Note: I originally wrote this several months ago, but was reminded of it last night. I was chatting with someone online and she said something about getting “gypped” – then immediately rebuked herself: “Oops, I’m not supposed to say that.”
I just came across a rant about how we shouldn’t use the word “lame” when not talking about someone who is differently abled because it’s offensive to those who are literally lame. The ranter is of the generation which frequently uses the word “lame” in slang fashion, so it’s an ingrained habit for her to flagellate herself about. She also apologized for her “skanky ableism issues” and swore she was “working on them”. And she told those of us who think that such worries are, you know, lame to eff ourselves in advance.
This inspired me to put in some effort on politically incorrect blogging before I go out.
During the several years I taught in the minority
writing program, foreign students would often be allowed to join the
writing course in order to improve their English and composition
skills. Of these the Nigerian students were by far my favorites. Their
respect for scholarship, learning, and academic achievement was
unmatched. Their essays ranged in interest from international affairs
to advertising — and the quality of their work was excellent.
What fascinated me was how the classroom dynamic changed with the
addition of the students from Nigeria. The African-American students
looked at the coal black Nigerians like they had landed from Mars. For
their part, the Nigerians rarely showed any interest in the culture of
the black students on campus.
These findings suggest that ingroup members are given a
“benefit of the doubt” following a brief delay in conversation.
However, this courtesy is not extended to members of other racial or
ethnic groups. In addition, these results offer direct experimental
evidence of just how fragile intergroup relations are when people are
first getting acquainted. This study also provides some insight into
why it is that attempting to regulate our behavior to ease tension in
interracial interactions can sometimes backfire.
Many people assume that individuals who identify with
one race should be better off than multiracial individuals who identify
with a mixed race heritage. However, a new study in the Journal of
Social Issues found that students who reported they were from multiple
ethnic/racial groups were more engaged at school and felt better in
general than those who reported they were from a single group.
On several indicators (i.e. happiness, stress,
citizenship behavior, and school alienation), students who reported
they were from multiple groups were more engaged in school and felt
better than those who reported they were from a single group.
I find this highly dubious. Though considering how whiteness is
stigmatized these days, I can understand why mixed race students might
in some ways be less stressed than white ones.
If Barack Obama had taken his mother’s surname and kept
his childhood nickname, American voters might literally see “Barry
Dunham” as a quite different presidential candidate, a new study
suggests. A name significantly changes our perception of someone’s face
and race, according to research in the journal, Perception.