Date: June 07, 2016 06:16PM
For a long time, I thought both my parents were supportive of my doing anything I wanted with my life. My father seemed to support the idea that I could go to college and follow any career path; so did my mother. But that was while I was an obedient teenage girl who kept insisting she was going to become a housewife and mother.
When I started thinking like a feminist, I suddenly discovered my mother's distrust of "feminazis" and learned that she had vocally opposed the Equal Rights Amendment. My father talked like he was supportive, but when I went out into the world to make my own life, he kept telling me that he didn't "approve of" my actions. To this day, he will from time to time say he "disapproves" of this or that, as if he has authority over a grown woman with a life of her own. I finally realized that deep down, he believes in the fantasy that a man has authority over a woman at any age, and has a right to disapprove of and judge her decisions -- he's just too passive and chicken to act on his beliefs in a dramatic fashion. As for my mother, she criticizes Mormon men for bossing her around and criticized BYU for being a marriage factory, but she was utterly appalled when I decided to live with a non-Mormon man and NOT get married to a Mormon one or have babies.
My parents also turned out to be racist. It was hard for me to tell they were when I was younger because their social circle was the local ward and almost everyone there was white. But when New Orleans was devastated, my mother called the people down there "lazy", code for "black and inferior." My father has also shown a tendency to mention the race of someone he hates or disagrees with at work IF they are black. He also hates Obama. When I tried to nail down why, he couldn't give me answers. It was just a "feeling."
Makes me wonder what he would have "felt" if I'd ever dated a black man.
Date: June 07, 2016 07:50PM
My dad -- an inactive who finally left the church for good, to have my mom divorce him at the bishop's insistence so she could marry a temple-worthy-priesthood-holder -- nope.
She's very nice, never says a bad word about anyone, never mentions race. But every now and then lets slip some of the things your mom has said, the sort of "code words" that show she's really, really, really uncomfortable with anyone not white and delightsome, and is largely ignorant of anything about them. She likes her little white bubble, and doesn't want to stray out of it.
Date: June 09, 2016 07:42AM
Unfortunately, yes, and not just with my parents, but all my siblings as well. My mom especially is a BIG believer in the whole "women belong in the home and men should always be in charge" thing. It's caused some friction between us, especially when i came out as a lesbian with no interest in marrying a man or having children.
I also realized just how racist everyone in my family is. My brothers try to play it off like they're joking, but it's pretty clear that they think less of anyone who isn't white. And they're all way too comfortable throwing around racial slurs.
Funny story, though: I was watching clips from the musical 'Hamilton' with my mom the other day (the cast of which is primarily non-white actors portraying prominent figures from the American revolution). My mom seemed super uncomfortable with people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson being portrayed as *gasp* black! When I asked her what the issue was, she just sort of huffed and said, "Aren't there any blue-eyed blondes in this musical?" I tried to bring up the point that if you want to see a bunch of caucasians, watch just about anything else; this musical is a chance for the minorities to become the majority of the cast for once. She didn't seem to really get it, but hey, at least she liked the music.
Date: June 09, 2016 08:15AM
My parents weren't racist or sexist entirely.
Dad had some animosity towards the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor that lasted his lifetime. He lost a close cousin who was shot down over the Pacific because of that sneak attack. Dad also served in WWII, so that may be why he held his views for as long as he did. Not because of their race per se, but what happened during that war.
He had his ideas about women, as in double standards. He could mess around and that was more "okay" than were a woman to, say in a relationship or during marriage. His second marriage (before he married my mom,) both he and his spouse divorced over accusations the other one had been cheating lol. Guess they could both be right?!
He used to tell me not to psychoanalyze things so much, and to dress sexier when I was a young adult. I've always been more conservative in my tastes since I've been an adult, and dress modestly since I developed my own sense of style. He meant well, but I followed my heart anyway. I also was the first in my immediate family to get a college degree. Had I followed my dad's advice that never would've happened. In college I was able to develop *more* critical reasoning skills, not less, than I already had up to then.
If my mom were a sexist or racist I never knew it. She was an early role model for me of a working mother, and though she may not have been an ideal parent, she was able to take care of herself up to a point.
After my parents divorce she became totally dependent on her second husband out of fear and insecurity of not being self-sufficient. Her health had deteriorated by then to such a degree she didn't see herself as having any better prospects so she stayed with him not because she valued the marriage as much as she was afraid of being alone and on welfare after she became too ill to work.
Had she been born in a different generation and time, like my dad, neither one of them were what I consider to be adamantly racist or sexist. They were products of the times they grew up in, and the culture they identified with.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2016 09:24AM by Amyjo.
Date: June 09, 2016 12:58PM
My family was not LDS. Some were Christian ministers in the late 1800's and into the 1900's. They lived in several states, one was Oklahoma another was Texas where my grandmother was born. Of course, they were racist. There was no equality of the blacks and whites in those days. (That is also true in many other countries - non equality of different races, skin color, etc.) It was a bit of a surprise, however, when in grade school I found out that some of that separation of the blacks and whites was still part of my grandparent's thinking. I was a WW2 baby so I saw a lot of the separation in jobs, etc. Only blacks (not the term used in those days), did certain jobs, like janitorial, bathroom attendants, for instance, in the large dept store I worked in. Many jobs were not open to anyone who was not white.
I grew up in Portland, OR and did not see that kind of racism in my personal experiences with my friends. Two black girls were in our class. One was part of our group of friends and attended our sleep overs in the 50's. I found out later, that was unheard of for many years after that in some areas of the country. Probably still would not happen in some areas of the South.
It's wise to remember that we are a product of our environment, family dynamics and the times we live in. My observation is that some people will always be biased, bigoted, racist, misogynist, etc. Even though our country is a huge melting pot, we do not, historically integrate well as we still have or see remnants of separation of ethnic differences in some cities.
Date: June 09, 2016 02:28PM
> SusieQ#1 Wrote:
> > Even though our country is a huge melting pot,
> > do not, historically integrate well as we still
> > have or see remnants of separation of ethnic
> > differences in some cities.
> Do you agree or disagree with the proposition that
> across the vast majority of the spectrum. 'kids'
> today are doing a better job of remaining
> egalitarian compared to two generations ago?
I think it depends on the geographic and cultural and intellectual area.
In large cities where gangs proliferate the neighborhoods there is no integration even though they are all black.
In our grade school, for instance, in Goleta, CA our kids were exposed to a lot of different ethnic and nationality groups. I recall one birthday for my daughter when almost everyone was from a different area of the world. This was the 70's.
I have found very little overt display of any kind of problem where I have lived in So. CA. I think some areas are doing a much better job of integrating and building greater acceptance. I see that more on higher education campuses. Again, it's the area.
My observation is that there is still a lot of mostly an undercurrent of racism in the South.
Lately, we've all seen a lot of racism between blacks and whites especially in crime.
It seems almost impossible to eradicate racism. Especially, when some leaders give it a valid voice.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2016 02:29PM by SusieQ#1.
Date: June 09, 2016 04:07PM
Well, I'm a lot older than most people here. My father was born
around the turn of the century. He not only grew up in racist
America, he grew up in racist Mormonism.
One typical comment I recall as a child, when Elvis had caught
on and I wanted to have a "ducktail" that was greased to
perfection, my dad said to me, "you don't want your hair to be
shiny like a n1gg*r's."
Typical stupid kid that I was, I replied, "why not?" (because
that was EXACTLY what I wanted).
He answered me, smugly, "that question answers itself."
Date: June 09, 2016 05:11PM
My parents were both born in the 1920's and grew up in Ogden and Kaysville. About the time they had us kids, they fortunately moved to the Seattle area, where we were all raised.
While they were never overtly racist, all of us kids knew they were. They never made outright derogatory statements, but it was more like passing comments that revealed their underlying racism. I think they actually tried to hide it from us mostly, which is kind of weird, but I think it reveals that they knew it was wrong.
When my mom was in her 80's and living with dementia in assisted care, she had to have help with bathing. Most of the assistants were immigrants from Africa and Asia and she did not want them to touch her. I don't know exactly how she acted with them, but at the first review meeting with supervisory staff, they said to me, "your mom is racist". I said well, of course she is, she grew up in Mormon Utah in the 20's and 30's. All those filters dissolve away when you have Alzheimer's, and it seemed kind of like a "well duh" moment.