So I tried to post this a couple weeks ago, but my title was unacceptable and CM deleted it before I saw any of the responses. I hope they don't delete this one because I'm not trying to be racist, but have an open, respectful discussion of how we can be more accepting and understanding of each other.
Here's my confession: I feel intimidated by black people.
Some black people make me more intimidated than others. Typically, women affect me more than men (most black men I find are very respectful). Blacks (usually women) who carry attitudes that make me feel like I'm automatically racist simply because I'm white are the worst. Honestly, I think my discomfort has more to do with certain ways that some black people behave and not as much their skin color. I want my children to not let skin color affect how they feel about people. For instance, I taught them to describe black people as brown people because technically they are brown, not black. And technically white people aren't "white". I would like them to have more "brown" friends, but we're not connected with the subculture of predominantly brown people. My oldest son's best friend is mixed, so that's a start. He goes to church with us and he's being raised by his white aunt. And here's something I've always wondered: what do you want to be called? African American? If I call you that, shouldn't you be calling me European American? Are you okay being called black? Or do you feel that saying you're brown is respectful?
I'm asking if you can give me some perspective so I can be comfortable with all black people. I want to understand them better. And I only want a respectful discussion. If you want to bash, please go somewhere else to be mean. I will delete the post if it becomes nasty.
This was a reply that explains why I made this post; to gain knowledge of a particular subculture of people so I no longer fear the unkown:
This thread is really interesting to read. It's telling me that it has a LOT to do with demographic - where you live, what people's socioeconomic status is, etc. It's very interesting to see people's take on the topic.
My two cents: Race DOES have something to do with behavior, because with race (often times) comes a culture. White American culture is different from Black culture, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. When you look even closer, Italian American culture is very different from, say, those of Irish descent. Then you can definitely get into subcultures, which are another thing all together.
I think the discomfort comes more from lack of knowledge of another person's culture, versus the color of their skin. It's the fear of something we don't know or understand, and the fear of being judged or excluded. Human beings flock to others who are similar to them, because it's comfortable. Whether that be race, gender, religion, parenting style, sexual orientation, a hobby, occupation, etc. We're all more comfortable around people who are like us.