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> o yee of little pigment: the white privilege thread
auralpoison
post Aug 29 2010, 08:12 PM
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*bump*


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Persiflager
post Jun 15 2010, 10:47 AM
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Following on from invisible knapsack...

The biggest thing that I found in mine is that I don't have to think about race if I don't want to. It's rarely forced upon me, easily dismissed, and in no way necessary for my survival or success in life.

I'm thinking more about racism now than I did a few months ago, but I'm generally aware that it's still optional - I can pick it up, think about it for a while, pat myself on the back, and then put it away and get on with other things.

That's a mighty privilege (and a time-saver).


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anarch
post May 20 2010, 05:49 PM
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foryoursplendor, thanks for the pointer to Darryl's stuff. I'll keep an eye out for his name at film festivals etc. Chartrand's, too.

Typical patriarchal crap, the Canadian government's policy to make Aboriginal "status" passable through men only. I can't remember when they fixed it, but it wasn't that far in the past. A few decades.

OK I looked it up: not until 1985 did was woman who married a non-Aboriginal man allowed to keep her status. Sheesh.

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foryoursplendor
post May 20 2010, 03:41 PM
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I've never taken a class about Aboriginal studies in university, I only know what I know because it has played a huge role in my life because of how my family has been affected, and ultimately how I've been affected having been raised by people who were brought up in the residential school system. I'm also status, and that has seemed to come with the responsibility of knowing what rights I have/don't have and trying very politely tp explain how they work to people who often hate me because they think I went to university for free, or that I don't pay taxes or that I get "cheques in the mail from the government"... (none of these things are true).

Yeh, Darryl has been a friend of mine for years. I've helped out on a lot of his films and have my name in the credits of a few. Ervin Chartrand is also an Aboriginal film maker who has some very awesome films about the sex trade. He is a family friend, and is currently working on a film about his teenage years, where he grew up under my Grandma's roof alongside my older brother.

What is weird about that marriage/status thing is that if you were an Aboriginal man and you married a non-Aboriginal woman, the non-Aboriginal wife was privy to becoming status.

My Grandma went through residential school back in the day. Because she grew up there, the ideals of Christianity were enforced, so she had a moral dilemma when it came to getting married to my Grandpa (who was White). She didn't want to lose her status, but she didn't want to live in sin either. She chose not to get married.

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ketto
post May 20 2010, 11:56 AM
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FYS, that's funny. In one of my clases at Uni we went to see him speak and watch a couple of his films. For some reason I had a feeling that's who you were talking about.

In regards to the residential school issues, I'll be intersted to hear what comes out now that they're beginning interviews with the survivors. They're collecting aboriginal volunteers to be the interviewers. Next Wednesday (although some sites say June 11th) is the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation and I know a lot of different activities are happening all over the country. I plan to check out ours too. A pipe ceremony starts at 5:30 am and then there's some programming all day. Didn't the last residential school only close in 1996? That's unbelievable but here we are.

Yesterday there was a really interesting documentary on CBC's The Current talking to folks from Newfoundland and Labrador who are Mi"kmaq and trying to get status. They've been trying to form a new band but now they're overrun with over 20 000 applications from people seeking status and they're refusing to extend the deadline. In a province where so many people have been forced to keep their history quiet they're just getting silenced again by the government.

In Uni we studied a bit about the Indian Act but I heard a woman on the radio last week who was explaining all the different ridiculous ways it was applied. I already knew that if aboriginal women married white men they lost their staus, while aboriginal men marrying white women kept there's, but she explained that because status can be carried on by men and not by women, it would be possible to have twins, a boy and a girl, and the boy would be status while his sister would not be (there was more to this, having to do with who the grandmother married but it's so complicated I can't remember the details).

It should not take this many years for these things to be corrected.


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angie_21
post May 20 2010, 10:51 AM
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The #1 thing to look up on Aboriginal Canadians is Residential Schools. Most people don't know the last school closed in the 1990s and that the level of abuse was strong enough that they had extremely high death rates across all of Canada. Many people of Aboriginal heritage I've talked to (something of a small sample!) have directly brought up how very important they feel it is for the world to know what happened to Indians in residential schools. There was a similar system in place in many parts of America.

Good BBC news article on Canada's recent apology for residential schools

CBC Archival footage on Residential Schools

Or if you want a detailed, controversial, and possibly biased independent film on the subject, look up Unrepentant by Kevin Anette on youtube. He accuses the church of deliberately trying to commit genocide against Aboriginals through the residential schools. He, however, has been accused on not getting legal consent of many of the interviewees in the film, who might not have told their stories if they had known they would be publicly displayed in a film.

Some other stuff:

CBC discussion of what it legally means to have Indian Status (includes a description of taxes and post-secondary funding to dispel those myths!)

And, if you're interested in something dry with tiny text, but getting technical in the legal rights, voting rights, land rights, etc Canada purposefully and knowingly denied to Aboriginal Canadians, and the justifications for it:
History of Discriminatory Laws (Government of Canada website)
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auralpoison
post May 20 2010, 12:54 AM
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QUOTE(bob4both @ May 18 2010, 06:33 AM) *
This Aboriginal conversation is something I'm not familiar with; I think I'll do a bit of research...


Yeah, I gotta say I am pretty ignorant on the Canadian Aboriginal situation. My knowledge of the US situation stems basically from one friend that posts a LOT of stuff on FB that I read.


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foryoursplendor
post May 19 2010, 04:17 PM
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Anarch,

I don't think any of his films are online, but there is a link that names just a few titles/descriptions of his films. He has screenings for them all over the world so he's a good name to remember if you're interested in this sort of thing. (His name is Darryl Nepinak).

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseact...logId=498696872
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anarch
post May 19 2010, 12:36 AM
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QUOTE(foryoursplendor @ May 17 2010, 07:24 PM) *
I have a friend who is a film maker here in Winnipeg, he has made quite a few films that are geared towards kids to allow them to see media of Aboriginal people potrayed as regular, every day people (rather than the usual Hollywood noble Indian/Savage dichotomy). His films are social commentaries as well as very humorous. He is doing one in the near future that he has asked me to be in, should be very fun! I will try to find some of his vids on the net if you're interested.


I'm interested. Do please post links if you can find them!
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bob4both
post May 18 2010, 05:33 AM
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QUOTE
Ha, after reading in Feminist Outrage that you were taking the conversation here, I started to gear up for a fight. Putting the gear down now...

QUOTE
the topic was brought up and discussed pretty respectfully by everyone involved and that's awesome.


Thanx, ladies for letting me bow out gracefully biggrin.gif Yes, it was a great discussion. And anarch; I'm sure we'll have other opportunities for "discussion" in the future. I am the opinionated sort and do like to stir the pot occasionally, especially subjects I'm educated on. But I also know when I'm in over my head. This Aboriginal conversation is something I'm not familiar with; I think I'll do a bit of research...


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foryoursplendor
post May 17 2010, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE(angie_21 @ May 17 2010, 06:41 PM) *
I have a great article I read for class, where a researcher interviewed Aboriginal women about their experiences with racism in Alberta. "Aboriginal Women and Everyday Racism in Alberta: From Lived Experiences of Racism to Strategies for Personal Healing and Collective Resistance" by Ronnie Leah in Critical Criminology. The women describe what it is like to have almost every social interaction influenced by the fact that they are Aboriginal and not white. I can only try to imagine what that is like. You have to access it through a university library or journal subscription, but if there is a way to send PDFs through this message board somehow, pm me and I can try to send it to you.


I would love to read that essay, and unfortunately would likely relate to it a lot as I am myself an Aboriginal woman.

I have a friend who is a film maker here in Winnipeg, he has made quite a few films that are geared towards kids to allow them to see media of Aboriginal people potrayed as regular, every day people (rather than the usual Hollywood noble Indian/Savage dichotomy). His films are social commentaries as well as very humorous. He is doing one in the near future that he has asked me to be in, should be very fun! I will try to find some of his vids on the net if you're interested.
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anarch
post May 17 2010, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE(bob4both @ May 17 2010, 05:01 AM) *
Yup, I'd say that sums it up. I don't think I'm up to the level of conversation regarding race that my post has taken this to. My racial profiling went little beyond the childhood jokes of white men having no rhythm or blacks not liking to ski; which were laughed at by all, black & white. I guess I'm a bit naive to real racial issues.


Ha, after reading in Feminist Outrage that you were taking the conversation here, I started to gear up for a fight. Putting the gear down now... smile.gif

Thanks, bob. I'm a bit disoriented. I usually have to reiterate my points over and over again, from many different angles, before getting the kind of acknowledgment you've made. If more people handled potentially awkward and loaded conversations like you have, our society as a whole would be a lot further along than it is.

angie, yeah, that's another one, the "free university but they're too [insert pejorative here] to do it" saw. Aargh.

My mother in law recently announced that "it's up to the individual -- whether they have motivation or not" thing, in regard to inner city black kids. "There are social programs they can take advantage of, social programs all over the place, but..."

I was too taken aback to tackle it right then. Never would have thought she'd have that point of view, but the company she keeps is probably rubbing off on her.
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angie_21
post May 17 2010, 06:55 PM
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Bob, I just read the rest of what happened in the feminist outrage thread and I wanted to say thanks for bringing the topic up, you started a great discussion. I also disagreed with your point of view, but as it was mentioned, the topic was brought up and discussed pretty respectfully by everyone involved and that's awesome. It would be silly for us to throw you out of the discussion or ignore what you had to say just because we disagree, since that would kind of defeat the purpose of discussing it! I do know there are many cases where people of mixed heritage more often choose to identify with the heritage of their father than their mother, as if by taking their father's last name they're also adopting most of his social identity as well. It's yet another example of how social expectations influence what we do... but in this specific situation, and many others where black/white race divisions are involved, it's hard to argue that race isn't the major factor.
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angie_21
post May 17 2010, 06:41 PM
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Hi splendor! smile.gif

Unfortunately, there are also people who believe all Aboriginals get to go to University for free and the only reason they don't is because they're either not smart enough or not motivated enough. I had a lot of people ask about school and taxes in class actually, they seem to be widely circulated myths that that no one bothers to question. gah!

I have a great article I read for class, where a researcher interviewed Aboriginal women about their experiences with racism in Alberta. "Aboriginal Women and Everyday Racism in Alberta: From Lived Experiences of Racism to Strategies for Personal Healing and Collective Resistance" by Ronnie Leah in Critical Criminology. The women describe what it is like to have almost every social interaction influenced by the fact that they are Aboriginal and not white. I can only try to imagine what that is like. You have to access it through a university library or journal subscription, but if there is a way to send PDFs through this message board somehow, pm me and I can try to send it to you.

One of the best things about teaching the course was that I got to talk with two of my aboriginal students who came in to my office hours to discuss their own personal experiences of racism. It was surprising how simply by the authority of my being a sessional instructor, they felt safe telling me very personal stories about themselves. As someone who has no personal experience being racially discriminated against, I felt very privileged to hear their stories and be able to learn from their experiences, and I hope it was helpful to them to be able to share their experiences as well.

ketto, my aunt works for a women's, Aboriginal, and immigrant resource centre that seems to have done a really good job of combining everything at once. (She's where I learned a lot of my social ideals from!) They are based in the lowest income part of her city, not the inner city but the really old & run-down suburbs a few minutes outside of downtown. I think they actually focus on helping dual minorities who are facing the worst of both worlds, and maybe there are women's shelters in other areas of the city that are more generalized and may face similar problems as what you are describing. She's noted that it seems to be a big problem in the activist community that women's charities have a leadership of white women, while charities or organizations for ethnic minorities have a leadership of ethnic men and white men. No matter what, people facing dual minorities can still feel left out!
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foryoursplendor
post May 17 2010, 03:42 PM
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As if there are people that still believe that Aboriginals don't pay taxes... oh wait sorry, what I should be sounding shocked about is that I actually give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are well informed and won't make ridiculous assumptions based on decades of misinformation. I'll never stop though, because that would just be too depressing.
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bob4both
post May 17 2010, 07:01 AM
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QUOTE
So anyway, in short, bob's insistence that it wasn't a race issue and his surprise that it went in that direction, I thought it might have something to do with layers of not-knowing.


Yup, I'd say that sums it up. I don't think I'm up to the level of conversation regarding race that my post has taken this to. My racial profiling went little beyond the childhood jokes of white men having no rhythm or blacks not liking to ski; which were laughed at by all, black & white. I guess I'm a bit naive to real racial issues.


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anarch
post May 17 2010, 01:59 AM
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splendor, welcome!

angie, I remember people arguing aggrievedly that Aboriginal people have it EASIER than mainstream Cdns because "they don't have to pay taxes"! Yeesh.

QUOTE(ketto @ May 15 2010, 09:11 AM) *
It also seemed like many of the white people they interviewed felt it wasn't a very big deal (but still a bit of an issue) while all the people of colour they spoke with felt it was still a major issue and something they experience daily.
It was a good reminder of just how blind we become to the realities of other people around us.


Damn, it's good to come in here and read stuff like this, after reading shit like this:

If campus counselors, diversity officers, and others administrators lead seminars, training sessions, and orientations that underscore racial elements in social interactions, they might also heighten the perception of racist attitudes in others and the attribution of racist motives to them. Minority students might feel less "acceptance," now and then over-reading negative responses to them as race-based. Administrators want to improve the racial atmosphere in the institutions, but if sensitivities go up along with awareness, then the institution will end up with a lot more cases of race-based allegations than it did before---in other words, a worse racial climate.
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foryoursplendor
post May 16 2010, 05:11 PM
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I just found this thread for the first time, and WOW. I'll be checking it out often. *gulps down the last 26 years of rage/embarrassment/awkward emotions over being Aboriginal in a White world*
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ketto
post May 15 2010, 11:11 AM
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I know the CBC was talking a lot about a survey or study they did (or someone else? I can't remember) talking about how much discrimination went on in the Country. In the prairie provinces racism and discrimination against aboriginal people is the highest. It's no surprise. I mean, I we have hundreds of murdered and missing women across the country and it's a constant struggle to get it noticed. It also seemed like many of the white people they interviewed felt it wasn't a very big deal (but still a bit of an issue) while all the people of colour they spoke with felt it was still a major issue and something they experience daily.

I work at a women's centre and we're located in a not-ideal, difficult to get to, just on the edge of a new suburban development. All of our staff is white and very conscious that we need to make sure women from all cultures and faith feel comfortable coming here. On Wednesday I went to a discussion with other organizations in the city about ending violence against aboriginal women and girls and I talked to a young woman who said she actually lives in the area we're located in. She was asking about the types of barriers aboriginal women face when trying to come to us and I mentioned the usual things and then she told me that, even though she's well established, owns a home, and lives in that neighbourhood she still experiences a lot of racism. She suggested that even if our Centre was easier to access, most aboriginal women wouldn't want to because of fears of prejudice. As conscious as I am about issues like this, the thought hadn't really crossed my mind as a significant barrier. It was a good reminder of just how blind we become to the realities of other people around us.



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angie_21
post May 14 2010, 09:57 PM
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To be honest I don't really know for sure, but I imagine it's the sporty Hondas and Toyotas that people are thinking of. (well if the car is from Japan, I guess the driver must be too, right?) I think it's partly from when there was that trend with street racing and modified cars, which a lot of people here automatically associated with Asian gangs. So clearly, sporty Japanese car with purple neon headlights next door = Asian gang moving into the neighbourhood. I don't think that even made any sense at all, but I've heard it said in so many words more than once!

I still remember in high school when it was first pointed out to me, by an English teacher of all people, the state of racism in Canada. We were reading a novel about South Africa during Apartheid, and it talked about the Homelands and segregation in Johannesburg, and we were all being very morally outraged, until our teacher looked at us like we were crazy and said, what exactly do you think it's still like today for Aboriginal Canadians? Do you really think they get treated just like other Canadians? It was a weird, paradigm shift kind of moment for a lot of us. It still baffles me that we get fed all this multicultural propaganda in school and literally one page in our history textbook talked about treaties and the Indian Act, and there wasn't a single page on residential schools!

I sense a rant starting, I'm going to stop now. That was one great thing about teaching the class, I got to rant to a large audience, or at least I did for as long as I could keep myself from getting carried away!
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