Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Acting or sounding white...

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Race & Ethnicity » Interracial/Multi-ethnic Relationship Support Group Donate to DU
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-11-07 05:24 PM
Original message
Acting or sounding white...
I'm cross posting this (also in AA forum) because I feel this is an issue that is also prevalent within multi-cultural communities, particularly when dealing with mixed race, bi-racial, poly racial, etc. It can be very painful for those that are of more than one ethnicity to have their ethnicity come into question. It can also be painful (and troubling) when one that has an olive complexion, is "light skinned" or has features and/or coloring that some may think makes them look less any ethnicity and more "caucasian/white."

I'm sitting in my apartment reeling right now. I can not believe that in 2007 there are still people that have this ridiculous mindset. What I also can't believe is how hurtful it still is after all these years.

I called an "alleged" business person/lady today, to inquire about a service. The woman couldn't be bothered to answer the phone in a professional manner--or to have the person that answered for her to do so . She couldn't be bothered to sound like she was even interested in my business. I can get past all of that, because ultimately if someone conducts themselves in a way that isn't professional, they don't get my business. Simple.

What I can't get past, at least not right now is the words that followed,"...you sound like a white lady..."

:wtf:

My response,"(stunned)...excuse me?"

Pseudo business person that lost any possibility of my business(sounding more indignant)"...YOU sound like a white lady!"

My response,"....Um...and why is that...exactly?"

Pseudo business person: silence.

My response,"...Hmmmm...ok. Well, apparently you aren't the appropriate person for my business, but thanks for your time. Have a good day."

I promptly followed up with a phone call to the home office of the company to let them know that a person on their website--thinks it's ok to conduct business this way. Then I had a personal, private melt down, recalling all the time's I've heard this before. How much I've guarded myself from environments that would treat me in such ways again. I recalled the time I argued vehemently on this board against those that dared to say there is a way to sound "white" vs. sounding "black" ...and honestly, it gives me a headache.

When will this stop? Why are some so ignorant as to think that someone utilizing proper english, and knowing how to conduct business on the phone is equivalent to sounding or acting "white." What is WRONG with people? Where do they get this stuff from? Why are families teaching their kids this crap--that using appropriate english and stringing sentences together is "bad" and akin to being "white." I'm sorry, but I have to call bullshit on that.

It is also horrible to me because this is the kind of thing that perpetuates negative stereotypes within the race, as if there is a "way for one to sound or act" like any specific ethnicity. Sorry, but I find this very offensive.

Ok...I'm done.

:rant:

Any thoughts? Experiences?


Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
yorkiemommie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ignoramus

What kind of ignorant remark is that? What exactly does 'sounding white' mean to that woman, I'd like to know.

I was watching a " Mad About You " rerun the other day where Paul Reiser goes into a Chinese restaurant and is surprised that the waiter has a British accent. The waiter immediately says, " Hey, I was raised in Hong Kong " and goes into a parody of "Chinese" speech.

It was funny, but it made the point of not judging a book by its cover.

Since I'm Asian, people probably think I don't speak ANY English at all!

:grr:

Actually, back in the 80s when Japan was buying so much American real estate, etc and there was an anti-Asian backlash, I had people ridicule me on the street based only on my looks. A few choice words in my 'white sounding' voice usually shut them up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Hey Yorkie...!
I wondered the same thing, and asked what she meant, too. :shrug: I agree, completely idiotic. It especially pisses me off to see and hear people of color reinforce negative stereotypes...of anyone. That person obviously has a poor opinion of herself.

That Mad About You episode sounds funny! :rofl:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
yorkiemommie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. What kind of response did the business hdquarters give you?
Were they responsive?

Conciliatory? And why would race have anything to do w/ a business transaction?

:shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-13-07 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. They returned my call...
Edited on Sat Jan-13-07 05:25 PM by bliss_eternal
...this morning(got the message on my machine earlier). :shrug: I may call them back on Monday, not sure yet. I'm done with them, and there's little they can say to change that. I'm not expecting anything. Just wanted them to know how their "consultants" are representing them.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-24-08 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. I knew a Chinese-American in California, was suppose to meet
him with some friends in a Chinese restaurant in SF.
The waiter at our table was speaking in a very thick "Chinese" accent, bad English, etc. Our friend came over, and immediately, the waiter began speaking in "normal" American English, and a Calfornia accent.
Turned out he was a student at SF State.

The restaurant wanted its waiters to be "authentic" for the tourists.

mark
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. The only person I remember ever telling me
I sounded white was a black man I use to work with. We were in a car driving between meetings when he timidly said it was funny to listen to me not talk about work because before this he always thought I sounded white. Another coworker who was in the car told him my mom was white. After that he acted like he could say anything to me. It always seemed funny to me how some people think they can get away with saying anything to you about any race or go in the opposite extreme and feel like they can't say damn near anything to someone from a multi-cultural/racial background. While questioning him about why I sounded white when I was talking about work and let him know that my parents have the exact same IQ so knowing how to speak and carry myself came from both sides of my family.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Ugh...I feel your pain on that one...
:hug: Funny how no one is quick with "reasons" they believe that you "sound white." :eyes: I wonder if you ever get people saying things to you also based on your looks (as a multicultural person)? I've had people assume I HAVE to be multicultural or other ethnicity altogether, and as such I've been privy to some disturbing conversations.

The person I spoke of in my original post was black. It sincerely breaks my heart to know that a business person of color is harboring such beliefs regarding how one race should sound vs. how another sounds. What really sickens me is that a black woman in 2007 thinks that articulate + professional = white. :banghead: She's feeding into the things that hurt the entire culture of people of color the most.

That day,(when I posted about this experience) I was an odd mix of pissed beyond belief and sadder than I could express.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
judaspriestess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-12-07 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. why did she make that comment to begin with?
did she not want to give business to a white lady or vice versa?

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I guess she didn't think...
...that a white woman would want the product/service she was offering. :eyes: Either way, her loss. ;)
Sorry that I'm seeing this so late, judaspriestess. It's always good to see you! :hug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
judaspriestess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. what an idiot
business is business. You don't turn people away and she will never be successful.

Funny thing is for me, I sell in a certain part of town that is HEAVILY Hispanic so the majority of my clientele is Spanish speaking or Latino. Once in a while we get Caucasian folks in here and we always joke around after they leave, did they take a wrong turn?? but I would never ever treat them any different and hey all the better if they buy......

I can totally see why you would be annoyed at this person.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-09-07 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. I say do what you want to do and not worry what those people think.
I'm pretty dark but am constantly accused of being "white-washed" by people of all races. I thought I was just educated and speak proper English with a neutral American accent but whatever. If they think I'm white-washed, then fuck them. They can kiss my brown ass.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-10-07 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. LOL!
You are so funny! :rofl: But I agree. People that want to label others, have bigger issues to deal with. I'm being who I am, they can like it or lump it.

:thumbsup:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-13-07 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
12. My wife had a situation like that with a Real Estate Agent.
She originally spoke with the lady on the phone to setup a time to view some homes, when we met the Real Estate Agent the next day the first thing she said was, "I had no idea you were Asian you sounded white on the phone", I was like wtf? We basically looked at the houses she had picked out, thanked her for her time and then never returned her calls.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Good for you....!
...she wouldn't have got any of our time or money, either.

I can't believe some people think it's ok to say things like
that. :grr: :mad:

Oh, and btw...welcome to our forum, MiltonF! :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-24-08 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
15. I have heard some make this remark about Obama -
that he doesn't sound black enough.

Many people are very stupid.

mark
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
GirlAfire Donating Member (391 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-27-09 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
16. I Understand That.
Edited on Sun Sep-27-09 05:29 AM by GirlAfire
I've been called the "whitest black girl," and I've been called so by my mother (especially) and white friends. Once, I thought I'd impress this black guy with my piano skillz, and after I was done, he said, "That's for white people." I can't tell you how many times I have been attacked by my mother for wanting to attend law school; "You think you're white" or "Why don't you stay in your place?" She will even call me and herself the n-word.

If you dare speak intelligently, or if you dare have aspirations other than rapping and clubbing, you are "acting white." WTF. I'm pretty sure it's more rampant in the South, too. I'm from Alabama.

Let me put this book down; I wouldn't want to be accused of betraying my blackness by reading and shit.

It's really, really dumb and unfortunate.

I'm sorry for your experience.


Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Oct 20th 2014, 04:57 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Race & Ethnicity » Interracial/Multi-ethnic Relationship Support Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC