Mod 10 Discussion: All in the Family

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For this discussion, I want you to think about your own family. Specifically, how does your family discuss race? Give examples. How does that intersect with the various racial and ethnic identities of your family members? Their political affiliations? Their economic standing? Their gender? Discuss what you think could be applicable in influencing the way race is (or is not) discussed. Last, what impact do you think that has on you and your family members–both how they think and feel about race personally as well as how they navigate our social world? Be sure to include excerpts from course readings.

Comment to my classmates

Classmate 1

My family moved to America when I was two, my older brother was four and my eldest was five. Clearly, we were raised in America, went to American schools, lived in white communities etc. Because of this we act much differently from our parents and have a different mindset, so our parents always say that we are “Americanized” and we are “half-American.” So, in their eyes we are mixed. When talking about controversial subjects, for example the homosexual/transgender community our parents are extremely judgmental of that and do not accept it whatsoever, however my brothers and I are more supportive and don’t have any negative feelings towards it. This is because we raised in an American society where that is more socially/morally accepted then it is in Azerbaijan (our home country, where my parents were raised). So, because we are “mixed” and they are traditional Azeri’s their social world and what is accepted differs from ours. Similarly, our parents are in a way racist, referring to the Desmond article when it talks about how people say mixed babies are the cutest, that it sounds kind of “off” even though it comes from a good place. My niece is half Armenian and half Mexican and my parents always comment on how cute she is because she is mixed, but they are still against the fact that she is mixed. Additionally, they make comments such as, “good she looks more like us,” I view this as racist, they don’t think it is. So the topic of race in our family is very touchy, because my family doesn’t seem to think they are saying anything wrong whereas I find it extremely offensive.

Classmate 2

My family discusses race very differently. For example my mother loves to talk about the culture and history of my Hawaiian side, always super positive and happy when she talks about her race.. She loves to cook real authentic hawaiian food and the house is covered with hawaiian words, flowers, pictures etc. My father on the other had discusses race more negatively. For example he is African American and uses racial stereotypes a lot. I grew up always hearing “we are on CP time” which stands for “colored people time”. Another example would be always saying things like “black people don’t do this” “black people don’t do that”. This intersects with the other various racial and ethnic identities of my other family members because everything’s different. My African American side doesn’t understand my Hawaiian side and vise versa. I believe their race has a lot to do with their political affiliation. Growing up in a household of democrats I see now that most democrats are of people of color and or mixed race. I do not believe race has to do with our economic standing due to the fact that both of my parents work very hard, going against the stereotypes that people of color and or minorities are poor. Race does not really intersect with gender in my family, though maybe it could with my father growing up as the “stereotypical African American male” in a society filled with racial stereotypes. I think that if race was talked about more positively in my family I would be more passionate about my race and or happy about it. I think it has a huge impact on me due to the fact I am more aware now of race and how it impacts not only me but the people around me. I believe that they see race as a factor in their lives that determine how others view them and that affects their self image.

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