Re: RARA-AVIS: Racism

From: Victoria Two (
Date: 13 Nov 2005

Since I seem to be ancient compared to the rest of you, and since I lived with a vicious Southern grandfather until the age of 12, I am going to jump into the racism thing.
  What is today perceived as racism was then description. The cafe owner was a greasy cook and had Greek ancestors. Houseboys were Filipino or Mexican or whatever their ancestry -- description, not indictment (or not necessarily).
  Incidentally "white" as used by my grandfather was NOT a color and many/most Americans (self included) were out of the group. It was a term closer to WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant) but automatically excluded any foreign born unless specifically from the UK, or possibly Scandinavia but we had none of those so I don't know.
 A neighbor who was "Nigra" (note spelling and pronunciation) outranked the white townspeople because he owned a farm and they did not. Because of a severe illness I was enrolled in a private school and the only one available was in town and Catholic (non-white) although only whites could be enrolled. Neighboring farm wives were so alarmed they visited my mother to council her (not realizing that she was tainted anyway). I was so confused, and silent, as a child that I was never sure what I would be grouped with until I saw a map that congressional candidate David Duke designed for the resettlement of minorities.
  The social order was extremely complicated and as it was falling apart, writers tended to pick up on the resultant disorder. I think that writers come from a self-selected group of highly observant people and hacked their way though this maze whether consciously or not aware of the specifics.
  Victoria (with a degree in anthropology)

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Nov 2005 EST