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Just had an hour long "discussion" with my father when he felt the need to butt in to me and my sister discussion religion and then racism and discrimination in general.
My father is of the "This is the way I was raised" school of bigotry.
And he was arguing hard and fast for the presence and prevailence of 'reverse racism'- A MYTH invented by white men who didn't like affirmative action.
Just trying to get him to understand that there is no such thing...
only because to say that racism that is black on white is REVERSE racism is saying that racism is an inherently white phenomenon. That racism is, by design, a white crime. ANd that anything that is the inverse of that is just reverse racism.
Racism is racism. It doesn't MATTER who's spewing it, thinking it or feeling it.
His argument is "historically it's been white against black. So if it's the other way around, that's reverse racism"
He also seems to think that there has to be opression. That only a majority can be racist. That if you're in the minority of the racial makeup of any particular area, then you aren't racist.

His favorite excuse, though, for his own racist views is that "this is how I was raised"

If you ever hear that phrase coming out of your mouth in regard to ... well... just about ANYTHING... stop. Think about it. Did you accept *everything* you were taught as a child? Did you just accept everything you were told? Or did there come a point where you started to pick and choose?

If my views were made out of what I was taught growing up and how I was raised, I would be a racist, bigotted, violent, stubborn person who beat the crap out of anyone I felt like beating the crap out of and I would run a high risk of having a family and children that I belittled, beat, scared, and molested.

I can tell you without a doubt that that just isn't going to happen. Why? Because *I* chose what to believe and what not. I made up my own mind. And you know what? EVERYONE does.
There were things about my formative years... lessons there that I chose to keep. A work ethic. That's one of them. Hard work matters. Honesty. That's one of them too (but I learned that by seeing lies all the time and being forced to live in them).
But more or less, the things I was presented with from my father are things I discarded. There were things presented by my mother that I discarded too.

But I had this argument.
And I shook and had to try sooo hard to keep that.... waver out of my voice. Because while he doesn't scare me anymore, neither does he make me think that he won't explode when I contradict him.
And really the only reason I was able to make an argument was because my sister was here.
She was *always* the strong one. ALWAYS the one who stood up and said no.
But when I was a kid, I hated her for that. Because when she refused to cry, I got beat instead. If he couldn't get at her, he'd get at me. And we both knew what he was doing. I used to feel guilty for it. I used to feel bad when I couldn't hold back tears or couldn't just act like I wasn't scared or hurt.Because I knew that it hurt Wendy.
And then somewhere the perception shifted, and I became resentful of her. I was just angry at her for being the strong one and NOT giving in and NOT crying because her strength meant the rest of us suffered more.

But now, I'm just glad for it.
Because she's still the one who's unafraid to speak.
And I'm getting there.
And it's mostly by example.

Just the whole argument and how he is and presents himself. His raging pseudo intellectuality and the way that he just has to be right and won't listen to what I say...

I have A LOT to say.
I have a lot of very well thought out and intelligent things rolling around in my head.
Despite him, I've made up my own mind, and I've made my mind something incredible. It has always pissed me off that I was so scared to show him that. And that, when I got the courage, I was told that it was something to be sorry for, ashamed of, because I was *obviously* just using polysyllabic words left and right because I thought it made me sound more intelligent.

I can't win
I never will.
What would a victory over him mean anyway?

But I'm still shaking.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2001 03:45 pm (UTC)
I think we should sling him off a bridge.
Jun. 3rd, 2001 06:52 pm (UTC)
So he could come back angry?
Jun. 3rd, 2001 07:03 pm (UTC)
So he'd come back DEAD, more like.
Jun. 3rd, 2001 07:47 pm (UTC)
see.. my dad is like a horror movie villian.
You can't just throw him over a bridge and assume he's dead.
You have to kill him and chop him up into little bits and seal the bits in a drum and seal the drum in a ton of conrete and then keep a VERY close eye on the concrete for the rest of your life.

Might as well keep him alive because every now and again he does something that I can laugh at.
Jun. 3rd, 2001 05:33 pm (UTC)
Know this:
That whenever this situation comes up, with regard to your father or anyone or anything else, there are thousands of people who are cheering you on, whether or not they (or you) know of it.

By that, I mean that if 10,000 people were to read your post, 10,000 people would be behind you. They haven't read, they don't know, but they would support you if they did.

Anyway. Hope the shaking subsides soon.
Jun. 3rd, 2001 07:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Know this:
I've never been one to really *need* the support. But, as I get older I keep seeing how much EASIER things are when I have it.
And I'm realizing that I can keep my pride intact and still accept it.
It's funny when you finally figure out that you don't have to give up all the things that are you to change. They just have to sort of.. change with you.

And now that I'm feeling all new agey and bland....
Jun. 3rd, 2001 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Know this:
If change were bland, human history would be a rather different story, our friends would bore the hell out of us, and consumerism would go out of style. Heck, style would go out of style.

Cheers to change...and maintaining dignity.
Jun. 3rd, 2001 05:57 pm (UTC)
Nothing but best wishes for the lil' crack monkey.

Every person we deal with shows us things... examples... the difficulty lies and knowing which are examples of what to do and which are exampled of what not to do.

Being able to choose the right one most of the time creates a being grater than the sum of its parts. You don't have to win an argument... you've just got to remember the true goal. Be better. I know, I've had to do it... and when I watch my example... it makes me smile, because I did it. When you watch yours, you should be smiling too.
Jun. 3rd, 2001 07:11 pm (UTC)
quit saying all the right things.
I dunno how to take it, you know.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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