Monday, March 25, 2013

Inadvertently Racist - part 2

You might recall I have a tendency to be inadvertently racist. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go here.

Anyway, I’ve had a couple more of these moments lately and I thought I’d share them with you.

A few months ago, I was out with some friends and we met a couple Italian lads. As we struck up conversation, the topic of “what are you and where are you from” came up. Going around the table, everyone had their own little story, consisting of growing up in another province or country that was filled with culture and all the things that I lack in my upbringing.

That White Girl - racist - mohawk

That White Girl - racist - italian

That White Girl - racist - cherokee

That White Girl - racist - newfie

That White Girl - racist - whitey

Everyone laughed more than they should have, considering most of them didn’t even know my last name.

Most recently, I met a friend of a friend. Somehow, his last name came up. He told me what it was (I couldn’t even attempt to spell it out or repeat it) and then said “My last name is like 20 letters long and most people can’t pronounce it because it’s Finnish”. I said “My last name is five letters long and everyone can pronounce it.  It’s White”.

He gave me a strange look and asked, incredulously, becoming obviously offended, if I realized that Finnish people (himself included) are also white. I was confused; I had no idea why he was so upset. I started saying “Of course I know that…” but didn’t even finish my sentence before he cut me off, burst out laughing and said “OH!!! White is your last name!!”. I laughed and said yes.

That White Girl - racist

6 comments:

  1. I can't say my last name in an English speaking country... but my colleagues last name is English and she is Irish she has a lot of trouble with that one

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  2. How would you calling yourself white, like caucasian white, be racist to another white person? It could be xenophobic, or prejudiced against the Finnish, but certainly not racist as the Finnish aren't a race per se. I wonder if it would get more awkward if you pronounced White differently, like "Wit"? Nah, then you wouldn't have funny stories to share with us like this.

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  3. LOL! I've got one of those ridiculously long eastern Eurpoean names. I always wished I had a simple name like Smith or White. There's just no way to hide with a unique name.

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  4. So now when actually you are being racist, you can just backpedal and blame it all on your last name.

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  5. Reminds me of a great gag from 30 Rock.

    Jack: Steven's a good man. He's on partner track at Dewey AND he's a Black.
    Liz: A black? That's offensive.
    Jack: No, no. That's his name. Steven Black... good family. Remarkable people, the Blacks, musical, very athletic, not very good swimmers. Again, I'm talking about the family. ...But he is also African-American.

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  6. Poke - I can see that being a problem!

    Pickleope - I would probably come up with other ways to entertain you...

    Kellie - my grandfather had an unfortunate last name as well... he ended up legally changing it to Armstrong because he got tired of having to spell his name for people. Every. Time.

    Gorm - good plan... totally going to keep that in mind!!

    Beer - hahahaha... that is a good gag!

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