Women in Black & White - Results Are In!

In late 2006, two mothers -- one black and one white, the white one being me -- decided to explore the interdependency of black and white women in the United States.

The resulting Women in Black and White national report explores how life, love, work, motherhood, money, sex, religion and relationships differ for black and white American women. The survey grew out of a series of conversations between me and another writer and businesswoman, Paula Penn-Nabrit, who lives in Westerville, Ohio, with her husband and three sons.

It is important to emphasize that this survey was not random, or scientific in any traditional sense. It was not a Washington Post-Newsweek poll or endorsed by the Washington Post or Newsweek. All answers were self-reported via Internet survey, and Paula and I conducted the analysis afterwards, leaving open the possibility of unconscious bias. Many questions were intentionally provocative to spur discussion and ongoing thought by respondents.

A total of 1,010 women responded within 24 hours, including many of you. Sixty-five percent were white and 27 percent black; the remaining 8 percent were multicultural or represented other ethnicities. Respondents were more economically secure than the national average, with more than 80 percent reporting annual household incomes above $50,000. Thirty-three percent of black women and 54 percent of white women reported annual household incomes above $100,000. Nearly a quarter, more than 260 women, added personal comments, in addition to answering more than 100 questions via Internet survey, showing how strongly they felt about the subject.

"After participating in your survey I realize how fortunate I am to have friends of all different races, religions and sexual orientations. I was raised in a home where character was always more important than color. I had some relatives who told me that as I got older my white friends wouldn't be my friends. They were wrong. It's been almost 30 years and we are still very close and they were at my wedding. I think all women, regardless of race, have the same hopes and dreams. To be loved, to be surrounded by close friends and loved ones. To be safe. To be happy. To be healthy. To be respected."

More than 90 percent of black and white women who responded reported that racism remains a prevalent force in U.S. society. Nearly everyone reported being interested in hearing others' views on race.

"Thanks for creating this survey and the opportunity to respond. I hope this survey leads to more open discussions between black and white women. I have never had friendships with white women -- not as a child or as an adult. Most of my close friends are black. I believe that my lack of friendships with white women affects my perception of them."

Black respondents to our questionnaire report being far more conscious of race's impact on their and their children's, lives. Fifty-six percent report feeling marginalized due to their race versus five percent of white respondents, who feel that gender is the more defining factor. More black mothers worry (14 percent vs. 1.5 percent of white moms) about their daughters being viewed as sexually available because of their race and 28 percent worry about their sons' interactions with police (vs. 4.5 percent of white mothers).

"I'm glad to see someone conducting research on this issue. Black women and white women often live in two different worlds. Unfortunately, it seems that black women are more aware of these difference and oftentimes white women are oblivious. It is a fact that white women benefited more from the civil rights movement than any other race. But in the workplace white women in positions of authority rarely acknowledge affirmative action or equal opportunity, with the exception of mentoring other women who look like them. Further, white women are oblivious to the fact that the increasing numbers of black men marrying white women is compounding the existing problem of the lack of available black men for black women to marry. I am all for interracial relationships, but from a sociological perspective, the implications are much more severe in the black community. Overall, the white woman is not the enemy, but oftentimes she is oblivious to the struggles of her black sisters."

Although white respondents live in households with higher annual incomes, black respondents have a higher percentage of checking (95 percent) and savings (90 percent) accounts solely in their names vs. a respective 83 percent and 80 percent of white women, making black respondents more financially independent in certain regards. A higher percent of black women surveyed support their extended families (46 percent) and charities (74 percent) vs. a respective 30 percent and 65 percent of white women.

"It's strange, but your questions made me realize how little diversity I have experienced during my entire life. Yet, at the same time, I feel that I yearn for the discussions between women of different races. I want to learn more; I want to understand more. I'd love to have a more rich circle of friends. I look forward to reading the results of your study."

Among black survey-takers, working motherhood is an accepted necessity, with 90 percent of mothers working outside the home versus 78 percent of white women; stay-at-home motherhood (and its accompanying frustrations and societal angst) are more common among white women. Thirty-four percent of black women expect their children to attend graduate/professional schools compared with 22 percent of white women.

"I'd be interested to see whether, in the black community, there is a contingent similar to that in the white community of SAHMs looking down on working women or criticizing them for being employed while their children are young. In my experience, this is almost exclusively a white middle-class, upper class phenomenon."

There were many additional findings, which you can see at Women in Black and White. Clearly, more quantitative and qualitative research is needed, conducted discretely by race, to yield more robust findings than current data allows, and black women's issues need to be separated from black men's issues. Paula and I would like to hear further dialogue and advocacy by black and white women, working jointly and separately. So please share your thoughts!

I'm sure you would anyway...

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 6, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Research
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First!

Posted by: Mpls Mama | June 6, 2007 12:47 AM

"...the increasing numbers of black men marrying white women is compounding the existing problem of the lack of available black men for black women to marry."

Why do many black women feel as though they need to limit themselves to black men when it comes to marriage? Last I looked, this was 2007. We're two generations on from Loving v. Virginia -- shouldn't this be a non-issue by now?

"I am all for interracial relationships..." -- but for everyone else, is the unstated ending. Nice sentiment, but it rings hollow.

Posted by: Transplanted Buckeye in SoCal | June 6, 2007 12:59 AM

Third!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:19 AM

"increasing numbers of black men marrying white women is compounding the existing problem of the lack of available black men for black women to marry."

Oh, yes, THAT'S the problem. It has nothing to do with the fact most black women have children out of wedlock, or don't know how to deal with life without massive amounts of drama, or the fact that nearly 80% of black women are severly obese.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:49 AM

Nice to see our Venomous Troll has already shown up with their usual insulting, factless drivel.

Posted by: John L | June 6, 2007 7:03 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/11/AR2007041101149.html

Four out of five equals 80%

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:13 AM

self reported surveys don't mean much folks. These are interesting results, but it's really not a survey, just stories from people.

Posted by: experienced mom | June 6, 2007 7:16 AM

I hate surveys like this because they don't reflect how my friends and I feel. WE date interracially, WE exercise, WE are more white than many white women we know.

I don't ascribe to anything here. I don't have any children, I work, I have an investment portfolio, etc.

So sick of stereotypes.

Posted by: ChickieBaby | June 6, 2007 7:19 AM

In social sciences it appears that the plural of anecdote is 'data'.

It would be challenging to find a more skewed sample than on-line, self-reported answers to fairly broad, open-ended questions.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:28 AM

And/or more people who just have an ax to grind -- they're the ones who are more likely to answer the survey, to write comments, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:39 AM

Best example of how skewed data is:

721 identified as Democrats
78 identified as Republicans

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:44 AM

"Culture", "race", and "ethnicity" are not synonyms. I suspect that what Ms. Steiner means is that the remainder of the sample were "multiracial".

Posted by: A writer should own a dictionary | June 6, 2007 7:44 AM

anon @7:13,

From your article: "Nearly four in five black women in the United States are overweight or obese."

Since "overweight" can mean "over what is considered average", I'm not surprised that they say that 80% of black women fit in that category.

However, you said that 80% were severely obese, which is a very different category and indicative of the way you play fast and loose with facts.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:45 AM

anon @7:13,

From your article: "Nearly four in five black women in the United States are overweight or obese."

Since "overweight" can mean "over what is considered average", I'm not surprised that they say that 80% of black women fit in that category.

However, you said that 80% were severely obese, which is a very different category and indicative of the way you play fast and loose with facts.

Posted by: John L | June 6, 2007 7:45 AM

Another good example of how skewed data is:

40% indicate that they belong to at least one women's group.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:46 AM

OK, I vaguely remember when Leslie wrote about this survey the first time and asked us to respond. I did respond and I am neither white nor black. She has prefaced that this is not a scientific survey with a representative sample. And to the poster that questioned why it would be self reported, most surveys are self reported. I don't know how else are you going to get data on people's opinions without it being self reported. As a statistician, I had a lot of ideas on how to have improved the survey sample and questionnaire. But in reality, this survey's sole intent was to get people talking about race differences between black and white women. In that very small arena, it did it's job. The quantative findings and stories are really just a small part of the survey. I wished the survey was more broadly available and published because that would be the best way to get the discussion going with a larger audience. But if you took the time to take the survey, it did spur some thoughts and thus some discussion. I know I discussed the survey with at least two white women I know and one black women I know. It got me thinking that although I have Black women friends, I do not have any Black friends who are mothers. It is not a good or bad thing. It is just something to think about. Again, a valid discussion of race is a good thing. Take the survey results for what it is. A way to open conversation. If the survey creators were really interested in getting quality data, my advice is to talk to some survey statisticians. But good quality surveys are very expensive and I doubt this type of group can fund such an experiment.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 6, 2007 7:48 AM

Another good example of how skewed data is:

52% indicate they have graduate degrees.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:49 AM

"Although white respondents live in households with higher annual incomes, black respondents have a higher percentage of checking (95 percent) and savings (90 percent) accounts solely in their names vs. a respective 83 percent and 80 percent of white women, making black respondents more financially independent in certain regards."

Or perhaps this is because 65% of the white respondents were married and only 35% of the black respondents were married?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:51 AM

"Among black survey-takers, working motherhood is an accepted necessity, with 90 percent of mothers working outside the home versus 78 percent of white women; stay-at-home motherhood (and its accompanying frustrations and societal angst) are more common among white women."

Again, might the fact that 65% of the white women are married and only 35% of the black women are married be the basis for this?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:54 AM

And this has what to do with balance?

Oh, I keep forgetting, this blog is Leslie's pro-feminist platform disguised as a forum for discussing balance. Gotta remember that next time.

Posted by: balance who? | June 6, 2007 7:56 AM

"It is a fact that white women benefited more from the civil rights movement than any other race. But in the workplace white women in positions of authority rarely acknowledge affirmative action or equal opportunity, with the exception of mentoring other women who look like them"

Of course they did. This is why there is a problem with race in society today.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 7:56 AM

Obviously 6:49, 7:13, 7:28, 7:39, 7:44, 7:46, 7:51, 7:54, & 7:56 is unemployed.

Posted by: Get a job | June 6, 2007 8:04 AM

And ticking off all of the times people have posted somehow indicates you're super-busy?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:13 AM

This day is starting well....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:14 AM

Anon at 7:13 was just being a troll, but...

It is true that black women have a higher percentage rate of out-of-wedlock births than white women. Growing up in a single-parent household puts a child at greater risk for any number of problems.

Black women also have a somewhat higher rate of obesity (as defined medically, not socially); however, they generally report higher rates of satisfaction with their appearance.

Being an overweight girl during pre-puberty can lead to early onset of puberty, which carries a host of risk factors (among them, early sexual activity with partners several years older).

Back on topic:
I don't know very many black women. The ones I have come to know as fellow teachers don't fit into the negative societal stereotype, and I didn't expect them to do so when I met them.

My parents raised us not to judge a person based on their race. I went to a black doctor (he was in the Jay-Cee with my dad) starting in 1969. For about 4 or 5 years, we were his only white patients. I didn't go to school with many blacks; the few who attended my working-class public school were treated just like everyone else. If they suffered racism, it had to have been subtle, because it certainly wasn't overt; the students didn't do or say anything deliberately to cause trouble (although, looking back, I'm sure there were some teachers who were less enlightened).

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 8:15 AM

"Oh, I keep forgetting, this blog is Leslie's pro-feminist platform disguised as a forum for discussing balance."

That's pro-femiNazi platform!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:17 AM

I appreciate the disclaimer in the article about the non-scientific nature of the survey. Please add a similar one to your Web site. Thanks!

Posted by: VAMom | June 6, 2007 8:26 AM

ChickieBaby - I can't relate either. I generally observes this blog and not comment. I'm bi-culture, I live in both worlds. I find it hard to develop friendships with both white and black american females. I have longterm friendships with women from many different parts of the world. It is a different story as it regards the american male. Alot of my friends have american male partners, but find it hard to connect with the american female. When there's a friendship, it is usually not very deep. There's certain amount of affection you cannot express with an american female friend, they might think you're coming on to them. This is not the case for eveyone I know, but it is an issue we've all discussed between ourselves. Sometimes we feel american women friendships involves alot more competition than it's necessary. Again, it is not the case with everyone we know, but it is a common issue we've discussed.

Now, I'm expecting alot of hostile reponses.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 8:29 AM

In trying to become friends with black women, I (white) have had difficulty--it is as if they self-segregate. I've also been told by black women that white girls growing up have the same amount of sex, unplanned pregnancies, etc that balck girls, but that white girls can get out of trouble more easily.

I was stung. It sure wasn't that way in the NoVa high school I was in in the mid 1980's.

Posted by: A different anon | June 6, 2007 8:30 AM

Funny that you should mention Nazi on the anniversary of the invasion of the France in 1944. The largest invasion in the history of the world which in 11 months ended the reign of terror and mass murder of the true Nazis.

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 8:34 AM

Like foamgnome said, this is a simple survey. There are no data except self reported stuff. So we should talk about it in that context: a bunch of women's opinions.

I am interested in reading the survey results if I have time today. I'd like to see some other comments. Personally, I'd like to see where that women are living (city, suburbs, south, midwest) because I think that affects the answers too.

My first reaction to this: "Thirty-four percent of black women expect their children to attend graduate/professional schools compared with 22 percent of white women" is good. Education is what keeps lower-income kids from repeating the same mistakes (dropping out of school, getting pregnant) before they are able to care for themselves.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 8:35 AM

I do take offense to the comment that "white women in positions of authority rarely acknowledge affirmative action or equal opportunity, with the exception of mentoring other women who look like them."

I am a white woman in a position of authority within my workplace. I mentor a hispanic woman. I don't like stereotypes!

Posted by: Thought | June 6, 2007 8:37 AM

Fred

"Funny that you should mention Nazi on the anniversary of the invasion of the France in 1944"

Funny, Nazi has been mentioned on this blog on a regular basis for over a year.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:39 AM

obesity (as defined medically, not socially);

You are either obese or not - wheter your neighbors think you are is an opinion, not a definition.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:52 AM

"You are either obese or not - wheter your neighbors think you are is an opinion, not a definition."

When you're looking for a sexual partner, opinions do count.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 8:56 AM

I meant funny as ironic.

Funny, I have never seen any feminist literature that advocated the systematic elimination of certain classes of ethnic and religious individuals unlike the Nazis.

If I am not being plain spoken enough, here it is: Don't cheapen and dilute the meaning of the word Nazi by using it to describe people who are strident in their views.

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 8:56 AM

"white women in positions of authority rarely acknowledge affirmative action or equal opportunity, with the exception of mentoring other women who look like them"

I take exception to this comment. Three of the four women I've mentored within the past four years have been black. All of my female colleagues went out of their way to include and mentor black women.

Posted by: m | June 6, 2007 8:58 AM

I've noticed that self-segregation too. It seems to be more prevalent now than it was 25 years ago. When I saw it in graduate school, I just attributed it to these women all teaching in the same school system, which was different than the ones where most of the white students teach. The behavior was not blatant or rude, so it didn't really bother the white teachers or cause us to ascribe ulterior motives to the black teachers. And, when it came to working together, there was no racial self-separation. For all I know, there was no deliberate effort at racial self-separation.

On the other hand, my sons went to an all-boys school, and they told me that there was a 'black' section in the cafe. The black kids sat there, and excluded the white kids. However, if you were perceived as cool, you might be invited to sit there.

The older one sat there regularly, because he had a black friend in choir, and the younger one sat there periodically because he was on the football team with several of the guys.

At football dinners and events, the players self-separated by race; it was almost funny. By the way, the parents did NOT do so when watching games, so I don't know why the boys did.

Both of my sons thought it was 'pretty lame' to separate in that way.

At first, I attributed the behavior to the typical cliqueishness prevalent in high school, but I've come to believe that something else is at work, especially since the kids behave differently than their parents.

If a black woman is reading this blog, and she and her friends self-separate, could you please explain why? I think many of us would like to know.

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 8:58 AM

Fred

"If I am not being plain spoken enough, here it is: Don't cheapen and dilute the meaning of the word Nazi by using it to describe people who are strident in their views. "

Don't tell me what to say. Why has it taken over a year for you to get so outraged?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:00 AM

If a white woman is reading this blog, and she and her friends self-separate, could you please explain why? I think many of us would like to know.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:04 AM

"You are either obese or not - wheter your neighbors think you are is an opinion, not a definition."

When you're looking for a sexual partner, opinions do count.


When you are dead from stroke or diabetes, opinions are less important.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:04 AM

enough with the Nazi stuff already.

Posted by: experienced mom | June 6, 2007 9:05 AM

"In social sciences it appears that the plural of anecdote is 'data'."

This is not a properly conducted social sciences survey. People who are trained in social sciences (at the PhD level) do not conduct surveys in this way. There are methods to develop measurable questions and to obtain a representative sample - none of which were used in this survey.

Posted by: socsciphd | June 6, 2007 9:05 AM

"In social sciences it appears that the plural of anecdote is 'data'."

This is not a properly conducted social sciences survey. People who are trained in social sciences (at the PhD level) do not conduct surveys in this way. There are methods to develop measurable questions and to obtain a representative sample - none of which were used in this survey.

Posted by: socsciphd | June 6, 2007 9:06 AM

Don't tell me what to say. Why has it taken over a year for you to get so outraged?

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 09:00 AM

I am not telling you what to say but asking that you be more circumspect in the words you use.

Why did it take me so long? I finally became sick of it!

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 9:14 AM

*obesity (as defined medically, not socially);

You are either obese or not - wheter your neighbors think you are is an opinion, not a definition.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 08:52 AM

"You are either obese or not - wheter your neighbors think you are is an opinion, not a definition."

When you're looking for a sexual partner, opinions do count.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 08:56 AM*

There is a difference between what a person should weigh and how society thinks a person should look.

In today's media, the physically 'ideal' woman is actually medically underweight. We women are expected to diet to reach skeletal proportions -- and I do mean skeletal.

I have seen those haunting images of the liberated concentration camp victims. Models and actresses today look as if they came to the red carpet directly from Auschwitz, stopping only long enough to take a shower and eat half a lettuce leaf.

I am not being glib; I find it horrifying that anyone would deliberately do that to themselves! I wonder what Elie Wiesel must think when he opens a magazine.

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 9:15 AM

Can we please stop with the "first!" stuff? It is unbelievably (sp.?) stupid. Or will those of you now go out of your way to do it because I said it was amazingly stupid?????

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:21 AM

I "second" the "first" comment!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:25 AM

Fred, thanks for keeping it real. The term feminazi is abhorrent.

Posted by: writing mommy | June 6, 2007 9:27 AM

educmom,
Have you ever been in a foreign country where you didn't speak teh language, and gotten very excited to encounter another English speaker? Part of the reason that black kids self-segregate at private schools is that those schools are largely white. Kids are still figuring out there identities and their place int eh world. being ne of very few black kids can be tough, even if in the eyes of the white kdis, the black kids are cool. They are looking for something amiliar to hold on to. They may feel that they have to act differently around all the white kids at achool, and they can be more themselves at lunch with the black kids. and if anyone thinks this is the same as white kids at teh shcool exlcuding blacks, you are missing my point. It is about feeling out of place and vastly outnumbered, so sticking together.
And i am a black woman with many friends of different colors. i do not self-segregate. I attribute that to the fact that most of my home, work and educational environments have been very diverse, so I have always felt comfortable around people of different races.
I also have 2 Ivy League degrees, am not obese, have dated interracially and never got pregnant out of wedlock, so enough with the stupid stereotypes.

Posted by: anon | June 6, 2007 9:28 AM

Why do so many people care more about physical characteristics than personal character?

I know people of all sizes and some of the best are thought of poorly just because they are obese. There's something drastically wrong with some people's values.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:32 AM

Errors in methodology are not exactly uncommon in social science, but this is pretty bad by even those standards. However, I applaud the effort and interest in the social sciences, even if there is a lesson to be learned in the flaws of thinking self-reported survey results are in any way scientific.

This might be a pertenant time to bring up the question of how much of the analysis regarding race is more the result of socio-economic class. The high correllation between the two makes it difficult to study empiracally, but a good thing to discuss subjectively.

Posted by: David S | June 6, 2007 9:32 AM

"Fred, thanks for keeping it real. The term feminazi is abhorrent."

To you maybe. To me it just signifies a zealout feminist. No thoughts whatsoever about the murdered Jews when I hear the term feminazi. Throughout time, words have evolved to have different meanings.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:34 AM

I'm a white woman, but our "group" is relatively diverse, though none are black. I know very few black women, as they are extremely underrepresented in my field, and hence my education back until high school. I do work with black women in administrative roles, and, oddly, I have a lot in common with them because of church. I'm a southern protestant, and it seems that most northern (DC is northern to me) white Christians are Catholic. However, we don't get together on weekends, but then I don't get together with any of my colleagues on weekends.

Is it me, or does this racial divide seem to be more of a thing in women than in men?

I do see a problem with there "not being enough black men for black women," but it's not because the black men go with white women. It's because black women generally have so much more education, and everything that comes with it, than black men. They educate themselves into a different demographic, and I can only assume they are looking for mates with similar education levels and values as them.

Posted by: atb | June 6, 2007 9:35 AM

"I also have 2 Ivy League degrees"

And some spelling and grammar errors in your post! Ask for a refund!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:35 AM

I haven't seen anything yet pertinent to balance.

Posted by: xyz | June 6, 2007 9:36 AM

Ok, this is the last thing I will say on Nazis today.

If you ever want to have a small glimpse of what Nazi really means, you only need to spend about 1 hour in your house watching "Band of Brothers". Just watch the one episode entitled "Why We Fight." It comes on the History channel regularly and you can rent the video. I don't think that you will ever use the word loosely anymore, if you can stomach watching this episode.

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 9:37 AM

Fred, I'm totally sold on the not using "Nazi" thing. A diary by the "Polish Anne Frank" was in the news yesterday, and the brief description was so hideous, especially now that I'm a parent, that it made me sick.

Posted by: atb | June 6, 2007 9:44 AM

Black students (male and female) self-separated in the university cafeteria where I attended back in the 80's. It's not something new.

Not only is there a self-separation between blacks/whites, there's also a further differentiation in skin color among blacks. One of my coworkers, who is very attractive, has told me she had trouble getting dates because men would tell her she wasn't 'black enough'. Go figure.

Posted by: John L | June 6, 2007 9:47 AM

Talk about a self-selected sample. The survey limits itself to those who have the money and time to access the Internet as well as those interested in a specific issue. Dreadful methodology make the results unworthy of analysis, although the topic is interesting. Also, why did so few Latinas and women representing other minorities participate? Please buy a book on research methodology.

Posted by: Kelly | June 6, 2007 9:49 AM

I think this is interesting. When talking about 'balance' and thinking of changes we'd like to see in the world we do have a very limited view. Knowing what women of other races and cultures think is important.

The survey wasn't random, but it's still interesting that even with a self-selected group differences turned up so clearly.

One thing that comes out is that NOT working is more not an option for women of other races. In thinking of changes to national policy they need to be weighted in. Sometimes this arena gets going like a working Mom is a self-centered money grubbing overachiever who doesn't care about quality upbringing for her children.

Getting a slightly broader view shows that working is a reality for most women many of whom are working Moms or caregivers for elders. As women and citizens who are prone to making their opinions known I think we should keep moving ahead pushing for policies that improve life for working women. We aren't just doing this for our own upper-class benefit, but for women-kind in general!

Posted by: RoseG | June 6, 2007 9:53 AM

I also have 2 Ivy League degrees"

And some spelling and grammar errors in your post! Ask for a refund!

They are typos, and i freely admit to not taking typing class in college or grad school. Being a good typist has never been a strong point of mine, but it has also never been a big deal for me. I use spell check for anything that is important. I do find it interesting how many people on these blogs feel superior becaue someone makes a few typos.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:54 AM

I am a black woman married to a white man and we have a 5 year old son. We moved to the US from the UK 6 years ago and we have not ceased to be amazed at how negatively black people are viewed here in the US. I am not saying there is no racism in the UK but the obvious vitriol toward people of color here is alarming to say the least.
Witnessing and hearing how black men are treated by the police and viewed by society - even the well educated and obviously well to do ones (some of whom are friends of ours) - and reading the results of the survey and the anonymous posters' mails makes me fear for my son's future.
We are blessed to have good friends both black and white and to be able to send our son to a private school with the hopes that he can somehow be equipped to take on the challenges his color might bring him but it seems that the deep rooted stereotypes that people have, even in this modern age, will be here for a long time.
How people can believe that something so insignificant as the color of one's skin can make a difference to his character is beyond me. I grew up an Africa where color was not an issue so I have never thought much about my race because it has so little to do with anything about who I am.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:55 AM

" I do find it interesting how many people on these blogs feel superior becaue someone makes a few typos. "

It's spelled because, Madame two Ivy degrees! Ask for a refund!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:57 AM

My goodness, some of you are so focused on this black and white thing you can't see anything else. There's a big segment of american society that exist outside of that scope; all they want to do is get on with life. I see ignorance and arrogance of both sides. Disgusting.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 9:58 AM

Re: self segregation:

Also, it may be that many of those folks have had bad experiences when they have tried to befriend others and are saying: fine, I'll reject you first. I doubt it is as conscious as that, but maybe deep down.

Posted by: atlmom | June 6, 2007 9:59 AM

To you maybe. To me it just signifies a zealout feminist. No thoughts whatsoever about the murdered Jews when I hear the term feminazi. Throughout time, words have evolved to have different meanings.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 09:34 AM

Right.

Throughout time, words do evolve. "Gay" is a word which meaning has "evolved." The meaning of Nazi has not "evolved," however, merely because you are ignorant and thoughtless. Taking your cues on word-evolution from Rush Limbaugh is the equivalent of looking to the Chinese for direction on safe manufacturing standards.

and flying the Confederate flag is still about hate not heritage, no matter how many t-shirts you own that say otherwise.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:04 AM

First, I would like to say that I think there are other issues at hand regarding the not enough black men to go around problem. When you see a white child rapist on TV who gets only ten years in prison (if that) and then look to see what a black man gets for a lesser crime, you can see we have a problem in our society.

I have all different kinds of friends and find that when you don't notice people by color that you are more open to relationships with people who are different from yourself. I have noticed that other people have different experiences with this issue than myself. I used to work at a place with a bunch of upper middle class white girls who were pretty ambivalent to the black admin who we were in constant contact with. I always talked to her and sat in her cube regularly. One day she ask me what the other girl's problem was and I told her I didn't know. I wasn't sure if they were intimidated by this woman, weren't used to being around black people, or weren't used to being around people of a different social economic background. I have a feeling it was a little bit of all three because they sometimes didn't get the fact that everyone didn't grow up the same way they did.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 10:07 AM

Leslie was quite clear that there is no science involved in this survey. People, please stop reiterating it.

She was clear that this is about discussion, not science.

Posted by: atlmom | June 6, 2007 10:08 AM

"One thing that comes out is that NOT working is more not an option for women of other races."

Or perhaps the fact that 31% of the white women had children under the age of 5 as opposed to only 18% of the black women might have an effect on working outside the home?

Or perhaps the fact that 65% of the white women were married and only 35% of the black women were married might be at play?

Come on -- there is nothing that can be inferred from this data other than some women like to fill out on-line surveys.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:09 AM

there is a new tv series this summer called House of Payne on TBS and it embraces every stereotype or cliche or negative image. TBS should be ashamed.

Posted by: June 7 | June 6, 2007 10:12 AM

there is a new tv series this summer called House of Payne on TBS and it embraces every stereotype or cliche or negative image. TBS should be ashamed.

Posted by: June 7 | June 6, 2007 10:12 AM

I use spell check for anything that is important

I guess what you wrote for this blog wasn't important!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:13 AM

My goodness, some of you are so focused on this black and white thing you can't see anything else. There's a big segment of american society that exist outside of that scope; all they want to do is get on with life. I see ignorance and arrogance of both sides. Disgusting.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 09:58 AM

ummmmm, bl - that's the topic of the column today, so we're playing well in the sandbox by discussing it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:13 AM

To the UK woman. It has to do with ignorance and arrogance on both sides. If you come from someplace else, at times you stand at awe of it all. It stops you at your track.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 10:14 AM

Don't know if I agree with the post at 9:55. I think there is just as much rascism over here in the U.K. as in the U.S, but I grew up in D.C., which is a pretty racially diverse city. So maybe it depends on where the poster moved in the U.S.

I think the racism over here is more towards Indians, Pakistanis and other ethnicities (primarily Middle Eastern) though than toward blacks, but that is because there aren't as many who reside in the U.K.

Just my 2 cents...

I thought this was an interesting exercise though of course not scientifically meaningful in any way.

Posted by: londonmom | June 6, 2007 10:14 AM

I use spell check for anything that is important

I guess what you wrote for this blog wasn't important!

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 10:13 AM

Duh. Nothing submitted to this or any other blog is "important." World peace? the Iraq War? child soldiers? These are important topics.

Comments posted here are beneath trivial in importance.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:17 AM

I know people of all sizes and some of the best are thought of poorly just because they are obese. There's something drastically wrong with some people's values

The only difference between obese people and those who aren't is that the weakness of obese people is aparent to those on the outside. Same thing with smokers.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:17 AM

The only difference between obese people and those who aren't is that the weakness of obese people is aparent to those on the outside. Same thing with smokers.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 10:17 AM

The only difference between smart people and those who aren't is that the ignorance of those like 10:17 is apparent to those on the outside. Same thing with ideologues.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:19 AM

The only difference between smart people and those who aren't is that the ignorance of those like 10:17 is apparent to those on the outside. Same thing with ideologues.

you so clever and funny. The only difference between smart people and those who aren't is that those who aren't like 10:19 don't know it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:21 AM

Shark Tidbit of the Day

From the Monterey Bay Aquarium website:

Modern fishing practices pose the greatest threat to the survival of sharks. Because sharks produce few young each year and are slow to reach reproductive maturity, they can't withstand the growing pressure of the global fishing fleet.

It's estimated that 100 million sharks, skates and rays are caught and killed each year--and that half of these are accidental victims of fishing gear that targets other species of commercial fish. New scientific studies estimate that some populations of large sharks and other top ocean predators have fallen by as much as 90 percent due to accelerated fishing activities in recent decades.

for a list of consumer choices that can positively impact shark populations, go to http://www.mbayaq.org/efc/efc_smm/smm_conservation.asp


Posted by: Friend of Mr. Mako | June 6, 2007 10:22 AM

I've been following this blog for 3 weeks or so.

My conclusion is this: posters on this blog, like most of the DC area, are some of the most highly educated, wealthiest people it is possible to find, anywhere!

The rest of the country and the rest of the world ain't like this, folks ("ain't" used purely for effect). Not making a value judgment, just an observation.

It seems to me that there is a lot of self induced angst on this blog and in this region.

Most people are concerned with just getting food on the table, and having a place to live.

The soul searching, self comparisons, etc. that posters here engage in is often a luxury that others do not have.

We are a lucky bunch.

Posted by: DC Anon | June 6, 2007 10:24 AM

I can't wait until the shark gets jumped today.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:24 AM

9:55, I am surprised by your post. How do you see this "negativity" against blacks? To 9:55, Have you considered moving to another part of the States? Maybe moving back to the UK? I live in the south (NC) and see plenty of racism, but not the white-against-black kind. Here it is pretty much everyone against Hispanics. When I lived in DC, I witnessed plenty of racism in the black-against-white form. I'd be interested to know how you define "negativity" against blacks where you live.

The only negativity I see against blacks is in rap music and videos.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 10:25 AM

Obese people have a few choices. Eat less and exercise more.
If you are obese for medical reasons, see a doctor and get treated.
I don't agree with discrimination, but one should be able to overcome this ailment, which is usually not a disease.

Posted by: out here | June 6, 2007 10:36 AM

It's spelled because, Madame two Ivy degrees! Ask for a refund!

You sentence makes no sense. What is spelled? Where is your subject? You are really one to talk about her.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:36 AM

As a married "black" woman and mother, I just wanted to offer my opinion on the sensitive topic of inter-racial relationships. One thing that I observed when I was a single woman, was that, with very few exceptions, black men were the only men that asked me out. I grew up in very racially diverse neighborhoods in California, and always had friends of various racial backgrounds, and yet, I still found that pretty much without exception black boys/guys/men were the ones that expressed interest in me. After completing school and moving to the D.C. area I found the situation to be the same. Many black women experience the same thing. So it's not that black women are opposed (as a group) to inter-racial dating, it just seems that often men of other races do not necesarily look to black women as prospective partners. As a result, many black women are anxious about the shrinking pool of eligible black men, whether because of inter-racial dating or other social factors. Based on experience they view black men as probably the only men from which to find a husband or partner. Not that they may not be open to dating inter-racially, but that would take a man from another race to do, and if men from other groups are not expressing interest in them, then what can they do?

Again, this is just my opinion based on my experiences, just thought I would share.

Posted by: CA Expat | June 6, 2007 10:39 AM

I think it's interesting how worked up everyone is getting on this subject. Does anyone else notice this?

Leslie's survey has done its job, if you ask me. And IMHO, it's really driving home the point that there is a lot of cultural healing still to be done. Good God!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:40 AM

"It's spelled because, Madame two Ivy degrees! Ask for a refund!

You sentence makes no sense. What is spelled? Where is your subject? You are really one to talk about her."

You misspelled the "because" in your post.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:43 AM

"If a black woman is reading this blog, and she and her friends self-separate, could you please explain why? I think many of us would like to know."

I couldn't answer for every Black woman. I don't self-segregate, and I choose my friends based on character. If you're a person who looks down on people different from you, then I won't hang out with you. If you're a person who is so uptight that a brick would bounce off of you, then you can't be my friend. If you think it's cute to be submissive around men but snooty to other women, then you can't be my friend. If your whole world revolves around shoe-shopping, Desperate Housewives and Arbor Mist, then you can't be my friend. If you have to finger-comb your hair and reposition your loose ponytail every five minutes then you can't be my friend. If you say thing like "how do you get your hair to look like that" or "you people are so ____ at ____" then you can't be my friend.

Posted by: Just Me, Thank You | June 6, 2007 10:46 AM

I don't agree with discrimination, but one should be able to overcome this ailment, which is usually not a disease.

People eat for a lot of reasons not just those who have a clinical metabolic problem. Some people are nasty because they are unhappy, some people eat, some people sleep with lots of people. Lots of things are manifested in different ways. Be glad if your problems and/or weaknesses don't manifest themselves in ways that are apparent to others and subject to ridicule.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:46 AM

.......if overweight white women and overweight black women are likelier to be friends because they understand each others' struggles?

Posted by: I wonder.... | June 6, 2007 10:48 AM

Madame Two Ivy degrees

"Kids are still figuring out there identities "

It should be "their".

Get a refund!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:49 AM

Also, some average size and underweight people turn into overweight people as they age. Mother Nature can be tough.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:50 AM

"So it's not that black women are opposed (as a group) to inter-racial dating, it just seems that often men of other races do not necesarily look to black women as prospective partners."

You may be right. On the other hand, I was close to a colleague who was a very successful, educated, beautiful, African-American woman living in DC. If anyone personified the Talented Tenth (W.E.B. DuBois), she did. She dated a white man for approximately 2 years. Her black female friends pressured her relentlessly to break up with him and pursue a relationship with a black man - pretty much any black man. Her friends' arguments largely were political in nature, e.g., genocide, the inadvisibility of raising black children without a black male father as a role model. I felt like a ninny talking about love and happiness in the face of such arguments. She broke up with him and was married within 18 months to a black man whom I'm sure she loves dearly (we've lost touch so I don't know). My only point in retelling this anecdote is that, in my observation, the Talented Tenth don't permit each other to marry outside the race without enduring a tremendous amount of pressure.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:51 AM

It should be "their".

The period goes inside.

It should be "their."

Get a refund on your nastiness.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:51 AM

"No thoughts whatsoever about the murdered Jews when I hear the term feminazi."

I wouldn't brag about that if I were you.

You SHOULD be thinking about the 6 million murdered Jews, Gypsies and others whenever you hear the word Nazi.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:52 AM

One observation from analyzing the survey results and from studying issues facing working mothers for the past five years: when you are in the majority you don't think prejudice exists. when you are a member of a minority group, you see prejudice every day.

People in the majority want to believe, quite badly, that they are not racist or biased. I've seen many cases of men at work protesting their own lack of bias against women. the same for white people who insist they are not prejudiced. Not one wants to admit they have unconscious biases.

But by definition, when you are in the dominant group, you simply do not see your own group's biases.

If you think DC or wherever you live or work or go to school is free of bias based on skin color or gender, look more closely. Walking down the street in DC is different if you are black vs. white. Same for hailing a cab, going on a job interview, applying your child to a school. Ask someone who is in a minority group if you don't believe this is true.

Posted by: Leslie | June 6, 2007 10:54 AM

Duh. Nothing submitted to this or any other blog is "important." World peace? the Iraq War? child soldiers? These are important topics.

Comments posted here are beneath trivial in importance.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 10:17 AM

I would infer from your posting that ideas are not important. Once in a while, even on this blog, there are universal ideas discussed.

Posted by: Socrates | June 6, 2007 10:54 AM

out here

"Obese people have a few choices. Eat less and exercise more.
If you are obese for medical reasons, see a doctor and get treated.
I don't agree with discrimination, but one should be able to overcome this ailment, which is usually not a disease. "

Many obese women over eat to mask the pain of (suppressed)and(untreated)childhood sexual trauma. Maybe they should wear signs on their foreheads for people like you.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:55 AM

"You SHOULD be thinking about the 6 million murdered Jews, Gypsies and others whenever you hear the word Nazi."

Thank you, Thought Police!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:59 AM

Hey "Just Me, Thank you" -- I'd be your friend, because you are hilarious! Loved the the post.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 6, 2007 10:59 AM

Not that they may not be open to dating inter-racially, but that would take a man from another race to do, and if men from other groups are not expressing interest in them, then what can they do?

Again, this is just my opinion based on my experiences, just thought I would share.

Posted by: CA Expat | June 6, 2007 10:39 AM

There is no law that says the man must do the asking.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:59 AM

My wife is overweight, but she's been on diets where she's eaten no more than 1000 calories a day and not lost more than a few pounds.

Add health problems such as asthma to the mix, and she finds it very difficult to do much more than maintain her current weight, although she realizes she'd be a lot more healthy if she weighed less.

And no, she's got both overweight and normal weight friends, among both black and white women, so it's not like she segregates based on size. She chooses her friends based on similar interests, sense of humor, intelligence, etc, just like most people do.

Posted by: John L | June 6, 2007 10:59 AM

You're right, especially about hailing a cab. I am a petite, white woman who lives and works in DC, and must frequently take a cab from Georgtown Univeristy Hospital to Washington Hospital Center (both are MedStar hospitals, and as such, share personnel). I do this at least once weekly, and more than once the (black) male cab driver has told me that I am a desirable fare because I am white and female.

That was really an eye opener for me--I never would have thought that would be the case, because I am so comfortable being in the majority group.

When I asked about black women, one male black cab driver said he'd drive them before driving a black male, but not before a white female, because too many black females had stiffed him on the fare.

Posted by: To Leslie | June 6, 2007 11:01 AM

"But by definition, when you are in the dominant group, you simply do not see your own group's biases."

I think the dominant group is different depending on where you live and it's just not white males who have biases.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:03 AM

What's with the 'African-American' titling thing? When did that start? I never know what to call black people anymore.

Posted by: Just wonderin' | June 6, 2007 11:04 AM

Thank you, Thought Police!

Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Never again!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:05 AM

It should be "their".

The period goes inside.

It should be "their."

Get a refund on your nastiness.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 10:51 AM

There's nothing "nasty" about commenting on grammatical errors. Have you considered a personality transplant to address your tendency to see everything as "nasty"? If you need a theme song, Janet Jackson had a very old hit that might suit your needs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:06 AM

"You SHOULD be thinking about the 6 million murdered Jews, Gypsies and others whenever you hear the word Nazi."

Oh, right!!! I base all my decisions based on what unknown people on blogs say that I SHOULD be doing.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:06 AM

I never know what to call black people anymore.

With any group of people, the most courteous thing to do is to call them by what they wish to be called.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:07 AM

Oh, right!!! I base all my decisions based on what unknown people on blogs say that I SHOULD be doing.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:06 AM

How about based on history? Or human decency?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:09 AM

"Clearly, more quantitative and qualitative research is needed, conducted discretely by race, to yield more robust findings than current data allows"


Actually, this isn't clear at all to me. why focus on race? Why divide and compare and contrast according to race-- something that peope have to control over? what is gained by comparing blacks to whites? Seems if anything just perpetuates the message that we are different when the first thing that you ask someone is "What is your race?" Isn't just by asking the question the survey is making race out to be a critical factor in how each person is defined? the reality is that race is only a tiny part of who we are-- and since it is immutable, nothing can be done about it anyway.

If the question above were rephrased by replacing "race" with "religious beliefs" or "economic status", would the question be any less valid? To me it would be not only less diviseness and "pointless" but also more interesting and even valuable as a tool for societal development.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 11:10 AM

Resegregation Issues

That is why it is so important for children to learn early from parents to get to know each other cross racial, ethnic, and cultural lines. There is barely no excuse for voluntarily separating oneself from others who are different based on their ethnicity. The world that we live is becoming more and more diversity and global; therefore, if we do not stop behaving this way, then we are going to become further behind in evolving as people in a global society. Yes, racism still exists, I have experienced intentional and unintentional vibes of racism, but that negativity comes from plain ignorance, which unfortunately is a disease that some people have. I just have to pray for them and rise above their views, and demonstrate myself as an intellectual and enligthened person. I let them know through my actions that race does not make you superior or inferior, it is your ability to develop intellectually, rise above ignorance, and learn about one another respectfully that makes you superior. I try to show that when I come across an ignorant view or comment.

Posted by: christi | June 6, 2007 11:11 AM

Resegregation Issues

That is why it is so important for children to learn early from parents to get to know each other cross racial, ethnic, and cultural lines. There is barely no excuse for voluntarily separating oneself from others who are different based on their ethnicity. The world that we live is becoming more and more diversity and global; therefore, if we do not stop behaving this way, then we are going to become further behind in evolving as people in a global society. Yes, racism still exists, I have experienced intentional and unintentional vibes of racism, but that negativity comes from plain ignorance, which unfortunately is a disease that some people have. I just have to pray for them and rise above their views, and demonstrate myself as an intellectual and enligthened person. I let them know through my actions that race does not make you superior or inferior, it is your ability to develop intellectually, rise above ignorance, and learn about one another respectfully that makes you superior. I try to show that when I come across an ignorant view or comment.

Posted by: christi | June 6, 2007 11:11 AM

What's with the 'African-American' titling thing? When did that start? I never know what to call black people anymore.


Posted by: Just wonderin' | June 6, 2007 11:04 AM

it must be so difficult to breathe under that rock.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:11 AM

Oh, right!!! I base all my decisions based on what unknown people on blogs say that I SHOULD be doing.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:06 AM

How about based on the decency your family and teachers taught you?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:12 AM

I am the 9:55 poster. To answer your questions I live in Washington DC and I believe I did say in my post that there is racism in the UK. I just did not feel, while living there for 22 years, that there was the same level of negative stereotyping and segregation. I did not hear as many stories about how suspicious the police of black men, no matter what their background. I have friends who have been stopped and questioned by police for no apparent reason. They jokingly refer to it as "driving while black". I have seen on other blogs and this (e.g. the anonymous posters) how people view black people as a whole - teenage pregnancies, single mothers, criminals, gangsters etc. - the bane of society. People do not seem to realize that the issue is socioeconomic not color. Perhaps I am more tuned into it here because I now have a small child and I think more about his future.
Meesh, I have considered moving back but my husband, being a white upper middle class male, does not quite grasp where I am coming from and is not as worried about our son as I am. Please don't get me wrong - apart from this issue, I like living in the US. My son is too small now to be affected by his color and to realize that it has a significance. I have no issues about my color and hardly ever think about it except when I come across blogs like this and hear peoples' bizarre view about blacks. Then it hits me.

Posted by: To Meesh and Londonmum | June 6, 2007 11:12 AM

"Oh, right!!! I base all my decisions based on what unknown people on blogs say that I SHOULD be doing.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:06 AM

How about based on history? Or human decency?"

It's still the Thought Police!! Check out Orwell's NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:15 AM

"I never know what to call black people anymore.

With any group of people, the most courteous thing to do is to call them by what they wish to be called."

Most groups of people don't change what they want to be called.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:17 AM

I'm a 30ish black woman married to a white man. We've been together for 10 years. I graduated from college and had a promising career until I chose to be a SAHM. And even after having children, I'm not even close to obese. I've always had friends of all races and like many other posters, choose my friends based on shared interests. I personally do not understand the comments about "white women taking black men". People are attracted to mates who possess traits they find desirable. For some people, race is a primary factor and for others it doesn't even factor into the equation. When I first came to the DC area, black men rarely approached me. However, white men showed no hesitation whatsoever in asking me out. I hope my children will be allowed to follow their hearts without criticism.

As for the people reading this (black, white, and everything in between) who say they have no friends of a different race -- being a parent is the best introduction ever and opens you up to a whole community of people with whom you share common interests. Don't be afraid to start the dialogue.

Posted by: black in the burbs | June 6, 2007 11:18 AM

Crying "thought police" doesn't automatically excuse a lack of human decency.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:18 AM

"But by definition, when you are in the dominant group, you simply do not see your own group's biases."

I just can't agree with this statement. I'm white, so then "by definition" I shouldn't be able to see white people's biases against minority groups.

I certainly see it. I think rascism clearly exists - unconscious and conscious. I would hope I am not biased - I certainly try not to be - but I'm sure I - like many - have certain historical biases based on my background and experience. I think the best I can do is to educate my children about rascism so that they KNOW it is wrong and actively try to counter it with their actions.

Posted by: londonmom | June 6, 2007 11:18 AM

"Madame Two Ivy degrees
"Kids are still figuring out there identities "
It should be "their".
Get a refund!"

No, telling someone to get a refund on their education is not rude at all. Since you obviously know very little about grammar, perhaps your theme song should be "Man In The Mirror." Because it only seems appropriate that you should judge yourself before you judge others.

Posted by: June 6, 2007 10:51 AM | June 6, 2007 11:19 AM

With any group of people, the most courteous thing to do is to call them by what they wish to be called."

So what do "they" wish to be called? Was there a vote?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:19 AM

"I never know what to call black people anymore.

With any group of people, the most courteous thing to do is to call them by what they wish to be called."

Most groups of people don't change what they want to be called.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:17 AM
Well we know what to call you: Idiot!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:22 AM

"I have no issues about my color and hardly ever think about it except when I come across blogs like this and hear peoples' bizarre view about blacks. Then it hits me."

See this is what makes me mad about these racially divisive blogs and conversations. It gives all the wackos a forum-- on the other hand, maybe it is good to know that there are still wackos out there and to give them an opportunity to hear the responses to their ideas so that perhaps the will learn and their prejudicies will go away?

I don't know what the answer is, but certainly part of me wants to just shut down topics like this since they seem to cause pain to minorities.

Thanks "to meesh and londonmom" for sharing your feelings and I hope to hear more from you.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 11:23 AM

So what do "they" wish to be called?

That's really simple. Just ask!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:24 AM

Jen S.

"It gives all the wackos a forum-- on the other hand, maybe it is good to know that there are still wackos out there and to give them an opportunity to hear the responses to their ideas so that perhaps the will learn and their prejudicies will go away? "


Ha, ha, ha! Wackos don't change their views that easily!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:26 AM

Many people today have said that the whole black/white "thing" in the united states is not a big deal.

My opinion is that this is untrue. Over three hundred years ago when european colonists brought africans to this country, a complex interdependent relationship began between blacks and whites. This 300+ year history is one of the most important parts of our culture. We can't ignore it.

And to those who say skin color doesn't matter -- you're in denial. It shouldn't matter -- especially when it comes to opportunity, fairness, equal rights and application of laws. But saying it doesn't matter, over and over again, doesn't make it true, even though this is a laudable goal. We need to admit that race does matter in this country.

Posted by: Leslie | June 6, 2007 11:26 AM

"Crying "thought police" doesn't automatically excuse a lack of human decency."

The problem with this is that someone who uses a word in a way that offends you does not mean that they don't have human decency. I am offended by vulgarity and curse words because I was taught that it was not decent to speak that way. I know people who cringe when someone says "Shut up" rather than "Be quiet".

Some people believe that using the word Nazi in any way other than historical significance diminishes the tragedy and suffering that others have been through. Others believe that using the word as a synonym for zealout or dictator is just that - using a synonym. Because you are offended by it doesn't make the user a person who has no decency. I don't know anyone who uses the word Nazi (feminazi, Soup Nazi, BF nazi) who believes in what the Nazi's did.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:27 AM

By your line of reasoning, I should be able to freely use the "N" word but it seems that I cannot!

Posted by: to 11:27 | June 6, 2007 11:31 AM

"We need to admit that race does matter in this country."

And then what? Poof! All the country's problems disappear?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:31 AM

Most groups of people don't change what they want to be called.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:17 AM
Well we know what to call you: Idiot!

In my lifetime, black people have been called colored, Negro, black, African-American. It was my understanding that the changes were because the people involved preferred the new identifier.


Posted by: the idiot | June 6, 2007 11:36 AM

So what do "they" wish to be called?

That's really simple. Just ask!

O.k., I'm asking. All people of groups, what would you like to be called:

Women
Handicapped
Blind
Asian
Black
Dwarfs
American Indian
Indians
Hispanics
Latinos

Please let us know. It would be one the first actually helpful things to come from this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:36 AM

Thanks for the reply, 9:55. I see where you're coming from. Your comment about your husband reminded me of a response to my comment that evidence of oppression of women is all over the media. The response was: "You only see it because you're looking for it." I guess it is hard to see outside the majority. (I'm not ragging on your husband--I'm sure he's a lovely man!)

And you're absolutely right about this: "People do not seem to realize that the issue is socioeconomic not color." The people who are discriminated against the most are not a certain racial group but a socioeconomic group: the poor.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 11:37 AM

"Over three hundred years ago when european colonists brought africans to this country, a complex interdependent relationship began between blacks and whites"

Yes, but they were also sold by their own people, which is a fact left out in polite conversation. How can the whites of today change all the past wrongs? Why should we be responsible for that?

Posted by: regular anon | June 6, 2007 11:37 AM

"O.k., I'm asking. All people of groups, what would you like to be called:"

Can I choose white male?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:38 AM

By your line of reasoning, I should be able to freely use the "N" word but it seems that I cannot!

Posted by: to 11:27 | June 6, 2007 11:31 AM

Of course, you can - you are free to display your ignorance and hate in any way you like.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:38 AM

I don't know anyone who uses the word Nazi (feminazi, Soup Nazi, BF nazi) who believes in what the Nazi's did.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:27 AM

You could at least read carefully. Use of the word improperly doesn't indicate belief in what the Nazi's did - whatever that means. It indicates insensitivity to the magnitude of the atrocities.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:40 AM

Christi at 11:11, I agree with you. You're the type I gravitate towards, but finding people with your perspective around here is like trying to find a needle in a haysack. having lived abroad a good amount of time I can relate to your global view.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 11:40 AM

*off-topic alert!*

Speaking of grammar, would someone from the Grammar Squad please recommend books on the subject?

I'm simply appalled that my elder child didn't know that a word ending in -ing is a gerund and things haven't improved since.

So, book(s) that cover elementary through high school would be appreciated. I wouldn't even mind a refresher on diagramming sentences, personally.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 6, 2007 11:44 AM

What's really hilarious is how Europe used to be sooo smug about America's race problems while they were all white and Christian. Now, that they have this huge influx of people from the middle east with dark skin, different values and a different religion, they are having many of the same problems that we have had. HA HA HA HA

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:45 AM

How did an interesting discussion on race turn into why I hate fat people?

Posted by: foamgnome | June 6, 2007 11:45 AM

And you're absolutely right about this: "People do not seem to realize that the issue is socioeconomic not color." The people who are discriminated against the most are not a certain racial group but a socioeconomic group: the poor.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 11:37 AM

Sure, just ask an affluent black man trying to hail a cab or drive down 95 to a funeral without being stopped. If he's under 25, ask him how many white women cross the street after dark when they see him coming towards them, no matter how expensive the clothes he wears.

All poor people are discriminated against, but to deny the discrimination that occurs based on race alone reveals a conscious decision to ignore reality.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:47 AM

"You could at least read carefully. Use of the word improperly doesn't indicate belief in what the Nazi's did - whatever that means. It indicates insensitivity to the magnitude of the atrocities"

You must be some kind of a mind reader on the Net you can figure out the exact intent of someone's use of language.

You should read NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR and BRAVE NEW WORLD carefully!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:47 AM

I am just wondering when, if ever, it is okay to use terms like, "N," Nazi, Gringo, etc. I know my father always said you shouldn't call yourself anything you don't want other people to call you. I find the word Nazi to have a strong meaning that I honestly have no connection too because I am not Jewish. With that being said, the atrocity belongs to anyone who can read and understand history, so I wouldn't use it lightly.

However, isn't Jerry Seinfeld Jewish? If so, does that make it okay for him to use the term soup Nazi and do you guys feel that the use of it is disrespectful no matter what your origins?

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 11:48 AM

Although the survey was skewed (intentionally) it does present some interesting results. Race is still an important issue in this country, and there are so many dynamics (gender, class, ethnicity) that interact and shape our perceptions and experiences. I come from a multi-ethnic country, and am viewed as such over there. Here, however, I think that people are almost forced to describe themselves as belonging to one group or another. I'm glad that the idea that people can be multi-racial (and multi-cultural) is catching on.

Ironically, both times I felt looked down upon because of how I look involved another Black person. One guy asked my African-American friend if I was one of them.

Lastly, the concept of only dating members of one's race is not unique to Blacks.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 11:51 AM

To stay at home or work outside of the house. Black women have worked outside of the home since being braught to these shores. Few have had the luxury of a choice. And the point that most are single with or without children.

Posted by: nquashie | June 6, 2007 11:51 AM

To stay at home or work outside of the house. Black women have worked outside of the home since being braught to these shores. Few have had the luxury of a choice. And the point that most are single with or without children.

Posted by: nquashie | June 6, 2007 11:51 AM

'So what do "they" wish to be called?'

Probably by a generic term (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss), followed by their surname?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:53 AM

Arlington Dad, of course you can be my friend. So can anyone else as long as they are genuine.

As for interracial dating, don't knock it until you try it.

Posted by: Just Me, Thank You | June 6, 2007 11:53 AM

Darn it. I changed it to "honorific", but "generic term" is still there. I did the preview thing too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:57 AM

I'm going to get flamed for this, so shoot away...

My disconnect with the new titling of "African American" is my black friends are about as African as I am European. Meaning, we all grew up in the same area, none of us (to the best of my knowledge) ever visited the 'mother land,' and all of our true identities are just plain "American."

It just seems really silly to me to call yourself (or someone else) an African American when they were born in, for example, Akron, Ohio. As were their parents. And their parents' parents.

Posted by: Just wonderin' | June 6, 2007 11:58 AM

"However, isn't Jerry Seinfeld Jewish? If so, does that make it okay for him to use the term soup Nazi and do you guys feel that the use of it is disrespectful no matter what your origins? "


I am glad you brought this up. The idea that if a minority or victim uses a word that somehow makes ok is ridiculous. It is a symptom of our PC culture. Blacks use the N word freely and that's ok, but not whites. Or a Jew uses nazi and that's ok but not for a non jew. Insulting words do not gain legitimacy because of the user.
Part of all this is the deathly fear PC people feel about offending people, especially minorities.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 11:58 AM

I don't know anyone who uses the word Nazi (feminazi, Soup Nazi, BF nazi) who believes in what the Nazi's did.

No, they just trivialize the horror of mass murder by drawing some kind of equivalence with people who merely have strong views on a subject.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:04 PM

"No, they just trivialize the horror of mass murder by drawing some kind of equivalence with people who merely have strong views on a subject."

IN YOUR OPINION, THOUGHT POLICE!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:07 PM

Leslie, I admit that race matters--- I know that my black friends are treated differently than I am. But does talking about this really help the matter or does it continue to perpetuate the problem? For example, I know people who decide what to school to send their child to based on racial statistics published for No Child LEft Behind-- so if the school is overwhelmingly of another race, they don't send their child there. this is an free, easy way to perpetuate racism-- and I think it should be dropped, just as I wonder if discussions like this should be dropped. "Women in Black and White"-- geez, aren't we all a little more complicated than just our racial label?

My son knows his skin is pink and his best friend's is dark brown. Fine--wonderful! But separating these two boys into the "discrete" racial groups just doesn't seem healthy. They are far more alike than they are different and the differences they have have nothing to do about race. I guess that is what I'm reacting to. Is there any indication that talking about this stuff actually improves racial relationships, or does it reinforce the divisions that (I acknowledge) exist? Who are ever going to get to the point where race isn't an issue if we keep bringing it up all the time? I'd rather talk about the differences between cultures or economic background.

I really love to hear more from people of color on this. I've talked with my friends of color and they are uncomfortable and don't like these conversations and don't think it helps matters, but it is an admittedly small group (I'm sure my son will not have this issue since he does attend school at a predominately African-American public school in DC, so he will be blessed with far greater insight on this than I have). One of my black friends thinks that such discussions only serves to make white people feel good about themselves because they get to feel like they've done something when really nothing changes.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 12:09 PM

"We need to admit that race does matter in this country."

And then what? Poof! All the country's problems disappear?


Posted by: | June 6, 2007 11:31 AM

Well, ignoring that it's an issue doesn't exactly make problems disappear.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:10 PM

IN YOUR OPINION, THOUGHT POLICE!

What a shame that you don't even think.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:11 PM

"No, they just trivialize the horror of mass murder by drawing some kind of equivalence with people who merely have strong views on a subject."

IN YOUR OPINION, THOUGHT POLICE!"

Why don't you read some history and find out the horrors of nazism, knucklehead.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:11 PM

I'd love to hear some more about other peoples' experience with race in work/life relationships, parenting, etc.

My lovely boyfriend's mother (who is mixed black/white) has never fully accepted me because she's always envisioned her grandchildren with a very dark-skinned black mother (I'm a very light-skinned white woman). This is in spite of the fact that my boyfriend's father, her husband, is white (his Native American heritage has been discovered and embraced within the past five years, so he's identified as white for most of their relationship, and certainly did when they met), and in spite of the fact that my lovely boyfriend and I are not engaged and have no plans to get engaged or have a child any time soon! She'd never admit this out loud (which is why my boyfriend only recently realized that it's the case), and even if she did, what could I do? It's actually less stressful having her dislike me for something I can't control than something I could possibly change. So I try to be as nice, helpful, etc. as possible when visiting them (we do get along, and she apparently likes me very much as an individual), and I have to trust that if lovely boyf and I do get engaged/have kids, his mom will find some way of accepting them.

Posted by: boston liz | June 6, 2007 12:12 PM

bl, You need to get over yourself. I don't believe you're in such an exalted minority. Perhaps you're surrounded by fools. One of the reasons we live in Takoma Park is to raise our kids in the most diverse neighborhood possible. The way I choose friends is by common values, hobbies, etc, and that crosses color lines. I know I'm not alone.

On the other hand, my best friend is Asian, and I'm always shocked to see that the first thing people want to talk about with her is her race. She's as American as me, so it's weird. I'm not sure if they're genuinely interested, looking for something to talk about and coming up lame, uncomfortable with other races.

Posted by: atb | June 6, 2007 12:13 PM

Hardly the thought police. Orwell's thought police actually preferred inaccuracy and muddiness of definition as well as spelling. If no one really knew what, exactly, you were talking about, it was easier to keep people in the dark.

I prefer the word "genocide" to "mass murder" in these instances. Jews, Romany and homosexuals were singled out for murder, with extermination in mind. Many others were caught up as well.

I agree with many others; tossing the word "Nazi" around, in conjunction with another word or not, trivializes history.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 6, 2007 12:14 PM

"Lastly, the concept of only dating members of one's race is not unique to Blacks."

...or dating members only of one's same religion.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:14 PM

Liberal love to show off their different race friends. It makes them feel better and shows their enlightenment.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:16 PM

Maryland Mother, and EVERYONE...

Please get a copy of the Little Brown Handbook. It covers everything you ever wanted to know and more about grammar. I used it mainly to help cite sources, but it is worth its weight in gold.

Posted by: Chris | June 6, 2007 12:16 PM

My only point in retelling this anecdote is that, in my observation, the Talented Tenth don't permit each other to marry outside the race without enduring a tremendous amount of pressure.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 10:51 AM

The 2006 movie "Something New" (which I loved, and I would love to see more black female screenwriters and directors explore the subject) touched on this subject briefly. I was gratified to see the lead character, played by Sanaa Latham, follow her heart instead of bowing to the pressure.

--

Not that they may not be open to dating inter-racially, but that would take a man from another race to do, and if men from other groups are not expressing interest in them, then what can they do?

Again, this is just my opinion based on my experiences, just thought I would share.

Posted by: CA Expat | June 6, 2007 10:39 AM

There is no law that says the man must do the asking.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 10:59 AM

THANK YOU!!

Posted by: Transplanted Buckeye in SoCal | June 6, 2007 12:17 PM

Maryland Mother, and EVERYONE...

Please get a copy of the Little Brown Handbook. It covers everything you ever wanted to know and more about grammar. I used it mainly to help cite sources, but it is worth its weight in gold.

Posted by: Chris | June 6, 2007 12:16 PM

Thank you Chris. Any particular edition that you would recommend?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 6, 2007 12:21 PM

pATRICK

"Why don't you read some history and find out the horrors of nazism, knucklehead."

I am aware of the horrors of nazism, Mr. Gifted with the mixed up sister. I also have read 1984 and Brave New World, so I am aware of the horrors of the Thought Police and the Herd Mentality.

Why has it taken over a year for moral indignation to surface on this blog concerning the use of the term nazi and for the herd to jump on the bandwagon?

Posted by: knucklehead | June 6, 2007 12:21 PM

knucklehead,

becasue we are all not perfect like you!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:24 PM

This conversation reminds me of a great book that I'd wholeheatedly recommend to anyone: "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother" by James McBride

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 6, 2007 12:24 PM

"pATRICK

"Why don't you read some history and find out the horrors of nazism, knucklehead."

I am aware of the horrors of nazism, Mr. Gifted with the mixed up sister. I also have read 1984 and Brave New World, so I am aware of the horrors of the Thought Police and the Herd Mentality.

Why has it taken over a year for moral indignation to surface on this blog concerning the use of the term nazi and for the herd to jump on the bandwagon?"

Oh now I see, you are THAT anon poster. That explains it. By the way those are fictional books, try the real thing with real men, women and children, with real names, lives and hopes that were crushed by evil men.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:24 PM

I grew up with "Black" and "White" and, IMHO, I think we should stick with them -- anything else is too wordy. I think 'Black' replaced the insulting term 'colored.' I know "Asian" is much preferred over "Oriental" and I know "Hispanic" and "Latino" are evolving.
I certainly don't want to be called an Irish-Welsh-French-Scottish-American (or even a Great-British-Gaelic-Franco-American).

Truth is, I would LOVE to be called a hottie, but that only happens in my dreams!

This is a very interesting conversation. I hope to have time to check back later.

Grammar books:
There's always the classic Elements of Style by Strunk & White. There's also a cute book called Eats, Shoots and Leaves (I can't recall the author right now) which is funny.

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 12:25 PM

Knucklehead,

It hasn't taken a year for others to note the misuse of the word Nazi. Either you haven't been a regular reader, or you have only recently finished your required reading for the 10th grade and are all excited with your newfound terminology.

Now, go read "A Clockwork Orange" by Aldous Huxley, and get back to us. No, you are not to cheat and rent the movie. However, you will need to use the glossary quite a bit, at least at first.

Posted by: to Knucklehead | June 6, 2007 12:27 PM

but pATRICK, according to the terrorists our PC world wants us to embrace, there was no Holocaust!

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2007/05/sharia-supporters-and-transvestites-of.html

Well, ok they still learn about the holocaust in some places, but it is watered down, and other atrocities are being ignored and brushed under the rug so people will once again embrace communism. In fact, look out for a new $60 Million Hollywood movie glorifying Mao, the butcher of 100 Million people. No joke

As I have previously posted, the removal of the building blocks from our education system is an indication of the onset of a systemic problem that will lead to collapse.

Have you thrown away your toothpaste and food laced with Chinese ingredients yet? ;-P

Posted by: Chris | June 6, 2007 12:27 PM

"I know "Asian" is much preferred over "Oriental" and I know "Hispanic" and "Latino" are evolving."

A woman of asian descent told me that "oriental" is furniture that you buy and asians are people, which I thought was an excellent observation.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:28 PM

Grammar books:
There's always the classic Elements of Style by Strunk & White. There's also a cute book called Eats, Shoots and Leaves (I can't recall the author right now) which is funny.

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 12:25 PM

I have those too. Lynne Truss is the author of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves". I have a copy and have encouraged first child to read it. It's a bit heavy going for the younger. Actually, it's way over the kid's head right now. Too bad!

It looks like the book Chris recommended is going on my "buy now!" list. Anything that includes exercises for the student you know.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 6, 2007 12:30 PM

Asian and Latino women are hotties!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:31 PM

Why has it taken over a year for moral indignation to surface on this blog concerning the use of the term nazi and for the herd to jump on the bandwagon?

Posted by: knucklehead | June 6, 2007 12:21 PM

Because some of us haven't been here for very long.

Posted by: Newbie | June 6, 2007 12:31 PM

"Have you thrown away your toothpaste and food laced with Chinese ingredients yet? ;-P"

I checked and mine is made here. I have long believed that China would do something like the pet death thing,toothpaste etc. A government that imprisons and executes more people than any other country and is Communist could care less if anyone or thing dies. The contempt for the individual is the cornerstone to communism.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:32 PM

A woman of asian descent told me that "oriental" is furniture that you buy and asians are people, which I thought was an excellent observation.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:28 PM

Kind of like how chickens lay eggs, but people lie down?

Mnemonics, we need more of them!

Posted by: med student | June 6, 2007 12:34 PM

Statsmeister-

Please check for usage and dates of the term nazi on this blog.

Thank You

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:34 PM

Well, I see nothing wrong with having ethnic pride or identifying yourself with one. You all know how I feel about that one. It only becomes a problem when you separate yourself from other ethnicities or other people.

Maryland Mother there are also grammar tutorials on the web you son could look up.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 12:34 PM

Well, I see nothing wrong with having ethnic pride or identifying yourself with one. You all know how I feel about that one. It only becomes a problem when you separate yourself from other ethnicities or other people.

Maryland Mother there are also grammar tutorials on the web you son could look up.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 12:34 PM

Maryland Mother, any edition would be good, but the most current I could find- along with good reviews is here:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Brown-Handbook-10th-MyCompLab/dp/0321389514?tag=dogpile-20

Posted by: Chris | June 6, 2007 12:35 PM

I guess it depends on the Asian person you are asking. I personally do not mind the term Oriental. It stems from the Europeans classifying lands to the East of Europe. It originally included areas that are now deemed the middle east. Some where along the line the word Oriental picked up a negative connotation while terms like Middle eastern (also derived by location in comparison to Europe) does not have the same effect. Another issue with the term Oriental, it is often misused as places that were part of the original Chinese Empire. Although India would be part of Asia, it would not seem to be fitting to call them Oriental as they were not part of the original Chinese Empire. Personally, I think Oriental is fine but it depends who you ask.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 6, 2007 12:36 PM

You know, people always ask why the black kids (or Asian, or Latino, for that matter) "always" self-segregate in the cafeteria. Why doesn't anyone ever ask why all the WHITE kids self-segregate? Why is it that when students of color do this, it's seen as some kind of hostile act, but when white students do it, it's not even picked up on?

What, should the black and other minority kids evenly distribute themselves throughout the cafeteria so that each table of white kids can have a token minority or two at their table so that they can feel good about having interaction with minorities (in a way that doesn't force them to leave their comfort zone).

I suppose this is difficult for people who have never been a racial minority at school or at a job to understand, but for those of us who are minorities, dealing with race is something that's inevitable-- we don't have the luxury of ignoring it. And sometimes, it's comforting to be able to spend an hour with people who get where we're coming from. Or heck, with people who know how to play spades and saw last night's episode of the Steve Harvey show and can relate to having their hair "turn back" after getting caught in the rain. (Yes, yes, some white people can relate to these things too-- I'm just saying).

I highly recommend that people read "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?"

Posted by: Danielle | June 6, 2007 12:39 PM

"Obese people have a few choices. Eat less and exercise more."

Not always. It's difficult to "eat less and exercise more" when your community is unsafe to walk in, or when your school serves nothing but chicken-fried pizza. Obesity happens in childhood now more than ever, and it's unreasonable to expect a child to elect to make healthy choices, and it only gets harder for an obese child as s/he becomes an adult. Many of us are fortunate to have access to health education, fresh foods and gym memberships, but you would be surprised to know how many people live off Little Debbie cakes and canned meat. Remember Ramen noodles from college? Seven grams of fat per serving, and there are two servings in that stale block of noodles. Yet we all ate them. Imagine if you had to eat them every day once you got out of college as well, because you couldn't afford anything else.

Back to the topic of self-separating, does anyone think that one race self-separates more than another? I don't know why, but it seems to me that in terms of friends, I don't prefer one race over another, but I do in terms of dating. I think it's because of physical preferences, but I am unsure. My group of friends is pretty diverse, and so are the ways in which we came to know each other: college, friends of friends, a poker game, etc. However, the last few boyfriends I've had have all been of the same (not my) race. I don't know if you can consider that "self-separating" or not.

Last night I sat down with my best friend, her father and grandfather for dinner. I never had family dinner time growing up, and that one single dinner made me feel closer to that family than I expected--and I can't even speak to her grandfather because I don't speak Mandarin. Aside from the language barrier (and the fact that they were eating dumplings and egg drop soup while I was eating pizza), I don't really think anyone noticed that we are different colors. Anyone else had an experience of being truly color blind?

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 12:41 PM

Thanks again, all.

No internet at home, Scarry. It had to go thanks to bipolar-impulsive adult with credit card. I am working on its restoration, but with the "nanny clamp" on it. Very annoying.

I did find a book entitled "Comic-Strip Grammar" that may make it less daunting for the younger child. I will not pass up the other book in favour of this one! I'm going to get both. Gotta keep the publishing houses going, right?

Now, before anyone weeps hot tears, please realize that not everything that is graphic is cr@p. See "Maus", the book that almost got first-born child suspended from middle school. I did go in and point out that it was hardly dirty, had they not noticed the words "Pulitzer Prize winner" embossed upon the cover?, and flipped it over to show them the fact that it was obtained at the county public library. I then suggested that someone READ IT before trying to toss my kid out.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 6, 2007 12:42 PM

Or heck, with people who know how to play spades and saw last night's episode of the Steve Harvey show and can relate to having their hair "turn back" after getting caught in the rain. (Yes, yes, some white people can relate to these things too-- I'm just saying).


GASP! People of different races have different interests, needs and may prefer people like themselves? The PC police will be here shortly to send you to reeducation camp DANILLE, pack a bag.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:42 PM

"DANIELLE",(sp) my apologies

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 12:44 PM

"I never know what to call black people anymore."

I would try asking their names. It usually works.

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 12:46 PM

My son's school handles this by having every class sit together.

To the extent there is segregation it is because white parents haven't enrolled their children in the school because so many of the tables are all black and not because of any choices the kids are making.

The kids all mix it up on the playground as they like though, so that is a good sign that even if they were given a choice in the matter, it isn't an issue for them!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 12:47 PM

Yawn!! Wake me when there is something new under the sun on this blog............

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:48 PM

To boston liz: I was fortunate in that my mother-in-law liked me from the moment we met. I know that she expected him to marry an Italian woman, but she doesn't care that where an inter-racial couple. She does want grandchildren, though....she's making that plenty clear these days :-)

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 12:49 PM

Should read

Lynne Truss is the author of "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 12:54 PM

Hi MV, thanks :) I'd love to read more about any experiences you (or anyone else) would like to share.

Posted by: boston liz | June 6, 2007 12:57 PM

"Anyone else had an experience of being truly color blind?"

Yes. This is how I grew up (my husband calls my family the rainbow family because we come in all colors :-)). I've also had these experiences overseas.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 12:58 PM

pATRICK sounds a lot like my dad, who when my younger brother mentioned he had an Asian girlfriend years ago, said "bluebirds should only date bluebirds", making it clear what he felt about interracial dating.

I just kept my mouth shut about me having dated a woman from Jamaica while I was in college...

Posted by: John L | June 6, 2007 1:00 PM

"Anyone else had an experience of being truly color blind?"

if you were really, truly "color blind," how would you know?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:04 PM

Folks -- the plural of anecdote is not data. This info is nothing more than a collection of stories. Meaning -- nothing!!! But it sure got a rise out of a lot of you...

Posted by: datame | June 6, 2007 1:05 PM

I had two black roommates in college. Does this count?

Posted by: A Caucasian | June 6, 2007 1:05 PM

I'm color blind for Denzel Washington, mmmm, yummy!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:06 PM

Posted by Anonymous @ 2007 11:47 AM

"Sure, just ask an affluent black man trying to hail a cab or drive down 95 to a funeral without being stopped. If he's under 25, ask him how many white women cross the street after dark when they see him coming towards them, no matter how expensive the clothes he wears.

All poor people are discriminated against, but to deny the discrimination that occurs based on race alone reveals a conscious decision to ignore reality."

The case with racial profiling is definately strong. I think it was about a month ago there was a story in the Post regarding a statistical analysis that showed evidence that racial profiling existed even adjusting for socio-economic class. Latino as well as Black men, I seem to recall, were most often pulled over without having committed any offense. I think the number was something like 10% more than White or Asian males. I also cannot remember whether or not it was DC area specific.

Lexis/Nexis may help me find it, I'll post a citation if I do.

Ten percent may not seem like a huge amount, but the appearance of racial descrimination undermines the principles that help maintain law and order. As in case of the poster's hypothetical affluent black man, it might as well be that all African Americans pulled over on 95 without direct cause can be seen as "Driving While Black" even if only 10% of those could be said to distinguish from those that might be called "Driving While White."

As far as the socio-economic argument is concerned in the issue of racial profiling, I think that there is some merit to the notion that part of the reptilian hindbrain that screams black/latino = poor and poor = criminal for the profiler. It's the same part of the brain that probably also says tiger = danger. Part of this idea is that Asian Americans (who have also been traditionally descriminated against in America) do not trigger the "= poor" and hence the lower number of incedents of being pulled over in the analysis of racial profiling.

Posted by: David S | June 6, 2007 1:06 PM

Sorry, I gotta say that no one is truly "color-blind" except for those who are physically blind. Maybe people's race or color doesn't affect how you feel about them and doesn't affect your interactions with them, but everyone is always aware of someone's color.

I mean, if someone asked you what color a friend of yours is, would you genuinely be unable to answer that? I would be really concerned for the eyesight or sanity of a friend who was unaware that I am a mocha-colored shade of brown. I mean, that's like me not being aware that a friend's hair is red, or a friend has dimples.

And I'm proud of my heritage, so for a friend to say that they are blind to the fact that I'm Black would be rather insulting. I mean, being Black isn't the most interesting thing about me, but it's important and unmistakable, nonetheless.

I could never be colorblind- I am aware of what color and race every one of my friends and family is. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. All it means is that my eyes are still working.

Posted by: Danielle | June 6, 2007 1:10 PM

atb, you sound arrogant as well. You're only getting a sliver of my perspective. We have one thing in common, probably more - both of our best friends are Asians - she is a dynamo. If we we're ever to meet in person we would probably like each other. On the other hand, you might be one of those bigotted liberals pATRICK referenced to earlier.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 1:12 PM

As a highly educated woman of color in the workplace, the category of "women" mostly means white females. The term "women and minorities" have referred to white females (women) and minorities (black males, Asians, non-white females). It's disturbing because so many talented black females are not included in the "women" category at major corporations. If you look around at corporations who have advanced "women" up the career ladder, they are primarily white females. These women mentor other women who look like them and I mention this because in so many instances, black females are ignored and written off. That's one issue. The other issue that is bothersome is that most white females lump all black females in the same boat . . . uneducated, single welfare moms with multiple children. While I agree that the white middle class has afforded so many opportunities to white females, there are many, many black females who are totally committed to their children, education, respect for the law, exposure to new opportunities for our children and the desire to see them succeed. We don't fit the mode and stereotype that many white females want to put us in. I have women friends who happen to be white but for many outside this circle, stereotypes surface which is disturbing.

Posted by: BroadThinker | June 6, 2007 1:13 PM

atb,12:13 - you sound arrogant as well. You're only getting a sliver of my perspective. We have one thing in common, probably more - both of our best friends are Asians - she is a dynamo. If we we're ever to meet in person we would probably like each other. On the other hand, you might be one of those bigotted liberals pATRICK referenced to earlier.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 1:14 PM

Good point, Danielle. I guess you really can't be any more color blind than you can be regular blind; you notice what people look like. It was still an interesting experience, though. :-)

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 1:15 PM

"Anyone else had an experience of being truly color blind?"

I can't say that I am color blind, though I do recognize my biases and work to keep them out of my decision making process. I doubt I will ever be without them, but it is like being afraid of spiders, I feel the visceral reaction starting, but I can stop it before it influences my actions.

Posted by: David S | June 6, 2007 1:16 PM

I'm going to get flamed for this, so shoot away...

My disconnect with the new titling of "African American" is my black friends are about as African as I am European. Meaning, we all grew up in the same area, none of us (to the best of my knowledge) ever visited the 'mother land,' and all of our true identities are just plain "American."

It just seems really silly to me to call yourself (or someone else) an African American when they were born in, for example, Akron, Ohio. As were their parents. And their parents' parents.


Posted by: Just wonderin' | June 6, 2007 11:58 AM

Ah, eventually the truth outs. As we suspected, it's not that you don't know what to call African-Americans. It's that you don't care for the term they prefer so you plead ignorance rather than honor the preference. That's mature. Would it make sense to you if I said that my best friend named her daughter a stupid name so I've decided to keep forgetting her given name and instead call her, "Betsy"?

"Colored" and "Negro" were terms established by whites to refer to blacks. Many blacks expressed a preference for "African-American" because it was a term they selected for themselves. The term, of necessity, refers to the continent rather than a particular country because the reality of the slave trade has denied most blacks any knowledge of their specific country of heritage, e.g., most African Americans are unable to trace their ancestry to a specific African nation in the manner that Irish-Americans or German-Americans are able to trace their respective ancestries.

Your attitude toward the term, "African-American" suggests that you have no clue whether your black friends' true identities encompass any ethnic or cultural heritage in addition to "just plain "American."


Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:24 PM

If you're going to flame me, at least post a name.

Posted by: Just wonderin' | June 6, 2007 1:28 PM

black friends' true identities encompass any ethnic or cultural heritage in addition to "just plain "American."
-----------------------------------------------
My direct forefathers established this country, I am an American. This is my heritage, not English-American or anything else!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:30 PM

broadthinker, I can relate to your post. Women of color cannot necessarily travel the path made by successful (white) women because we are usually excluded. As a young Latina I feel that we still need to be trailblazers.

Posted by: ellenb | June 6, 2007 1:31 PM

"And sometimes, it's comforting to be able to spend an hour with people who get where we're coming from."

Danielle, I agree with your post and have no problem with self segregating because, like you said, you want to be with people who understand you. Self segregating is not racism.

But you'd have to apply the same sentiment to the example given earlier (not by you) of the white woman crossing the street upin seeing a black man. In that situation, she is uncomfortable, so she remedies it by corssing the street. Should she be forced by the PC police to pretend that she wants to pass by him closely? No.

Both are examples of perceived comfort based on race. Not all the black kids will have watched Steve Harvey, but they get together because they perceive being more comfortable together.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 1:36 PM

My strongly held opinion is that talking about problems always helps.

So yes, I believe it is critical to acknowledge the subtle and completely unsubtle forms of racism that still pervade our country. It's important for black and white women to talk to each other about these problems. I also think it's important to talk openly with children about racisms.

That's why it didn't matter to me to make the survey a "scientific" study. Talking openly is the first step towards solving problems.

Posted by: Leslie | June 6, 2007 1:38 PM

Hey Just wonderin' - Black seems to be the most inclusive/least offensive term. As an example, there are lots of West Indian folks who live in the U.S. and see themselves as neither African nor American, but are definitely identified as black while they're here.

Posted by: boston liz | June 6, 2007 1:40 PM

1:24, some people take issue with "African-American" because it is misleading. Many black people have no roots or ties to Africa and are called African-American, even if they are Jamaican, Cuban, or Aboriginal. I personally wouldn't want to be called European-American just because I'm white. Not all blacks came from Africa.

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 1:40 PM

"Danielle, I agree with your post and have no problem with self segregating because, like you said, you want to be with people who understand you. Self segregating is not racism.

But you'd have to apply the same sentiment to the example given earlier (not by you) of the white woman crossing the street upin seeing a black man. In that situation, she is uncomfortable, so she remedies it by corssing the street. Should she be forced by the PC police to pretend that she wants to pass by him closely? No.

Both are examples of perceived comfort based on race. Not all the black kids will have watched Steve Harvey, but they get together because they perceive being more comfortable together. "

Meesh, the problem with your comparison is that the reason behind the perceived levels of comfort are different. In the case of the white woman crossing the street, she's crossing the street because she thinks she might be robbed, raped, or murdered, not just because she's uncomfortable.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 1:42 PM

"Obese people have a few choices. Eat less and exercise more."

Not always. It's difficult to "eat less and exercise more" when your community is unsafe to walk in, or when your school serves nothing but chicken-fried pizza.

Ah yes, the victim society, where nothing is ever your fault and the most popular thing to do is blame your parents, environment, politicians, god - everyone but YOURSELF and the choices YOU make everyday. But I guess that's what keeps so many lawyers employed.

Posted by: earnheart | June 6, 2007 1:43 PM

"broadthinker, I can relate to your post. Women of color cannot necessarily travel the path made by successful (white) women because we are usually excluded. As a young Latina I feel that we still need to be trailblazers."

I agree with you that we think more leaders/mentors. Within the Latino community, I think we also need to discuss issues regarding race.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 1:46 PM

"she's crossing the street because she thinks she might be robbed, raped, or murdered, not just because she's uncomfortable."

ISTM that if she thinks any of the above, she'll definitely be uncomfortable too. Or should she just walk past the man ahead of her no matter what?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:46 PM

I cross the street when I see any man who looks 'shady'. This is based on the way he is dressed, the way he is carrying himself, and whether or not he is alone. Skin color doesn't come into play.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:47 PM

"pATRICK sounds a lot like my dad, who when my younger brother mentioned he had an Asian girlfriend years ago, said "bluebirds should only date bluebirds", making it clear what he felt about interracial dating."

Not me, I think asian women are gorgeous. Bark up a different tree.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 1:49 PM

" "Obese people have a few choices. Eat less and exercise more."

Not always. It's difficult to "eat less and exercise more" when your community is unsafe to walk in, or when your school serves nothing but chicken-fried pizza.

Ah yes, the victim society, where nothing is ever your fault and the most popular thing to do is blame your parents, environment, politicians, god - everyone but YOURSELF and the choices YOU make everyday. But I guess that's what keeps so many lawyers employed."

Not the victim society - just pointing out that things may not be as simple as others think. Weight loss and/or gain is much more involved than the number of calories eaten and the amount of exercise that is done. Judgments should only be made by those who have been there, not by those who are full of contempt for those who do not meet your standards.

Posted by: amused | June 6, 2007 1:52 PM

MV, I knew the difference when I made the comparison. But does the reason actually matter? I thought her whole point was about comfort.

And there is no reason for the kid to think that his friends all watched the show except past experience. The woman also based her decision on past experience. Is one "right" or "wrong"?

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 1:52 PM

"pATRICK sounds a lot like my dad, who when my younger brother mentioned he had an Asian girlfriend years ago, said "bluebirds should only date bluebirds", making it clear what he felt about interracial dating."

I should have added, this is funny since my brother is married to a Filipina womAn and my other brother lives in Mexico married to a mexican women with three of my nephews, who look mexican. By the way, hw do bluebirds date? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 1:52 PM

My typing sucks today.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 1:54 PM

" "Obese people have a few choices. Eat less and exercise more."

Yes, the victims of childhood sexual trauma should wear signs on their foreheads to explain why they over eat. But no, that wouldn't be enough ridicule.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:55 PM


pATRICK

"Not me, I think asian women are gorgeous"

Same here - delish babes!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:58 PM

Not me, I think asian women are gorgeous. Bark up a different tree.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 01:49 PM

and Asian women across the globe swoon at the very thought of dating such a prize

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:58 PM

Why just the focus on white and black? Why not Asian or Latino?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 1:58 PM

"Your attitude toward the term, "African-American" suggests that you have no clue whether your black friends' true identities encompass any ethnic or cultural heritage in addition to "just plain "American."

Actually, your attitude suggests that you're ignorant of any black person's heritage. I have Jamaican and Colombian friends who hate that the term "African American" is applied to them. It completely disregards their heritage.

FWIW, I am Italian, Hungarian, Scots Irish, and African. What do I get called? White (or gringa when I'm in Colombia). Are you essentially saying that blacks' heritage should be respected but not whites'?

I could be offended and correct people saying "I'm 1/8 African," but what's the point?

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 1:59 PM

Why just the focus on white and black? Why not Asian or Latino?

That's right, Tyra, thanks for making Jasline the first Latina "America's Next Top Model"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:01 PM

"Not me, I think asian women are gorgeous. Bark up a different tree.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 01:49 PM

and Asian women across the globe swoon at the very thought of dating such a prize"

I found a few earlier in life.6'1, 200lbs, blue eyes. blond hair. Maybe a couple might like me. Too bad, I am happily married.HAHA

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:02 PM

The only negativity I see against blacks is in rap music and videos.
Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 10:25 AM

And you're absolutely right about this: "People do not seem to realize that the issue is socioeconomic not color." The people who are discriminated against the most are not a certain racial group but a socioeconomic group: the poor.
Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 11:37 AM

In the case of the white woman crossing the street, she's crossing the street because she thinks she might be robbed, raped, or murdered, not just because she's uncomfortable.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 01:42 PM

If the basis for her thoughts are not rational, but based solely on the fact that he's a young black man, that's racism. If she observes that he exhibits behavior associated with criminals, she's acting rationally. Some of you want it both ways - it's fine for whites to act out of ignorance in racist ways, whether by crossing the street or speaking of all blacks as though they are obese. But that black man wearing a $600 suit who keeps noticing women cross the street in front of him is not supposed to notice incidents of racism, but act as though white society will judge him by the content of his character.

This topic originally arose in response to the first statement above from Meesh that incidents of socioeconomic discrimination are more common than incidents of racial discrimination. Show us the statistics that back that statement.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:03 PM

"and Asian women across the globe swoon at the very thought of dating such a prize"

Woo hoo!! As if this windbag ever got any decent tail without paying for it!

I nominate for quote of the year!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:03 PM

Today 63 years ago was the beginning of the end for the murderous Nazis. Thanks to all the brave men at Normandy.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:05 PM

I came from Scotland 10 years ago. I am one of the fairest skinned, darkest haired people you'll see.

As one person noted that some Asians are offended by the 'oriental' vs. 'asian' tag--please don't call someone from Scotland 'Scotch'--Scotch is a drink, Scottish is the adjective to describe a person (or worse yet, calling me Irish! wink, wink)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:06 PM

Yesterday I commented that this board reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld. Today is shaping up to be more like an Ivy League version of Jerry Springer.

Posted by: Circle Pines | June 6, 2007 2:06 PM

pATRICK

"I found a few earlier in life.6'1, 200lbs, blue eyes. blond hair. Maybe a couple might like me. "

Maybe, until you open your mouth and the women realize what a crashing bore you are.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:07 PM

"MV, I knew the difference when I made the comparison. But does the reason actually matter? I thought her whole point was about comfort.

And there is no reason for the kid to think that his friends all watched the show except past experience. The woman also based her decision on past experience. Is one "right" or "wrong"? "

I would think that reason or logic determines ones level of comfort. I think it matters whether our comfort levels are based on real or imagined fears. I would imagine that the reason that the kid thought that his friends watched the show was because it had characters that looked like them (let's face it, tv programs do not reflect that much diversity).

I don't see the part in her post where she said that the woman based her decision on past experience. Maybe I misread.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 2:09 PM

please don't call someone from Scotland 'Scotch'--Scotch is a drink, Scottish is the adjective to describe a person (or worse yet, calling me Irish! wink, wink)

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 02:06 PM

We could always call you Welsh!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:09 PM

Okay, so be it. I cross the street when I see black men dressed in hip hop style.

If I don't, and I'm wrong, then the consequences can be deadly. Not worth the risk. Sorry dudes. You wanna change the reaction? Change the rap videos and lose the 'tude.

Posted by: So be it | June 6, 2007 2:09 PM

pATRICK

"Too bad, I am happily married.HAHA"

To a woman? I thought you are gay!

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 2:10 PM

yawn, Oh no I have been insulted by an anonymous troll! Go away coward.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:10 PM

Thanks pATRICK for noticing the trees but not the forest. Or the words themselves instead of the meaning.

You did say "People of different races have different interests, needs and may prefer people like themselves" though. Do you believe that or do you just talk?

Posted by: John L | June 6, 2007 2:11 PM

come on people, "gay" is not an insult, and should not be used as insult, and should not be received as an insult.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:12 PM

"pATRICK

"Too bad, I am happily married.HAHA"

To a woman? I thought you are gay!"


Sorry "NIGEL" I am married to a woman. Your treks through the bathhouses will have to continue unabated.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:13 PM

But that black man wearing a $600 suit

Drug Lords love to wear expensive suits!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:13 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Eats-Shoots-Leaves-Tolerance-Punctuation/dp/1592400876

Lynne Truss is the author of "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves."

(Anonymous)

Lynne Truss is the author of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves".

(Maryland Mother)

I think the period belongs outside of the quotes. In print, the title has no punctuation mark at the end.

Chris?


Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:14 PM

"Weight loss and/or gain is much more involved than the number of calories eaten and the amount of exercise that is done."

Um, no, it really is that simple in MOST cases - eat less calories then you burn, you lose weight, eat more, you gain. Now people can make excuses all day why they don't have the time or motivation to take care of themselves - I even have a certain level of respect for people who say "Yeah, I know I'm overweight, but I really don't care, I hate exercise and love pizza too much to give it up". At least those people are honest and not looking to blame something or someone else for their problems.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:14 PM

pATRICK

"Sorry "NIGEL" I am married to a woman. Your treks through the bathhouses will have to continue unabated"

When you finally come out of the closet, I'll be gentle with you.

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 2:15 PM

Yes, we have now crossed the border into Jerry Springerland.

Posted by: Circle Pines | June 6, 2007 2:16 PM

You did say "People of different races have different interests, needs and may prefer people like themselves" though. Do you believe that or do you just talk?

No I do believe it. I see nothing wrong with people deciding (black or white) where they want to sit. It is called freedom.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:16 PM

We could always call you Welsh!

Oh, no, there is absolutely no way I could get my tongue round so many Ws or LL combinations.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:17 PM

Weight loss and/or gain is much more involved than the number of calories eaten and the amount of exercise that is done.

Yes it is for the most part. More calories expended / less calories taken in will almost always equal weight loss. Yes, the reasons for the addiction to food are more involved and are much more difficult to treat but the math is pretty basic.

Posted by: DC lurker | June 6, 2007 2:17 PM

Again- if you are a victim of abuse and you eat to make yourself feel better-get some help. That's what yall seem to be not quoting from what I wrote above-go to a doctor if there's something else wrong.

Posted by: out here | June 6, 2007 2:17 PM

Leslie -- You might have gotten around some of today's posts about this survey not being scientific (including mine) if you had just left out all of the percentages. Why bother? They suggest analysis that was not there. (For example, 100% of my son loves pizza. Big deal.) Just say "over 1000 self-selected women of many ethnic and racial groups responded; some said this and some said that." That would have been more journalistically accurate. It is what it is; it's not what it's not. It simply is a way to provoke a (dishearteningly) heated and ignorant series of comments -- not even a real discussion.

That's not to say that a real methodologicaly sound survey wouldn't be a good idea. But a WP blog ain't the way to get there.

Posted by: datame | June 6, 2007 2:18 PM

pATRICK

"Sorry "NIGEL" I am married to a woman. Your treks through the bathhouses will have to continue unabated"

When you finally come out of the closet, I'll be gentle with you."


Sorry Nigel, you will just have to satisfy yourself on your own, which I am sure you have had much practice.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:19 PM

[i]Eats, Shoots & Leaves[/i] quickly became a bestseller in America, reaching #1 on the [i]New York Times[/i] bestseller list.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:21 PM

"You did say "People of different races have different interests, needs and may prefer people like themselves" though. Do you believe that or do you just talk?

No I do believe it. I see nothing wrong with people deciding (black or white) where they want to sit. It is called freedom."

pATRICK you do realize that this kind of argument can be used to defend apartheid?

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 2:22 PM

Oddly, the Asian women I'm close appear to tire very easily of white men who go nuts over their "exotic" features. One of them told me once that she just wished she would hear a white man say, just once, "I love Asian women, they are so smart" or something non-superficial.

My knee-jerk reaction was "ohh, poor baby, it must suck having men find you so beautiful!" But then I thought about it, and I can understand. Even the most beautiful woman would like to have the comfort of knowing that someone would like to spend time with her for another reason besides her looks.

I can't say I've experienced the same, but there have been some Asian men who've pursued me--knowing I have a history of being attracted to Asian men--with some sort of vendetta in mind. They seem to want some sort of revenge against the white men who "stole" all their women, or they have possibly allowed stereotypes to make them feel inferior to white men, and "landing" a white woman is some social validation to them. Of course, I'm playing armchair psychologist here, and I could be way off base. But after hearing comments such as "I only like blondes" or "I only date white women" or hearing these men prattle on about how annoyed they are by white men, it makes me wonder. Clearly, these guys are no longer around, and it's quite possible that they're still pursuing white women to fulfill whatever need they have.

Or, I may be wrong, and they just like pale skin. But if the former is true, I can see why an Asian woman would tire of hearing so often how Asian women are so gorgeous and beautiful and exotic. If it were me, it would make me wonder, "Are you dating me, or my skin color?"

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 2:22 PM

We could always call you Welsh!

Oh, no, there is absolutely no way I could get my tongue round so many Ws or LL combinations.

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 02:17 PM

Well, better Welsh than Kiwi. (I think?)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:23 PM

(or worse yet, calling me Irish! wink, wink)

I thought you all came from the same tribe and hated the English?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:23 PM

out here

"Again- if you are a victim of abuse and you eat to make yourself feel better-get some help. That's what yall seem to be not quoting from what I wrote above-go to a doctor if there's something else wrong. "

Again, many people who eat to mask pain from abuse ARE UNAWARE OF THE CAUSE OF THEIR OVER EATING. Many doctors are not trained to recognize & treat these problems.

Fat people know they are fat; they don't always know why they are fat.

It's nice to have the great advice of a perfect person like you! Good luck with that attitude in life! You're gonna need it!

Posted by: Lola | June 6, 2007 2:23 PM

"first statement above from Meesh that incidents of socioeconomic discrimination are more common than incidents of racial discrimination. Show us the statistics that back that statement."

Actually, I was responding to the person who wrote: "I have seen on other blogs and this (e.g. the anonymous posters) how people view black people as a whole - teenage pregnancies, single mothers, criminals, gangsters etc. - the bane of society. People do not seem to realize that the issue is socioeconomic not color."

I said nothing about one type being more prevalent than the other. I said that lots of discrimination and prejudice is based on socioeconomic status. I have no stats for that.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 2:27 PM

I guess it's just when people assume I'm Irish and then talk about the IRA that gets me.

Yes, the Welsh, Irish and Scots are similar Celts.

As for hating the English--not hate exactly, too strong a term, though many of my ancestors were sent to NZ and Aus. through Highland Clearances.

The SNP (Scottish National Party) has the strongest showing in Parliament now that it ever has. Scotland may one day be an independent member of the Commonwealth (like Canada, NZ, Aus.). It's all economics. Scotland has wanted to be independent for years, but until the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970's it just wasn't happening.

(There. For all of you who want to know when the shark was jumped, I think this is it!)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:28 PM

but there have been some Asian men who've pursued me--knowing I have a history of being attracted to Asian men--with some sort of vendetta in mind

maybe they just thought you were a 'sure thing' -- with no vendetta against white people

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:28 PM

"You did say "People of different races have different interests, needs and may prefer people like themselves" though. Do you believe that or do you just talk?

No I do believe it. I see nothing wrong with people deciding (black or white) where they want to sit. It is called freedom."

pATRICK you do realize that this kind of argument can be used to defend apartheid?"


Possibly I guess, but that would be faulty. I speak of FREE association not government imposition. I think socially people do as they please, legally we enforce all equality laws. I also do not like Black Student Centers or Latino Student Centers. That is official apartheid and should never be allowed any more than a whites only student center.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:28 PM

At 10:54, Leslie wrote:
People in the majority want to believe, quite badly, that they are not racist or biased. I've seen many cases of men at work protesting their own lack of bias against women. the same for white people who insist they are not prejudiced. Not one wants to admit they have unconscious biases.
**************************************
Aren't women the majority sex in the US? I often wondered why they did not revolt and overthrow the old boys network. And why female bosses were so hard on other women.

Posted by: MB | June 6, 2007 2:29 PM

The reason there are not enough black men to go around is because the black women raising those kids alone do such a poor job that one out of three end up in the criminal justice system, after which most black females won`t have anything to do with them. The black women that do deal with these ex-cons get to try to rationalize daddy`s criminal past and sometimes, present. The black men who do get an education cannot deal with the attitudes possessed by many educated black women, for whom an education means -- to them -- the right to affect a superior, self-satisfied air, e.g. Ms. Two Ivyleagues. **This just in -- thousands of people, white, black and brown, graduate from Ivy League schools and there academic competitors every year. When you take into account the lowered standards for minority students, honey, you`re not that special, so get over yourself. The facts are what matter, not the purported characteristics of the speaker, and your IL education and two degrees should've taught you THAT -- mine did.

Posted by: da troof hoits | June 6, 2007 2:29 PM

"Scotland has wanted to be independent for years, but until the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970's it just wasn't happening. "

Scotland, mmmmm, Sean Connery, double mmmm.

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 2:31 PM

'Scotland, mmmmm, Sean Connery, double mmmm.'

Sean Connery wrote an article for WaPo on the SNP, last weekend, I think.

(And yes Sean is gorgeous, and yes, he is mistaken for being Irish all the time, too.....)


Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:33 PM

Okay, so be it. I cross the street when I see black men dressed in hip hop style.

If I don't, and I'm wrong, then the consequences can be deadly. Not worth the risk. Sorry dudes. You wanna change the reaction? Change the rap videos and lose the 'tude.

Posted by: So be it | June 6, 2007 02:09 PM

Because you're watching BET night and day? It's fascinating how many people claim to be influenced by the content of rap videos they've never seen.

Here are some other behaviors you wouldn't want to take a chance on, in your quest for safety.

Don't shake hands with someone who has cancer because your mistake could be deadly. Some people think it's contagious.

Don't take a seat at a dinner party next to someone with HIV or AIDS because, if despite all the information out there, the scientists are wrong, your mistake could be deadly.

Don't have your daughter vaccinated against venereal warts because if might cause her to turn into a ho-bag.

Don't get on a boat traveling east to west around the world because it might fall off the edge.

It's not worth the risk.

Posted by: Just admit your racist | June 6, 2007 2:34 PM

Does anyone remember in the movie "Crash" LUDACRIS griping about racism against the waitress , thinking they were thugs etc. Then he pulls out a nine and carjacks somebody? That was an interesting scene from a great movie.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:34 PM

So Scottish guy what is your favorite Scottish girl's name. I am pregnant and am going through the name Scottish and Irish name books.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 2:36 PM

"Sean Connery wrote an article for WaPo on the SNP, last weekend, I think."

Not really interested in Sean's mind, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 2:36 PM

"I would think that reason or logic determines ones level of comfort."

I would agree, but I think you and I disagree on whether that reasoning matters.

MV, no, you didn't misread. I assumed this imaginary woman crossed the street because she was aware of the real danger of being assaulted. But it wasn't explicitly stated.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 2:37 PM

The people who are discriminated against the most are not a certain racial group but a socioeconomic group: the poor.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 11:37 AM

I said nothing about one type being more prevalent than the other. I said that lots of discrimination and prejudice is based on socioeconomic status. I have no stats for that.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 02:27 PM

Fine, since we're parsing what is is, provide the statistics that show that, "the people who are discriminated against THE MOST are not a certain racial group but a socioeconomic group: the poor." I read that to mean more often or that such discrimination was more prevalent. Since you said it, defend the statement any way you can, if you can.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:38 PM

"Okay, so be it. I cross the street when I see black men dressed in hip hop style.

If I don't, and I'm wrong, then the consequences can be deadly. Not worth the risk. Sorry dudes. You wanna change the reaction? Change the rap videos and lose the 'tude."

Unfortunately for many black people the sad facts of high incarceration for blacks means that this reaction will be the prudent reaction for some time. Even black cabbies refuse black riders. Sad but true.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:38 PM

See, here's where we run into problems: Danielle said something to the effect of we just want to sit with people who can play spades and saw last night's Steve Harvey episode. Sister, and all, I've got a problem with that because I don't play spades, I'm more willing to watch Seinfeld and Friends, than watch BET. No one should assume that generalizations exists. Like I said, I pick friends for character, not because they speak the same language I do, or eat the same food I do. Heck, I probably cook and eat more curry than the average Indian-born woman because I believe you should do what makes you happy, not what helps you identify and box into your skin-color's stereotype.

Oh, and educmom, you're a hottie!

Posted by: Just Me, Thank You | June 6, 2007 2:39 PM

I am careful.

All that you mentioned was spurious, if one is educated, which I am, by the way. None of your supposedly complementary examples holds water, especially the comment about the papillomavirus vaccine.

And yes, I can't escape the videos--they are on VH1 playing continuously at the gym while I watch CNN on the adjacent TV screen.

So, yeah, I'll still cross the street when I see a black man dressed in hip hop style, because how do I know that whether the persona he is projecting is real, or just an image? Risking my life to find out is not an option.

Posted by: Not racist, careful. | June 6, 2007 2:39 PM

*We could always call you Welsh!

Oh, no, there is absolutely no way I could get my tongue round so many Ws or LL combinations.*

You mean SING your way around.
I'm Welsh, Irish, Scottish and French. That makes me a liltingingly-singing, beer-drinking, money-grubbing, cheese-eating surrender monkey. Well, except that I can only carry a tune in a paper bag, I hate beer, I always treat when I'm out, and I can take or leave le fromage.

*http://www.amazon.com/Eats-Shoots-Leaves-Tolerance-Punctuation/dp/1592400876

Lynne Truss is the author of "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves."

(Anonymous)

Lynne Truss is the author of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves".

(Maryland Mother)

I think the period belongs outside of the quotes. In print, the title has no punctuation mark at the end.*

Punctuation always goes inside the quotes, even when the quote itself has no end punctuation. It might not seem right, but it is. English does that from time to time -- think about all the times people say something like, "Ed gave the books to Bob and I" when it should be "...Bob and me." The test for that is to remove the "Bob and" and see what is correct.

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 2:39 PM

"I would think that reason or logic determines ones level of comfort."

MV, I would agree, but I think you and I disagree on whether that reasoning matters.

And no, you didn't misread. I assumed this imaginary woman crossed the street because she was aware of the real danger of being assaulted. But it wasn't explicitly stated.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 2:40 PM

Because of my white liberal guilt, I did not lock my car doors when a black man approached. I now have a handicapped placard on my car.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:40 PM

ARG! Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 2:41 PM

Because of my white liberal guilt, I did not lock my car doors when a black man approached. I now have a handicapped placard on my car.

My car doors are always locked.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:43 PM

"Does anyone remember in the movie "Crash" LUDACRIS griping about racism against the waitress , thinking they were thugs etc. Then he pulls out a nine and carjacks somebody? That was an interesting scene from a great movie."

I loved that movie. Goes to show that it's a complex issue. I thought that Ludarcris was great for that part because his music persona and his personal life seem to be at oods sometimes.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 2:44 PM

Just me,
Thanks!

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 2:44 PM

pATRICK

"Does anyone remember in the movie "Crash" LUDACRIS griping about racism against the waitress , thinking they were thugs etc. Then he pulls out a nine and carjacks somebody? That was an interesting scene from a great movie. "

No, it was a dumb scene from a mediocre movie that played more like a Lifetime Movie of the Week production. What a piece of crap flick, with not one iota of talent, to win the Academy Award for Best Picture!

Posted by: Oscar | June 6, 2007 2:45 PM

Hi Scarry,

Actually, I am a Scottish female, and I also post as NW vet. (Boy this is really going to identify me now, for any of you in my area!)

A particularly pretty Scottish girl's name is Briony (BRI-uh-nee). Not extremely popular, but pretty nonetheless; I think that Scottish lads' names are by far more attractive. 'Fiona' used to be popular for girls, but today that'll evoke images of the heroine from 'Shrek'.

Posted by: Scottish poster (aka NW vet) | June 6, 2007 2:45 PM

"Anyone else had an experience of being truly color blind?"

Yep - my husband. I am the 9.55 poster who is black with a white husband. He is one of the few white people I know who never slips up and says something that makes me realize that no matter how friendly we are they still see me as black. It does not have to be a mean thing just something that indicates that they see blacks as different. He just does not see color.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:48 PM

"I loved that movie. Goes to show that it's a complex issue. I thought that Ludarcris was great for that part because his music persona and his personal life seem to be at oods sometimes."


No kidding, I loved when LUDACRIS was thrust into the role of slaveowner and could have sold those asian immigrants. That was genius and I was glad he let them go.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:48 PM

2:38, you're absolutely right that my first explanation was poorly phrased. How's this:

The traits that racists ascribe to blacks are actually associated with poverty and not race (the teenaged pregnancy, the drug wars, the gangs, dropping out of school, etc.). These situations correlate more consistently with the poor than with a specific race.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 2:49 PM

So sorry, I had no idea why I envisioned you as a guy. Maybe it was all the talk of Sean Connery. That is a pretty name. I have to have an Irish or Scottish first name. The boys name is set (Donovan) but we don't know what we are having yet and we fight over girl's names. I like Arabella but get conflicting information as to whether it is Scottish or not. I also like Avery. My husband is not easy to convince. Thanks

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 2:49 PM

"Hi Scarry,

Actually, I am a Scottish female, and I also post as NW vet. (Boy this is really going to identify me now, for any of you in my area!)"

I went to Scotland and found them similar to southerners in the US-very friendly.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 2:50 PM

You're welcome, scarry! Scots tend to liek old fashioned names for girls that tend to be indistinguishable from other English girls' names (like Caroline, Gemma, and Rowan). Gemma and Rowan, though not strictly Scottish, would have a definitely different flavour here in America.

Posted by: NW vet | June 6, 2007 2:52 PM

Thanks, pATRICK. I came to America because we Scots see you Americans as very friendly. I have been so fortunate in being able to say that this perception is true.

Cases call, gotta run, type with you all another time.

Posted by: NW vet | June 6, 2007 2:55 PM

pATRICK

Re: Crash

"No kidding, I loved when LUDACRIS was thrust into the role of slaveowner and could have sold those asian immigrants. That was genius and I was glad he let them go."

No, it wasn't genius. It was the movie makers manipulating saps like you. How could you fall for such an obvious move?

Posted by: pATRICK

Posted by: Oscar | June 6, 2007 2:56 PM

I love Rowan. It has already been ruled out as with Aiden, Rory, and Fallen.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 2:57 PM

Rory


That is my BIL baby girl's name

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 2:59 PM

I'm new her. Are commentors on this blog always so bitter and nasty? I know race issues can generate a lot of debate, but people are making personal attacks for no reason. It looks like good issues could be discussed here, but if it is always this toxic, I will take a pass.

Posted by: perplexed | June 6, 2007 3:02 PM

You have to ignore the nasty posters. There are good people here once you get to know them.

Posted by: to perplexed | June 6, 2007 3:03 PM

I have to agree with Oscar on "Crash." It really was not that good.

The dialogue was really bad (my pet peeve in movies). And the scenes were so unrealistic. I mean, would you seriously not do more to proclaim your innocence if someone thought you were a crinimal (the scene from the store with the locksmith)? Would you seriously not explain that you're grabbing a figurine from your coat when the other guy is obviously concerned (with the white cop and black kid in the car)?

I especially like how the female leads (with the one exception of the daughter who bought the blanks) all need rescuing in one form or another.

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 3:03 PM

"I love Rowan. It has already been ruled out as with Aiden, Rory, and Fallen"

Wise choice to dump these names. These nutjob names would guarantee that the kid would get her ass kicked in the playround someday.

Save the cutesy names for your pets. Your kids will thank you!

Posted by: rover | June 6, 2007 3:07 PM

"I especially like how the female leads (with the one exception of the daughter who bought the blanks) all need rescuing in one form or another."

You had your PC glasses on. Not all women are the heros at all times just like men are not the heroes. I loved the messiness of life that it portrayed.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 3:09 PM

Can anyone answer me on why Blacks in general, especially women, cannot say the word "ask"? It's almost always said as "ax". Even blacks with an education mispeak this word. I don't get it.

Posted by: Darlene | June 6, 2007 3:09 PM

I'm an Asian woman; I definitely dislike the term "Oriental" and insist on being called Asian. I have had (and still have) close friends of various races. While I appreciate the sentiment behind being "color-blind," I have a hard time believing it. Maybe you don't believe race is the definitive factor, but surely you see it, and not necessarily in a physical way. I agree with the previous poster who said it was insulting not to.

Posted by: Is it time to go home? | June 6, 2007 3:09 PM

"The traits that racists ascribe to blacks are actually associated with poverty and not race (the teenaged pregnancy, the drug wars, the gangs, dropping out of school, etc.). These situations correlate more consistently with the poor than with a specific race."

Meesh I agree with you...this is exactly why I think that the reason behind our comfort levels is important.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 3:12 PM

If someone has no interest in dating someone of another race, do you see that as personal preference, or do you automatically assume the person is racist?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:12 PM

"I'm an Asian woman; I definitely dislike the term "Oriental" and insist on being called Asian. I have had (and still have) close friends of various races. While I appreciate the sentiment behind being "color-blind," I have a hard time believing it. Maybe you don't believe race is the definitive factor, but surely you see it, and not necessarily in a physical way. I agree with the previous poster who said it was insulting not to."

Out of curiousity, what do you think of asian racism? I know that different asians look down on other asians and have historically also.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 3:13 PM

I am a man and have no desire to date men, does that make me a homophobe? (serious question about preceptions)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:15 PM

Can anyone answer me on why Whites in general, especially women, cannot say the word "often" correctly? Even Whites with an education mispeak this word. I don't get it.


Posted by: Charlene | June 6, 2007 3:15 PM

Wise choice to dump these names. These nutjob names would guarantee that the kid would get her ass kicked in the playround someday.

Save the cutesy names for your pets. Your kids will thank you!

That is racist.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:16 PM

"I am a man and have no desire to date men, does that make me a homophobe? (serious question about preceptions)"

You haven't met me yet, luv.

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 3:17 PM

http://www.lynnetruss.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=9

Let's go right to the source.

But I did write [i]Eats, Shoots & Leaves[/i], and I very much enjoyed the process.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:17 PM

Arabella? why?

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 3:17 PM

Darlene, plenty of black people can pronouce "ask" properly. President Bush (and many other white people) can't say nuclear properly, would you generalize his inability to all or even most white people?

Posted by: capable of saying Ask | June 6, 2007 3:19 PM

For those who didn't like Crash, how did you feel about Babel?

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 3:19 PM

I thought that you were saving yourself for pATRICK?

Posted by: to Nigel | June 6, 2007 3:20 PM

Why do I like it or are you just implying that you don't like it? First, if it is good enough for a Kennedy it is good enough for me.

Second, I think it is pretty. I won't respond to the person who thinks Irish names are only fit for dogs. I think maybe that poster needs a bit of cultural and ethnic awareness.

And Patrick, feel flattered that you now have male fans as well as female. :)

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 3:21 PM

Nigel, you're hilarious!!!

Scarry do you know your baby's sex?

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 3:22 PM

"And Patrick, feel flattered that you now have male fans as well as female. :)"


You really do a have great sense humor!;)
NIGEL and I couldn't agree on drapery, so he is out on the prowl again.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 3:24 PM

"And Patrick, feel flattered that you now have male fans as well as female. :)"


You really do a have great sense of humor!;)
NIGEL and I couldn't agree on drapery, so he is out on the prowl again.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 3:25 PM

not yet, we hope to find out next week. I just want a healthy baby.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:25 PM

Re dating outside race/gender. It only makes you racist if you have white liberal guilt!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:26 PM

Can anyone answer me on why Blacks in general, especially women, cannot say the word "ask"? It's almost always said as "ax". Even blacks with an education mispeak this word. I don't get it.

Posted by: Darlene | June 6, 2007 03:09 PM

Sure Darlene, just as soon as you can explain to us why educated (or so they say) people pronounce the word nuclear as NUKE-cue-ler.

Posted by: Just Me, Thank You | June 6, 2007 3:26 PM

Thank you for all of the positive feedback. A couple of things that I want to say about some of what I've read...

Yes my pregnancy was life-threatening for me and for my baby, and no there is no guarantee that a second one would be the same or worse. But since I didn't want a second this is sort of a moot point.

The changes that happened in my life were so much more than I expected. The sleep deprivation was nothing I had ever experienced before and it was horrible. I don't think it was any worse than any other parents' first year with their baby. I just think that experience helped solidify in my mind that this was not something I wanted to do again. My brothers all have more than one child and have gone through sleep deprivation more than once, and lots of people do it. For us it just helped us remember why we only wanted one.

I know a few unhappy only children. My mother is one of them. She has told all of us kids that being an only was incredibly lonely and she hated it. It may seem odd then to know that she honors our choice to have an only and has commented more than once on how happy our son is. She knows me and knows that one child is perfect for me.

It does take extra time and commitment to make sure your only child is "out there" making friends, and it means I need to raise my son to be a good friend, so he will grow up having close friends.

About 8 months ago we found out that my son has a disability. The main problem related to this disability is an inability to relate to others socially. So we have a lot of work ahead of us. We are in the process of signing my son up for social skills classes and working with his school to make sure he will get the best education possible. It helps when I know that we can get my son the help he needs without worrying that our other child(ren) would be getting short-changed. Again, lots of parents do help their special needs child and their other children and do a great job of it. I have a nephew with Down Syndrome who has an older brother. My brother and sister in law are amazing parents to both children. I honor and respect parents who can raise more than one child and do a great job at it, especially if one or more of those children has special needs.

I don't think I am doing my son a huge disservice by not having any more children.I also know several adult only children who loved being an only child. Like some of the others here wrote, some kids grow up wishing they hadn't had siblings.

n my opinion, having lots of children so you are taken care of when you're old is a very selfish reason to have children. My son was born so he could grow up and be whomever and whatever he wants to be. My husband and I are socking away as much money as we are allowed each year into our 401Ks and have also put money in other investments. When my son is out there, living his life, the last thing I want to do is ask him to stop it and come back and care for me.

Not that I am raising him to think only of himself. We already do charity work together and as he gets older I will make sure that caring for others is always an important part of his life.

Will I be disappointed if my son doesn't go to college, have children, make something of himself? No. I didn't have this child to fulfil any of my desires. This boy was born so that I could love him and allow him to grow into whatever his destiny is. I have no preconceived notion of just what that future will look like. I am guessing that deep in his soul, he knows. This struck a chord with me when I first read it in high school:


On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


One caveat - if he ends up a criminal or a murderer or some such thing, I am sure I'll be disappointed. Again, all I can do is raise him to understand that we are all interconnected and he cannot treat others any worse than he himself would wish to be treated. We have been spending a lot of time lately on the Golden Rule. He's five now and he's starting to realize that the things he does to other people have an effect on them, and will also have an effect on him.

Lastly, I do think that having a second child as a "gift" to your first IS laughable. Babies aren't birthday presents. They aren't brought into this world to entertain others. They are their own person and looking at them as a gift for an older child dehumanizes them. They are who they are. They may hate their older sibling. Their older sibling may hate them. So parents should be having more babies only because they want another baby and have everything to give to this new baby along with their other children. Babies are a gift to the world. They aren't here to do their parents' bidding or to keep a sibling from getting lonely.

My job is to love my son with all my heart and raise him to be the best person he can be. What comes of all of this, I have no idea. I'm just along for the ride. I'm building the foundation my son will need to be a good person and a good contributor to society. I believe my son will do amazing things.

Posted by: Rachel Powell | June 6, 2007 11:41 AM

Posted by: cross-post | June 6, 2007 3:32 PM

pATRICK

"NIGEL and I couldn't agree on drapery, so he is out on the prowl again."

True. I have been having revenge sex with Jack McFarland.

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 3:32 PM

Scarry do you know your baby's sex?

Nope, they want him or her to be able to attend a Purity Ball.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:34 PM

At the risk of giving myself away, my daughter is called Rowan. I'm starting to see it more now, but mostly for boys. I love Fiona.

bl, I went back and read what you wrote earlier, and I'm not sure why it rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn't as arrogant as I remembered. I apologize for jumping on you. I only brought up my Asian friend because when I'm around her, I get a chance to see how others act around someone of a different race. She's constantly reminded of her race, and I'm sure it gets annoying. Hello, the fact that she's Asian is hardly the most interesting thing about her. I don't know if that happens to black people. Probably not, since the black-white thing is such a hotbed. Interestingly, it never happens to my Filipino friend. My BFF is probably one of the most beautiful women in the city, so maybe people are just trying to think of anything to talk to her about.

As far as crossig the street when you see a threatening black man/boy, I understand that. When you're dressed like a thug and glare at people, we don't see a college kid, we see a thug.

Posted by: atb | June 6, 2007 3:39 PM

MV, never saw Babel. Was it good? What's the premise?

Posted by: Meesh | June 6, 2007 3:41 PM

My BFF ...

Are you 12?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:42 PM

"MV, never saw Babel. Was it good? What's the premise?"

i haven't seen it either. If it's the movie with Brad Pitt, it doesn't matter if it's any good or not.

Posted by: smile | June 6, 2007 3:44 PM

Can I ax you how offen you worry about nukecueler war?

...seriously, I remember seeing a story once on the word often. The current perception is that the 't' should be pronounced, but it actually should not be, according to both this article and the dictionary.

Also, many blacks pronounce 'aunt' phonetically, so that it sounds like ont, while the dictionary pronunciation is the same as ant.

I assume these differences are similar to differences in regional dialect, and I pretty much ignore them. It's not polite to correct someone's speech, unless that someone is your own young child.

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 3:44 PM

Meesh

"MV, never saw Babel. Was it good? What's the premise?"

Another piece of crap flick that really sagged in the middle and needed some serious editing.

The premise is all over the Net.

Posted by: Oscar | June 6, 2007 3:48 PM

"MV, never saw Babel. Was it good? What's the premise?"

Babel focuses on four interrelated stories (in Japan, Mexico, the US, and Morrocco), and the premise - at least how I understood it - was how communication or miscommunications can have such a wide affect on you and those around you. How the most insignificant action can have far reaching consequences.

Although the movie has two big-name actors (Cate Blanchett (sp) and Brad Pitt) I felt that the focus was not just on them.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 3:49 PM

re BFF: Ha! Sometimes I forget people don't use that term! It started as a joke that eventually got incorporated into my speech. Same with "Schmoop" (no y). It started as joke making fun of people who call each other Schmoopy.

Posted by: atb | June 6, 2007 3:50 PM

"i haven't seen it either. If it's the movie with Brad Pitt, it doesn't matter if it's any good or not."

Smile, he looks kinda rough in this movie :-)

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 3:54 PM

educmom

"It's not polite to correct someone's speech, unless that someone is your own young child."

Interesting. Didn't you recently offer writing tips to Leslie? Was that polite?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 3:56 PM

Sorry, pronunciation police. Both pronunciations of nuclear are valid, according to Merriam-Webster. (BTW, Jimmy Carter also pronounces it as new-cue-lar). And both pronunctiations of "often" are also valid. But please tell me why people pronounce "negotiate" as neg-oh-see-ate?

Posted by: RM | June 6, 2007 3:56 PM

"Also, many blacks pronounce 'aunt' phonetically, so that it sounds like ont, while the dictionary pronunciation is the same as ant."

Honestly, linking pronounciation to race is ridiculous.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 4:00 PM

The one I hate and hear often in the south is innerr-estd. Could they be more hillbilly?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 4:00 PM

Honestly, linking pronounciation to race is ridiculous.

I agree although I do think you can link it to where you grew up.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 4:01 PM

Not too many quotes that strike me as the Fred's Quote of the Day today.

pATRICK may get it for "NIGEL and I could not agree on drapries..."

(I am too modest to give it to myself two days in a row.)

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 4:03 PM

Not too many quotes that strike me as the Fred's Quote of the Day today.

pATRICK may get it for "NIGEL and I could not agree on drapries..."

(I am too modest to give it to myself two days in a row.)

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 4:03 PM

pATRICK

"The one I hate and hear often in the south is innerr-estd. Could they be more hillbilly?"

I'll hill your billy anytime!

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 4:06 PM

I second you on that, scarry - I was very surprised to see the phonetic pronunciation of "aunt" given as a "black" trait, since that's how most people of any color say it up here.

Posted by: boston liz | June 6, 2007 4:08 PM

"pATRICK

"The one I hate and hear often in the south is innerr-estd. Could they be more hillbilly?"

I'll hill your billy anytime!"


NIGEL , I CAN quit you.....

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 4:08 PM

"i haven't seen it either. If it's the movie with Brad Pitt, it doesn't matter if it's any good or not."

Smile, he looks kinda rough in this movie :-)

Hmmm... rough as in bad boy??? It's OK if he's not always a pretty boy.

Posted by: smile | June 6, 2007 4:10 PM

Patrick and Nigel,

You two are killing me. I second the drapes for quote of the day.

Boston Liz I actually think I say it the same way. Many people have tried to correct my dialect out of me since I left where I was raised, it was a waste of their time though because I like who I am and I am not changing.

If everyone talked, looked, acted the same the world would be so boring.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 4:12 PM

"NIGEL , I CAN quit you....."

Fred this is the post of the day!!!!

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 4:14 PM

scarry

"Patrick and Nigel,

You two are killing me"

Thanks, we're two old queens kicking it around...

Posted by: Nigel | June 6, 2007 4:15 PM

"Hmmm... rough as in bad boy??? It's OK if he's not always a pretty boy."

No rough as in he needs a shower and shave, and he looks about 10 years older...but hey, that's part of the character he's portraying.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 4:17 PM

I am from CT and say ONT too as does my whole family and pretty anybody I grew up with.
To make it worse I say ONvelope rather than ENvelope - sorry, I can't help it.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 6, 2007 4:17 PM

They found Kelsey Smith's body, the missing teen. Sigh,why does it always end this way?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 4:19 PM

"Babel" was fantastic, and Brad Pitt was great in it. So was Gael Garcia Bernal, an amazing actor. Whether you liked it or not, try "Amores Perros," a with the same writer and director as "Babel." It was much better done, although the focus was solely on events occurring in Mexico City and not nearly as global.

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 4:19 PM

Scarry, I'm cracking up with pATRICK (why is it half capitalized?) and Nigel because I'm imagining Nigel as the guy from "So you thing you can dance?" Don't know why. Sorry Nigel if I'm offending you with the comparison...I'm sure you're a hottie. :-)

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 4:20 PM

Elizabeth Smart was found alive and well.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:20 PM

"They found Kelsey Smith's body, the missing teen. Sigh,why does it always end this way?"

Terrible. I was hoping for a better outcome.

It doesn't always end this way. CNN is reporting that a 15-year-old who has been missing for a year has been found.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:22 PM

"Scarry, I'm cracking up with pATRICK (why is it half capitalized?) "

Because there are many Patricks, but only one pATRICK. They also found today some girl who had been kept in a basement for a year. What the hell is the world coming to?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 4:23 PM

Elizabeth Smart is alive because some crazy old man wanted her for sex. He was able to get her because her parents were to trusting. She is a lucky girl. I feel bad for the other one. Sad.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:25 PM


"They also found today some girl who had been kept in a basement for a year. What the hell is the world coming to?"

And the Commissars wonder why I drink so much vodka.......

Posted by: Ninotchka | June 6, 2007 4:28 PM

I saw on the news at noon that they have a "person of interest" who walked out of the store right after she did and his truck was found right after her car was. If they show the photo enough someone will recognize him.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 6, 2007 4:29 PM

If someone has no interest in dating someone of another race, do you see that as personal preference, or do you automatically assume the person is racist?

Posted by: | June 6, 2007 03:12 PM

No, would you?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:30 PM

Scarry-- sorry I wasn't clearer-- why would you think that is a Scottish name?

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 4:31 PM

Leslie,
Great topic today. I see that you have figured out what everybody in the media has already figured out. When you need ratings, use race...it always works.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:32 PM

"Leslie,
Great topic today. I see that you have figured out what everybody in the media has already figured out. When you need ratings, use race...it always works."

Nope, the Nursing Nazis get more hits than the race card.

Posted by: Living Free | June 6, 2007 4:36 PM

I bought a couple of Scottish/Irish baby names books and it was in there. The book said it was used beginning in the 12th century. Oh and apparently it origins are from Annabel and I had a great aunt with that name by the way. It was the name of the first baby JFK and Jackie had. I thought it was French until I saw that book.

I like it but I doubt my husband will. He likes McKenna or Megan.

Posted by: scarry | June 6, 2007 4:38 PM

I lived in Asia for a while. In countries such as Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, it is assumed you're a prostitute or a maid if you come from other parts of South Asia and come to one of the above. That's outside of all the other prejudices that exist between them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:40 PM

As far as crossig the street when you see a threatening black man/boy, I understand that. When you're dressed like a thug and glare at people, we don't see a college kid, we see a thug.

Posted by: atb | June 6, 2007 03:39 PM

Women like you aren't waiting to see whether a young man is glaring or not, and you don't cross the street if a white male under 25 has a sweatshirt and baseball cap on. You bolt as soon as you identify that a young black man is a young black man. It's insulting.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:43 PM

You bolt as soon as you identify that a young black man is a young black man. It's insulting.

So is being raped. Not gonna chance it to save your feelings. Maybe instead of blaming women you should blame the men who hurt them that make us afraid of them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:49 PM

"Women like you aren't waiting to see whether a young man is glaring or not, and you don't cross the street if a white male under 25 has a sweatshirt and baseball cap on. You bolt as soon as you identify that a young black man is a young black man. It's insulting. "

You honestly can't expect people to give you the benefit of the doubt if you dress like a thug. I include anyone. You have to take responsibility. There are reasons why people do what they do, including dress and mannerisms, its not just random. You want to project that you are a gangsta or a thug you will be treated like one. plain and simple.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 4:49 PM

To Living Free (and Knucklehead, Born Free and any other hovering anonynmous trolls, probably all the same person):

The pro-breast feeding folks are not committing genocide against millions and millions of people. Indeed, they seek to help babies survive and live healthier, so they are quite the opposite of Nazis. Your use of that term in this context is akin to, say, calling day "night" or hot "cold."

Characters who scare you in books like "1984" and "Brave New World" advocate exactly what YOU are doing, while inconsistently decrying it simultaneously -- namely, imputing inaccurate meanings into words, distorting or diluting them to suit your dismissive agenda.

Should you still persist in your mis-usage, just bear in mind that we can all see through your ruse, and will disrespect your opinions (no matter what name you post, if any) accordingly.

Posted by: catlady | June 6, 2007 4:50 PM

"You bolt as soon as you identify that a young black man is a young black man. It's insulting."

Better safe than sorry. I have kids to support. I don't take chances because of your PC ideals!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:50 PM

To Living Free (and Knucklehead, Born Free and any other hovering anonymous trolls, probably all the same person):

The pro-breast feeding folks are not committing genocide against millions and millions of people. Indeed, they seek to help babies survive and live healthier, so they are quite the opposite of Nazis. Your use of that term in this context is akin to, say, calling day "night" or hot "cold."

Characters who scare you in books like "1984" and "Brave New World" advocate exactly what YOU are doing, while inconsistently decrying it simultaneously -- namely, imputing inaccurate meanings into words, distorting or diluting them to suit your dismissive agenda.

Should you still persist in your mis-usage, just bear in mind that we can all see through your ruse, and will disrespect your opinions (no matter what name you post, if any) accordingly.

Posted by: catlady | June 6, 2007 4:50 PM

Those of you with boys will experience this:
When your boy is little, everyone looks at him and cooes "he's so big"
Then your boy starts growing. Sometime in early adolesence (say 11-13), the same people who cooed at your little boy, now react as if he is a thug-to-be, as if he is part of some kind of gang, as if he is danger.
This happens regardless of colour. It simply kills me how cuteness becomes suspicion in the minds of otherwise liberal-minded adults.

Posted by: dotted | June 6, 2007 4:51 PM

I'm a black man and it doesn't insult me when a white person crosses the street when the see me. They don't know me so why be insulted? Plus, they should understand that the majority of black victims are assaulted by black people and the majority of white victims are assaulted by white people.

So, we should all cross the street when we see our own race...if you really want to be statistically safe

Posted by: You | June 6, 2007 4:52 PM

"and you don't cross the street if a white male under 25 has a sweatshirt and baseball cap on"

This is where I personally differ (you may be right about the poster you were addressing; I don't know). If a person is acting suspiciously, no matter what they are wearing, I'll avoid them. I won't go so far as to cross the street, but I will probably put some distance between myself and them. Personally, I'd rather be caught alone on a dark street with a man in a suit--regardless of color--than a man in sloppy, baggy clothing, also regardless of color. A different kind of prejudice, but a prejudice nevertheless. That sloppy-looking guy might be a junior executive on his day off, but I don't know that. Similarly, that suited guy with the clean-shaven face and Rolex watch (not that I'm getting close enough to take a look) might be a depraved lunatic looking for his next victim, so the prejudice may end up backfiring on me anyway.

Then again, I tend to be a bit wary of any strangers, period. I think it's paranoia induced by taking one too many self-defense courses.

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 4:53 PM

I am a woman. If I see any male - black, white, green or purple who is swaggering and wearing the droopy drawers, chains, sideways baseball cap or blue or red bandana I will probably not cross the street but I would certainly make sure I stay in the light/in public rather than turn down an alley or doorway.

Posted by: DC lurker | June 6, 2007 4:55 PM

Ted Bundy looked highly reputable. Helped him capture victims.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:56 PM

klb - I hope things are going better for you today.

Posted by: dotted | June 6, 2007 4:56 PM

Scarry, thanks so much for sharing this info-- Arabella was actually at the top of our list, but now that I know that Jack and Jackie named their first daughter that, we'll need to reconsider. I assume she died as an infant? I'm a little too superstitious for even such a lovely name as Arabella to pursuade me to go there! But you have a family connection to the name so you should totally use it-- I just wanted it because I loved the sound. (I thought I had "made it up myself" but clearly that was wrong)

fiona was also high on my list-- hadn't seen Shrek so i didn't know about the negative association there.

Back to the books I guess!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 6, 2007 4:57 PM

The BTK killer looked like someone's grandfather.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 6, 2007 4:59 PM

"Personally, I'd rather be caught alone on a dark street with a man in a suit--regardless of color--than a man in sloppy, baggy clothing, also regardless of color"

Looks are deceiving. Remember Ted Bundy?.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 4:59 PM

"I am a woman. If I see any male - black, white, green or purple who is swaggering and wearing the droopy drawers, chains, sideways baseball cap or blue or red bandana I will probably not cross the street but I would certainly make sure I stay in the light/in public rather than turn down an alley or doorway. "

With all that going on, I doubt he will be able to catch you...he will probably trip and fall :)

Posted by: You | June 6, 2007 4:59 PM

dotted,
Getting there - one day at a time right now. Just trying to get my mother the right care in spite of her rather than with her help. Thanks

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 6, 2007 5:01 PM

"Ted Bundy looked highly reputable. Helped him capture victims."

I HATE THESE TYPE OF POSTS! for example:

Jeffrey Dahmer ate his victims.

Response post- I knew some cannibals they were very nice

Saddam was hanged

Response post- Saddam did some good in IRAQ, he liked dogs etc etc.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 5:02 PM

klb - one day at a time, lady, one day at a time.

Have to jet, have a great afternoon

Posted by: dotted | June 6, 2007 5:05 PM

pATRICK, I particularly hate that type of post, because in the very SAME paragraph I mentioned how a man in a nice suit could be a deranged lunatic, and that my prejudices would backfire on me. I guess 4:59 didn't read the entire post...

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 5:07 PM

Arabella sounds like a Disney name.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:07 PM

"I'm going to get flamed for this, so shoot away...

My disconnect with the new titling of "African American" is my black friends are about as African as I am European. Meaning, we all grew up in the same area, none of us (to the best of my knowledge) ever visited the 'mother land,' and all of our true identities are just plain "American."

It just seems really silly to me to call yourself (or someone else) an African American when they were born in, for example, Akron, Ohio. As were their parents. And their parents' parents.


Posted by: Just wonderin' | June 6, 2007 11:58 AM "

Let me just say this...I understand that we are "American." HOWEVER...as African Americans it is pertinent in our progression to identify with our African roots. We were completely torn away from our homes and culture (a culture genocide is what I call it) and because of that we have no sense of identity nor unity. This "little" problem is not so little in retrospect...it is the basis to why we cannot move forward. You cannot go into the future without knowing your past. I think if all black people recognized that they were African then we could find a median among all the differences (light skinned, dark skinned, poor, rich).

If you don't believe what I'm saying keep in mind that colonizers continuously drove into our heads that we were not African and that the culture was bogus...why you ask?? To further tear the people away from a unified base...to turn them against each other...to make them inferior...

All I'm saying is that saying African American as opposed to just black may help.

Posted by: young and wise | June 6, 2007 5:07 PM

"Better safe than sorry. I have kids to support. I don't take chances because of your PC ideals!"

Unless you run into another Ted Bundy...then you'll be sorry.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 5:08 PM

"Ted Bundy looked highly reputable. Helped him capture victims."

I HATE THESE TYPE OF POSTS!

pATRICK, the point is that even reputable looking people are not always harmless, and no one should be presumed to be totally safe.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:08 PM

atb-3:39, as I have said we would probably have lots in common. It is hard to get a true perspective of someone by a few comments posted here, often based on immediate none to reflective feelings. on top of that you have to be conscious of grammar police lurking around just waiting to pound on you.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 5:10 PM

This "little" problem is not so little in retrospect...it is the basis to why we cannot move forward.

What about adopted kids? American or from other countries - your argument seems suspect.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:10 PM

This "little" problem is not so little in retrospect...it is the basis to why we cannot move forward.

This is BS and a victim mentality. "YOUNG AND WISE" you are not. You have mentally given yourself a crutch to lean on for failure. Not one person alive was involved in any of that on either side. It is 2007, don't blame the problems of anyone on what happened in 1800. Especially if you are the offspring of successful parents and can go to college.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 5:14 PM

I am a black woman in DC, professional, married, with children in private school. Many of my black female friends (I have friends of many races and nationalities) are of the same demographic. DC is full of people like us. Yet we are invisible (and this is not a complaint -- we are obviously very fortunate). We are not part of the "urban underclass" story so often reported in the media. Yet we still have to teach our sons how to conduct themselves when (not if) stopped by the police, so they don't end up in very real danger. And we have to teach our kids not to be defensive for getting A's or "talking white" while at the same time letting them know that they are very fortunate for the life they have. So, while by many standards, we have "made it," for many of us there is an ever-present vigilance that comes with negotiationg daily life in this country. And maybe that is one of the reasons for "self-segregation" in schools and other areas. Just to occasionally exhale and be with others who, as someone said earlier, "get it."

Posted by: D.C. | June 6, 2007 5:16 PM

I meant grammar police "pounce on you". Stay back grammar police.

Posted by: bl | June 6, 2007 5:19 PM

"This "little" problem is not so little in retrospect...it is the basis to why we cannot move forward.

What about adopted kids? American or from other countries - your argument seems suspect."

I live my life based on who I want to be and the type of person I want to be. I am not one who is interested in following the family tree. I know that I am part Irish, German, Ukranian, Welsh, and maybe some other things. I do not identify with any of these heritages. I consider myself American. I have family members who, like Scarry, are very proud of their Irish heritage and consider that when naming their children and celebrating events (Irish wedding, Irish wake, etc). But there are more of us who just live our lives without really caring that we have Irish blood.

Some people may feel the need to identify with African heritage, but I truly find it difficult to believe that you cannot move forward without looking back.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:20 PM

"I think if all black people recognized that they were African"

Not all blacks are African. My Sifu (kung fu teacher), for example, is very, very black, and very, very Barbadoan.

Posted by: Mona | June 6, 2007 5:22 PM


"Over three hundred years ago when european colonists brought africans to this country, a complex interdependent relationship began between blacks and whites"

Yes, but they were also sold by their own people, which is a fact left out in polite conversation. How can the whites of today change all the past wrongs? Why should we be responsible for that?

Posted by: regular anon | June 6, 2007 11:37 AM "


True...so are Europeans actions justified because a SMALL percentage of Africans sold their own people??? That makes the slave trade okay??? All those hundreds of years warranted????

Oh...Okay...I guess we can blame the Native Americans for their total extinction too...huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:26 PM

D.C. - Let me be the first to applaud your post.

BTW, I'm white and I agree that you have different concerns when you are teaching your children how to conduct themselves in the world when you are not with them.

Now, if someone knows how I can convince teen-age daughter that she is showing too much cleavage, I'm all ears. (She's 19, not 13). Just as a young black male driver is perceived differently than a young white male driver, a young lady showing lots of cleavage is perceived differently than a lady who is more modest. It doesn't make it right, but it is a reality.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:26 PM

"But there are more of us who just live our lives without really caring that we have Irish blood."

I agree, most people came here to forget all that and start a new life.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 5:28 PM

"Some people may feel the need to identify with African heritage, but I truly find it difficult to believe that you cannot move forward without looking back.

But there are more of us who just live our lives without really caring that we have Irish blood.

I agree, most people came here to forget all that and start a new life."

Yes, but a large segment of our population are descendants of people who didn't come here of their own free will. The civil rights movement wasn't that long ago and there are still issues that need to be addressed so that we can all move forward.

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 5:34 PM

"The civil rights movement wasn't that long ago and there are still issues that need to be addressed so that we can all move forward."

I have no problem with civil rights issues for Americans of any heritage. I just get tired of people feeling that I am responsible for things that happened before I was born and before my ancestors came to this country.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:39 PM

It really seems that all these racial debates and "issues" are only being discussed at such length here because the majority of posters are in the DC area. We have to keep in mind that DC, despite being an international place, is actually very prejudiced, just like the rest of the conservative US South.

When I travel to New York, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, and other Northern cities, I just don't feel this poison in the air, it's not there. For one thing, they have lots of other ethnicities and races, and also people are somehow more chill and relaxed.

One other point is that too many people in DC suffer from what one poster here correctly called "self-induced angst" in the absence of other, more pressing issues. They are so wealthy and spoiled as to focus on issues that are irrelevant to most normal people. This is not just about this particular topic, but this blog in general.

Posted by: G-DC | June 6, 2007 5:40 PM

DC also has a huge crime and murder problem, that probably contributes to the "poison" you describe.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 5:42 PM

G-DC, I grew up 15 minutes from NY and really want to know why you think that these issues aren't present in NY. Every couple of months something happens to bring this issue to the forefront (i.e. the cops that shot the groom before his wedding).

Posted by: MV | June 6, 2007 5:45 PM

"But there are more of us who just live our lives without really caring that we have Irish blood."

I agree, most people came here to forget all that and start a new life.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 05:28 PM

Most people come here voluntarily. Perhaps if one's ancestors came here involuntarily, one's heritage might be a tad more important to him.

Posted by: MN | June 6, 2007 5:46 PM

Can anyone answer me on why Blacks in general, especially women, cannot say the word "ask"? It's almost always said as "ax". Even blacks with an education mispeak this word. I don't get it.

Posted by: Darlene | June 6, 2007 03:09 PM

What a daft question! Surely you don't mean Blacks world wide? Had you considered that it might have something to do with dialect rather than color? Just a thought.

Posted by: To darlene | June 6, 2007 5:50 PM

The deal is, cross the street because someone is acting suspiciously or looks sketchy, but race is not a proxy for suspicious or sketchy acts or looks. PC doesn't have squat to do with whether the information on which you're relying to be safe is reliable or pertinent. If you're using race as a proxy for criminality, you aren't paying attention to suspicious behavior, you're merely paying attention to skincolor, and you're not even being honest with yourself about your bigoted actions and the unsafe position they put you in. Talk to any police officer or security instructor and at least educate yourselves rather than accusing the sensible people of being PC. You DO want to be safe. Right? Or do you just want to blather on a blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:59 PM

It's funny that the question of why some black people don't pronounce "ask" properly was brought up. I asked one of my black friends this question once. She said it's kind of like an accent - how kids are taught to talk. Kind of like a dialect. We had a good laugh about it. She teased me about some funny ways that I pronounced words with my more southern accent.

Posted by: ASK | June 6, 2007 6:06 PM


Racist? I think not. The facts bear out that crossing that street is definitely in your best interests.


"Among men, blacks (28.5%) are about six times more likely than whites (4.4%)
to be admitted to prison during their life. Among women, 3.6% of blacks and
0.5% of whites will enter prison at least once. (U.S. Department of Justice)
Based on current rates of incarceration, an estimated 7.9% of black males
compared to 0.7% of white males will enter State of Federal prison by the
time they are age 20 and 21.4% of black males versus 1.4% of white males will
be incarcerated by age 30. (U.S. Department of Justice)
Some have noted that more black men are in prison in America than are in
college. (The Black and White of Justice, Freedom Magazine, Volume 128) "

Posted by: Not PC, just safe | June 6, 2007 6:10 PM

Or just cross the street from any lone male, which is what I do. But when I do this in front of a black man, he will think it's because I'm racist, as he will not have seen all the times I've crossed in front of a white man. I do not know of a way to fix this.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:11 PM

When I travel to New York, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, and other Northern cities, I just don't feel this poison in the air, it's not there. For one thing, they have lots of other ethnicities and races, and also people are somehow more chill and relaxed.

Posted by: G-DC | June 6, 2007 05:40 PM

bWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

First, you haven't been paying attention today or any other day if you think most of the people here are from D.C.

Second, I question whether you've traveled to any of the cities you mentioned if you are unable to sense the quite palpable racial tension -- that is, unless you've spent each trip in the airport, the Marriott in the business district, and the two most popular tourist restaurants. Boston and Chicago have a lengthy history of racial tension - in the unions, in neighborhoods, among all socioeconomic classes. You might even remember the incident in which Charles Stuart, who was nearly successful in playing on the ingrained racism of Boston residents, shot his pregnant wife in the head and blamed it on a Black man. Think, man, then do a little research. The South doesn't have a corner on racist cities.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:21 PM

I didn't know 'ont' for 'aunt' was a native New England pronunciation; I've only heard it pronounced that way by blacks that I know. Learn something every day...

Leslie is a writer and editor. Theoretically, her writing should be better than any other on this post. Criticizing writing placed out here for all to see is not the same as telling someone they don't speak correctly. We don't all write, but we all speak. Further, it is the job of a parent to teach a child to speak, and correcting speech is an infantalizing action.

*Women like you aren't waiting to see whether a young man is glaring or not, and you don't cross the street if a white male under 25 has a sweatshirt and baseball cap on. You bolt as soon as you identify that a young black man is a young black man. It's insulting.*

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!! As a woman, I am suspicious of ANY man in an isolated setting. The less reputable he looks (as in baggy clothes, or long greasy hair, or graphic tattoos, or a cap over most of the face, or simply a creepy vibe) the more likely I am to cross the street or turn around and go to a well-lit place.

BTW, how many of the Irish heritage posters realize that any ancestors here in the early 19th century were probably shipped here as exiled criminals -- for the 'crime' of being Irish?

Posted by: educmom | June 6, 2007 6:22 PM

Not PC, just safe, using statistics to prove a point is only valid if the underlying research controls for other factors. Your incarceration statistics show nothing about the likelihood of an individual black man to commit crime against you, and if you believe otherwise, you're only kidding yourself. Incarceration rates reflect a series of judgments by citizens, police officers, DAs and juries. To say that our justice system historically has not offered the same justice to black defendants as white defendants is the understatement of the year. Every day we see DNA results that prove juries were wrong, DAs like Mike Nifong who make decisions about whom to prosecute based on political pressure rather than likelihood of guilt, innocence, or whether there was even a crime, and valid study after study that indicates that eyewitness testimony identifying defendants is notoriously unreliable. Those who want to justify their racism with incarceration statistics make themselves inordinately vulnerable to white criminals by paying undue attention to race and ignoring valid cues like behavior. It's your body. I'd think you'd want to take better care of it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:30 PM

Sorry, pontificate all you want. Black males have a far greater likelihood of being involved in crime than any other group. Ignore at your own peril.

Posted by: not PC, just safe | June 6, 2007 6:37 PM

Fred's Quote of the Day goes to:

(In an unprecedented dual award!)

pATRICK and Nigel for their witty and droll exchanges.

"I can QUIT you..." & "we're two old queens kicking it around.." & "NIGEL and I could not agree on draperies..."

Don't worry boys, the creepy van has three rows of seats so you can self-segregate!

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 6:37 PM

" We were completely torn away from our homes and culture (a culture genocide is what I call it) and because of that we have no sense of identity nor unity. This "little" problem is not so little in retrospect...it is the basis to why we cannot move forward. You cannot go into the future without knowing your past. I think if all black people recognized that they were African then we could find a median among all the differences (light skinned, dark skinned, poor, rich). "

Young and Wise, you do realize that the label "African" encompasses an enormous array of very different cultures and people who were frequently at war with each other as well? This is not in any way to justify the actions of the colonizers, as you call them, but your post seems to have some glorified idea of being African as being one, unified identity, which is certainly not the case. Just as "Native Americans" were not one, unified homogenous people, neither were or are Africans. You may find some individual satisfaction in tracing your individual roots, but trying to create a pan-African culture or identity in order to mollify the loss of culture that the slave trade created is impossible and very insensitve to the reality of African history and the current struggles of many African people.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:37 PM

You may find some individual satisfaction in tracing your individual roots, but trying to create a pan-African culture or identity in order to mollify the loss of culture that the slave trade created is impossible and very insensitve to the reality of African history and the current struggles of many African people.


Posted by: | June 6, 2007 06:37 PM

We have a new definition of chutzpah, ladies and gentleman.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:43 PM

"Posted by: | June 6, 2007 06:37 PM "


Don't confuse her with facts, it might pierce the victimhood shield she carries around.

By the way, after winning Fred's award, good night, I can't possibly top that.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 6, 2007 6:45 PM

Fred = Nigel

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:49 PM

Fred is not Nigel. Fred only posts under the name Fred.

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2007 6:52 PM

"We have a new definition of chutzpah, ladies and gentleman."

Why? Are you saying there is a true pan-African identity that provides the unity Young and Wise seeks? I think that would be news to a lot of Africans.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 6:55 PM

As a Black woman (who's married; and lives and grew up in the 'burbs; has no out-of-wedlock children; makes over $100k/year and is not obese) I thought I would add a few comments to the discussion.

1) Black women have a sense of loyalty to their community. We're a major part of the reason the community still exists (we're more educated, make more money and have more household wealth than our male counterparts). So, when it comes to marriage, many of us simply aren't interested in turning our backs on the community we've worked so hard (and our Mothers and Grandmothers and Greats worked so hard) to perpetuate. It's not that we HAVE to marry a Black man; that's not the point. Many Black women would simply LIKE to. Many of us would like our children to have the same experiences we did; share the same culture, religion, values, etc. as we had when we were young. Like many things in American society, the idea that a Black person would prefer to marry another Black person is *only* some racist, crazy idea because a Black person has raised it. I don't think the majority of white Americans are pushing their children to find a nice Black person (especially NOT a Black woman) to marry. After all, we're either ho's or loud and obese, right? I'm also certain that Hispanics, Indians, Asians and all sorts of other groups specifically tell their children they are FORBIDDEN to marry a Black person; but a white one is o.k. Yet somehow we as Black women should be pleased by this result. . .

2)This notion of "self-segregation" by minorities or Black people is really quite ridiculous. There is an entire cafetaria of white kids sitting together, and yet you mean to tell me that the only problem is that the Black kids are doing the same thing? Are the Indian kids sitting together? What about the Mexican kids? My guess is they are too. We do a lot of talking in this country about diversity and equality, but we don't and can't back it up. White people live in increasingly Whites-only neighborhoods and pay to send their children to increasingly Whites-only schools. It happens in the work place too. White people won't think twice about going to lunch together or going out after work, and not inviting a single person of color along. But if the Black employees get together for similar activities it's a problem and they're "self-segregating." My favorite example is my own personal experience riding the commuter train. I get on the train pretty early on, so I'm one of the few people who ends up in a two-seater by myself. The train gets more crowded with each stop, and I can't tell you the number of times the white people get on and will only sit with another white person. It's a crowded train - people are standing! - and I get an entire two-seater all to myslef (unless another Black person comes along). I guess it's one of the few privileges of being Black.

Whenever I hear this complaint from white people, it reminds me of the slavemaster's mentality. The slavemaster didn't want the slaves talking to one another, congegrating with one another or otherwise developing any sort of close bond because it would be bad for the institution! I guess that mentality still persits today.

3) I think the survey did what it was designed to do. Get people - women in particular? - to talk about these things. If anyone could probably make inroads on these issues, it would be women. These are conversations that I hope will continue (productively) in the future. I concur with many of the other posters that it would be nice to see a more comprehensive, statisical, and less-skewed report by some organization or group of women in the future.

Posted by: Lawgal | June 6, 2007 7:54 PM

D.C., Lawgal and others -- Thank you for posting so candidly about your experiences. One reason I wanted to do the Women in Black and White survey is that, as a white woman, even as a white woman who grew up in DC and work in DC with many black female friends and colleagues, it's rare that I'm part of nuanced discussions about how being a black woman and mother is different from being a white one. Thanks for adding to the discussion --

Posted by: Leslie | June 6, 2007 8:30 PM

On "ask" vs "ax" -- I think the black people you are acquainted with just happen to mispronounce the word. It's like a colloquialism that spreads like wildfire. . .and it's one that I also don't care for, and I am a black woman who pronounces the word correctly. It is also, unfortunately, a particularly difficult mispronunciation to correct once you get used to saying ax. I remind kids who say it incorrectly that the word should rhyme with task or mask. I don't correct adults as that seems inappropriate.

However, believe it or not, Barack is not the only black person who can speak proper English.

Posted by: chausti | June 6, 2007 8:36 PM

But there are more of us who just live our lives without really caring that we have Irish blood."

Yes and that is fine, but it is also fine to love who you are and where you came from, no matter where you come from. There is also a difference between having Irish blood and being raised as an Irish American.

MN,

My family didn't want to come here either. They loved Ireland and were embarrassed and sad when they had to leave it to find work in England and even more upset to learn that they would never be going back to the island. With that being said, they came here worked their butts off and built a better life for all of my family. I do feel for African Americans who want to know where they come from and can't trace their heritage. It is truly sad.

Jen S.

Don't disregard the name because a baby born to JFK died. It's a lovely name. I am sorry if I ruined it for you. If you like those types of names you should go get an Irish/Scottish baby name book.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:12 AM

kudos to lawgal!!!!! Thank you for shedding a little more light on the ignorance on this blog!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:38 AM

People in the majority want to believe, quite badly, that they are not racist or biased. I've seen many cases of men at work protesting their own lack of bias against women.

Posted by: Leslie | June 6, 2007 10:54 AM

Hey Leslie, last I checked women were the MAJORITY.

Any more "intelligent" comments you'd like to make?

Posted by: Bob | June 8, 2007 11:37 AM

Hi,
I've come back to glance at the comments after a week away from it, and I've just realized that there are some sterotypes that will never go away, and some walls that will never come down, because if these things ceased to exist, then many people on both sides would feel that they're way of life is threatened. That said, I am perfectly happy to continue being myself and embracing my friends based on who they are, not their skin color, earnings bracket , education or dialect. Sure, there will be people who discriminate against me, and there will be some that I discriminate against. Sure, I'd like to know more about which African culture I came from just as I desire to add knowledge about my Native American background, so that I can feel as connected to those parts of my geneological past as I am with my Black American and southern roots. I would like for people to not judge me, but everyone is only human, and most people can't help themselves, because it's how they were raised, or what they came to believe based on a few bad experiences or news reports. Underneath it all, the only thing I can do is love myself, love my neighbor and love God because I can't control how people treat me , but as long as I have breath, I can continue to be Just Me.

Thank you.

Posted by: Just Me, Thank You | June 14, 2007 12:07 PM

"My goodness, some of you are so focused on this black and white thing you can't see anything else. There's a big segment of american society that exist outside of that scope; all they want to do is get on with life. I see ignorance and arrogance of both sides. Disgusting."

Americans are idiots indeed, both blk and wht. I'm black and Foreign, I don't get it. I like the education I'm currently receiving here but I should have definitely gone to Oxford in the UK.

Posted by: Jay8 | June 15, 2007 2:10 AM

"thousands of people, white, black and brown, graduate from Ivy League schools and there academic competitors every year"

There academic competitors? There? You butchered the whole sentence, pal.

are you kidding me? it's late, I've had 10 drinks tonight and can still call your b.s. Best part is that French is my 1st language. lol, this is too good to be true. Get off ms-two-IL-degrees' back before I give you something to really be concerned about, lol.

Posted by: Jay8 | June 15, 2007 5:47 AM

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