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  1. Relationships and Race

    1288667531
    Mr Monster [sign in to see picture]
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    • Joined: 15 Sep 2010

    I work in a very segregated area, which has had a large influx of migrant workers, first British from London in the 60s and more recently from Portugal, Poland and eastern Europe. On my shift British workers are outnumbered 6:1 by mostly Polish migrants, and the two communities are pretty separate. I think a lot of it is language - people like to chat in their first language, so it's hard to integrate someone who doesn't speak it as well - but there are cultural differences that tend to cause misunderstandings. A different sense of humour, for a start!

    I have to say, most of the people I've ever worked with around here have been moderately racist as a matter of course, with some far worse. It's caused me problems, because I find it hard to let things like that slide by, and I find it even harder to work alongside bigots, homophobes, Islamophobes, racists, and to be frank one Latvian I can only describe as a neo-Nazi.

    I've had to quit jobs because of this.

    While I tend to see people as individuals, I would be very wary of forming a relationship with someone from a vastly different cultural background, because like it or not we make hundreds of tiny assumptions about our partners based on our own life experiences. That said, if you get on together then it obviously works well enough that those things aren't a major issue.

    I think that part of the problem in the US is that, while black and white people are seen as "equal", they are still seen as different. When they stop being classified as "black" and "white" then you might get some real equality . . .

    1288667665
    chipNroll [sign in to see picture]
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    I've dated someone middle class (when I'm definitely not) and whilst it wasn't a dealbreaker I have to admit I do feel more comfortable dating 'my own' and found that type of relationship to go smoother. So I guess I can empathise with these women to a certain degree. But it's just like saying I prefer men who like the same music as me- it gives us lots to talk about and means we can go to lots of gigs together; yet the majority I've dated had completely different tastes and I enjoyed learning from them.

    1288668653

    [suspended user]

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    i must admit too prefer a woman with a darker complection (sorry if that offends) then a complete white skinned(and that too) one nothing at all do with culture it just look's more healthier .

    1288668936
    chipNroll [sign in to see picture]
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    lickmadick wrote:

    i must admit too prefer a woman with a darker complection (sorry if that offends) then a complete white skinned(and that too) one nothing at all do with culture it just look's more healthier .

    Fair enough on your preferences. But I'm as white as it gets and very healthy, jus sayin'.

    1288669613

    [suspended user]

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    hey yeah i bet you are, but sometimes a bit of colour in the skin is nice my wife has a suntan at the moment and looks pretty healthy too .When she goes white again she does look a bit pale and lifeless nothing personal just a personal observation of my wife i think i've gone off the topic slightly sorry.If she was any colour i would still love her no matter what

    1288692639
    Malteser81 [sign in to see picture]
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    Being tanned brings a higher risk of skin cancer though so technically isnt "healthier" at all =S. Plus tanning is a personal choice rather than a skin colour you are born with.... I am as pasty white as you can get though definatly not as healthy as I should be but thats due to being over weight lol.

    1288698601
    SEXYGET 69 [sign in to see picture]
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    The worst experience of racism as a mixed couple we encountered was when we were on holiday in Barbados a few years ago. A lot of the staff working at the hotel where we stayed were basically ignoring my OH. I was not ignored and was waited on hand and foot. We ended up getting friendly with one of the girls who worked there and she invited us to her sons 5th birthday party so we accepted. She lived in what we would class as a poverty stricken area. Her home wasn't much at all but my god it was pristene, spotless wasn't the word! We had a lovely time there and met proper Barbadians. The kids were all petrified of me because I was white which the adults including me found hilarious! We danced, drank rum and they had me singing bloody beatles songs all night on a little karaoke system they had. So when it had all died down late on my OH asked why was she being ignored? It was because she was with a white guy. That was it. She told us that there was a name for for women who dated white men and it was basically their version of a slag or slut. Malacca (not sure of spelling). We've been to a few places in the Caribbean and only experienced this in Barbados. SG x

    1288712216
    KittyPurry [sign in to see picture]
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    I notice skin colour. I notice it in the EXACT sme way I notice hair colour, eye colour, sex, height etc. ... I find it quite strange when people say they don't notice it, I don't really understand how you can fail to nor do I really understand what's wrong with doing so!

    I find the concept of thinking about or treating people differently because of their skin colour completely biazrre. I genuinely don't understand what the hell melanin concentration has to do with anything!

    There are certain aspects of ALL cultures (including Westen) that I don't like so I try not to judge any culture as a whole too harshly. I dislike violence and inequality but I think you can find examples of these in most (if not all) cultures and it's is often the work of extreme individuals that don't represent a cultural norm.

    Maybe I'm just a mad, peace-loving, communist hippy but equality is the only thing makes any kind of sense to me!

    xxKPxx

    1288715540
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    KittyPurry wrote:

    I notice skin colour. I notice it in the EXACT sme way I notice hair colour, eye colour, sex, height etc. ... I find it quite strange when people say they don't notice it, I don't really understand how you can fail to nor do I really understand what's wrong with doing so!

    That's a good point....maybe I'm just oblivious, but I generally don't notice - there have been occasions when people have said they're mixed race from one parent and I've genuinely been suprise...I guess it just never crosses my mind to notice it as "difference" just like I don't really actively notice eye or hair colour unless it's particularly "different" or striking in one way or another - I couldn't tell you what colour eyes my best friends have. I could make an educated guess, but I've never noticed.

    Adx

    1288717348
    KittyPurry [sign in to see picture]
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    Alicia D'amore wrote:

    KittyPurry wrote:

    I notice skin colour. I notice it in the EXACT sme way I notice hair colour, eye colour, sex, height etc. ... I find it quite strange when people say they don't notice it, I don't really understand how you can fail to nor do I really understand what's wrong with doing so!

    That's a good point....maybe I'm just oblivious, but I generally don't notice - there have been occasions when people have said they're mixed race from one parent and I've genuinely been suprise...I guess it just never crosses my mind to notice it as "difference" just like I don't really actively notice eye or hair colour unless it's particularly "different" or striking in one way or another - I couldn't tell you what colour eyes my best friends have. I could make an educated guess, but I've never noticed.

    Adx

    I guess if you don't notice stuff like hair colour etc. it would make sense not to notice skin colour either, tis just how you percieve the world. I just remember being at school and my friends saying it was racist to even notice....I didn't understand why at all. I don't think or feel any differently about someone because of their skin colour but I can see what colour it is whether that's black or white or asian or anything in between!

    If nine blondes and a brunette lined up I might notice the

    Alicia D'amore wrote:

    KittyPurry wrote:

    I notice skin colour. I notice it in the EXACT sme way I notice hair colour, eye colour, sex, height etc. ... I find it quite strange when people say they don't notice it, I don't really understand how you can fail to nor do I really understand what's wrong with doing so!

    That's a good point....maybe I'm just oblivious, but I generally don't notice - there have been occasions when people have said they're mixed race from one parent and I've genuinely been suprise...I guess it just never crosses my mind to notice it as "difference" just like I don't really actively notice eye or hair colour unless it's particularly "different" or striking in one way or another - I couldn't tell you what colour eyes my best friends have. I could make an educated guess, but I've never noticed.

    Adx

    I guess if you don't notice stuff like hair colour etc. it would make sense not to notice skin colour either, tis just how you percieve the world. I just remember being at school and my friends saying it was racist to even notice....I didn't and don't understand why at all. I don't think or feel any differently about someone because of their skin colour but I can see what colour it is whether it's black or white or asian or anything in between!

    I am very pale and people often point that out to me but I don't think it's racist, just an observation!

    xxKPxx

    1288717378
    KittyPurry [sign in to see picture]
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    wtf!? lol...sorry for the random posting fail there!

    xxKPxx

    1288718456
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    • Joined: 2 Feb 2008

    KittyPurry wrote:

    Alicia D'amore wrote:

    KittyPurry wrote:

    I notice skin colour. I notice it in the EXACT sme way I notice hair colour, eye colour, sex, height etc. ... I find it quite strange when people say they don't notice it, I don't really understand how you can fail to nor do I really understand what's wrong with doing so!

    That's a good point....maybe I'm just oblivious, but I generally don't notice - there have been occasions when people have said they're mixed race from one parent and I've genuinely been suprise...I guess it just never crosses my mind to notice it as "difference" just like I don't really actively notice eye or hair colour unless it's particularly "different" or striking in one way or another - I couldn't tell you what colour eyes my best friends have. I could make an educated guess, but I've never noticed.

    Adx

    I guess if you don't notice stuff like hair colour etc. it would make sense not to notice skin colour either, tis just how you percieve the world. I just remember being at school and my friends saying it was racist to even notice....I didn't and don't understand why at all. I don't think or feel any differently about someone because of their skin colour but I can see what colour it is whether it's black or white or asian or anything in between!

    I am very pale and people often point that out to me but I don't think it's racist, just an observation!

    xxKPxx

    No I don't think it's racist to notice!

    There are circumstances where I do notice, as with everything I guess it's just something I don't conciously register.

    I do however think that if people point out "obvious" things, it's not necessarily racist, but it can be insensitive - like the people who drive me mad by saying things like "you're very thin" - it's like there's one rule for one and not for the other but it's because I'm aware that people will often be insecure over the thing about them that's most obvious because we don't like to be different (as a society, me personally, I love being different :P) so I tend to avoid pointing out obvious things to people I don't know - if they're a very close friend and there's something that makes me concerned for them then that's different of course (e.g. I have an excessive patch of pigment on my arm, had it for years, but close friends will sometimes mention that I should get it checked by a doctor - which is a fair comment, excessive pigment is more likely to become cancerous.

    Adx

    1288718511
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    As in excessive pigment in one location btw! As Malt said - "more" pigment in general is fine, just natural human variation, but in patches it's something to keep an eye on. Same as moles are something to keep an eye on.

    Adx

    1288720415
    KittyPurry [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm not conciously wandering around making mental notes on peoples various physical characteristics or anything but I do know roughly what they are without having to look at a photo. Maybe it's because I don't have a visual memory, I have a descriptive one - brains are so strange!

    I remember the conversation at school started because one girl claimed not to have noticed that a Zimbabwean girl was black but when I asked if she knew I was white she said yes...I just found it very odd!

    This all said...I was 18 when I realised that Tina Turner was black. not quite sure how I managed to miss it!

    xxKPxx

    1288721033
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    chipNroll wrote:

    I've dated someone middle class (when I'm definitely not) and whilst it wasn't a dealbreaker I have to admit I do feel more comfortable dating 'my own' and found that type of relationship to go smoother. So I guess I can empathise with these women to a certain degree. But it's just like saying I prefer men who like the same music as me- it gives us lots to talk about and means we can go to lots of gigs together; yet the majority I've dated had completely different tastes and I enjoyed learning from them.

    'Class' is an interesting one. I'm not really a big believer in the class system, I don't think it really exists anymore, or if it does the issue is negligible. (I mean in lifestyle, not opportunities etc)

    Many working class jobs now pay more than middle class jobs and most people own pretty much the same stuff and live similar lives, the major difference I think seems to be outlook. I've noticed the middle classes do seem more pushier towards uni etc and place more value on career.

    I find it fairly easy to fit in with Ad's family although I remember going on an over night stay with some family friends and they were the type who bred their own pigs, drank port and ate cheese after meals, owned an Arga etc... I did feel a little odd then, mainly because I seemed to be the only one actively aware it's a big dick waving contest and about keeping up with the Jones'. But likewise, although much improved, I find my mother's disregard for money worrying at times and this care free attitude to money seems to be something the working classes are more susceptible to (although I'm taught mummy well now).

    I guess because I've never really thought a strict class system is in place it's never really bothered me. I quite like having my bit of 'posh' but like the race issue it generally comes down to being a twat or not being a twat. I've known little robbing working class bastards but also arrogant 'Well, my dad is a doctor so could own your dad' little fuckwids so it's not an issue of class.

    I am of course excluding the 'underclass' when typing here. They very much exist but not within the traditional class structure.

    1288721361
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    SEXYGET 69 wrote:

    The worst experience of racism as a mixed couple we encountered was when we were on holiday in Barbados a few years ago. A lot of the staff working at the hotel where we stayed were basically ignoring my OH. I was not ignored and was waited on hand and foot. We ended up getting friendly with one of the girls who worked there and she invited us to her sons 5th birthday party so we accepted. She lived in what we would class as a poverty stricken area. Her home wasn't much at all but my god it was pristene, spotless wasn't the word! We had a lovely time there and met proper Barbadians. The kids were all petrified of me because I was white which the adults including me found hilarious! We danced, drank rum and they had me singing bloody beatles songs all night on a little karaoke system they had. So when it had all died down late on my OH asked why was she being ignored? It was because she was with a white guy. That was it. She told us that there was a name for for women who dated white men and it was basically their version of a slag or slut. Malacca (not sure of spelling). We've been to a few places in the Caribbean and only experienced this in Barbados. SG x

    Obviosuly I can't understand racism full stop, but what really confuses me is the double standard. Just why is a women dating another ethnicity seen as slutty or traitorous but if done by a fella then bettering yourself, branching out etc...

    I mean this with the greatest of respect and it's not my view but I'd expect a white fella would be seen as a good 'catch' in somewhere so poverty stricken, a chance to climb the social ladder.

    Seriously, why do other people give a shite about who you love/fuck? I couldn't give two (or one) shites about who my friends get with aslong as their decent people.

    1288721773
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    KittyPurry wrote:

    I'm not conciously wandering around making mental notes on peoples various physical characteristics or anything but I do know roughly what they are without having to look at a photo. Maybe it's because I don't have a visual memory, I have a descriptive one - brains are so strange!

    I remember the conversation at school started because one girl claimed not to have noticed that a Zimbabwean girl was black but when I asked if she knew I was white she said yes...I just found it very odd!

    This all said...I was 18 when I realised that Tina Turner was black. not quite sure how I managed to miss it!

    xxKPxx

    I think a distinction exists between noticing and 'seeing but never thinking about it'.

    I'd say noticing is being actively aware of it when you meet someone, I notice languages/accents and names because I'm generally good at placing them rather than race.

    I'd say seeing but never thinking about is how I perceive (I'm sure many people probably you too) someone but am not aware, so if asked directly I could tell you their ethnicity but before that point it's not been a relevant factor in any judgement.

    1288721900
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    Oh I didn't mean you do go pointing things out btw I was talking about the people who comment on your paleness!

    Adx

    1288721954
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    WandA wrote:

    I think a distinction exists between noticing and 'seeing but never thinking about it'.

    I'd say noticing is being actively aware of it when you meet someone, I notice languages/accents and names because I'm generally good at placing them rather than race.

    I'd say seeing but never thinking about is how I perceive (I'm sure many people probably you too) someone but am not aware, so if asked directly I could tell you their ethnicity but before that point it's not been a relevant factor in any judgement.

    You put it so much better than I ever could!

    Adx

    1288722638
    KittyPurry [sign in to see picture]
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    WandA wrote:

    KittyPurry wrote:

    I'm not conciously wandering around making mental notes on peoples various physical characteristics or anything but I do know roughly what they are without having to look at a photo. Maybe it's because I don't have a visual memory, I have a descriptive one - brains are so strange!

    I remember the conversation at school started because one girl claimed not to have noticed that a Zimbabwean girl was black but when I asked if she knew I was white she said yes...I just found it very odd!

    This all said...I was 18 when I realised that Tina Turner was black. not quite sure how I managed to miss it!

    xxKPxx

    I think a distinction exists between noticing and 'seeing but never thinking about it'.

    I'd say noticing is being actively aware of it when you meet someone, I notice languages/accents and names because I'm generally good at placing them rather than race.

    I'd say seeing but never thinking about is how I perceive (I'm sure many people probably you too) someone but am not aware, so if asked directly I could tell you their ethnicity but before that point it's not been a relevant factor in any judgement.

    That's exactly it! I see people's colour because it's optical input and it does get registered somewhere in my brain because I recognise people when I see them again, could describe them and notice if something changes e.g. if someone gets a tan on holiday. I guess that's what I mean by noticing - the fact that my brain has stored the information! Bloody words confuse me lol!

    xxKPxx

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