Did you grow up in a home where there was racism?

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Posted 12/3/2012 by janet r in NSBR Board
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janet r

PeaNut 22,327
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:02:54 PM
I did.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:03:38 PM
yep, but the important thing is that my dd isn't.

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PeaNut 104,551
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:05:37 PM
some of my family. Yes.
I remember the day an uncle used the N word in front of my smallish kids. I blurted out "HEY!" loudly in front of everyone and the whole room turned and looked at me.
It was just a knee jerk reaction. He kind of fumbled over himself after that.


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Bad Wolf

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:08:46 PM
Racism, no, but I was brought up to hate Michigan Fans.

sunny 5

PeaNut 472,024
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:09:15 PM
no. my dad had friends and workmates of all ethnicities. he was the first on the block to welcome a black family when they were the first to move to our neighborhood.

he grew up in a city and had friends of all races...
my mom was open to everyone, and her dad was an inner city vice principal.


PeaNut 69,597
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:10:50 PM
No. Not even a little bit. I one time watched my mom practically bring a grown man to tears for telling a racist joke in our home. She was *all* over that.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:11:13 PM
Yes once in awhile my parents would make comments. Sterotypical judgements passed down from the generations before. I don't really understand it either because they have friends of all races.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:12:27 PM
my father is racist-my mom is not but my parents divorced when I was 10


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:12:29 PM
Yes, but I'm breaking the cycle with my kids.


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PeaNut 55,230
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:15:48 PM
Sadly yes. Both of my parents were racists. Both of them even voted for George Wallace in 1968.

I'd like to think that before my mother passed away, she mellowed a bit in that regard, but it was still there just under the surface.

My Dad, on the other hand has tempered his views quite a bit which I give credit to my step monster for having a positive influence on him in that regard.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:20:20 PM
I'm really sad that there's a problem with this with my in-laws. Luckily, my husband isn't at all -- but I've had to deal with some stuff from his father.

It makes me concerned for what they might say around my kids (when I have kids some day)

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:21:39 PM

Racism, no, but I was brought up to hate Michigan Fans


But, DH's family doesn't think they are racist. They think they are "stating facts" which no one should be upset about.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:22:52 PM
Yup. Growing up, I was determined the cycle would stop with me. Happily it did, and that is how I am raising my dd.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:23:11 PM
Very much so.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:24:40 PM
I did not. But, I have noticed that as my mother ages, she makes inappropriate remarks about other races. It's so unlike her. She's fine physically and mentally, but that slip of the tongue of hers in that regard has me a tad worried about her.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:27:04 PM
Oh sure. My dad was very old school. I mean, he wasn't hateful or angry, it was just an ingrained part of his era. (He was born in 1934.)

Both of my Grammas had similar viewpoints. Again, nothing angry or hateful. Just sort of a "that's the way it is" viewpoint.

They never called names or used the "N" word. They were just products of their time.

When my parents got divorced, my mom's new boyfriend (long term significant other) was a black man, Richard. I'm sure that always fried my dad a little. Heh.

When my dad died, we called the funeral home to come get his body. The owner and his nephew came. The owner was probably 75 himself and couldn't carry his end of the stretcher (carrying my dad's body) down the three flights of stairs.

Richard was there.

He carried my dad down the stairs.

I always hated Richard, not because he was black, because he solidified the fact that my parents would never get back together.

But the day he carried my dad, was the day I let go of all that and really respected him. I'm sure he didn't like my dad one bit, but he offered to carry his body down those three flights.

That really said something to me.

Kerri W
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:27:12 PM


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:30:34 PM
Yep. My dad, who is a die-hard Democrat refused to vote for Obama both times. And you can't even image what happened when I dated a Muslim kid for like a week. And he was Yugoslavian and white, but a Muslim. tsk tsk. I understand it's the culture of our home country, but it's still not ok.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:30:45 PM
Not really. Not my mom or dad. My great grandmother must have been because when she was visiting once I remember my sister couldn't have her friend over who happened to be black. I never knew that about her and it didn't really come up again. It wasn't something that she ever talked about but guess my parents knew. I think it was more of a generation thing.. I don't know.. It doesn't excuse it but it was the way back then...

Edited to add.. my mother in law has used the N word in front of me and my kids and it happened once and never again since. I was SO upset I took my kids out of the house (we were out of state at their house). It's never been brought up again and I pray that she doesn't say stuff in front of them now when I am not around. My dh grew up with this and still has this thing. I know it is racist but then on the other hand he has a ton of Hispanic and black friends (Mostly work buddies). So I don't understand how on one hand sometimes he will say something and then on the total opposite side he says something different. It's just weird. But I keep a very close eye on it and if anything is said in front of the kids I go commando on it.

It's all just nonsense anyway!

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:30:52 PM
No. We lived all over the world and were taught to be accepting of everyone, regardless of race, color, or creed. I don't think I encountered prejudice until I was in my 20s. I was horrified, first that someone told a racist joke, and second that everyone around me laughed.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:31:44 PM
No, but my best friend's dad was extremely racist and I was exposed to it that way. I found it shocking and even confronted him about it as a fifth grader... as much as a fifth grader can, anyway.

Of course it didn't do anything but make him laugh. Sad.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:39:25 PM

yep, but the important thing is that my dd isn't.

Same here.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:41:14 PM
There was more classism than overt racism.


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PeaNut 235,775
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:41:44 PM
Sort of. My parents had friends of all races and religions, and no racial slurs were ever used in our home, however, I grew up knowing that it was not okay with my parents for me to date or marry outside my race. They would explain their views on interracial dating and marriage with one phrase..."It just makes life too hard". They both grew up in the Midwest in the fifties, so I'm sure their opinions were a product of that place and time.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:42:23 PM
This is weird: When I was growing up, in the '70s, my mom was always very inclusive, "everyone is equal," kind of in a hippie way and I NEVER heard her say or imply anything racist or prejudiced.

Then when I was in my 20s and dating my now-DH, who is Native American and almost always mistaken for being from Mexico, she started making little barbs. I still can't figure it out.

My best friend in 6th grade had a terribly racist mother -- she called Mexicans "beaners" and she said black people smelled different from white people. It was just awful to hear her talk.

My grandma is 86 and she was always inclusive and not prejudiced BUT she used the n-word for Brazil nuts and baby dolls of color. She says she doesn't mean anything by it, like it was "quaint" or something, but I made her stop.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:49:35 PM

janet r

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:51:12 PM

she used the n-word for Brazil nuts

Oh yeah. I remember that term.

B. Pea

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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:54:59 PM
My parents are racist in that "I can't possibly be racist because I have a black friend" sort of way. They try not to be overt but it really hit the fan when my sister dated someone who wasn't white.

They've got nothing on my grandfather though. I wasn't allowed to watch The Cosby Show when I visited as a kid because he didn't allow "them" in his home, even on tv.

I grew up in one of those tiny rural southern towns that are 99% white. Even if my family members weren't racist, there's little opportunity to teach kids to be open to diversity by example on a day to day basis. I'm really glad we are raising our kids in a more diverse and accepting area. (And obviously we have a different outlook on race than my parents and grandparents.)
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:59:45 PM
Yes my parents are racist! My sons best friends are Guatemalian (adopted) and from a wonderful family, my dad never says anything and knows they are great people but I wonder if someday my son dated the daughter or even married her what he would think. I am so very glad color and religion differences do not phase my son.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:11:51 PM
Not my direct home, but my grandmother would use racist terms. My mother has grown to be pretty racist, but was not when I was in her home.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:12:03 PM
No, thank goodness. My Dads family were poor Italian farm workers (lowest of the low) and my Mom's parents were poor cotton farmers that migrated to CA from TX right before WWII. While my Grandad was fighting in the South Pacific my Nana was working the shipyards in Oakland, CA. The white men did not like women working with them, and the only men who helped her and treated her fairly were the black men.

PEAceful Pea

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:13:06 PM
No, we lived on a commune for awhile (peace, love and understanding and all that jazz). Even after leaving, that was still my mom's philosophy.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:14:59 PM

My parents chose to send me to a very diverse high school at great expense. I realize that was in part to show me that there is a big diverse world out there.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:22:06 PM
Yes and they are still racist to this day. BUT it doesn't mean that they were horrible parents. It was how they were raised and what society taught them at the time.

I however am not racist, therefore my children did not grow up in a racist environment and society for the most part has become a melting pot and we teach our children to love all people reguardless or differences.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:29:42 PM
Yes , mostly my dad.

I try to remember that he was a different generation, raised WAY before the civil rights movement (he was in his late 30s by then) - so he was raised in a home with racism. He was better/more accepting than his parents. I am not excusing him but it does make me understand why he was that way. He wasn't an "extreme" racist but I did hear him use derogatory words on occasion (not always but sometimes, usually when angry). It isn't like he went around bashing other races all the time but we did know his feelings on the matter.

I think each generation has gotten better and better. Our parents were not as racist as their parents, we are better than our parents, our kids even better and their kids will be even better.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:32:04 PM
No, I didn't.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:43:35 PM
Yes. It wasn't overt, but it was definitely there. It was part of the culture as well.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:43:51 PM
Oh, yes. My father's last job before he retired had as part of its responsibilities "make sure there are no more blacks when you leave as there were when you got here." It wasn't written down, but it was most definitely spoken. He had no problem with that. He was born in 1919 and I attribute part of his racism to his era, but not all. I know part of it came from him commanding men in the Army. He came to truly believe that black people were slightly subhuman as compared to whites. It was the one of the very few things I ever got in my dad's face about, from a very early age, probably 3rd or 4th grade. For some reason, I never accepted it and went out of my way to give him a hard time about it. This was almost always a very bad idea when it came to my dad but he never punished me for doing that. I can still remember feeling so blown away that my incredibly intelligent, genius of a father couldn't see the truth.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:48:08 PM
Yes. I thought my dad more than my mom growing up. My mom used to call him Archie Bunker. I also think it was the era they grew up in; both my parents were older than most of my friends parents.

I've notice it a lot lately from my mom. Not using the N word, but she'll tell a story and comment on whether the person was black or Hispanic even when it has no bearing on the story.

She also hates President Obama even though she's a Democrat. I know it's because of his race.

I use it as a teachable moment for my kids (they are older teens now). I would never call my mom out because she would deny it to heaven and beyond and she would never admit it. It's more drama than I care to take on unfortunately. She's getting older and there's a whole other kettle of problems I have to deal with regarding her.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:54:37 PM
My parents were not racists, but I had uncles that were. It still makes me uncomfortable around them to this day...

Pennyring, what a touching story about Richard. It's that kind of respect that everyone needs...

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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:56:26 PM
No. They are/were very much against racism. They might not always be PC about everything, but I never heard either of them put down a group or use hurtful language. I was an adult before I heard most racial slurs. I had no idea people were so hateful.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:04:24 PM
Yes, kinda...

I grew up in the Netherlands. In 1975 the people from Suriname, until that time a colony, could come to the Netherlands or stay there. And the Netherlands had, until quite recently, the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao as part of the kingdom.

My father used the N word...I gave him heck for that as an adult. He grew up in a small town community with one coloured family and he has a small mind. And he was raised very strict catholic (not trying to offend anybody here). All the experience he had with other than not-Caucasian people made him believe those stupid stereotyped judgement as being lazy and so on.

I worked for a really big employer in Amsterdam. We had all the flavours there! Because he is the same with homosexuals and so on....
My mother just did not say anything out loud.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:10:19 PM
No, but my grandparents were. She told me after Pres. Obama was elected that the world was going to hell in a handbasket because he was black. She was of the old Mormon mindset that there was a curse that started with Cain after he killed his brother Abel and the curse was dark skin, and so on and so on. When my mom's friend was dating an AA man, my grandparents kept expressing their concern that he was nice, but he was black, and she was too good for that.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:15:25 PM

Then when I was in my 20s and dating my now-DH, who is Native American and almost always mistaken for being from Mexico, she started making little barbs. I still can't figure it out.

You know, I wonder of the parents that were not racist would say if we had brought home someone of a different race...Like yeah we have friends who are black or coworkers, but what if it happened directly to them, would they be so not racist??? I am including my own parents who never said a bad word about another race. Just wondering??? Nothing to stir the pot.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:18:54 PM
No, not at all.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:39:51 PM
No, thank god. I had a wonderful mother. I do have family members who express bigoted comments about gays and that is something I won't accept either. So I argue back if they say something in front of me and will not speak to bigoted family members. My mother taught me something: but for the grace of God go I. I am straight but to accept in form of racism or bigotry is just as bad as being the racist or bigot yourself.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:43:42 PM
No, but my in laws were - horribly. They couldn't seem to have a conversation without bringing their racist mind set into it. I spent as little time with them as humanly possible and was happy when they were gone.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:49:16 PM
No I wasn't at all. My MIL was very racist and I shut that down pretty quickly. She said something one day and I told her that if ANYONE spouted any type of racist comments around my kids, (and at the time I didn't even have any) that that would be the last time they would ever need to be bothered being around them. I'll never forget that. She said "you don't mean that." I said "hide and watch" and Tom said "oh yeah - she means it."

Now she was still the meanest MIL that ever walked but that one thing wasn't a problem with her. LOL


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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:50:44 PM
Not at all. My husband sure did though.

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PeaNut 235,294
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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:56:41 PM
Yes, but only towards the Asian (Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian) immigrants that were flooding into where we lived in California in the 70's and 80's. Many settled in our town and things changed as there was a clash of cultures. My hometown still has a lot of issues with racism and gang wars.

My step-dad at the time was a Vietnam vet and worked in property management. He was resentful that so many were paying for their homes with government checks. After they moved out our family helped clean up the homes for rent. Some homes they tore up the carpet and cement to grow crops in the rooms. I also remember a woman pulling a wad of cash out of her underwear to pay.

He was an a-hole in general but I can slightly understand his hatred after all he went through in Vietnam. Luckily I went to school with many of the kids and saw a different perspective... New immigrants eager to learn.
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