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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why I blog...or musings from my minivan

I've been chewing on something all week. Well, every since Megan asked me what my goals are with blogging.

I have asked myself a hundred times why I blog...I guess it all comes down to the community aspect. I think I'm so starved for adult company from being a stay at home mom and homeschooler, that it is a wonderful outlet for me - both creatively and socially. I think I check my inbox 20 times a day to see if anyone has left comments, because those comments? They are like GOLD, folks. I read every one of them and it's always so sad when my inbox is empty. That said, I'll never be on a top ten blog list, but I'm okay with that. I wasn't all that popular in high school, either.

It's nice to have that defined.

That being said, there are some fairly large projects I'm working on that are taking more time than I anticipated. This is okay, however, because I am being paid for them. I am racing along the learning curve at a faster pace than I am truly comfortable with, but my clients seem to be very patient with me, and for that, I am oh-so-thankful.

I live in the south, you know. Texas to be exact, but for almost 20 years, I lived in Alaska, which is a melting pot of cultural goodness and acceptance. I say that because there is something that people here do that I have just never encountered anywhere else and it really bothers me. Using the term "black man" or "black woman" in general conversation...like it makes a difference, but it really adds no value to the discussion.

For instance, tonight at church, one of the men said, "I know an old black boy who..." and then went on to tell a story that could have been about "an old mexican boy" or an "old white boy"...is it just me or is that completely ignorant? I once asked a friend if it bothered her when people made the distinction about her race and her reply was "It's been going on down here for a hundred years...it'll probably go on for another hundred before anyone takes notice."

Am I being overly sensitive to this? Anyone else from the South ever notice this? Do they do this in the North? Maybe it's just where I lived in Alaska (Anchorage - hi Scribbit!), but I have not ever encountered that in any other area.

I realize this is a bit of randomness, but that's just how my mind works these days. Not many cohesive thoughts rattling around in the old brain.

So what's on your mind?

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15 comments:

Jeni said...

I went to high school in Anchorage about a hundred years ago! Well, okay, maybe not quite a hundred.

Yes, people in the South do that all the time. It's very strange, and it makes me uncomfortable, and I don't like it. Y'all - STOP!!

(There, do you think that'll help?)

Kim from Hiraeth said...

I lived in KY for four years and heard such things all the time. Really bothered me. STill bothers me.

beth - total mom haircut said...

I didn't know people still spoke like that! So no, I don't think it goes on in the north - I'm in Philadelphia and was in Chicago before this. I heard a real gem of an ignorance siting that I wrote about on my blog recently too.

And I LOVE your blog name. I just joined Adoptic and noticed it on the list - very clever:)

JanMary said...

Well I am from N Ireland - so I ahve no clue! But at least it is another comment for you to read!

Just read your wfwm from yesterday - I will definitely give the photo scavenger hunt a go - I love any excuse to make more lists!!

Found you through adoptic.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

There are different ways of using the phrase, you know. Some are unnecessary/derogatory/superfluous to the meaning or point of the speaker's statement. Even I, and even Al, refer to people as "black" on occasion, as a distinguisher in a crowd, (the same as you'd say, "red head" or "bald" or "with all the freckles." Al prefers "black" to African American because DANG, he's about as African as I am, you know? He's an American, like me, but his skin is darker. He calls
himself black and when he refers to his race as a group, he says, "blacks." Really, he agrees, we are "brown" and "pinkish" but oh well.

Annie said...

I didn't know you lived in Alaska! I am a Juneau girl! I spent 10 years there! I miss it like crazy, lately I have been getting my "Alaska" fix from Scribbit. I blog for the same reason. I just miss adult interaction.

Mamasphere said...

I grew up in Alaska and Oregon, and only ever use skin color when needing to differentiate between people. Skin color, just like any other feature, can be a helpful way to identify a person. I HATE it, though, when a person's skin color, or race, or religion, is used unecessarily. WHAT is the point?

Scribbit said...

Interesting that they'd say that--it's not as if they refer to people as "tall man" or "blond woman" all the time.

Emily said...

seems like the kind of thing that doesn't go on in most polite circles up north. i live in utah, which has a much smaller black community than most states -- so i think it happens more here than a lot of northern states, because it's a quick identifier of a person, like mamasphere said. you may know 3 johns, but definitely only 1 african american john.

in any case, i didn't know you lived in alaska either. i want to see some pictures!

Robin said...

I've only lived in the South--GA/SC/TN--and yes, I know this of which you speak. Sometimes it IS okay to distinguish who someone is if that's the "best" characteristic to describe 'em; I've watched people try to use every other description in the book when "black" would've told you in one word who they meant (not disparaging!!)...THAT'S when being so politically correct is downright amusing.

BUT...just to throw it out in general? Offensive to me...sad to me...:/

OOoooo...do you know if you're going to BlogHer?? I'm not, but I'm wondering if that worked out for ya :).

Cassie W said...

I grew up where white people were the majority, and when I say majority I mean I can count every minority that lived in my town with my fingers. Like Emily said, I think when we referred to a "black man" it was an identifier to a person. What I've found out after moving away from the small white town to a more diverse area is how to address someone's ethnicity without appearing offensive. Do I say, "black" or "African American"? Circling back up to your original topic, Karen, I just don't refer to anyone's race at all when telling stories. And you're right, those details are often pointless in stories.

rachel whetzel said...

I'll have to pay better attention now, but I don't THINK I mention race unless it's relative to the subject or story... (as in, I know a Vietnamese woman who taught me how to make an authentic dish the other day)

Tonya said...

I hear ya on the community and the comments and the stay at home mom gig. Comments make my day too and I check about 20 times too. I have actually gotten to meet a blogger and it was so fun. We've gotten together a few times and planning more.

Flea said...

Mm hmm. I grew up in the deep south and it's always bugged me too.

Joy said...

Well, like you, I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 3 years in the 90's, and never noticed it there.

But then I moved to Charleston, SC (where they say the War is still being fought) and noticed the distinction of race blatantly.

Now, like you again, I live in Texas, and even church members are heard frequently to complain about more of "them" moving in to take over our town—although in Texas it's more of a Hispanic thing, not a black thing.

It's terribly annoying! Why can't Christians see that they're just plain wrong when they say that, or even think that way?