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Thoughts on diversity training

January 24, 2009

Before you read any of this, I am not racist. (Do I have to list all my friends who are of “other nationalities?” 🙂  ) Just trying to look at it  from a different perspective.

So…I had two days of Imago Dei training (i.e. diversity training with a nice name) and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. For the most part. It wasn’t 16 hours of pure lecture, thank goodness. We played games, ate, had “small group discussion” (of course), ate, watched clips of DVDs, ate, had discussions, did Bible studies etc. etc.  Of course the whole premise of it was a little skewed, in my opinion, but I thought the presenters actually did a really good job. It was interesting, and I think I did learn from it. But, it did get me thinking about something…

So…they put up statistics of how many undergrad students, staff, factulty, grad students, we have here who are: “white” vs. a whole long list of other nationalities, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, etc. They wanted to show the disparity between “White” and “All the other nationalities.” Okay. But one of the girls asked a question that got me thinking about this. “Who determines what “race” I am? Because I don’t remember being asked. And if you look at me, you will think I am white. But I am half Native American.” So I was thinking…”yeah, I think all ‘white’ people have Native American in them. As well as a whole lot of other nationalities! Are any of us really all ‘white?’ And what even constitues “white?” What “nationality” is that? To be honest, there is not any one “nationality” that makes up “whiteness.” I am “Scottish,” Native American” and a few others that I don’t even remember! So actually maybe “white” people are the ones who are least homogenous? I have never heard a “white” person say that their parents wanted them to marry only a white person. And yet I have Turkish, Armenian, and Asian friends who have told me that their parents wanted them to marry within their “race.” I totally have nothing against that, but I do find it interesting!

So it makes sense to me that all “white” people should not be lumped into one catergory. Either that or all the “browns” should make up the other catergory? 🙂 If the university wants to break it down by nationality, shouldn’t those of us who are “Scottish, Danish, Polish, Russian, English, Welsh, Swiss, etc.” get to recognize our nationality as well? Why do we have to be called “white?” Why not call the “Latinos, Asians, African Americans, Spanish” all “browns?” Again, this is all hypothetical. I am NOT offended by being called “white” lol, I am trying to compare the two systems.

So given a hypothetical group, shouldn’t it look like this?

  • 2 Welsh
  • 1 English
  • 1 Russian
  • 1 Scottish
  • 1 Canadian
  • 1 Hispanic
  • 2 African Americans
  • 2 Asians
  • 1 Native American

Instead of :

  • 6 Whites
  • 1 Hispanic
  • 2 African Americans
  • 2 Asians
  • 1 Native American

 

Am I way out there on this? Or am I right in thinking that there shouldn’t be guilt laid on “whites” because of their skin color? What in the world does skin color have to do with anything anyways? I don’t think it should be a factor for anything in life. We are all people. Who cares what color we are? (apparently we are supposed to embrace other ‘colors’ and downplay our “whiteness.” At least that’s what I picked up from the training. Sheesh, they would be appalled if they ever heard us teasing around like we do in the youth group!)

Ha ha, I can already imagine the comments I might get….Sheesh people…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. jaynepomuceno permalink
    January 24, 2009 2:34 pm

    You’re nothing but a racist WHITE girl! I’m not racist, ’cause I like Condi!

    Go, Condi!

  2. jenmarie permalink*
    January 24, 2009 3:03 pm

    lol, I KNEW I could count on a comment like that from you! 🙂

  3. January 24, 2009 6:40 pm

    lol I do agree with Jen! I am half Swedish and I am lumped in with “all the white people” 🙂

  4. jaynepomuceno permalink
    January 24, 2009 11:04 pm

    Great, another racist WHITE girl!

  5. Becka permalink
    January 26, 2009 10:24 am

    lol Jay. I enjoyed that blog, Jen. So true. Funny how it works that way. And I was cracking up at “the browns.” It just sounds so funny!

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