Every day I am made aware of the generation gap that now exists between myself and others. As an example, I know a gal in her early 30’s, we get along really well. We communicate easily and hit it off immediately but the other day, I said something that threw for a loop.
This woman is intelligent, psychologically and spiritually sophisticated so I thought I could just speak but there are some subjects that are truly taboo to much of her generation and race is one of them. You just can’t mention or acknowledge a person’s race without hitting a trip wire.
Now to me, a person’s race or their roots is inordinately important. This would be the Moon in astrology, it’s personal. I don’t like the idea of denying the Moon but if you so much as mention a person’s race, you are instantaneously tagged, racist. This is painful to me, akin to lopping off one third of my brain…and yours so that we might be PC.
I am suggesting that the Moon (the background, the roots or what is in the blood) accounts for at least 1/3 of what drives a person and if we can’t consider this, we really hinder our ability to understand other people. For someone like me who is so intensely interested in others this is unacceptable, meaning that if I have to blot out that much knowledge or information in order to talk to you, I’d rather not talk to you because it literally gives me a headache.
One thing about this job is it allows me to work with people all over the world. It is imperative that I consider a person’s culture to be effective. People from different races and religions and regions have different standards around things like drinking or pre-marital sex, for example. Because people are so mobile these days, they are often born to one culture but live in another which creates a number of very interesting challenges.
None of this can be addressed without acknowledging a person’s roots. Further, I am pretty sure a person will keep their problems and continue to struggle and see emotional satisfaction elude them for as long as they continue to deny their Moon.
If I am right, this is a steep price to pay for whatever gain people believe they get from denying a person’s background and I’m not going to play. If you call me and say, I am from Brazil, or I am Korean, or I am Muslim or I am Mexican, or I’m British or I’m Catholic or I’m from the South or from California, or Africa, I am going to hear you and I am going to draw information from that so that I might cater to your exact person and not some generic that doesn’t even exist.
Are you comfortable referring to a person’s race in conversation?
Totally agree. One thing I find I get attacked for more than acknowledging a person’s race as well as my own is my perceptions on house keeping. I have a Virgo Moon and I need clean and tidy people. I don’t feel this is a choice – it’s a need. It’s me honoring my roots you could say. I simply cannot gel with a partner who can’t keep house. If he does not have this sensibility it will never work, no matter what other wonderful qualities he may have. Well, imagine the reaction I get went I state this simple fact.
early thirtier here. if it’s important to the story or for identifying someone then yes. i think it’s not so much that it’s taboo but rather we are one of these generations that has been raised to think it’s not a big deal. interracial friendships, relationships, marriages are par for the course. we think it’s sort of gauche to give too much importance to a person’s race. this is just my experience and of course it is region (northeast) specific.
i have some friends who are first generation immigrants and they sometimes say things that make me recoil a bit. one of them asked me ‘when you were growing up did you think you would marry a ____ guy?’. that just blew my mind because i don’t think of people in race buckets that i accept or reject.
@Stella – agree. talking about stereotypes (esp. as if you are confirming them) is not very acceptable in most circles these days.
For me it’s like pretending you’re not female. WTF? Of course it matters. Of course it makes up part of your identity. Not all of it but certainly part of it. Any demographic feature: age, gender, race etc that cannot be readily changed makes up our identity IMO.
I personally can’t stand it when someone pretends I am them, lol. 🙂 Why not get to know me, really?
But I do think venusflytrap has this nailed and that is the gap!
I am 30, myself, not to mention I have tons of Libra, so am generally averse to disrespecting others, however, all of this PC nonsense is just plain f-ing annoying to me.
On this matter, I think it is the word “race” that offends younger people. In a basic college anthropology class, it is beaten into your head that race is not real. It may have a cultural significance, but the scientific definition of race is something like this: “A geographically patterned phenotypic expression of traits in a species.” They emphasize that there is more variation within a group than between groups, so we are all biologically the same and this is the take home message. EVERYONE IS THE SAME, and dont you forget it. I think this fuels some of the views held by the younger generations.
For the most part, I think. I have Cap on the IC, this might be why.
No. I’m not introducing anyone as my [insert race] friend?! Nor would I ever name their sexual orientation or their religion ever.
I can see introducing me as “this is Tam from North Carolina”. But surely no one would go on to include that my ancestors were from the British Isles?
I think it’s worse now to get racially attacked by a particular age group that are really hung up on race and what they perceive as racist comments (the PC brigade really have swung many issues totally out of proportion. I find 99% of the time, it’s their own self ego venting off (ohhh yes, I have got something to say about this and you’re going to listen).
I don’t even question a person’s race, I just see a person (I am 50+). I am white, but of mixed countries, and had much racism thrown at me. So where does race come into it.
A lot is usually about colour these days – race is the secondary aspect for someone to have a go at you (you are deemed to be of different race because of your colour as well as your background).
As far as the mixed interracial relationships go – it might be more common, especially with mixed race kids becoming more prominent to take exception to minor issues, but a lot of it is about someone making a personal statement, and not about the relationship.
To add insult to injury, I usually find its those deemed to be immigrant are the worse culprits in throwing the race card at you. (I work in this area so have much background and experience).
I am in my 50’s, I am half German, half British (white) – born just after the war years. Yes I suffered as do many others – those that vent off over race are just camouflaging their original purpose – they are just downright bullies in disguise.
Apart from not living in the light of one’s moon – I wonder if there is a common pattern with any other planets that seem to ignite this more. Different generations handle it differently – but they still have they still have one thing in common – “an oppinion”
Yep I am comfortable discussing race. I always have been. I am culturally mixed and so is my Hubby 🙂
It all comes down to one thing: Listening and hearing.
Humans have much more in common than they might imagine.
I don’t think it’s “race” as much as it is culture. If you grow up with certain social axioms, your parents and locale, all of these make a difference in what boundaries and constructs you’ve carried though out your life.
U rather enjoy the idea that when you really become an adult, you can choose to toss those chains away.Some cling to these as if they are the foundation of their very being.
If I acknowledge cultural differences, which are a fact, I am not being a racist. I am actually acknowledging and relating to their right to their culture and their beliefs. Sure, every person is different, and perhaps they don’t want to be typecast culturally, or have risen or fallen from the lot, but it is what it is, and those like myself who have grown up Catholic for example, will happily acknowledge that there was fear and self loathing in not being good enough and guilty for something we didn’t do. I think such things as an adult are funny now!
Do you think Pluto Librans HAVE to be this reactive in some form regarding race in order to fulfill the *extreme relationship* thing? As in we push the tolerance level to zero (because the pendulum has been so far the other way before us) so that it can then swing back to a better balance..eventually? Just curious.
yes, I’m secure in my roots (and they are not all pretty) so I feel fine discussing someone else’s race. I completely agree with you..it isn’t something you can just overlook because different races are part of what makes people different. Because it is part of what makes them different it DOES affect how you help and approach them. That cannot be denied.
I think the problem comes when someone who is secure in that part of themselves encounters someone who is not. This activates that insecurity and fear and results in either avoidance or aggression or defensive action (even when it isn’t needed).
One of my favorite sayings, that ALWAYs pisses someone off, “I’m not racist. I hate everyone the same.” it’s a joke..yet true. Doesn’t matter what color or background you are when I’m evaluating whether I like you or not. It’s all going to boil down to character and compatability.
Am i color blind? No. I see color. And I think it is important to see color. BECAUSE IT IS A PART OF THE PERSON YOU ARE LOOKING AT! If you deny it you are saying that part of them has no importance. But it does! If they deny it, then they surely must feel not safe in who they are or ashamed of it.
k..done rambling for now.
Really interesting post about Pluto in Libra, Josi. 🙂
It depends on how you handle the situation, but in general, if you are white, you should probably keep your mouth shut on anything racial. If you are of color, you get a free pass and any white that doesn’t acknowledge and accept that is in trouble. If you’re white, it’s okay to acknowledge someone’s roots being different from yours and respect them for it, but behavior of people being classified on their race? Don’t do it. It is considered potentially offensive when you speak from a place of privilege/whiteness in my generation, so you’d better be careful. It doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about race, but you are much more likely to be super offensive to others if you talk about it while white. Period.
For example, in the fall we have new foreign students that start going to school here. One Asian girl I know referred to some people in town as “fobby” (fresh-off-the-boat-y) because they didn’t know how to ride bikes yet, and then said to me, “I can say that, because I’m Asian.” But if my white friend had said that…well, actually she has made similar annoyed comments about Asian folks from foreign countries who don’t know how to drive cars here so well yet. But if it comes out of her, it is guaranteed to be offensive and I was shocked when I heard that, but not so much when the Asian girl said that and used a more offensive term about it. Because she CAN get away with that.
My high school drama teacher made a very big point about how you can only make fun of a group if you are part of that group. If you aren’t, shut up. That pretty much says it all.
I am 40 (Gen X) and white and went to a college where race was widely studied and openly talked about. And I think it might be helpful to look at the context to see where the “openness” of Gens X and Y is coming from.
As everyone knows, a tremendous amount of damage was done due to racial stereotyping in the last 300 plus plus years. Black meant this, Chinese meant this, Latin meant this.
What people of whatever ethnicity asked — in class, in writing, in film, in art, in song — in response to their mislabeling for so many generations, is that outsiders *not* label them based on their race/culture. That they are individuals. These are the mores Gen X and thirtysomethings have grown up with.
Perhaps it is an overswing of the pendulum, for now, to make up for the mistakes and hurt and harm that were done in the past. But it seems to have allowed people of any race to claim/choose their identity within their race/culture, instead of being labeled with an outsider’s perception of what that “probably” means.
The gist of the messages I have heard is that not all Mexicans are Catholic. Not all Muslims are on the wagon. Not all Mormons/whatevers are celibate before marriage. Etc. Etc.
The message I have heard loud and clear, at school and for the past 20 years, is that many don’t want others making assumptions/presumptions about them because of a perception of their heritage. So much of that was done that it’s a place of tenderness, a wound. At least for now. It needs time to heal.
Catydid that is an awesome perspective 🙂
I grew up in Park Hill in Denver in the 70’s and the racial mix was about 50/50 black white. my experience was overwhelmingly positive in regard to race. I don’t know what the adult experience in that area at that time was like but in my experience as a child black/white was a non-issue.
then we moved to a small agricultural community where there were literally 2 black people in the entire valley, but a huge community of hispanic people. I had never encountered prejudice that I was aware of and what I saw was off the charts. I could not wrap my mind around it. I could not even tell the difference between the two groups, white/hispanic and the vitriol was incomprehensible to me. I was aware of being “white” but it was the same as being aware I had brown hair. the other kids were very aware of being “White” and it freaked my shit out. I never did know what to do about it, other than not be a racist piece of shit, call people names, be divisive and whatnot. I didn’t fit in.
This isn’t exactly on topic, but it made me think of that. :/
Personally I believe that people in general are a bit to easily offended. You wrote an article a while back that I thought was spectacular and pointed up this subject perfectly. It was about the choice to be offended, or not. I have no problem with any body’s ethnic background and believe they should be proud of and know their family history. It is after all what makes you. That said does not mean you should walk around with a chip on your shoulder ready to be knocked off at any given moment. I think it is sad when I meet people like that.
I agree with Stella, any feature that cannot be readily changed makes up our identity.
However, it may be interesting to know that on official application forms, while date/place of birth and gender are a standard along with the full name, many (if not most) countries don’t require to specify the race. Also, in Latin American countries “religion” is usually not included either because you’re supposed to be catholic, it would be like specifying “gender” in a girls’ school.
Haha big facebook style “LIKE” on this post!
My moon is where I’m coming from emotionally and otherwise when I express myself. There’s a saying in Spanish when people new to the United States try to homogenize themselves and blend in refusing to even speak Spanish it basically goes, “the cactus is plain on their face.”
I’m Mexican just as my hot blooded moon sign and like me or not, it’s there as plain as the cactus on my face… :D!
I have no problem mentioning race. But for me, it is just a skin color.
And I feel completely dismissed by that, flip. To the point it angers me.
I thought I’d elaborate on my comment. I work with Asians (hq and the mechanic) and have for 10 years. They would be the first to tell you that I don’t act Japanese, I am sure. And they are not even remotely Italian. And then someone comes along and tells me there is not difference between us (outside of skin color) and I just want to scream.
I have a learned a lot from working with Asians. It’s eye-opening. It is beneficial, it helps and it expands me but this is because Asians are not Italians even if we are all people!
Pepe I am also part Latina but in the end we are all humans. We must make an effort to understand each others points of views. This way more common ground can be reached.
@Jennifer that’s exactly what I meant! Acknowledging differences in a positive way – totally cool. Stereotyping in a negative way – nuh-uh. Catydid very thoughtful perspective. Confused by flip’s comment.
well, said Jennifer and catydid!!
can’t relate to the original post at all
i’m 30-something, pluto in libra, p.c. as hell AND race and culture are topics i gravitate, too
the ONLY time i get uncomfortable about race is when someone from a previous generation (and embarrassingly it is usually an older person) says something entirely stupid (read: racist) when the subject of race and cultural difference is broached
i hate losing respect for my elders—but it is generally due a comment along these lines—this is the source of my discomfort—-i loathe seeing a saturn figure humiliate themselves, not a discussion about race
sorry, but in the last 20 years, i have personally seen a resurgence in claiming and honoring different cultures and ethnic origins, not the opposite
most of a person’s imprinting happens before they are five. a huge portion of that is cultural- what they experience at home, wherever that may be.
imo, people can grow how they choose, but they start somewhere… and it never goes away, not completely (or even close…)
I have a Gemini Moon in the 9th house and I love learning about other cultures. The food, the language, dances, art, holidays and traditions.
My son makes jokes “Do you have any American friends?” (I do) But it is true that at least half my friends were not born in the USA.
I wonder what the younger generation would think about my friend May. She is 60, from China and refers to Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc,..as
Oriental. This is the word our generation grew up using and I remember maybe 10 years ago being informed that the correct word is Asian. I guess May May didn’t get the memo.
I think race and culture are very important and valuable. Diversity does not diminish, it enhances. So it makes me very sad that we here in the US are in the habit of trying to blend and dilute everyone instead of acknowledging and really appreciating both our commonalities and differences.
@hydrosnap – agree. We also tend to project our feelings onto others which is just ludicrous. You can’t see their color but they sure as hell can see yours! 🙂
am I the only one thinking about Jersey Shore? America says it’s pc but then it makes a show clearly stereotyping one culture/race.
We rail against child pornography but they allow Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus to gyrate on music videos when they weren’t even close to 18.
The cultural collective says one thing but Madison Avenue does another with a cynical wink, wink nod…
i think racism is vastly different from being culturally aware, or acknowledging someone’s ethnic group, religion, or heritage.
some people would lump me in with asians, some would assume i’m hispanic, and others have no idea what to make of me because i am american and brown but with no distinct accent, and i’m not working class or an immigrant.
i live in new york and if you can’t handle someone calling a spade a spade, get the eff outta here! we’re all prejudiced to an extent and we all have to own our personal bias (moon). that being said, i can’t stand it when people focus on why i’m so DIFFERENT from them. i’m already aware that i don’t belong in most groups, so i recoil around people who are making assumptions about me based on how i look or where i’m from. a jerk is a jerk is a jerk.
my ex is a good example of why racism is not black and white. he was born in colombia and was adopted by an italian-american family from new york. he grew up the only brown kid on his block in a working-class neighborhood. there was a lot of racism against the black kids from the nearby housing projects. my ex’s neighbors of course knew him and that he wasn’t from the projects. but some still called him the n-word and treated him like dirt. even while he was growing up to be very similar to them. so now that’s he’s grown up, he has a lot of cards he can play. he can be the italian neighborhood guy, he can be the colombian-born guy, he relates to anyone in new york (jewish, black, etc). but it is still a sore spot for him that he’s an upstanding citizen, doesn’t get into trouble, and yet gets stopped by police every once in a while.
My husband is like that, dorchid. He can get along and fit in with Southerners, Mexicans, all of Latin America, (speaks Portuguese and Spanish)and Italians. The main thing is to be able to speak someone’s language, the way they do if possible. For example, my husband can id your region by your Spanish. There are certain dialects that grate on him, actually. 🙂
elsa, that’s wonderful. i wish i spoke multiple languages because it’s truly a whole new world. i’m learning french now and the little i know is already mind-blowing.
some people are confused by my ex because he is clearly a biased person and doesn’t try to hide it. but being biased is different from being a jerk. my ex works and befriends people of all backgrounds because he knows that at the end of the day, people are individuals.
and i was just talking to my friend about this yesterday. he’s jewish and from a suburb in jersey. i’m from a pacific island with a large asian population. and i was telling him asians are some of the most ‘racist’ people i met, as in they love to talk sh*t about the asian from the this or that country. he was intrigued because americans tend to lump asians together just because we don’t know any better. but a chinese person from the mainland might as well be from a different planet, when dealing with a chinese person from hong kong or taiwan.
It is easy for those that haven’t dealt with being considered abnormal based on their “race” or color to ask
those that have to conform to their lexicon because they’re tired of feeling like racists. I don’t believe in PC, I believe in common decency and respect for other people. To refer to people as “asians” or “blacks” is disrespectful in that it diminishes the individuality of the people you are grouping together. “Whites” are not the only group of people that are allowed to be who and whatever they want independent of their “race”. It is my opinion that anyone that claims they are “tired of how PC the world is” only wants a free pass to say whatever they want without the repercussions of possibly genuinely offending someone else.
It’s all a weird state of events generally. Discussion(intense or not) is always requited to sort these types of issues.
Very often there is the “you don’t LOOK…” until I change languages a couple of times or a relative comes in.
Then it’s silence.
So all of this goes every different direction but the bottom line it:
Now that you understand that all of this happens-how do you do your best(not your easiest) to deal with the situation?
Oh and for the record I think racism is not just a perception or expression. I think racism is a constant living path of action.
vicki: i think political correctness has a time and place. sometimes it is more divisive than it purports to be. and i think elsa’s point is that people being able to say what they want without repercussions can be more helpful than not.
to me, racism is more prevalent as an institution than as a personality disorder. a ridiculously high number of men in prison are black or hispanic. does that mean black or hispanic men are racially predisposed to being criminals? a discerning person, especially one who has spent time with people of all backgrounds, would know that’s not true. a racist person, no matter how polite or pc, may look at that statistic and simply feel vindicated by it.
i think the most insightful comment here was by catydid. as long as race/religion/natioanlity/sexual oreientation categories bring to mind streotypes, i think it would be more problematic then helpful to use the info about which race/religion etc a person comes from in trying to understand them, before getting to know them as an individual first. sure chinese are not italians, and black race is not white race, muslims are not budhists etc. but these are just generalizations and my personality is much more influenced by what i read, study, which people that i befriend, then by my race or religion or the likes.
Personally, if i dont tell people beforehand, where i am from, then they can never guess corecctly my country or religion, and the guesses about me ranged from british, french, to brazilian or iranian. if i tell people with streotypes where i am from, before they know me personally, their attitude immediately changes. I never had an experience where the knowledge of my natioanlity or religion helped people to know me correctly. My best friends range from korean to russion to indian, to thai, non of whom i share the same culture. but i find more similarities and common ground with my best friends then i find with people who grew up in my country. i think it is the soul essense, the personalities that matter, which bring people together. and mind you, i love cultures and diversity and i feel most comfortable talking about these which people who hold no negative streotypes. I just oppose the idea of using labels to know people and think that you are from this country or that religion, then you must be like that. sure some people are more community-culture minded, and they feel most comfortable or close to people from their own community. I respect that, as long as they give the same respect that they have for their identity to other communities as well. to me, i feel most comfortable with people likemyself who lived in several parts of the world and associate with people from all backgrounds. I suppose my community is people without communities 🙂
Today my husband told me who (in the South) would steal from you, state by state. This meant that he lumped all Virginians together, all people from Tennessee, etc.
Of course this would set off a chorus of whistlers, blowing their heads off, as opposed to people who would listen to him and see what had to say.
You’ve not idea what you miss when you do that… write off an intelligent, deep thinker because you’re so smart.
Really, you’re just a trained whistle blower. I’m sorry but my logic here is pretty sound.
My advice is this: Every chance you you have to converse with an intelligent person – take it! 🙂
But I think you missed the point of this post… we have to acknowledge our differences in order to give credit to where we’re coming from… I think the post mentions that we’re too “pc” and it’s a generational thing… Like we are too concerned as to who we’ll anger…
Your moon (roots) is different than mine and so my life’s story would be entirely different than yours… And that’s what we have to acknowledge… I think that’s what Elsa was trying to point out…
thought this might interest you: http://www.lynnemctaggart.com/blog/119-the-eyes-have-it – re: responses and culture/the way things are viewed.