Stereotyping and worry for my grandsons

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vito

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Watching videos of street mayhem almost always involves the same demographic. Clearly not all people in this demographic are criminals or antisocial probem folks, but when considering who are the criminals and the antisocial disrupters of civilized behavior its almost always that same demographic. And that brings me to my youngest son and his two sons. My youngest son is adopted and is bi-racial. But the world sees him as just another young Black man. He had his challenges when younger, but is now a hard working and devoted family man. And his two boys are also "bi-racial", in fact 3/4 White and 1/4 Black, but again I think that society sees them as just two Black boys, albeit light skinned. The point of this post is that I think much of the negative stereotyping of the Black community has its basis in fact, and what I see almost daily in the news just re-enforces that. But my son, and especially my two grandsons do not deserve the negative treatment that I fear will be their reality. I will do what I can to see that they grow up to be responsible members of our society, but the bigger world may not give them much of a chance.
 
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I would venture their upbringing will go a long way to making them successful in life. If they can shrug off any perceived injustices, show people their morals and objectives, they can be and do anything they want. The heck with anyone that treats them from generalizations instead of actually getting to know them. Thick skin can get you far.
 

hittman

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There’s at least an element of truth to most stereotypes. Some racism as well.

And about the “world not giving them a chance” … well … their destiny is what they MAKE it.

Regardless of circumstances; we all make our own choices.
 

eveled

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Its how they dress and how they talk and how they carry themselves. That will dictate how they are treated. No matter what color their skin is. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

If they give and show respect, they will get treated with respect.
 
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There sure isn’t an easy answer to this. They will have to work twice as hard to prove themselves. There are just too many instances of passive discrimination. There are a lot of “Karen’s” in the world that are going to pass judgement before your son and grandsons say or do anything. I think you are right to worry.
 

vito

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Its how they dress and how they talk and how they carry themselves. That will dictate how they are treated. No matter what color their skin is. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

If they give and show respect, they will get treated with respect.

Maybe. My adopted son's speech reflects his good basic education and how his parents, my wife and I, speak. On the phone you would never think of him as a "Black" person. He has entered stores in dockers and a button down shirt, and still gets followed around at times as if he is a likely thief. He's not tall, about 5'9" but muscular (he works as a welder). Stereotyping affects him much more than I would have hoped for in this year of 2022.
 

eveled

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Its probably more his age. I got followed the same way when I was young. I’m very white.

Don’t automatically assume that every bad thing that happens to them is because of their skin color. Don’t let them believe it either. Bad things happen to white people too.

We all need to get past this.
 

Bad Barlow

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Maybe. My adopted son's speech reflects his good basic education and how his parents, my wife and I, speak. On the phone you would never think of him as a "Black" person. He has entered stores in dockers and a button down shirt, and still gets followed around at times as if he is a likely thief. He's not tall, about 5'9" but muscular (he works as a welder). Stereotyping affects him much more than I would have hoped for in this year of 2022.
Racism is definitely alive and well, overtly and in much more subtle ways. It's worse regionally,too.
That said, my son just turned 40 and he is, much to my occasional amazement, loudly anti- racist. He's white, but don't drop the n- bomb around him unless you are ready to pay a price. My surprise comes from the fact that he was raised in an environment with NO black people ,and couldn't be referred to as "woke".
I'm trying to say that there's hope for your grandson,as long as there's people like my son.
Be well
 

pjinak

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Many very truthful statements in this thread and a few really scary and sad ones too...

As pointed out elsewhere, things are certainly worse dependent on where you are in this country. The overt racism in some parts is sickening.

I have to call BS on the folks that seem to think if a person of color "acts right" they will be treated fairly or that "everyone has the same opportunities". That clearly isn't the case.

When I joined the Army at 19, I had some preconceived notions that I'd learned from many friends growing up in a 99.9% white community. I never really understood these as I didn't really know anyone of color. I just went along with it all to be part of the gang in my group of friends.
During basic training, I quickly learned that people are either good people or idiots/a-holes - irrelevant of their color, creed or religion.
Life experiences throughout the world over the past (almost) 40 years has only strengthened and solidified that...

Unfortunately, I don't see things improving - they seem to be getting worse (because of the current political polarization).
 

Ka6otm

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There’s at least an element of truth to most stereotypes. Some racism as well.

And about the “world not giving them a chance” … well … their destiny is what they MAKE it.

Regardless of circumstances; we all make our own choices.
6% of the population commit 50% of murders and other crimes.

Stereotypes exist for a reason and it's generally not racism, it's facing reality.
 

Huskerguy72

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I worked in education for nearly 40 years. Predominatly white, Midwest schools. One I was a principal at was 30-40% hispanic. I have seen all sides to this issue. I grew up with three friends who were a combination of African American, Native American and Hispanic. My father was in thr military so I was in military towns/schools.

From my perspective with working with man races and backgrounds, there is racism on all sides. Brown, black, white, any combination thereof I could find racism.

I had some incredible hispanic students who were second generation whose parents didn't want them to speak Spanish or act Spanish. We don't like to admit it but there are norms in our society and many people go outside of them.with actions, speech and dress only to wonder why they are not accepted.

Some may know who Charled Payne is. As a black kid he wanted to succeed and was often chided by his black friends for speaking "too white." Again, another norm many are not aware of that is racist the other way.

All this said, I have worked with plenty of white trash as well. For me, it is how you act, speak and appear. I once hired a black lady in a mostly male dominated position at a small college I was running. I offered her the job and told her to come in.and get the paperwork from my admin assistant. I called to see if she had come in and what she thought and the admin said, she seemed nice.and she was black. I replied, oh really, I guess I didn't notice that. I see skin color.but look past it to character that means a whole lot more.
 

eveled

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The worst racism I experienced personally was Puerto Ricans against other Spanish nationalities at a factory I worked at. They thought they were part of a lesser race.

I cannot stand racism. It is so ignorant and we are better than that. We all bleed red.
 

Ka6otm

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The worst racism I ever saw was when I did my Junior and Senior High School years in a school that was predominantly minorities.

I thought I had seen racism in my life before but nothing like what I saw in that school.

Everyone should have to do at least one year in a school like that so people can find out what the real world is like.
 

Diabloman

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That is the problem, people need to care about these issues.

I have to call BS on the folks that seem to think if a person of color "acts right" they will be treated fairly or that "everyone has the same opportunities". That clearly isn't the case.
Thank you for saying this. I couldn’t agree more.

I know it’s anecdotal but when we lived in NJ for 2 years, I was never, not once hassled by the police while driving. We had good friends from Puerto Rico, he got stopped several times a month. He was well dressed, business attire, drove a Lexus, and couldn’t have been that bad of a driver. Chance? Bad luck? Stereotyping? Who can really say.

There are enough stories like this, I just tend to believe them.

I was never followed or harassed by the police when I was young. Age doesn’t have much to do with it.
 
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There are court cases in the system right now, where appraisers have lowballed people of color who have tried to sell their house. When the same home owner had a white person stand in for them while the appraiser did their job, the house was appraised for significantly more.

Since I have very low opinions of real estate “professionals” I hope those home owners sue the pants off the appraisers…and win.
 
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I grew up in Southern Maryland, Southern Democrat country. I could throw a baseball from my house to the neighborhood where all the black families lived. I know what prejudice is. It was not just the black folks. I have had rocks thrown at me for being "that damn Catholic". I put on a US Army uniform in 1959 and took it off in 1997. I personally have never had a problem with individuals rerardless of religion, or race. It is a shame all can't see things that way. We all bleed red.
 

Colonialgirl

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Fox Mike; The BEST PFC I had in my 36th Arty bde Hq commo unit on Osan AFB in Korea was a black kid, when asked I HIGHLY recommended him for promotion to E-4; The WORST Pfc was another black who couldn't even be sent across the parking lot for a pot of coffee from the mess hall ; The 1st Sgt (another black) set him straight on WHY he was never recommended for promotion.

Me, 4th Grade, Millington Tenn; Mom what do those signs mean? Both those fountains look WHITE to me; My Mom taught me to never be prejudiced from the time I was tiny.

PS: YES !! The first one DID get promoted based on my recommendation
 
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