us to a lecture on our ignorance. She showed us an atlas, she explained how many countries spoke a German language in Europe, most of all she helped diffuse some of the subliminal prejudice we'd picked up through our environment.

I would question your own reasons for being insulted, before accusing anyone of ignorance.
Who was insulted? How do you typically greet people you don't know here in Switzerland? Does it change depending on how people look? Do you regularly bound up to black people in Switzerland with "wa'agwan bredrin - everytin cris wit ya?". Or would you assume they're Swiss and simply say Gruezi like you would to everyone else?
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  #88  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:41
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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Who was insulted? How do you typically greet people you don't know here in Switzerland? Does it change depending on how people look? Do you regularly bound up to black people in Switzerland with "wa'agwan bredrin - everytin cris wit ya?". Or would you assume they're Swiss and simply say Gruezi like you would to everyone else?
I see your point. my question was "why do you get so angry"?
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  #89  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:46
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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I see your point. my question was "why do you get so angry"?
it's a tough one to understand so I'll say it again. I have been neither insulted nor angry and as far as I know, neither have my wife or mother. Now seriously - how do you greet black people in Switzerland? Do you do this


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  #90  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:47
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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Where have I been angry in this thread?
Directness and honesty can come across as angry or brusque when you don't use enough emoticons.
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  #91  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:51
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

We once had a young American in our office on an internship.

He was only here for some months and so never got to learn German.

The thing was, he had a very German name. Both his surname and first name sounded ultra German.

So when people phoned him, they expected him to understand German and sometimes acted incredulously when he didn't. How dare somebody with a name like that not speak fluent German.

But when they met him face to face, they changed their mind and switched to English.

He was black.
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  #92  
Old 16.07.2015, 17:53
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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My crappy day started early ... cause I was wearing what they thought was a punjabi dress
can you please link me the youtube video because I am not in the mood to read a fat paragraph complaint.
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  #93  
Old 16.07.2015, 18:18
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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The driver casually waved his hand pointing outside and then said to me in german "Sie müssen aussteigen und...oh Sie haben ein kinderwagen ok Ich kann dass schon machen" (my written german isnt good so minus the grammatical mistakes that is what he said).
did the others in your story also address you with the formal "Sie"? if so, you have nothing to worry about, local custom requires the Swiss to use "du" when making racist statements. and you know the Swiss never break the rules.

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  #94  
Old 16.07.2015, 18:18
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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Because she doesn't live in Canada or one of the green states.

Tom

Tom! I Know that you Know ,temperature here in Canada can trop 30 degree C within hours some time.
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  #95  
Old 16.07.2015, 18:20
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

I'm just hoping there is no need of proof. Is this the end of subjective feeling without proof. I'm dead.
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  #96  
Old 16.07.2015, 18:48
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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"OOOOhhh ...realy..... Africa?!!! Well us white people have to be careful of the sun".

Was she being racist?
No, perfectly correct way in German to link the objective shade of colour to the people you are talking about. For a German especially of older age, white means super-dupper-pale. Fact is, you are not super-dupper-pale, so she was talking about the objectively less pigmented skin that reacts differently to the sun than naturally more pigmented ones.
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Old 16.07.2015, 18:49
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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I grew up in as one of the only non-white in a fairly white-bred town, and really felt as an outsider and treated differently, I'm still at a lost of words when the only thing here people at work can talk about is how dark my skin is, or just the other day "Your skin is so dark, we should call you the Tunisian from now on!" Is it racism? Probably not, they're just ...
Well, if you are red-headed and called a ginger with no soul, not racist either, is it? Its only mean childishness.

Just got back from a place where all these white people were laying (topless) trying to get tanned. I think people look healthier darker. Even better without tanlines.

Racism happens when someone tries to define who you are, by what race you appear to belong belong to, without actually knowing you. But this is the kicker; it only has any effect when you agree to it.. Otherwise, it is, or can be quite benign, and is more damaging to the racist than the object of their racism. So no need to make a big deal of it, and peace up.
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  #98  
Old 16.07.2015, 18:56
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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Racism happens when someone tries to define who you are, by what race you appear to belong belong to, without actually knowing you. But this is the kicker; it only has any effect when you agree to it.. Otherwise, it is, or can be quite benign, and is more damaging to the racist than the object of their racism. So no need to make a big deal of it, and peace up.
Race doesn't exist mate. Racism means any prejudice against any cohort including those who might speak the same language, share the same culture etc.
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Old 16.07.2015, 19:27
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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Race doesn't exist mate. Racism means any prejudice against any cohort including those who might speak the same language, share the same culture etc.
So true, that's why a lot of people get upset when they just want to say hello.
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Old 16.07.2015, 20:24
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Re: A crappy day and possible racism

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So true, that's why a lot of people get upset when they just want to say hello.
I'd like to meet the person who gets upset when greeted with Namaste - after all, people are just trying to be nice. But they're also ignorant and probably just a little racist. No SVP rallies for them of course but why would you change language based on how someone looks unless to you, Swiss means white person in jeans?
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