Monday, April 21, 2003

By normal, do you mean White?

I grew up in the Midwest (Note: not Middle East) in Iowa City, so there wasn't very much ethnic diversity. I contrast this to my friends that grew up in CA where 80 percent of their high school was Asian, my friends from TX where about half was Mexican, and a buddy from HI where almost everyone was Polynesian. I, on the other hand, grew up in a very White community. After living in Iowa for 19 years and then moving to Utah, I have grown up around White folk and spent most of my life with them - except of course from 1997-1999 when I was in Brazil.

People have a tendency to say things without thinking about them. They don't think twice about who might be listening and whose feelings they may be hurting. A lot of people, especially older people, still say stuff like "You know that one retarded girl? ..." or "There were two black guys and one normal guy." And by normal, do you mean ... ?

If you think about it for second (and you're white), then I'm sure you've heard people say this before. Normal means white. This is very funny because a very small percentage of the world is white! But, we're normal ... which means everyone else is not.

I try not to have a closed mind about things, but sometimes little sayings like this spill out. My question is this - do other races say stuff about us with the same superior tone? Do Mexicans sit there and say, "There were 2 white guys and one normal guy." ???

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