Tag Archives: Racism

Frustrated with racist girlfriend

I am a 20 year African Caribbean man. My girlfriend is a 20 year old Caucasian. We both attend University and love each other a lot but I feel my girlfriend is a racist and the more I think about it, the more I become disappointed and aware that this might not work out or may take too much work to get her to understand that she is a beneficiary of the white privilege. She argues with me that she is not privileged and came from a poor family and take exception to me saying she is privileged. She talks about reverse racism and Black folks doing exactly to white folks what were done to them and it does not make it right. She said we‘re trying to guilt trip people into buying into this white privilege BS. She calls it all propaganda. How can I educate this woman to get her to understand that white privilege is real? I am fed up with her and am ready to call it a day because of cultural or social impasse. She is wonderful and I don‘t think she is consciously a racist but her refusal to accept white privilege is like an alcoholic refusal to admit he or she is an alcoholic. Am I being judgemental here should I leave her in ignorance and continue our relationship?

Frustrated.

 

Dear Frustrated:

Maybe this is something you have to leave for someone else to do. Your girlfriend appears to have a mind of her own and that’s okay.

It sometimes takes an alcoholic years to admit that their drinking is a problem.

Understanding white privilege is not an easy concept for white folks to get because the privilege blacks see in society white folks take for granted and their right. To them it appears neutral. It took Peggy McIntosh serious self-reflection to realize that her world was a lot different from that of the Blacks around her. It was a white woman who put a name and a framework around white privilege through examination of her own lives. If you and this woman should have children and through their experience she might come to understand that society favours white skin. Hopefully by then, things would have changed.

 

I am not into my mother-in-law

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 45-year-old black professional woman, married to an engineering professor who is white. We have three beautiful children. My mother-in-law frequents our home all the time. my husband happens to be her favourite son. I find myself resenting her visits and not wanting to see her. I feel this heavy pain in my chest whenever he announces that mom is coming for dinner. I can’t seem to forget that when her son had first invited me home to dinner I was not impressed with her welcome and as he started to get serious about our relationship, she was besides herself. She tried everything in the book to break us up e.g. inviting other more “suitable”girls to dinner with the family hoping he would lose interest in his black girlfriend.  But we were in love and eloped.  Although she cannot come between us now, I  still carry a grudge towards her. I see her as a racist and I have a problem with racists. My husband has asked my forgiveness on his mother’s behalf because he told me flatly he can never turn his back on his mother and I should try to get over old feelings. I feel stuck.

Stuck.

Dear Stuck,

I have to agree with your husband’s advice. How heavy that burden of hatred, resentment, anger must be. You have carried it for far too long. Don’t you think it’s time to let it down?  To carry  around any of these negative values impacts you not your mother in law. Forgiveness is about choosing to free yourself from the past; your anger, resentment and dislike for your mother-in-law. These feelings you carry around are your own, your mother in law may be oblivious to them. They take away from your joy of life. Choose happiness and freedom for yourself by choosing to let go of your resentments and let love in, you will be a happier person and a happier wife for it.  If you need help, meditate and pray or seek professional help.

My boyfriend wants to break up with me because his parents do not like me

Dear globalcounselor,

I am  a 16 year old Black girl from Africa.  My boyfriend is 17 years old Pakistani Canadian.  We met in school and fell in love and have been seeing each other for the past year.  recently, he stopped calling and was avoiding me at school.  I caught up with him and asked him what I did, why was he avoiding me. He said he was busy with school and have a lot of stuff on his mind. I did not accept that because if he had a lot of stuff he would have told me so as he did in the past so I pressed him to level with me, I can handle it. He then told me that his parents did not like the fact that he was going out with a girl from a different race and that he should stop it now before it gets out of hand.  I could not believe what I was hearing. I felt so terrible and hurt inside. Was it because I am black? Would they have said the same thing if he had a white girlfriend, though of a different race?  I could not help feeling so bad about myself.  He apologized and said maybe some day and that if it was any consolation, he said he could not love anyone more than he loved me but he had to listen to his mother. That it is just the way the culture works.  I didn’t know what to say. I just walked away and started to cry.

So sad.

Dear So sad,

Chin up, it’s not the end of the world. It’s an encounter with racism and discrimination. There are some cultures who do not want their children to intermarry with anyone least of all with a black person.  Your boyfriend happens to be traditional in that he listens to the dictates of his parents and perhaps one day they will return to India or Pakistan and find a nice girl from him from a similar background. Whether he is in love with her or not is not of importance.  Not all cultures place a high premium on romantic love.  Some cultures like the Pakistani culture believe in arranged marriage.  I hope that one day people will come to embrace Canadian multiculturalism fully and break  down barriers such as the one facing you and your boyfriend.  You will grow from this experience and unfortunately learn about the racism and ethnocentrism that are still with us.  You are young and just beginning to explore relationship, there is the perfect person for you out there and he will show up at the right time.  Good luck with your future relationship.

The problem is hate

Dear globalcounselor,

This is not easy for me to write and I do not know if there is an answer to my problem. It is a problem of hatred.  I do not like people who are different and every time I read in the papers that the white people will soon become minority in the US and even Canada, I feel so upset and ask myself, why are these white governments so foolish? They let everybody into our country. Some people are so black you can hardly see them and I feel a lot of fear and hatred.  Although I like Oprah, sort of, I wish she were white. I do not like to see these people succeed and take positions I feel rightly should be for the white people.  I am 20 and my folks raised me to see myself as better than the black and other minority  folks but when I look around and see how successful and smart some of these people are I get confused.  I don’t want to feel this way. I want to accept everyone but I don’t know how, can you help me unload this hatred and guilt. I am so confused.

Confused.

 

Dear confused:

The world has been taught that the White Folks are at the top of the human heap. Everyone can relate to what you are feeling even many black folks have a hard time liking themselves and each other because they do not like what they see. We’ve all been taught the same things. Now we know a lot of that teaching and education have been lies. You’ve recognized and there are talents and skills, beauty and goodness in everyone regardless of race, religion, class or nationality.

   Hate is a disease that can kill its host that is you. It feeds on everything you’ve got until you are twisted, bitter and full of pain.

   How do you learn to love?  If you are religious and you believe that there is a God you know that God loves everyone and God made everyone and if God loves everyone and God made everyone how God would feels that you hate one of His or Her creations? If you do not believe in God and you believe in yourself, trying looking at yourself as your best friend and ask yourself would you want your best friend to live in the hell you are living in? I am sure the answer would be no.  How do you turn hate to love? First of all I have to tell you that when you hate you hurt yourself, you stop yourself from enjoying life as it should be, and your heart is always heavy and miserable. Try putting yourself in a black person’s shoe, read some books about slavery and what Black people went through and still going through to live like any human being. Trying making friends with a Black person and get to know them better, maybe you can volunteer at a community organization where you might get to know people and you may find they are just like you.  No one is born with intrinsic superiority as a human being. We all have born with gifts. Some of us are born into wealthy families and so we get more opportunities to succeeded, others are born into poor families with nothing and their chances of going to the best schools and extra-curricula activities are less but they can still achieve if they work hard.

There are many poor white folks living in the ghettoes just like the blacks, Latinos and immigrants. These are circumstantial incidences in life and it can happen to anyone. It’s like a friend with disability once told me, she said in their world, they see the able bodies as “TAB” – temporary able bodies.  My dear child if you feel it is necessary, get some counseling to help you along the way. This is a serious illness.

 

Obama vs Clinton – the Choice is Yours

Dear global counselor:

I am an 18-year-old white university student in Pennsylvania and I have told my folks that I am supporting Barack Obama because I think he is the hope of America. He is the change that can make our country a better place. I don’t care about experience because I do not feel that it is important. How does one get experience? You have to give them a chance to do the job and it’s not like Mr. Obama does not have any experience. He has enough to be the president.

My folks are trying to force me to support Hilary Clinton. I have no problem with her but I do not think she will be able to bring the energy and excitement that Mr. Obama can. For a young person like me he is it. I think my parents’ objection to my choice is because of Mr. Obama’s race. They do not say it but I do not think they can stand the thought of a Black man running the United States of America. They still have that racist view that Blacks are not smart enough.  They keep saying Ms Clinton is experienced, she is bright and she has a good support in her husband, Bill Clinton, the former President.  I am frustrated with my folks and wish they could have a more open mind and see through their own discriminatory actions and beliefs.  How can I get my folks to change their minds?

Disappointed

 

Dear Disappointed

Voting is a highly personal and individual act. There is no rule that says all members of a family should vote en bloc. It’s different

Dear globalcounselor

My 18 year old daughter brought home a black boyfriend and while I can see my way to open my heart to his difference my husband is totally against it.  I love my daughter and I want her to be happy but what do I do?  I am caught in the middle.

I am not prejudice but we were raised in a certain way. There are no mixtures in our family and frankly, I am embarrased about this situation. What would my neighbours think?

Please give me your suggestion

Not racist

Dear Not racist,

It is difficult embracing difference but it is not your difference, it is your daughter’s choice.  Believe me when you get those cute biracial grandchildren you will forget that they are bi-racial.  All you would see is your grandchildren.

You can get your husband to understand that times have changed and if he does not want to lose his daughter he would respect her choice. Perhaps they may not even end up getting married but if you should show opposition to her choice she may be drawn closer to this man.  Try to look beyond his colour and race, is he a good person, is he capable of taking care of your daughter, does he show her respect. As Martin Luther King said, judge this man not by the colour of his skin but by the content of his character.  You may be surprised to discover what a gem this man is and how lucky your daughter is to have found him or if he is a no-good loser type, then do your darnest to end the relationship.  We are all God’s children man, let’s get along.