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Kinsa

Is this song considered racist?

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No, I don't think it is racist.  Not particularly in relation to that song, but I was always taught that those terms refered fairly specifically to different types of pigmentation and how they are perceived by the eye.    So I wouldn't tend to see that saying that isn't how people refer to themselves as all that relevant - it isn't talking about named peoples, but directly about perception of pigmentation.

 

It is clearly a song of an era, and I don't think in a good way - it's dated, and sounds dated in terms of lyrics and music (as opposed to "classic".)  I wouldn't tend to use it for that reason. There are quite a few songs about Jesus loving everyone though there might be fewer for looking particularly at race - but that is part of why it is a little dated I suppose.  I might be inclined to look outside traditional "Sunday School" songs and at some more popular 60s and 70s artists.

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Yeah, I just see it as a totally different interaction if I'm able to talk my kid through it in our home than if it's a group situation where I don't know everyone's background. One of the great things about homeschooling for us at least is that if there's something in a book like that I can deal with it at home. :)

 

On the other hand, I think there are inadequate(?), inappropriate(?) ways of portraying slavery where I fundamentally disagree with the lesson the book tries to teach, and in those cases we just don't read them. In those cases I feel like it's historical inaccuracy, which is not really what I was thinking of in the Little House books.

 

If I wouldn't be OK reading it to a kid of a different race, I wouldn't be OK teaching it to my kid... I think that's a subtle and unintentional way that old ideas about race, colonialism, minority viewpoints, etc gets conveyed from one generation to the next.  

 

I wouldn't, as a Sunday school teacher, refer to an East Asian child as "yellow"  to her face. So I'm sure not going to refer to any person that way to my kids.  

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Know your kids.

Definitely, I suppose I was responding to the ideas that "of course" one would take that part out and that it was "common sense" to do so. I think my responses were probably defensive given that, because we don't have trouble with those conversations around here and it wouldn't occur to me to avoid explaining it on a very basic level.

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If I wouldn't be OK reading it to a kid of a different race, I wouldn't be OK teaching it to my kid... I think that's a subtle and unintentional way that old ideas about race, colonialism, minority viewpoints, etc gets conveyed from one generation to the next.

 

I wouldn't, as a Sunday school teacher, refer to an East Asian child as "yellow" to her face. So I'm sure not going to refer to any person that way to my kids.

Definitely not, but if they came across it in a book, I would explain it to them. And I like to keep the dialogue open because my oldest is fast reaching an age where I can't keep him in books, much less pre-read everything, and he likes historical fiction and non-fiction. The issues come up. Even if not racial slurs (and usually it's not, thankfully), the ideas are still present. Anyway, we just have no trouble talking about it, and I don't think I could shield him from those ideas if I thought it was ideal, which I don't. Different strokes. :)

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My DD assumed it was hair color at age 3. After all, she knew people with red, brown, yellow (blonde), black and white hair!

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I don't know about self-identifying, but I was taught that yellow was Asians, and red was native Americans.

 

Yes, but Asians and Native Americans do not wish to be called yellow and red.

 

I would not teach that song to kids, and I wouldn't go around singing it.

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I'm not spending mental energy on this 

 

Many of your posts have made it very clear that you don't care to spend any mental energy whatsoever being considerate of those whose opinions differ from yours. If you don't want to, don't, but don't then be surprised when people take a dim view of it.

 

My kids wouldn't want to be called colored even if a certain song had been written by the sweetest little granny who gave out cookies and kissed boo-boos, and if you continued to sing the song knowing that it offended them, you'd be deliberately unkind.

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It really depends on the child's age and disposition. I read that to my younger son at 4-5 as a bedtime story. We skipped that and the spanking stories. Why? Not bedtime conversation for an anxious 5 year old. OTOH when my older son read them at almost 8, we discussed the moral issues and the values we don't share. Know your kids. I certainly couldn't read that without providing some historical context. Some kids are ready to discuss that context. Other kids are just ready to hear about a nice Christmas visit and the descriptions of all they had to store for winter before they doze off into slumber land.

 

We teach a lot about racial history and present racial issues in this country. So I don't buy that so e editing for a young kid means that I am sanitizing history in general or that my kids will end up oblivious racial issues. They come from a family where most of their cousins aren't white so it's not like they think this country is especially great when it comes to the legacy of racism.

 

Same here, bedtime reading, not the time for in depth discussions of upsetting things. We cover those in other contexts, during the day, when fully awake. 

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We sang, "Pink and purple, blue and green, strangest kids you've ever seen."

 

My dad sang a variation on that one.

 

This song and Yellow Polka Dot Bikini are the two I particularly remember that we played with the words, making up our own verses and such.

 

I do not recall the particular colors in the song referring to races of people either though (thus why we put other colors in). After all, I knew I wasn't white. I still resist being called that. Peach, maybe. Or tan.  I knew kids whose skin came as close to black (Or maybe even closer) than my own did to white, but red was sun-burned (ouch!) and yellow was ill.

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Yes, but Asians and Native Americans do not wish to be called yellow and red.

 

I don't mean to be dense, but why is this? Black, white, and brown people use those colors to self-identify. Why is it different for "red" and "yellow"? Is it because red and yellow are so different from natural skin tones? I'm honestly asking, for anyone to answer, not just you.

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I don't mean to be dense, but why is this? Black, white, and brown people use those colors to self-identify. Why is it different for "red" and "yellow"? Is it because red and yellow are so different from natural skin tones? I'm honestly asking, for anyone to answer, not just you.

 

Yes. Asians and Native Americans are not yellow and red. These are terms that Europeans assigned to them to emphasis how different they were.

 

My kids don't care to be called black, because they are not actually black in skin tone. They refer to themselves as brown.

Edited by TaraTheLiberator
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By the way, I'm really glad I started this thread. I knew there was some reason, when I was recalling that song from childhood, why I started to question its relevance in today's ethnically diverse society, however vague that reason was in my head. I just couldn't put my finger on why it wasn't okay, but this thread has clarified it for me.

 

For the record, my children don't know the song. I suppose it has fallen out of fashion for a reason. And to whomever gave the historical background of the song, thank you, that was very interesting! Given that it comes from a very racially charged time in history, I can see that AT THAT TIME it was a radical idea (that Jesus loves ALL children, not just shiny white ones, but even those OTHER ones), but that we have moved past even that idea in today's society. Interesting to ponder.

 

PS - I like the alternate versions given.

Edited by Kinsa
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I don't mean to be dense, but why is this? Black, white, and brown people use those colors to self-identify. Why is it different for "red" and "yellow"? Is it because red and yellow are so different from natural skin tones? I'm honestly asking, for anyone to answer, not just you.

I think you should google it. There is a long history behind those words. It is worth studying how different groups identify.

 

I could post until I am blue in the fingertips but I am just one crazy lady on the Internet. There are studies on the question you've posed, though. It is A Thing.

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I don't mean to be dense, but why is this? Black, white, and brown people use those colors to self-identify. Why is it different for "red" and "yellow"? Is it because red and yellow are so different from natural skin tones? I'm honestly asking, for anyone to answer, not just you.

In a basic sense, it's because those words have a derogatory history back to colonial times, AND because the people in question have not chosen to redeem it accept the terminology. Therefore they (unlike "black") don't have any acceotable usage to contrast with their racist use.

 

Previous poster:

 

(And it IS racist to think of these as handy "metaphors" for a dominant culture to use to sort the rest of the world into general groupings based on pigmentation variation. The idea that it's fair enough because it's plausibly semi-accurate, and it makes good shorthand -- even though it's clearly offensive and demeaning to the people bring thus categorized... That's a problem. It's basically, "My convenience is more important to me than your oppression.")

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I don't mean to be dense, but why is this? Black, white, and brown people use those colors to self-identify. Why is it different for "red" and "yellow"? Is it because red and yellow are so different from natural skin tones? I'm honestly asking, for anyone to answer, not just you.

Yet generally speaking Asian people don't generally self identify as yellow and Native Americans don't self identify as red. Self identification is one thing. Red and yellow are terms generated and used by primarily white people. Honestly, I don't know anyone IRL younger than about 75 who thinks these terms are generally acceptable.

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In a basic sense, it's because those words have a derogatory history back to colonial times, AND because the people in question have not chosen to redeem it accept the terminology. Therefore they (unlike "black") don't have any acceotable usage to contrast with their racist use.

 

Previous poster:

 

(And it IS racist to think of these as handy "metaphors" for a dominant culture to use to sort the rest of the world into general groupings based on pigmentation variation. The idea that it's fair enough because it's plausibly semi-accurate, and it makes good shorthand -- even though it's clearly offensive and demeaning to the people bring thus categorized... That's a problem. It's basically, "My convenience is more important to me than your oppression.")

Okay, but 1. Nonwhite people also sang that song way back when. 2. I am talking about historical understanding of an issue. We still play Othello (Ataullah). There are racist comments. We understand the context, we explain, we play.

 

This is not convenience. It is cultural continuity. ETA lest this be misused, we can't stop cultural evolution but we can do it in a self-aware way. When there is no awareness of the past and how that connects to now it becomes disconnected.

 

I don't think it is helpful to come down as "racist!" Without explaining that context and why things happen, uncritically. We don't learn from that. It turns it into a simple labeling game of "other" behavior.

 

I don't think a child having seriously considered the implications of the words and metaphor in the song will sing it lightheartedly. But it is a choice.

Edited by Tsuga
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The difference between Pa Ingalls calling someone a darkie, and someone singing that song in 2016 is that the character (and the man) lived in a time where it was OK.

 

You don't.

 

Because you know better and the people to whom "red and yellow" refer have categorically rejected them as self-identifying terms.

 

"That's their problem" is incorrect. It's your problem.

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the character (and the man) lived in a time where it was OK.

 

Ok to whom? ;) 

 

 

 

"That's their problem" is incorrect. It's your problem.

 

Exactly.

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.

 

Previous poster:

 

(And it IS racist to think of these as handy "metaphors" for a dominant culture to use to sort the rest of the world into general groupings based on pigmentation variation. The idea that it's fair enough because it's plausibly semi-accurate, and it makes good shorthand -- even though it's clearly offensive and demeaning to the people bring thus categorized... That's a problem. It's basically, "My convenience is more important to me than your oppression.")

 

 

You know, I think it comes down to the fact that I don't accept that people can read whatever negative things they want into a statement, simply because they are supposed to be oppressed and others are supposed to be dominant.  It is still entirely possible to misread, or even for the oppressed to use language in the same way dominant elements in the culture can, to punish, on purpose.  And I think it is really important to distinguish between uses that are racist, and those that are simply no longer in fashion.

 

There is a difference between calling people Redskins, which is a label and a catagory, and saying some people have stronger reddish pigmentation, which is a description (and actually one that goes beyond race and ethnicity.)  I would go so far as to say they song uses that kind of description to some extent to avoid putting people in catagories, because that is the point it seems to be trying to make - catagories like race don't really exist in Christ,

 

If, for example, it chose to use whatever the approved self-designated terms are at the moment (no doubt it would still be out of date) but it also would emphasize the fact that all these people come from separate groups.  Here we all are in Christ in our separate ethnicities.  Now, some people might want to argue that is very important - it is a more dominant way at the moment of thinking about race and ethnicity.  But at the time, it was not the dominant way of thinking about it, there was much more of an emphasis on universal brotherhood, individual differences are often greater than racial or ethnic differences, and so on.

 

Obviously, racial differences were heavily on the mind of the people who wanted the song, but how to describe those differences in a way that ties them to something objective rather than constructs and historical accidents?  I don't know that it's as easy as one might thing, especially if it's supposed to be catchy and singable.  I would probably say the song doesn't manage to convey this totally successfully, but that is not the same as saying it is racist.  An idea can be expressed in a way that doesn't adequately convey the intent without being inherently offensive, or being about inherent oppression.

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The difference between Pa Ingalls calling someone a darkie, and someone singing that song in 2016 is that the character (and the man) lived in a time where it was OK.

 

You don't.

 

Because you know better and the people to whom "red and yellow" refer have categorically rejected them as self-identifying terms.

 

"That's their problem" is incorrect. It's your problem.

But if I pretend it is a simple problem "racist vs. not racist" instead of having a discussion it DOES become an "other" issue. They were racists. I am not. It is racist. I know because mom said so. I am a good boy. Not like the racist who wrote the song. I'm safe from racism, hate, injustice. Those are their problem. I can avoid it by not singing those words.

 

But it is my problem, it was their problem. it's not a simple problem.

 

I disagree that simplifying this into "it's just racist" is helpful.

 

The conversation about nuance brings it to the present day. Like that kind of racism could happen to us. We become self-reflective.

 

Particularly as this song was written with good intentions--does it mean I sing it unthinkingly? No but it deserves attention.

Edited by Tsuga
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It really depends on the child's age and disposition. I read that to my younger son at 4-5 as a bedtime story. We skipped that and the spanking stories. Why? Not bedtime conversation for an anxious 5 year old. OTOH when my older son read them at almost 8, we discussed the moral issues and the values we don't share. Know your kids. I certainly couldn't read that without providing some historical context. Some kids are ready to discuss that context. Other kids are just ready to hear about a nice Christmas visit and the descriptions of all they had to store for winter before they doze off into slumber land.

 

We teach a lot about racial history and present racial issues in this country. So I don't buy that so e editing for a young kid means that I am sanitizing history in general or that my kids will end up oblivious racial issues. They come from a family where most of their cousins aren't white so it's not like they think this country is especially great when it comes to the legacy of racism.

Yes. I agree with this. Age appropriate editing may be particularly helpful for young children of color. It's not like they are actually going to get through childhood without understanding the great consequences of race (though, sigh, one could only dream of that for one's kids). So the worries that the vast majority of children of color will have history sanitized for them is a societal concern that you go pretty low of the list. Most people of color feel very strongly that a basic understanding of this history is a matter of survival. They may, or may not, have access to REALLY thoughtful adults in all environments who are able to help them process and navigate the significance of race in practical or affirming ways for them today - that's a whole 'nother story. People vary in their ability to competently navigate the significance of race, and help young people translate that. 

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But if I pretend it is a simple problem "racist vs. not racist" instead of having a discussion it DOES become an "other" issue. They were racists. I am not. It is racist. I know because mom said so. I am a good boy. Not like the racist who wrote the song. I'm safe from racism, hate, injustice. Those are their problem. I can avoid it by not singing those words.

 

But it is my problem, it was their problem. it's not a simple problem.

 

I disagree that simplifying this into "it's just racist" is helpful.

 

The conversation about nuance brings it to the present day. Like that kind of racism could happen to us. We become self-reflective.

 

Particularly as this song was written with good intentions--does it mean I sing it unthinkingly? No but it deserves attention.

Not really a fair argument since you are the one using the word racist- not the poster you replied to.

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But if I pretend it is a simple problem "racist vs. not racist" instead of having a discussion it DOES become an "other" issue. They were racists. I am not. It is racist. I know because mom said so. I am a good boy. Not like the racist who wrote the song. I'm safe from racism, hate, injustice. Those are their problem. I can avoid it by not singing those words.

 

But it is my problem, it was their problem. it's not a simple problem.

 

I disagree that simplifying this into "it's just racist" is helpful.

 

The conversation about nuance brings it to the present day. Like that kind of racism could happen to us. We become self-reflective.

 

Particularly as this song was written with good intentions--does it mean I sing it unthinkingly? No but it deserves attention.

 

Sure.

 

And some people have "given it attention," and said "I'm not racist, so if Asian ppl don't want me to refer to them as yellows, it's their problem not mine."

 

......

 

Which is racist!

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Not really a fair argument since you are the one using the word racist- not the poster you replied to.

 

Also true.

 

The people they refer to don't want those words used about them.

 

You don't have to think it's egregiously racist to think it's bad manners to keep referring to them as red or yellow.

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I think this has been hashed out so I just wanted to add one thing. 

 

 Why would we want to show the hero of a story like Pa Ingalls, whom Laura obviously loved in the story, as doing something bad? Well, I think that it is important to question what is accepted in our own time. It is important to realize that someone you respect in your real life can be doing something wrong and not blindly follow them. That they might do something good but also be doing something wrong and you shouldn't accept the wrong thing because you love them and that some of those wrong things might be accepted in your culture.  These are easier things to see in the past. We can then stop and think, "Do people do similar things today?". The answer pretty much always yes and our children need to be able to combat that in the messy current world where they hear mixed messages. Our own homeschooled children may hear less but they are going to hear it at some point. I bolded own because I'm sure not all homeschooled children are taught like mine. Some may be taught the complete opposite. 

 

That being said, I can completely understand that parents need to take into account the age of the child, how sensitive they are, if it might make them reflect negatively on their own heritage, etc. I would never want a five year old to have to deal with thoughts of being less a person or anything like that. I do believe there is a time and place for that kind of teaching though. 

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It is not PC and people don't sing it anymore, but I sang it as a child.

 

I can remember growing up in Africa when those wordless books showed up.

 

http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/ideas/wordless-book

 

The book had one color on each page and the point was that the story would be verbally told while turning the pages.

 

Black as sin......then Jesus washes your sins away and you become white as snow (pure).  

 

The books were quickly put away as the implication was that black is bad and white is good.

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It is not PC and people don't sing it anymore, but I sang it as a child.

 

I can remember growing up in Africa when those wordless books showed up.

 

http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/ideas/wordless-book

 

The book had one color on each page and the point was that the story would be verbally told while turning the pages.

 

Black as sin......then Jesus washes your sins away and you become white as snow (pure).

 

The books were quickly put away as the implication was that black is bad and white is good.

That is awful. :(

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It is not PC and people don't sing it anymore, but I sang it as a child.

 

I can remember growing up in Africa when those wordless books showed up.

 

http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/ideas/wordless-book

 

The book had one color on each page and the point was that the story would be verbally told while turning the pages.

 

Black as sin......then Jesus washes your sins away and you become white as snow (pure).

 

The books were quickly put away as the implication was that black is bad and white is good.

And that stuff is still used as metaphor for hundreds of kids' object lessons.

 

Just once I'd like to see "Oh look! Sin bleached all the wonderful dark colours out of your heart, leaving you clear and pale like this plain water, but when you accept his love and trust him for salvation, you are filled with his wonderful deep, dark, rich life! Now go spread his love to everyone!" (Proceed with passing out deep rich chocolate treats.)

Edited by bolt.
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Isn't black used pretty commonly as a color to represent evil or darkness or death, independent of race or religion?  People wear black as a mourning color, for example, but I don't think that can be attributed to racism.

 

ETA: I'm thinking of all the color symbolism out there, black being darkness or formality, green is envy, purple is royalty, yellow is cowardliness, white being purity...a lot of these things seem to cross cultural and spiritual lines and I don't think they have anything to do with associating with people groups.  It is different in other countries (like red being significant in China, for example), but these things don't seem to symbolize race in any way.

Edited by JodiSue

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They don't symbolize race, and they aren't motivated by race -- but they do create a thought-environment where some people have physical attributes that most-often align with 'known good imagery' and other people have physical attributes that most-often align with 'imagery of badness'.

 

When we can buck the trend, I think we ought to get motivated by simple kindness to do so occasionally, just to keep the 'your soul is white now' message from being the only message. (Especially for kids, who do t understand symbols well anyways.)

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They don't symbolize race, and they aren't motivated by race -- but they do create a thought-environment where some people have physical attributes that most-often align with 'known good imagery' and other people have physical attributes that most-often align with 'imagery of badness'.

 

When we can buck the trend, I think we ought to get motivated by simple kindness to do so occasionally, just to keep the 'your soul is white now' message from being the only message. (Especially for kids, who do t understand symbols well anyways.)

 

 

I guess, I'm just pretty sure that black is a common color to represent such things even in non-white people groups.

 

I mean, perhaps it would be more appropriate to make the color of salvation something more significant for the culture involved, but darkness (absence of light) is a common theme across cultures that, IMO, people don't attach to their own physical appearance.

Edited by JodiSue

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re: what was accepted/ normative in an earlier era by people we (mostly) admire; and how looking at that can help us see the contours of was is accepted / normative in our own...

I think this has been hashed out so I just wanted to add one thing. 

 

 Why would we want to show the hero of a story like Pa Ingalls, whom Laura obviously loved in the story, as doing something bad? Well, I think that it is important to question what is accepted in our own time. It is important to realize that someone you respect in your real life can be doing something wrong and not blindly follow them. That they might do something good but also be doing something wrong and you shouldn't accept the wrong thing because you love them and that some of those wrong things might be accepted in your culture.  These are easier things to see in the past. We can then stop and think, "Do people do similar things today?". The answer pretty much always yes ... <snip>

 

 

I've actually been working on this insight ever since this thread a few months ago jogged me out of my usual la-la torpor.

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ArcticMama- It may get a shrug from you but if it hurts someone else then wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the song? I used to sing that song as a kid and I simply took it as we are all equally loved by Jesus. It hasn't been on my radar for years and I haven't heard it in awhile but now that this has brought it to my thinking process I can say I won't choose to sing it anymore. Why would I want to if I want to love others as Jesus loves them?

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ArcticMama- It may get a shrug from you but if it hurts someone else then wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the song? I used to sing that song as a kid and I simply took it as we are all equally loved by Jesus. It hasn't been on my radar for years and I haven't heard it in awhile but now that this has brought it to my thinking process I can say I won't choose to sing it anymore. Why would I want to if I want to love others as Jesus loves them?

I can't we have ever sung it, I think we played it in a piano primer, and like I said I'd probably chuck it instead of changing the words, but it hasn't really come up.

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But hold on, Arctic Mama. I admit, I'm not very conversant on the Sunday School thing, but surely there are hundreds of songs they could be singing? If they sing another song instead of this song, is it really going to ruin their week?

I went back and realized missed this. No, it won't ruin anyone's week. But if someone does sing or play it I'm not ascribing racist motivations to them for doing so. That's silly and the intent isn't anywhere in the song to that effect. Make more sense?

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I guess, I'm just pretty sure that black is a common color to represent such things even in non-white people groups.

 

I mean, perhaps it would be more appropriate to make the color of salvation something more significant for the culture involved, but darkness (absence of light) is a common theme across cultures that, IMO, people don't attach to their own physical appearance.

 

 

I do think that light and darkness is a common theme but I also think that we have to be sensitive to how people perceive things. In the Bible there was a certain group speaking to their own culture in reference to garments (white as wool). To dye clothes was expensive and it was obvious that dirty clothes are dirty clothes. Yet, when you are speaking to a group of people, especially children, I think you ought to be sensitive that they may have dealt with the colors black and white a lot and emotionally in relation to skin color. Communication is hard enough to people with our own background much less to people with different backgrounds. I have no idea what people attach to themselves. More than we think. 

 

I was reading a journal from NOAH 

http://www.albinism.org/site/c.flKYIdOUIhJ4H/b.9194783/k.4163/National_Organization_for_Albinism_and_Hypopigmentation.htm

 

and was surprised to learn how children perceived the fact that many villains are perceived as pale with red eyes and related that to their difference. How many movies do you know have a hero with Albinism? Now the bad guy like the Pale Orc in the hobbit or Dracula.  I seriously doubt that the modern producers meant to offend people that way but there are children out there who see these things and take it to heart.  

 

Edited for spelling

 

Edited by frogger

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Isn't black used pretty commonly as a color to represent evil or darkness or death, independent of race or religion? People wear black as a mourning color, for example, but I don't think that can be attributed to racism.

 

ETA: I'm thinking of all the color symbolism out there, black being darkness or formality, green is envy, purple is royalty, yellow is cowardliness, white being purity...a lot of these things seem to cross cultural and spiritual lines and I don't think they have anything to do with associating with people groups. It is different in other countries (like red being significant in China, for example), but these things don't seem to symbolize race in any way.

They cross cultural and spiritual lines because the West put colonies all over the world. But during all the time that was happening there was never a race- blind environment. It had impact on why things played out as they did in many ways. In other words: the negative association with dark compared to white and the conquering of swaths of Africa and India and North America are intertwined, not a coincidence .

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They cross cultural and spiritual lines because the West put colonies all over the world.

 

That's an apt observation.

 

White is the color of mourning in a lot of places, bee tee dub.

Edited by OKBud

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They cross cultural and spiritual lines because the West put colonies all over the world. But during all the time that was happening there was never a race- blind environment. It had impact on why things played out as they did in many ways. In other words: the negative association with dark compared to white and the conquering of swaths of Africa and India and North America are intertwined, not a coincidence .

I'm not so sure about this. The Bible, which was written far before white colonization of the world, says sins are as scarlet, yet they shall be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). I think the connotation of white with purity predates European colonization.

 

(However, it is notable that in this example sin is connotated with the color red, not black.)

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I'm not so sure about this. The Bible, which was written far before white colonization of the world, says sins are as scarlet, yet they shall be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). I think the connotation of white with purity predates European colonization.

 

(However, it is notable that in this example sin is connotated with the color red, not black.)atchy

 

I take your point about purity. But that would be the absence of something marring. That verse also says you'll "be like wool." (scratchy? Water-resistant?)

 

It's about metaphorically cleansing something that has left a stain that can only be cleansed by God/Grace.

 

It is NOT an allusion to the latter-day forces of good==white or light and forces of evil == dark or black, which is what is being discussed here.

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A post was deleted, so I can't address it directly, but I will say this:

 

People who "just shrug their shoulders" over whether or not something is racist, because it doesn't affect them or they have bigger fish to fry or they think the racist thing/language is part of something that has a larger message to share or they think the offended parties are being too sensitive or they think that those who see the racism are digging too deep to find it are coming from a position of privilege, even if they don't acknowledge it or refuse to believe that such privilege exists.

 

These people have the attitude that they get to define what racism is, and anything that falls outside their pre-defined and narrow view of racism is dismissed with a casualness and callousness that is quite disturbing, because it betrays a feeling of, "I will address what is convenient or meaningful to me, and if something negatively affects you but isn't on my radar, then that's your issue and I have no responsibility for it." 

 

Frankly, that's mean. It's discouraging and disturbing the number of times that I see variations of the same theme played out: "Would you please stop using this offensive term to describe me?" "No."

 

There are so many simple things we can do (or stop doing) that take virtually zero effort on our parts to make the world a kinder and more welcoming place, yet I see time and again people who basically dig in their heels and say, "I don't want to. You can't make me!" as though being kind were some zero sum game that steals from their happiness every time they dispense a little kindness. I truly don't get this attitude.

 

Racism is with us, always. Pretending it's not, or pretending it's only racism if it's on your list of acknowledged instances of racism, or pretending that small instances of racism don't really matter in the long run, is unkind and makes the world a meaner place. 

 

I care about this because my kids have to live in a world with people who don't care how my kids and others like the are harmed by the daily actions and attitudes of racism. They just don't care. They won't take even the smallest of steps toward helping my kids live in a less racist world. They don't care about my kids because it is not convenient or important enough to them to do so, and they cloak their disregard in spurious talk about religion or freedom of speech or PC-ness or the intolerance of others toward their racism.

 

Racism matters. Little racism matters. Big racism matters. All racism matters. I can't fathom why people don't care if they contribute to making the world a more racist place.

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A post was deleted, so I can't address it directly, but I will say this:

 

People who "just shrug their shoulders" over whether or not something is racist, because it doesn't affect them or they have bigger fish to fry or they think the racist thing/language is part of something that has a larger message to share or they think the offended parties are being too sensitive or they think that those who see the racism are digging too deep to find it are coming from a position of privilege, even if they don't acknowledge it or refuse to believe that such privilege exists.

 

These people have the attitude that they get to define what racism is, and anything that falls outside their pre-defined and narrow view of racism is dismissed with a casualness and callousness that is quite disturbing, because it betrays a feeling of, "I will address what is convenient or meaningful to me, and if something negatively affects you but isn't on my radar, then that's your issue and I have no responsibility for it." 

 

Frankly, that's mean. It's discouraging and disturbing the number of times that I see variations of the same theme played out: "Would you please stop using this offensive term to describe me?" "No."

 

There are so many simple things we can do (or stop doing) that take virtually zero effort on our parts to make the world a kinder and more welcoming place, yet I see time and again people who basically dig in their heels and say, "I don't want to. You can't make me!" as though being kind were some zero sum game that steals from their happiness every time they dispense a little kindness. I truly don't get this attitude.

 

Racism is with us, always. Pretending it's not, or pretending it's only racism if it's on your list of acknowledged instances of racism, or pretending that small instances of racism don't really matter in the long run, is unkind and makes the world a meaner place. 

 

I care about this because my kids have to live in a world with people who don't care how my kids and others like the are harmed by the daily actions and attitudes of racism. They just don't care. They won't take even the smallest of steps toward helping my kids live in a less racist world. They don't care about my kids because it is not convenient or important enough to them to do so, and they cloak their disregard in spurious talk about religion or freedom of speech or PC-ness or the intolerance of others toward their racism.

 

Racism matters. Little racism matters. Big racism matters. All racism matters. I can't fathom why people don't care if they contribute to making the world a more racist place.

 

Thank you for this reminder. I am reminded of this quote:

 

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
 
-- Desmond Tutu
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White is the color of mourning in a lot of places, bee tee dub.

Sure, and it has nothing to do with skin pigmentation in any case. That was exactly my point.

Edited by JodiSue

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They cross cultural and spiritual lines because the West put colonies all over the world. But during all the time that was happening there was never a race- blind environment. It had impact on why things played out as they did in many ways. In other words: the negative association with dark compared to white and the conquering of swaths of Africa and India and North America are intertwined, not a coincidence .

Darkness as reference to evil far predates western civilization.

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A post was deleted, so I can't address it directly, but I will say this:

 

People who "just shrug their shoulders" over whether or not something is racist, because it doesn't affect them or they have bigger fish to fry or they think the racist thing/language is part of something that has a larger message to share or they think the offended parties are being too sensitive or they think that those who see the racism are digging too deep to find it are coming from a position of privilege, even if they don't acknowledge it or refuse to believe that such privilege exists.

 

These people have the attitude that they get to define what racism is, and anything that falls outside their pre-defined and narrow view of racism is dismissed with a casualness and callousness that is quite disturbing, because it betrays a feeling of, "I will address what is convenient or meaningful to me, and if something negatively affects you but isn't on my radar, then that's your issue and I have no responsibility for it."

 

Frankly, that's mean. It's discouraging and disturbing the number of times that I see variations of the same theme played out: "Would you please stop using this offensive term to describe me?" "No."

 

There are so many simple things we can do (or stop doing) that take virtually zero effort on our parts to make the world a kinder and more welcoming place, yet I see time and again people who basically dig in their heels and say, "I don't want to. You can't make me!" as though being kind were some zero sum game that steals from their happiness every time they dispense a little kindness. I truly don't get this attitude.

 

Racism is with us, always. Pretending it's not, or pretending it's only racism if it's on your list of acknowledged instances of racism, or pretending that small instances of racism don't really matter in the long run, is unkind and makes the world a meaner place.

 

I care about this because my kids have to live in a world with people who don't care how my kids and others like the are harmed by the daily actions and attitudes of racism. They just don't care. They won't take even the smallest of steps toward helping my kids live in a less racist world. They don't care about my kids because it is not convenient or important enough to them to do so, and they cloak their disregard in spurious talk about religion or freedom of speech or PC-ness or the intolerance of others toward their racism.

 

Racism matters. Little racism matters. Big racism matters. All racism matters. I can't fathom why people don't care if they contribute to making the world a more racist place.

And this is why I posted my original question in the first place. I'm trying to be more cognizant of subtle racism in life, but I admit it gets confusing to me at times. (Hence my original question.) I try not to shrug and say so what, because I am a Christian and believe equal love for everyone (except my sister's ex-husband... I'm working on that one... grrr...). I guess I'm a work in progress, as I assume many people who were raised with racism are.

Edited by Kinsa
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Sure, and it has nothing to do with skin pigmentation in any case. That was exactly my point.

 

Yes, the colors one wears traditionally in their culture has nothing to do with skin color.

 

The white==good and black==bad trope, however, DOES play out sociologically, in favor of lighter skinned people.

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Hey let's take this opportunity to randomly rag on strict Anthroposophy-abiding waldorf schools that won't allow brown or black crayons.

 

I mean, why not?

 

 

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I guess I'm a work in progress, as I assume many people who were raised with racism are.

 

Everyone is a work in progress.

 

Asking questions is good.

 

I took the first steps to becoming less racist when I started to believe those who were affected by racism even if I didn't yet understand why or how.

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