Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm not very PC...

Today PSPants and I went to lunch and had a swell time talking about the holidays and such…

On the way back we got into a bit of a conversation about stuff that is not very PC (hell…it’s not PC at all)! First being this horrible new joke out about John Travolta’s son who just died. So, the joke goes “Did you hear what John Travolta’s son died of?” “No.” “Oh, it was Saturday Night Fever.” HAHA – get it? Okay, I know…that was one more confirmation that I am going straight to hell. But it’s not as bad as the Sarah Palin joke which I will not repeat to mixed company (since some people who I don’t really know might be reading this…).

This conversation lead us to discuss things such as people who are racist. Did you know that when I was growing up Brazil nuts were called Nigger Toes?? Are you kidding me? I remember being at my grandparents house and my grandfather saying “Hand me some of those nigger toes.” I was a kid and I was mortified! “What? We have a bowl full of black people’s toes? Grandma…Say it isn’t so!”

So, on that note the discussion comes up about my cousins who are “mulatto” because my dad’s sister (white) married a black man. This was kind of troublesome a little over 20 years ago for some reason, but I grew up thinking everyone had a black uncle. Don’t you? You know how kids go through the phase of “My daddy is better than your daddy…” and you are in fights with the neighbor kid because you are sure your daddy can beat up their daddy? Well, it was one of those days at my grandma’s house. J (my cousin) was on our side of the fence and the little white girl from next door had a friend over. They were throwing rocks at each other and saying “My daddy is better than your daddy…” My cousin must have run out of things to say because he threw one last rock and said “Well, my daddy’s big and black!” And the girls gasped and ran inside. I guess they couldn’t top that!

Using the word mulatto made PSPants remember that when she grew up they were called high yellow. Not a nice thing to say, but then I don’t know for sure that mulatto is either – I mean, isn’t that a Pepperidge Farm snack with chocolate between two white cookies? Nope…I’m wrong – I just looked up the real meaning of mulatto (see below). One of my non-written goals for 2009 was/is to learn new words…today’s word is mulatto.

The word is MULATTO which means:- mu·lat·to [m láttō, m ltō]n (dated)
1. a taboo term for somebody who has one black and one Caucasian parent
2. a taboo term for somebody who has both black and Caucasian ancestors
3. a term, socially acceptable in the Caribbean Islands and other Latin American regions, for somebody who has one black and one Caucasian parent
4. a term, socially acceptable in the Caribbean Islands and other Latin American regions, for somebody who has both black and Caucasian ancestors.

*Side note…note trying to offend. Just being honest and kids are the worst – they are honest to a fault and most of what I discussed above was based on when we were kids. So take it or leave it…


Simply Unpredictable said...

First, the Pepperidge Farm cookie is "Milano" -- so that only offends the Italian city, or Alyssa Milano :)

I grew up knowing Brazil Nuts as those, too. Of course, I was too young and innocent to realize there was a derogatory meaning to that term at the time. Once I did, I stopped using it.

When I was growing up, I had so many "Uncles" and "Aunts" I didn't know what to do -- and a number of them weren't white. There was a point in my life I thought I was REALLY related to them, only to find out they were just close friends of the family. And I caught myself doing it referencing certain people to Bradley.

The innocence of a child makes it seem fine -- it only becomes a problem once negative thoughts are placed in the child's head that there's something wrong with different. In preschool or at the park, children will play with anyone. But, as they get older, you notice kids playing with people of their own race. I never understood it. I smell psychology paper!

Salon Chick said...

Couldn't agree with you more Simply! I wish we didn't outgrow much of our innocence and ability to get along with everyone! For one, I have some of the best friends of many colors, religious backgrounds, and sexual orientation. I have my own melting pot!

Secondly, remember when you would do anything? Jump off high buildings, roller skate without pads, knock on a stranger's door AND eat an apple someone gave you for Halloween? Oh wait...I forgot - you recently jumped out of a perfectly good plane.

I wouldn't want to go back to childhood for anything - except being less afraid of things.