I was at a community event once and basically the only white girl in the group…at least that is how I was referred to by some of the ladies there.
I took no offense. The environment was loving, warm, and accepting. I observed a lot of things.
The interactions were different than if I was hanging out in a group of all white women.
The way they spoke to one another, some of the terminology –
I viewed these as perhaps cultural differences, which I have never had a problem with.
To act like we are all the same is ridiculous. We have differences.
But we are all humanly the same, not one is better than another.
Same thing when I am in a group of men. As the “token woman” as I have been referred to.
Again, no offense. Different conversations than I would have than if I were with all women.
Cultural? No more gender-specific differences. Doesn’t make one better than another, but we are silly if we think we act the same.
I remember from high school there were “interest groups.”
Band, drama, student council, athletes (jocks), partiers, nerds…they all acted different in these different groups.
I have spent time in a group of Haitian people who are at a clear place of true poverty.
I learned so much from that culture.
I found out you never say you are “crazy” – which I was used to saying with my kids – but not there, they do not joke about that. Lesson learned.
I have hung with low income, middle class and I have been at a table with multi-millionaires and even billionaires.
All different experiences, but at no time did I think any human had more value than another.
We need to give people a little more grace especially if they do not know things about our culture or our social ways.
I remember trying to shake hands with a man that in his Jewish culture that was unheard of.
He gave me grace.
I remember hugging a woman only to have another woman accuse me of flirting with her girlfriend – um, what?
She gave me grace.
I have offered meat to a vegan, and a margarita to a sober person – grace.
I have many instances in my life where I just didn’t know…still don’t.
With recent increased awareness on racial difference and most assuredly political differences I looked up the U.S. Census to see what they recognize as different ethnic groups.
Here is what I found for categories:
American Indian/Native American/Alaskan Natives
Asian/Indo-American and Pacific Islanders: Hawaiian, Figi, Samoan and a couple others
White: German, Jewish, Arab-Americans, European decent
If you have other findings I would love to see them in the comments.
I went further to try to discover what are we to call these groups of people?
That is where things got very interesting.
There are terms that are only acceptable within ones category…
*I will use a silly example for this: A blonde joke is much more accepted in a group of blondes if a blonde is telling it.
If we are referring to an ethnic group of people in discussion, what is acceptable to call them?
I asked a few of my friends who are Asian. You must understand that sometimes this ethnic group is lumped into one.
However, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indian and so many more – are all very different cultures,
and there is a lot of history between many of their countries. Many of them have a lot of pain and hurt in their history.
I found a video clip that dialogues about using the terms Black, African American, or people of color when referring to Black Americans.
The answer is still mixed depending on the group you hang with and what they want to be called.
Here is the video if you want to watch..
Just a viewpoint – I am not stating as fact or that this is how it is for everyone.
I found it helpful as a White, Lebanese, French, Norwegian-American Woman.