Polyamory and Ethnicity

I'll chime in

to say that perhaps this thread should be merged with the other thread, because quite Frankly, I am having trouble understanding the "problem" you are trying to address of even discuss

perhaps you could clarify for US kevin, because to be honest, it has the same very bigoted tone of Helo's thread, wherein he stated:

sounding bigoted said:
...From what I've seen, non-whites are a very small part of the poly community but when they are part they tend to be accepted wholesale. In the local group I've been to, there are maybe ten (out of ~50-60) people who are non-white and of those five or so are black. I've never seen anyone treat them with anything less than respect, I've seen them get physically involved with other people (and couples) with no discomfort on either part....

now, of course it may have been unintentional that he would choose to use the phrase "...they tend to be accepted wholesale..." because Frankly, I find it offensive, and not funny at all. I guess under certain circumstances -- like if her were performing a stand up comedy routine where the context is a stand up comedy routine -- anywhere else that shit isn't funny, especially since his next line is "get physically involved" which sounds like an assault.

I am fully aware of the many erudite bigoted people who think it is OK to utter such poisonous sentences and clauses so long as it isn't blatant. I am of the opinion that it is the subtle ones, that are more dangerous and do more damage to any community, and as a result the entire civilization of all collective Human Beings, and such people are not an US that I will ever refer to as WE, but rather a THEM, as in not ME, not anyone I would call friend of the person YOU, so certainly Not US or WE.

I understand people make mistakes or say stupid shit sometimes or even lose their temper, but all this bullshit about aspergers, or totally misunderstanding the difference between the relationships you share your life in, and the love that should be shown for those within a community, and the respect when there is an absence of love.

You don't need an excuse or reason for who you offer yourself, your life, and your love to share with nor do you need any reason for who you do not. That is not bigotry, and people who do not recognize the difference between autonomy of each person to choose their own immediate family, with wrongly discrimination, or not people I would ever choose to be friends with of even live in the same town. The only exception being those who genuinely desire to understand why bigotry is wrong, and those people don't go around intimidating others of marginalizing them by employing subtlety.

I fully understand who some people do not like to hear, that you can have any reason you want for not accepting someone's advances or offers to share their life with you, in fact it may be the one choice that is totally and completely up to each of you as individuals, and you need no reason or even a rhyme. It is OK to decide yes or no to any person's love that is offered to you.

It's the one choice that has less to do -- for some people -- it has less to do with rejecting because of any characteristic their are, and truthfully it may be closer to something they are not. Because such a large portion of love and lust is mental, it can prove nearly impossible to pinpoint exactly what you desire in mates and partners. For instance I once thought a woman was "one of my ones" until I heard her speak of another person for using the term "desire in a mate or a partner" instead of the plural forms of the word. And that idiot psychologist concluded by that one clause, another woman was "mono" no matter what she ever did or how she acted nor how much she desired to be any other way.

and I thought to myself, "God damn, she is the most confused person I have ever seen in my life coupled with the most arrogant, all while believing they are travelling on the highest plane possible"

the worst kinds of behaviors are the hateful, bigoted ones, and the most dangerous are the ones that aren't recognized, for they are the ones where the fucking idiot claims to be behaving righteously, or worse, laboring for God or Christ
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from ColorsWolf):
"Most 'North American cultures' are very closed-minded and bigoted when it comes to the discussion of anything children-related that goes too far from their comfort zone and that is why I with the most sincerity discourage any talk of subjects like these here as I have seen this community on this site is nowhere near the open-mindedness required to properly discuss matters such as sexual relations with children."

Yikes. So as to "cover my ass" if you'll pardon the expression, I officially definitely wasn't advocating having sex with kids (and especially wasn't advocating adults having sex with kids). I way wouldn't wanna miscommunicate my position in that area.

Fundamentally, the one maxim I'll wholeheartedly commit to is: "It's all about consent." From there, peoples everywhere are bound to wonder and argue about what constitutes *true, informed consent.* Brainwashing and juvenility are both conditions of mind that could be argued (and for many folks, such as North American folks, there's no argument about it, it's just self-evident and boy if it's not you're in trouble buddy) to negate any possibility of authentic consent.

I don't/won't say where on that "spectrum" (e.g., Is 18 the age at which true, informed consent becomes possible? The answer isn't always "Yes" even in the United States; it depends on what State you're in) I fall. All I intend/intended to do is point out that brainwashing could (at least in theory) be compared to juvenility as far as one's ability to give informed consent is concerned.

---

Re (from Dirtclustit):
"I'll chime in to say that perhaps this thread should be merged with the other thread ..."

Umm; sure; let's merge it with the other thread. Why not? Both threads are about race and poly. Mods, mods? Admins? Anyone anyone, help help. (Dirtclustit, you must understand that I'm neither mod nor admin, thus pleading to those who are mods/admins is the most I can think of to do to rectify the situation.)

"... because quite frankly, I am having trouble understanding the 'problem' you are trying to address or even discuss."

As I attempt to communicate (thoughout millions or billions of personal English dialects), the problem (or is it a problem) I'm trying to address/discuss: Ain't it sad that so many white folks show up to "my" poly potlucks, but so few black (or Native American, or Latino, or Hispanic) folks show? I feel sad about it. I hope it's not because those other races feel left out, or like they have no place in a "white-by-definition" poly potluck, or whatever. Is there anything we "white polyamorists" can do to help make our fellow "not-so-white polyamorists" feel welcome (and even desire to mingle) amongst us?

Re: sounding bigoted ... I don't mean to be dense, but truly I know not how/why I've come across as a bigot. I mean sheesh, my experience as a missionary in Detroit, all by itself, was enough to inspire in me a lifelong love for African Americans (and not the condescending kind, either). For the record, I totally like African Americans (and dark-toned peoples of all nationalities), but if I miscommunicated myself in that regard, I'd appreciate if you'd elaborate on the nature of my miscommunication, because y'see, that way I can do better about not offending anyone in the future and I'm all about that. Examples will probably help me, if you could give me some.

Lots of examples becoz: Helo's statement didn't sound bigoted to me. It just sounded like he was saying, "Hey, I've seen a lot more white than black folks at poly functions; nevertheless I've never seen any black attendee treated badly in any way by the whites in attendance." I suppose you could interpret that as, "Whites are more tolerant than blacks." I just interpret it as meaning, blacks and whites are starting to learn how to come together, in some poly communities at least.

Or, or, if the interpretation be, "Blacks obviously don't have the cojones to be poly like whites do," then I'd say, I think Helo's understanding of the situation is that blacks *do* practice polyamory, they just don't *call it* polyamory. As a whole. Very broadly speaking. Certainly a lot of blacks do indeed call it polyamory, which seems like a hopeful sign for "both races."

Re:
"Now, of course it may have been unintentional that he would choose to use the phrase '... they tend to be accepted wholesale ...' because frankly, I find it offensive, and not funny at all."

Whoa whoa whoa! I don't think Helo was trying to be funny. By "wholesale" I think he meant, "in 'bulk' or large quantity, and/or, indiscriminately," rather than, "of or relating to sale in large quantities, for resale," as in the selling of slaves. I trust you're not worried any appreciable portion of whites (or blacks) in the United States is interested in or intent upon the re-established selling of black slaves. True many folks (e.g. whites) are certainly still full of racial hatred, but not so much so that they'd like to re-establish the black slave trade.

Yes I think Helo's choice of the phrase "... they tend to be accepted wholesale ..." was quite unintentional, or more to the point, not at all meant as a reference (serious or silly) to selling (wholesale or piecemeal) human beings. Ironically, prostitutes "sell themselves," but that's a completely off-topic can of worms.

As further irony, pet breeders sell the non-human offspring that they breed. Ahem, see Feelings on "Pets" for more on that particular can of worms.

Re:
"I guess under certain circumstances -- like if he were performing a stand up comedy routine where the context is a stand-up comedy routine -- anywhere else that shit isn't funny, especially since his next line is 'get physically involved' which sounds like an assault."

Assault? Hell no. Perhaps Helo inadvertently gave that impression, but I think "get physically involved" was his way of referring to couples (and polycules) of mixed race. The message in essence being, "Hey, isn't it cool that blacks and whites can get romantically involved with each other, and lots of polyamorists are able to accept and support that romance."

Re:
"I am fully aware of the many erudite bigoted people who think it is okay to utter such poisonous sentences and clauses so long as it isn't blatant."

Well that makes one of us. Not saying no such thing exists, just saying it's unusual. Knowledge usually lends itself to open-mindedness, though not always. But if you're thinking Helo is somehow furtively trying to blackball blacks or whites, I proffer the consolation that I think he's probably not. I think Helo is all about repairing the tear between various races, not ripping it further open.

So were Helo's sentences inadvertently poisonous? I don't know. Probably to some (many?) people. Seemed fine to me though, based on how I interpreted them.

Re:
"It is okay to decide yes or no to any person's love that is offered to you."

Damn rights! You hit the bullseye there, as far as I'm concerned. [meant in all musterable honesty]

Re: race and romance ... well I sure don't know how inclined the "average" soul of one race is to be attracted to a soul of another race. I just know that "bi-racial" romances are A-O-K in my book.

That said, I believe in every individual's right to experience, "choose," and express attraction (not to mention admiration/friendship) towards another able-to-truly-consent person, for really any reason. Looks (I love your face), body shape (I love your curves), mind (I love how you think), or whatever. Whatever gets that individual excited. We should try to be "friends with everyone." But I (on behalf of all humanity including myself) reserve the right to "limit" romance to those cases in which both (or more) people "feel the chemistry" towards each other. It's magic, it's unexplainable, and it's part of what makes romance so inticing.

Re:
"You don't need an excuse or reason for who you offer yourself, your life, and your love to share with nor do you need any reason for who you do not."

Ah you took the words out of my mouth.

Re: all this bullshit about Asperger's syndrome ... I lost the relevance of that motif, unless it be that people don't try to accept/get aspies as they are (and note that I myself have been diagnosed Asperger's among other things).

Re: "unrequited love" ... completely allowable on the "shying-away" person's part no matter what his/her reason for shying away. Though respect/friendship (platonic at least) are good things for all of us to shoot for.

Re: the ability of a (man or) woman to transition from mono to poly ... I know it's a real phenomenon, because I've seen it happen. Example: the very MFM V of which I'm a part today. Our lady started out with a monogamous paradigm, but she's nothing if not good at changing her mind after reading up on a subject and getting a new perspective about it.

Re:
"The worst kinds of behaviors are the hateful, bigoted ones, and the most dangerous are the ones that aren't recognized, for they are the ones where the fucking idiot claims to be behaving righteously, or worse, laboring for God or Christ."

I'm with you there brother.
Regards,
Kevin T.
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
Well-that all seemed off topic to me.

A valuable lesson for anyone addressing racial minority issues:

When dealing with any person who is making an effort to understand, it's meaningful to ACCEPT THE EFFORT even if it doesn't meet your personal standard.

I have had no struggle with my multi-racial relationships (romantic, family and friends).
But a large part of our life is spent HEARING people use terms that aren't our *preference* and that is LIFE-it's not bigotry or hatred or even prejudice.

SOME people prefer "black". Some prefer "African American". Some prefer "white". Some prefer "caucasion". Just because someone uses a term you don't prefer-doesn't in any way make them racist. It makes them ignorant of your preferences.
The solution is to simply say that when they are talking to YOU that you prefer xyz term.
As this is a public forum and this specific thread isn't aimed at any specified person-then it's not appropriate to berate someone for using a term or even a series of terms that isn't your preference.

The HEART of Kdt's questions in this thread were positive and not negative or bigoted regarding racial minorities.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
The topics are similar. However-they are in different areas of the board, meaning that they are going to attract a different readership. I'm not inclined to merge them.
If another moderator wants to-so be it. But I'm not inclined to.
 

ColorsWolf

New member
Back on topic for me: I'd to like to give my opinion on these subjects of this thread about Race and Polyamory.~

Race is an illusion.~ It does NOT exist genetically enough in an amount to constitute "Race" as an identity, it is literally only the surface.~

Culture is something that means something to those who live it and appreciate it.~

Therefore let's be clear here: the color of some one's skin or any other physical feature is in no way indicative of the kind of Person they are nor the Culture that they call their own.~

Any one who says otherwise: there is no reasoning with these kinds of people, because they are so deeply ignorant they have made their own world in their heads where every thing they make up is true about every one and they make no attempt to learn any thing that might actually be true about the people they think they know about and if these people try to convince them otherwise they (the ignorant) often will call them (the people in question) liars.~

Therefore the question is not about "Race and Polyamory", but about "Culture and Polyamory" and how they interact together.~

Perhaps, as many on here have already said, the reason it seems that many who profess to practice "Polyamory" as they call it are of certain cultures because other cultures of other people tend to view it differently and may place more or less limitations on it.~

Another reason could be, as others have said, because of many religions that tend to be ingrained in many cultures that tend be connected to a certain brainwashing and very much controlling kind of lifestyles.~

Personally, I don't see it as an issue for myself, it only becomes an issue if you make it an issue.~

In other words, by trying to make a point that "certain people of certain skin colors" are "more or less likely to openly and knowingly practice Polyamory", you are in fact creating and just contributing to a concept that shouldn't even be a concept in the first place.~
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re: off-topic-ness ... unfortunately, the subject came up that in some black communities, the men have extra wives or girlfriends but the women have no extra husbands or boyfriends. From there, the subject/problems of patriarchal polygyny came up, along with the question of whether the wives of such marriages are or can be consenting. Enter brainwashing and whatever could be compared to it. The thread went off on a tangent, and I'll take the heat for leading it that way. I have no objections to getting back on-topic.

Re (from LovingRadiance):
"A valuable lesson for anyone addressing racial minority issues:
When dealing with any person who is making an effort to understand, it's meaningful to *accept the effort* even if it doesn't meet your personal standard."

Agreed.

Re: the right/non-offensive word to use for the various races (and species) ... is quite an awkward riddle. "African American" and "caucasion" are probably the safest terms (as is "non-human people" for, well, non-human members of the animal kingdom), and yet, "black," "white," and "animal" slide so much easier off the tongue; the safest terms seem almost like tongue-twisters in comparison. Guess it depends (like LovingRadiance said) on how sensitive one's audience is about which terms are used, but that's why I don't always use the safest terms: because I'm plain old lazy (and maybe even because mixing it up pleaseth me at times).

They say it's hard to please everyone, and boy is that true in a forum as large, dynamic, and efficacious as Polyamory.com is. When I opened this déjà-vu version of the previous race-and-poly thread (which at the time I didn't know about), I knew I was opening a big can of worms on a sensitive subject. To be honest, I expected to get some flak for it. I'm actually surprised that so many of the responses have been so positive.

Re:
"The *heart* of KDT's questions in this thread were positive and not negative or bigoted regarding racial minorities."

I appreciate that (because I sure never meant to be negative or bigoted regarding racial minorities ... or regarding anything, really).

---

Re (from the next post):
"The topics are similar. However -- they are in different areas of the board, meaning that they are going to attract a different readership. I'm not inclined to merge them.
If another moderator wants to -- so be it. But I'm not inclined to."

I see your point. Well, something about starting a "fresh thread" on the topic seems to have inspired new expressions of perspective, so maybe it's not all bad to have two threads of a kind floating about. Bottom line: I'll let the mods and admins who are wiser than me decide whether to combine the threads, and I'm fine with it either way.

---

Re: race ... seems to be mostly a skin-tone animal to me, with perhaps a few additional minor genetic differences that I don't even consider worth mentioning. Certainly there's no such thing as any "superior race," in any way.

It does seem to me that people tend to congregate with other people of a similar skin tone. I guess it's a security blanket. The illusion of skin tone seems to reassure us that we'll be mingling with people who share similar values to our own. (Sort of like the reason why self-styled -- and we all style ourselves -- polyamorists congregate in local poly groups and international poly forums. If I call myself a polyamorist, and others are also calling themselves polyamorists, then maybe they're people I can hang with who'll share similar values to mine. Of course, that comforting supposition doesn't always prove to be such a safe bet ...

As for culture per se: I wonder if African Americans are onto something when they hesitate to give "polyamory" a name (or acknowledge that it has a name). Perhaps they realize that nomenclature isn't the secret to saving the world. Actions speak so much louder than words -- I think. But caucasions like me almost have this built-in habit of fancying that "If we just coin the right magic word for things, people's attitudes will change about it." The word for "African American" has changed several times over the past century. Has that race benefitted in proportion to the number of changes? I have to wonder. Oh I suppose it's helped to some extent but, How much? is the question, and, Has it been worth it? Lots of stars-on stars-off Sneetch tactics, it almost seems to me.

Rather than word change/manipulation, I think black/white relations have been helped much more by demonstrations, civil discourse between the races, and things like Martin Luther King Jr.'s unforgettable "I have a dream" speech. I have similar opinions about non-human people's rights, as well as about polyamorist, LGBT, and BDSM rights. I know many will disagree with me. I hope my personal opinion isn't offensive. I regret talking about it in the presence of any who've worked damn hard to fix the English language so as to correct people's foul or ignorant attitudes. I don't mean to diss that work. But if we can't talk about our opinions, then we'll all be missing out on the benefit of choosing between (and gleaning new ideas from) multiple differing perspectives.

Ummm, just for the record: I'm no expert on racial issues, just an "armchair enthusiast." So please feel free to correct any of my false suppositions with any edifying data you have. (Personal perspectives are also welcome.)

I, guess there's no reason to "force things to change." They won't change for a long time anyway. Maybe it'll actually help if we focus on the half-full part of the glass and get encouragement from it.

Sorry if I seem over-zealous about the whole thing. I just miss the presence of African American (and Native American, Latino, Hispanic, etc.) culture when I attend my poly meetings. It's a sentimental problem and technically belongs only to me (though others may carry around their own version of culture-poly problem perception).
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Ah ... at last. Successfully joined https://www.facebook.com/groups/Polyinthenorthwest/ (in no small part due to LovingRadiance's help) and got myself started in at least one of their race-and-poly threads. Have also started doing some more reading on http://blackandpoly.org/ ...

Still hesitating to actually register on a "black poly site" because at least one person (on the NW poly Facebook group) seems to feel it wouldn't be appropriate for a white fellow such as myself to actually post on such sites. Instead his counsel was to lurk, listen, read, etc. with an open mind and without any defensive stuff.

In spite of that, though, I'm actually having more thoughts about registering on http://blackandpoly.org/ ... Still mulling over in my mind whether registering would be appropriate of me to do. If at some point I conclude it would be, I'll probably go ahead and try it.

Every little step helps ... so here's a happy dance. :D
 

PatG

New member
At the blindingly oversimplified, KDT doesn't see many black people formally joining (specific unconventional lifestyle organizations), because he lives in an area with a low population of black people.

Joining overt Groups with "unconventional lifestyle focous" is closely related to advanced education levels, and signifigent levels of income.

This thread comingles lifestyle specific discussion, with larger society discussion.

Where I am : the imeadate rural area has been nearly equal mix of (substantly free) black and white for hundreds of years, with manyof the same families there continously. And a substantial subelement of native American mixed with the black people. All of similar economic backgrounds for multiple generations.
The County while I live , as white , we are the racial minorities>
The the county , and the larger metropolitan area there is a substantial overlapping of educational and socieo/economic of all the groups.
While I may be slipping into Old Fart-hood , the younger generations are dating/ living together if not totally without regards to race, with a substantial percentage of cross-racial, and general acceptance.

When we *used to do what we used to do* , it wasn't a deciding factor , and black, white , and black & white were ( supply terminology). Asian and Hispanic didn't come up.

And no , there isn't a monolithic "black people think/ don't think (whatever)" anymore than it would be for white people.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re:
"KDT doesn't see many black people formally joining (specific unconventional lifestyle organizations), because he lives in an area with a low population of black people."

True enough although ... I do (for a few more weeks anyways) live an an area with abundant populations of Native Americans and Hispanics, yet I see few or none from those groups attending the local poly potlucks. Don't know how many are technically members of the local poly group here though.

Out of curiousity, can anyone who lives in an area rich with African American locals, and who attends poly (or other unconventional life choice) functions, testify about how well-attended said functions are by African Americans?

Re:
"Joining overt Groups with 'unconventional lifestyle focus' is closely related to advanced education levels, and signifigent levels of income."

That being the case: if African Americans are largely marginalized (read: poor and uneducated), then we do indeed have a problem WRT blacks joining poly groups; it's just not technically due directly to their race/skin tone. The can then gets kicked down the road and the question becomes: How can we (as polyamorists, monogamists, swingers, etc.), especially of the privileged (usually caucasian) classes, improve the lot of so many African Americans and help make them more a part of "the American dream?" If that problem were solved, the poly/race "problem" would then probably "solve" itself.

Interested to know if/how the situation changes wherever whites are the minority race.

Good to hear that the youth of differing races are dating/marrying/etc. one another; bodes well for the future.

Re:
"And no, there isn't a monolithic 'black people think/don't think (whatever)' any more than there would be for white people."

Well any group of people (black, white, red, yellow, whatever) might be "pressured into a certain mindset" by social circumstances. Could that be happening here? and as I alluded to on the 20th, it could be that most blacks have the right idea about how to "live the poly dream," while it's most whites who've got it screwed up. Or each race works the matter as suits them best, which I can't blame them for or complain about. Who knows ...

I shouldn't be so whiny about it, but even if I weren't I'd still be curious.
 

ColorsWolf

New member
Again you are all missing the point, it's not about Black people and White people.~

First of all, most people who claim to be or are called "black" are in fact "brown" and most people who claim to be or are called "white" are in fact a shade of "pink" or "yellow".~

Actual Black skin is not as common as Brown skin and actual White skin is not as common as light Pink and "Yellow" skin.~

Please be more specific when talking about people as this thread is getting highly stereotypical: when you talk about the people in your neighborhood, what are you talking about?~ Were they brought up in an "American culture": what part of "America"? Did they have any other influences to their upbringing: where did these influences come from: their aunt, their grandmother, etc.: were these influences from a different country: what part of that country: what culture was it?~

These are the kinds of questions that need to be answered, saying that "they" are "black" or "white" is just confusing and it really is NOT saying anything at all!~
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Well first of all, what would you say the point is? Is it that we need to talk more about culture, and less about skin color? Is it additionally that all individuals are unique people and can't be expected to conform to some stereotype about their "race?"

Re: skin tones ... I do know that "blacks" are usually anything but black, so to be be scientific I'm exploiting the word black to mean "all sorts of shades of brown, from nearly peach-ish all the way to literally black but most often a basic shade of brown."

I do know that "whites" are virtually never "white" per se (except perhaps albinos?). "White" skin is usually some unique admixture of pink, red, tan, peach, orange, etc.

All these "color names," while being derived originally from color concepts, are by now mostly used in a loose fashion to signify a race rather than an exact color. But I guess we could adopt terms like "brown-skinned" and "fair-skinned" at least when talking about the actual skin tones on people.

And what "color name" does a child of mixed-race ancestry receive? I have no idea. "Mixed race" I guess.

Re:
"When you talk about the people in your neighborhood, what are you talking about? Were they brought up in an 'American culture:' What part of 'America?' Did they have any other influences to their upbringing: Where did these influences come from: their aunt, their grandmother, etc.: Were these influences from a different country: What part of that country: What culture was it? These are the kinds of questions that need to be answered ..."

Don't the answers to the above questions vary from one individual to the next, regardless of their race? So again, it sounds to me like the point is that all people are unique and individual and not necessarily at all a product of their "stereotypical racial culture."

Re:
"... Saying that "they" are "black" or "white" is just confusing and it really is NOT saying anything at all!"

If you don't mind, I'm seeing a lot of bold, caps, italics, italicized bold, underlined bold -- even quotes in a seemingly sarcastic context. It looks aggressive, as if you can only get the point through our thick skulls with a sledgehammer and a long thick nail. It would help us restore a civil discourse if you could take it down a notch. Just as shouting doesn't make your audience smarter, strident emphasis doesn't make your audience smarter either. The only way to get through to a dense audience is to try to get down on their level, think like they think, and communicate with them in terms and a dialect that they can relate to and understand. I can see that it's frustrating, but it's the best way to get what you want.

I guess we need to start talking about brown-skinned people that we know. Unfortunately for me, I hardly know any (especially in the here and now). The few I ever got to know all lived in Detroit. And I never got to know them well enough to hear about what influenced their upbringing, aunts, grandmothers, etc.; I think their background was strictly American but it's possible some may have had some foreign influence in their background.

I guess my failure to get to know them better left me with a "stereotypical" impression. They seemed very American and African-American with little or no influence from other countries. One thing I think I learned, though, is that "the classic brown-skinned race stereotype" is widely (by quite a few fair-skinned persons) viewed as negative, toxic, a drain on our country, etc. ... whereas I learned to see that "classic stereotype" as positive, natural, and full of hope for a better tomorrow. I've mentioned how much I love a good laugh. Well me and these particular Detroit natives shared that love in spades. We ribbed each other a lot and had great fun doing so. These folks weren't looking for any offensive thing I might say so they could pounce on it. They got that I was "fair-skinned and from the stereotypical Utah culture," and they tolerated and accepted that in me.

I just hope I can help brown-skinned (and any-color-skinned, from any culture) persons feel as welcome amongst "the majority race" (e.g. fair-skinned) as they made me feel. The blacks I knew back then were wonderfully selfless and warmly giving, the kind of folks who'd adopt you (no matter your color) as their family upon first meeting you (and they'd let you know in no uncertain terms that you were to agree to the adoption!).

So I guess given that -- my experience -- I actually feel brown-skinned and fair-skinned cultures in America have much hope for a vast commingling in the future. The brown-skinned folks I met and befriended (after they unconditionally befriended me) seemed to have long since forgiven any past sins committed against them by fair-skinned masters, and even continued to forgive fair-skinned dummies like me for my ignorance in the present. Which is why sometimes I wonder: Do they ever push fair-skinned guys like myself away, or is it usually the fair-skinned people and cultures that are pushing them away?

That's one of the riddles I hope to solve here. Stereotypes suck but sometimes I fall back on them out of a combination of laziness and a notion that, "Well, maybe the good old stereotypes are as good a starting point as any; hopefully we can proceed to the stereotypes' many exceptions from there.

But, I hope that sharing my experiences among the unsung brown-skinned heroes of Detroit will help us all depart a little from the chains of stereotyping.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

london

Banned
There are cultural differences between groups of black people. In the UK, the vast majority of black people came here after WW2, so most black people born today would have grandparents or perhaps great grand parents who were born in Africa or the Caribbean. Saying that, many are first or second generation, either they or their parents were born in another country and came here relatively recently. Some of these people might be Muslim because the African country they are from has a large Muslim population, like Nigeria. This also affects their lifestyles.

In America, of course they also have people who have emigrated but they also have tonnes of black people who have been there (or their families have been) since slavery. Their culture is American. They aren't influenced by an African or Caribbean culture and are usually Christian.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I'm rolling my eyes over the temper tantrum of "black/white/brown etc". Seriously?
Words are labels-but they are most importantly labels to make communication possible. Which means that by their nature they are NOT exact. It's something we have to accept in order to have a damn conversation.
That said:
Well first of all, what would you say the point is? Is it that we need to talk more about culture, and less about skin color? Is it additionally that all individuals are unique people and can't be expected to conform to some stereotype about their "race?"
The point of anything thread is defined by the original poster. Of course-anyone who wants to make an unrelated point, could start their own post.

So again, it sounds to me like the point is that all people are unique and individual and not necessarily at all a product of their "stereotypical racial culture."
Or, they aren't a product of the culture that they may APPEAR to be.
My boyfriend APPEARS to be white and easily "slips under the radar" as BEING white. But the truth is that he IS Chinese/white mixed. His grandmother was OBVIOUSLY Chinese.
My oldest child is obviously not "white" like I am. But she is generally assumed white by most people. However, she is Puerto Rican and identifies VERY STRONGLY with that part of her heritage.
My youngest child is part Chinese and no one can tell.
My nearest and dearest are various shades of black. Furthermore-they all prefer "black". Not "brown" or "African American". They PREFER their race designation to be BLACK. Enough so that when some dingbat threw a tizzy fit over how "African American" was the more approrpiate term-they flipped their lids, lost their marbles and flew off the handle over how they ARE NOT FROM AFRICA.
One of them-had me smiling and I probably will continue to smile over this for some time, pointed out that his mother is into geneology. THEIR FAMILY WAS NOT FROM AFRICA for so many generations-she can't FIND proof that they EVER WERE. Meaning-it didn't happen anytime in the last 15+ generations! So the whole "African-American" is so ridiculous to their family, they KNOW their geneology. They weren't brought to America as slaves. They weren't brought to America. They traveled here as free men from Europe, where they were also free men. *and yes when I say men I also mean women.:rolleyes:

I guess we need to start talking about brown-skinned people that we know.
Already started that. But, really-I think posters need to understand that whatever YOUR PERSONAL PREFERRED TERM IS-that DOES NOT make it THE prefered term. There is no world-wide preferred term. So stop turning the board upside down in an effort to force other posters to use the term you like. If KDT says black and white-it is his right-unless the moderators tell him it is not.
IF another poster feels that there is some sort of abusive name calling or other rule breaking behavior in his posts they can PM A MODERTOR to handle it.
***** Moderator hat on****** Using the terms "black", "white", "colored", is not breaking any rule on this forum currently.

*****Mod hat off.******
Unfortunately for me, I hardly know any (especially in the here and now). The few I ever got to know all lived in Detroit. And I never got to know them well enough to hear about what influenced their upbringing, aunts, grandmothers, etc.; I think their background was strictly American but it's possible some may have had some foreign influence in their background.
It is absolutely not necessary to be personally acquainted to any group in order to be an ally to them. Nor should anyone suggest it. It is important to respect the preferences of individuals within a group you want to help, if they speak up on a personal preference in how you deal with THEM. But it's not necessary to actually be personally acquainted to take a step towards introduction and inclusion to anyone.

****Moderator hat back on******
IN FACT-the purpose of this board is inclusion and acceptance to a collection of different minority groups. It would be to the benefit of ALL posters (and lurkers) if the people who are choosing to post remember, that their personal beliefs, ideas, preferences, opinions etc are NOT THE end all, be all. That this is a meeting place for multiple groups of people with SOMETHING in common, though not necessarily much in common. Treating each other with the ASSUMPTION that no harm is intended would go a long way to fostering better understanding.
*****Mod hat back off*****

These folks weren't looking for any offensive thing I might say so they could pounce on it. They got that I was "fair-skinned and from the stereotypical Utah culture," and they tolerated and accepted that in me.
This is key for all people to be able to mix with others who don't share a commonality of any type.

I just hope I can help brown-skinned (and any-color-skinned, from any culture) persons feel as welcome amongst "the majority race" (e.g. fair-skinned) as they made me feel.
You have made this clear in your posts, repeatedly. I find it frustrating and offensive that instead of moving from the stance of this good intention, anyone, would react by tearing apart your terminology. ESPECIALLY on a board that is multicultural and world-wide-therefore ensuring that there is no ABSOLUTE common accepted terminology.

Do they ever push fair-skinned guys like myself away, or is it usually the fair-skinned people and cultures that are pushing them away?
It goes both ways. Some people push others away. Others "suck them in with love" so to speak. That happens in all races. But I think it's always good when anyone, of any race or culture can extend that loving kind of suck towards others of different cultures.

"Well, maybe the good old stereotypes are as good a starting point as any; hopefully we can proceed to the stereotypes' many exceptions from there.
Stereotypes are often based in truth, but magnified into exaggerations. They aren't a terrible place to start if you lack knowledge. In fact-NO PLACE is a terrible place to start moving towards connection with others. Even if someone starts out as a total bigoted jerk-off, if they are moving towards connection and caring-wonderful. The starting place is what it is. It's the journey that matters.

Also-stereotyping isn't prejudice. ALL people stereotype. It's a necessity in life. i refuse to go into the lengthy explanation as to why-but anyone wanting to look into it can look up social psychology David G. Meyers and find information on precisely that topic.
Stereotyping CAN lead to prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice can lead to stereotyping.
But they are different and they don't always lead to one another.
 

ColorsWolf

New member
Thank you, Kevin.~ I'm sorry I was a little sharp before.~ I'm glad you are now trying to think beyond "stereotypes", I hope to get more people to do this as well.~

Also I do not acknowledge the concept of "race" in the context of "skin-color", skin-color is only 1 of many characteristics of each individual person, but I do recognize "culture".~

There are no "good" stereotypes as the definition of a "stereotype" is an "overgeneralization".~

I honestly don't stereotype people when I meet them, whether they have black, brown, pink, or actual white skin, or they are male, female, or some thing else: I treat every one with exactly the same consideration, I do not know them, so I get to know them as a person, not as a fantasy other people have made up about them.~

So people are walking question marks to me until I get to actually know them, I don't see an Asian-looking individual and automatically think, "He must be poor, from an Asian country, and know Kung Fu.", I do think, "He has a very interesting look and I want to get to know him better."~

LovingRadiance, when you say that "ALL people stereotype." you either have truly never met or known any one who is not as you describe, or you are lying.~

By saying that, "ALL people stereotype." you are you yourself stereotyping EVERYONE.~

There are cultural differences between groups of black people. In the UK, the vast majority of black people came here after WW2, so most black people born today would have grandparents or perhaps great grand parents who were born in Africa or the Caribbean. Saying that, many are first or second generation, either they or their parents were born in another country and came here relatively recently. Some of these people might be Muslim because the African country they are from has a large Muslim population, like Nigeria. This also affects their lifestyles.

In America, of course they also have people who have emigrated but they also have tonnes of black people who have been there (or their families have been) since slavery. Their culture is American. They aren't influenced by an African or Caribbean culture and are usually Christian.

Exactly, this is why the word "black" is an overgeneralization.~

When some one tells me that a group of people are "black": that tells me absolutely nothing about this group of people other that they literally have "black" skin.~

Sincerely,

ColorsWolf
 
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Since there is a possibility you are being sincere

kdt24617 said:
As for culture per se: I wonder if African Americans are onto something when they hesitate to give "polyamory" a name (or acknowledge that it has a name). Perhaps they realize that nomenclature isn't the secret to saving the world. Actions speak so much louder than words -- I think. But caucasions like me almost have this built-in habit of fancying that "If we just coin the right magic word for things, people's attitudes will change about it." The word for "African American" has changed several times over the past century. Has that race benefitted in proportion to the number of changes? I have to wonder. Oh I suppose it's helped to some extent but, How much? is the question, and, Has it been worth it? Lots of stars-on stars-off Sneetch tactics, it almost seems to me.

Rather than word change/manipulation, I think black/white relations have been helped much more by demonstrations, civil discourse between the races, and things like Martin Luther King Jr.'s unforgettable "I have a dream" speech. I have similar opinions about non-human people's rights, as well as about polyamorist, LGBT, and BDSM rights. I know many will disagree with me. I hope my personal opinion isn't offensive. I regret talking about it in the presence of any who've worked damn hard to fix the English language so as to correct people's foul or ignorant attitudes. I don't mean to diss that work. But if we can't talk about our opinions, then we'll all be missing out on the benefit of choosing between (and gleaning new ideas from) multiple differing perspectives.

Ummm, just for the record: I'm no expert on racial issues, just an "armchair enthusiast." So please feel free to correct any of my false suppositions with any edifying data you have. (Personal perspectives are also welcome.)

I, guess there's no reason to "force things to change." They won't change for a long time anyway. Maybe it'll actually help if we focus on the half-full part of the glass and get encouragement from it.

Sorry if I seem over-zealous about the whole thing. I just miss the presence of African American (and Native American, Latino, Hispanic, etc.) culture when I attend my poly meetings. It's a sentimental problem and technically belongs only to me (though others may carry around their own version of culture-poly problem perception).

So I am willing to give you the benefit if doubt regardless of what it may only appear to say between the lines, I will point out the surface meaning that you may or may not be aware of, in case you missed it the first time, sentences such as this one

"I have similar opinions about non-human people's rights, as well as about polyamorist, LGBT, and BDSM rights."

you may wish to avoid as it is the way it is written can be misleading. It is *almost* as if it implies that poly, LGBT and BDSM people are non human, which may tend to hit a few nerves regardless of their race and regardless of your desired message. Something to think about if you are concerned about coming off as being sincere

but then again, I am no authority, nor grammarian, nor linguist so I don't think it means anything if continue to use sentences structured as that one, perhaps if it was the third time it might appear more deliberate, but luckily the author is here so I can just ask if you intentionally wrote the sentences knowing the second surface meaning was pretty much right there, uncovered, on the surface

This is just one person's opinion as far as I know, so you can take it or leave it, for what it's worth

but actions do speak louder than words, however derogatory words do, do a lot of harm, many times it's the subtle ones that are the most harmful, especially when they are hatefilled because they are unmistakable.

For instance, there was a term which was used to describe a person which you appear to want to call "blacks", which therm was coined from the country Nigeria. It was a term that was or had become closely bound with racism and hatred (often unspoken) to Human Beings, and the hatred was assigned due to the color of their skin.

Such a hatefilled term becoming socially unacceptable did effectively remove a bigot's ability to marginalize a human being anywhere he pleased. As when people speak out, they cannot get away with lesser know ways to intimidate another human being.

So yes specific words actually do have a much greater effect than I think you have admitted to.

In fact I subscribe to the theory that there would not need to be any discourse between races if people spoke out, each and every time they smell the hatred spilling all over everything with a putrid stench, and if we all did spoke up, with nothing more than a "hey! that's unacceptable, are you aware how that makes people feel?"

"Do you care?"

it's extremely effective at removing their power to marginalize and intimidate those whom would otherwise continue to violate and creep into every safe public place, and that feeling of safety is very important.

Especially with how far my govt has taken the safety as an excuse to violate, I be damned if I am going to let them take away the psychological sanctuary, nobody has the right to do that kevin
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
Actually colorswlf-as a social psych student, I have studied the topic. We stereotype people and things as a way to classify. Every person and most animals do it.
And as I said, Im not explaining the science. But as an avid learner, you CAN go research it. The information is readily available. I gave the critical temrs and even a social psychologist authors name.
Feel free to read up on just how much EVERY PERSON does do it-in a multitude of ways and arenas in life. Its a basic survival mechanism.
 

ColorsWolf

New member
Actually colorswlf-as a social psych student, I have studied the topic. We stereotype people and things as a way to classify. Every person and most animals do it.
And as I said, Im not explaining the science. But as an avid learner, you CAN go research it. The information is readily available. I gave the critical temrs and even a social psychologist authors name.
Feel free to read up on just how much EVERY PERSON does do it-in a multitude of ways and arenas in life. Its a basic survival mechanism.

I've already said my piece on this subject, I will not argue this with you as no amount of studies is going to change how I see things.~

Yes, I can use visual or other ques to equal possible information about some one, but I never take this information as any thing more than a possibility until I actually inquire about it by actually getting to know them, then I can determine whether or not the possible information is true or not by asking the person in question.~

Every one has their own perspective, please remember that.~
 

london

Banned
When an American says black people, I know they are more than likely referring to black people with American culture. In the UK, I might ask if they mean Africans or Caribbean but they'd usually say. We also refer to black British culture but will say as much.
 
To be clear

It wasn't the words used to describe a people, and I understand the BDSM term for non-human, but it just happened to be the second time in not so many weeks a person with normally impeccable grammar wrote a sentence with two conflicting "surface meanings" and if the second meaning isn't about love or sex it tends to get on my nerves as if reminds me too much of how erudites, grammarians, BDSM and Poly and especially IT people use words in a completely different meaning, and even when poly and power exchange people do it in regards to sex of love sometimes it still riles me.

People with obscure knowledge, need to be especially careful that they don't abuse such knowledge, esp since there is a growing number of people who are beginning to realize that Caucasians are not white, even though they definitely took it upon themselves to believe they were, and so also took it upon themselves to become tyrannical leaders who commit atrocities which they *almost* actually believe their own lies as if what they did was right or could be ever be justified.

As far as the term white goes, Caucasians are in actuality one of the furthest people from it. As traditionally "white" meant clear, transparent or "see through"

which is the other reason this post riled me, as I don't particularly get along with the seemingly growing number of people who get senses mixed up, color would be a mix up of reflections detected by sight
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Part 1 of 3

@ london ... I like what you say, lots and lots of "black variety" springs up when looking at various parts of the world.

---

Warning: Buckle up, coz what you're about to read is gonna be a rough ride (and incite great wrath towards me as well).

Re (from LovingRadiance):
"I'm rolling my eyes over the temper tantrum of 'black/white/brown etc.' ... Seriously?"

LOL ... so you're saying the world will not actually end because of these things? Shwhew; that's good; I was getting a little worried there. :)

Re:
"Words are labels -- but they are most importantly labels to make communication possible. Which means that by their nature they are *not* exact. It's something we have to accept in order to have a damn conversation."

Amen.

Re:
"The point of any thread is defined by the original poster."

Ah. With that opening, I'll re-iterate that my "official point" in initiating this particular thread was to see what I could learn about what I saw as a "troubling absence" of "apparent minority races" in the poly events I've attended -- and possibly a statistical near-absence of minority races on some poly forums as well. The last bit of that sentence quite possibly being a sheer figment of my imagination, but just in case, I thought I'd mention it.

And even more "to the point," my hope in initiating this particular thread was to brainstorm ideas on how to "get all us diverse poly races and cultures even more together than we were previously." No more, no less.

Re:
"Of course -- anyone who wants to make an unrelated point, could start their own thread."

I actually don't mind "mini-hijacks" here and there, long as they don't become full-blown derails (and train wrecks).

Re:
"My nearest and dearest are various shades of black. Furthermore -- they all prefer 'black.' Not 'brown' or 'African American.' They *prefer* their race designation to be *black.* Enough so that when some dingbat threw a tizzy fit over how 'African American' was the more approrpiate term -- they flipped their lids, lost their marbles and flew off the handle over how they *are not from Africa.*"

Huh? What? They're not? :confused:

LOLOL ... You seem to be observing that said "browns" ("Hello my brown brother! Don't you feel empowered by my reference to you as the shade of a stereotypical piece-o-shiz?") are as tired of the "what to call those inconvenient colored folks" debate as us ingnernt honkies are! LOLOL ... Jeezh, let's agree on a (preferably merciful short and sweet) term already and stick with it.

Damn. I'm a-gonna use "black/s" from now on.

It don't bother me to be called "white." Hell it don't even bother me to be called "honky" or "cracker." I can take a jab in the ribs about my skin color (and all the not-so-funny American history that goes with it). So I'm not "technically white." Big freakin' deal, I thought we weren't supposed to care about what the scientific definition of one's skin color was. (Sorry, I know I'm basking in irreverent levity here, but sometimes the otherworldly absurdness does disturb one's mind. Can I get an amen?)

Admittedly, I consider "the N word" to suck more than "the H or C words" because it's "the N word" people who got so horridly maltreated by "the H/C humans." (I guess the widespread usage of the N word when blacks are talking to each other is meant by them as a bit of grim irony.)

Re:
"One of them -- had me smiling and I probably will continue to smile over this for some time -- pointed out that his mother is into geneology. *Their family was not from Africa* for so many generations -- she can't *find* proof that they *ever were.* Meaning -- it didn't happen anytime in the last 15+ generations! So the whole "African-American" thing is so ridiculous to their family, as they *know* their geneology. They weren't brought to America as slaves. They weren't brought to America. They traveled here as free men from Europe, where they were also free men. *And yes when I say men I also mean women. :rolleyes:"

Hmmm ... interesting ... interesting ... the plot thickens ...

Re:
"I think posters need to understand that whatever *your personal preferred term is* -- that *does not* make it *the* preferred term. There is no world-wide preferred term."

Oh crap. Now we'll never agree ...

Re:
"If KDT says black and white -- it is his right -- unless the moderators tell him it is not."

Oh gods, don't "speak of the devil" [read: "speak of the moderators" -- but I don't mean you're a devil, O ruthlessly witty one] or the devil will come, and have my filthily-delusioned European American butt in a sling for saying black and white (There goes my myopic black-and-white thinking again).

Re:
"It is absolutely not necessary to be personally acquainted to any group in order to be an ally to them."

Coolness! Happy happy. :)

Re:
"Treating each other with the *assumption* that no harm is intended would go a long way to fostering better understanding."

Oh man ... that's exactly how we should treat each other, and explains exactly why we should treat each other that way.

Re:
kdt26417 sed:
I just hope I can help brown-skinned (and any-color-skinned, from any culture) persons feel as welcome amongst "the majority race" (e.g. fair-skinned) as they made me feel.

... LovingRadiance replied:
"You have made this clear in your posts, repeatedly. I find it frustrating and offensive that instead of moving from the stance of this good intention, anyone would react by tearing apart your terminology. *Especially* on a board that is multicultural and world-wide -- therefore ensuring that there is no *absolute* common accepted terminology."

... and kdt26417 rhapsodizes:
Ohh man ... I sooo appreciate that vote of moral support. IMO, words are only barbs when they're *meant* to be barbs. Now meaning words as jabs in the ribs: that's something I'm often guilty of. But as barbs? Me? Gosh darn it, I ain't the type.

Re:
"Some people push others away. Others 'suck them in with love' so to speak. That happens in all races. But I think it's always good when anyone, of any race or culture can extend that loving kind of suck towards others of different cultures."

Yes -- such is most propitious.

Re:
"Stereotypes are often based in truth, but magnified into exaggerations. They aren't a terrible place to start if you lack knowledge. In fact -- *no place* is a terrible place to start moving towards connection with others. Even if someone starts out as a total bigoted jerk-off, if they are moving towards connection and caring -- wonderful. The starting place is what it is. It's the journey that matters."

See? Even Archie Bunker can be saved.

And I even agree with you about the distinction between prejudice and stereotyping. Thanks for your post in general.

[end of rough ride ... perhaps ...]

[continued below]
 
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