Author Topic: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?  (Read 2687 times)

MayDay

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2017, 05:41:10 PM »
Something I didn't mention in my first post, because it is hard to write out politely, is that my white parent does not think that I was exposed to racism or dealt with racism, exoticism or othering at any of many points in my life, including childhood. He doesn't know that I've dealt with it from his own family, from his friends, from neighbours, because his world is very different.

A very common example in my multicultural world stems around food, and which food is acceptable in the workplace. [a whole bunch of examples edited out because I can't write about this with politeness and clarity].

Another, is for children happily bringing home food in their lunches. How is that received by classmates and teachers? Again, I've seen different schools' reactions. My father hasn't, because in our culture, his home food is just food.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.
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BlueHouse

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2017, 10:49:26 AM »
Something I didn't mention in my first post, because it is hard to write out politely, is that my white parent does not think that I was exposed to racism or dealt with racism, exoticism or othering at any of many points in my life, including childhood. He doesn't know that I've dealt with it from his own family, from his friends, from neighbours, because his world is very different.

A very common example in my multicultural world stems around food, and which food is acceptable in the workplace. [a whole bunch of examples edited out because I can't write about this with politeness and clarity].

Another, is for children happily bringing home food in their lunches. How is that received by classmates and teachers? Again, I've seen different schools' reactions. My father hasn't, because in our culture, his home food is just food.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.
+1. 
But I will cop to feeling like fish should not ever be reheated in the work microwave.  No matter what. 
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MayDay

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2017, 12:35:38 PM »
Me too, but if everyone around us always ate fish for every meal, we probably wouldn't feel that way. 
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ysette9

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2017, 01:09:42 PM »
Quote
This means that when I do "poor people" things like not own a car, cut my own hair, walk around the house and garden in bare feet, buy second-hand clothes and furniture, hang-dry my laundry...(the list goes on!) I am regarded as charmingly eccentric and slightly bohemian rather than scummy. My sofa cost half what the cheapest DFS one would have cost but people think I must have paid a bomb for it because I must be a rich white girl.

I think this is such a great observation. I have only experienced life in the body of a white woman, but I have found myself vaguely aware of and grateful for the fact that society generally treats me as respectable and non-threatening unless I do something to indicate otherwise. I don't worry about going to a car dealership wearing jeans and a t-shirt and having them doubt my financial well-being. I don't think twice about hanging around a public park with little kids or approaching someone else's little kid and have people suspect I am a creeper.

I had an interesting experience a few months back where I was sitting in our neighborhood little park after dark wearing a big hoodie. I was playing Pokemon Go outside where it was cold so I was dressed for warmth, which upon later reflection made me look like a hoodlum. Some cops were checking out something outside the park (maybe a car had been broken into?) with their flashlights but I was totally absorbed with my game, so I was only vaguely aware of some lights. I got up to walk home and head a voice shout behind me "stop, come back here!", with a light trained in my direction. As a small woman alone at night my instinct was to run home, not stop. I said something like "no, thank you" and walked very quickly the block back to my house. It was only safely inside when I saw the cop car slowly cruise my street that I realized that had just happened. How easy would it have been for me to be chased down, or god forbid, shot in the back had I been playing Pokemon Go in a different neighborhood?
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Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2017, 08:13:39 PM »
This discussion is interesting. It's something DW and I have talked about many times in the past while daydreaming of where we might live post ER.

My wife and daughter are Asian and I'm white. For the past 20+ years and all of our daughter's childhood we lived in Hawaii where white people are a minority. Our daughter's elementary school class was about 50/50 white/non white kids. In 2016 we lived for a semester in a neighborhood where I was one of only a small handful of whites.

Before we married, my wife lived for about a decade on the U.S. Mainland, first in Boston and then in Texas, where she says she experienced occasional nasty comments but generally people were, at least superficially, nice to her. She refers to people in TX as being "southern nice."

Right now, post FIRE, we're slow traveling around Asia, where I am again in the minority. Some day, we'll probably go back to the US, but we haven't yet decided where we'll live. I liked Hawaii and really don't mind being outnumbered by non-whites. Mostly people are nice to me even though I'm white. Interestingly, my wife expressed last night when we talked about it, that at some point it might be good for our daughter to be exposed to a little more "diversity" by living in a majority white small town somewhere in the U.S. DW said she thought that experience had been good for her as a young adult and might be a good learning experience for our daughter as well. I'm still a little skeptical. Somehow, I'd rather be the one getting discriminated against rather than my little girl...

Abe

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2017, 08:28:36 PM »
That's an interesting idea. I am Asian and grew up in a small town, while my wife grew up in the San Francisco area. I have zero interest in returning to my "home" town. That became negative interest after my son was born. I realized that there's nothing anyone back home could say that would let me think raising him in a discriminatory environment was a good idea. Yeah, it made me grow up faster than my peers, but the toxic thinking that permeates my hometown isn't worth a damn second of anyone's time. Maybe that's why almost everyone who was successful in that town left as soon as possible, regardless of skin color. Maybe, also, other small towns are more welcoming...

Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2017, 08:42:59 PM »
I agree with you, Abe. There's no way I would agree to living in a town where we didn't feel comfortable that our daughter and we were accepted.

Maybe we could move to @Tom Bri's town. Sounds like it may be nice there. Where do you live Tom?

jooniflorisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2017, 08:50:19 PM »
^ Come to my town!!!! It is the bestest, most inclusive small town! And pretty! And lovely! And diverse!

More inclusive if you're lesbian... And we lost our rockin' home here, so are actually moving on to a different small town... But if you have $500k for a house, come here!

Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2017, 09:27:17 PM »
Where Juniflorisploo?

We're not planning on ever buying a house again, just renting. What are rents like?

jooniflorisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2017, 09:37:41 PM »
Bazillions of dollars! lol. ($1700 and up for a decently nice two-bedroom. I scored a skookum work-exchange deal for these years of paradise, but it ended.) Hence my wandering off...

shelivesthedream

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #60 on: April 18, 2017, 02:40:53 AM »
Quote
This means that when I do "poor people" things like not own a car, cut my own hair, walk around the house and garden in bare feet, buy second-hand clothes and furniture, hang-dry my laundry...(the list goes on!) I am regarded as charmingly eccentric and slightly bohemian rather than scummy. My sofa cost half what the cheapest DFS one would have cost but people think I must have paid a bomb for it because I must be a rich white girl.

I think this is such a great observation. I have only experienced life in the body of a white woman, but I have found myself vaguely aware of and grateful for the fact that society generally treats me as respectable and non-threatening unless I do something to indicate otherwise. I don't worry about going to a car dealership wearing jeans and a t-shirt and having them doubt my financial well-being. I don't think twice about hanging around a public park with little kids or approaching someone else's little kid and have people suspect I am a creeper.

I had an interesting experience a few months back where I was sitting in our neighborhood little park after dark wearing a big hoodie. I was playing Pokemon Go outside where it was cold so I was dressed for warmth, which upon later reflection made me look like a hoodlum. Some cops were checking out something outside the park (maybe a car had been broken into?) with their flashlights but I was totally absorbed with my game, so I was only vaguely aware of some lights. I got up to walk home and head a voice shout behind me "stop, come back here!", with a light trained in my direction. As a small woman alone at night my instinct was to run home, not stop. I said something like "no, thank you" and walked very quickly the block back to my house. It was only safely inside when I saw the cop car slowly cruise my street that I realized that had just happened. How easy would it have been for me to be chased down, or god forbid, shot in the back had I been playing Pokemon Go in a different neighborhood?

Exactly! If I'm sat alone on a park bench in the middle of the day watching the world go by, I'm just there. If a black boy in a tracksuit is watching the world go by, he's an unemployed loser who's probably meeting his drug dealer. It's my accent too - people hear me speak and say "Wow, you must be really clever." Honestly, I would say that I probably am above average, but that has nothing to do with my accent and I have met some real dopes who speak just like me.

ElleFiji

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2017, 11:40:54 AM »
Something I didn't mention in my first post, because it is hard to write out politely, is that my white parent does not think that I was exposed to racism or dealt with racism, exoticism or othering at any of many points in my life, including childhood. He doesn't know that I've dealt with it from his own family, from his friends, from neighbours, because his world is very different.

A very common example in my multicultural world stems around food, and which food is acceptable in the workplace. [a whole bunch of examples edited out because I can't write about this with politeness and clarity].

Another, is for children happily bringing home food in their lunches. How is that received by classmates and teachers? Again, I've seen different schools' reactions. My father hasn't, because in our culture, his home food is just food.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.
+1. 
But I will cop to feeling like fish should not ever be reheated in the work microwave.  No matter what.
My examples included cases where ALL fragrant foods were excluded vs. cases where 'white people' fragrant foods were accepted, but not anyone elses.

Mayday, I'm sorry, but I can't be the one to teach you :). I included a few stories because I do think that this is a very real issue and that parents don't always know what their children's experience are - sometimes I don't even know I've been discriminated against until months or years later, when I finally comprehend someone meant to insult me, or accidentally infringed on my rights. But entering into these discussions online opens me up to people discrediting my experience, or arguing, or my accidentally hurting someone's feelings. None of these are things I have energy for right now. But I'm really happy that you like learning, and I hope you find some great sources.

I referenced a few pieces of literature that help me process my experience in my first post. I'm posting links to people and theories you might find interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homi_K._Bhabha
http://www.nourbese.com/poetry/she-tries-her-tongue/ (look for the poem Discourse on Language online)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcolonial_literature
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MudDuck

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #62 on: April 18, 2017, 11:59:26 AM »
I may be outing myself as a bigot according to some of the above standards, but a large motivation for living in the particular area I do is the racial and cultural diversity of the school district. Yeah- we look at crime stats and standardized tests and such, but we're in the suburbs, so they don't vary wildly. There's a twin suburb right next door with somewhat lower taxes and similar home prices- but it's 90-something% white and I do not want my child to grow up in that kind of neighborhood. Obviously he chooses his own friends, but I think it's valuable to grow up alongside children who look, sound, worship, and eat differently than we do in our family.

So, yeah. I do understand wanting to choose a home based on the other people living there. Sometimes that does include skin color.

okits

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2017, 01:35:09 PM »
Something I didn't mention in my first post, because it is hard to write out politely, is that my white parent does not think that I was exposed to racism or dealt with racism, exoticism or othering at any of many points in my life, including childhood. He doesn't know that I've dealt with it from his own family, from his friends, from neighbours, because his world is very different.

A very common example in my multicultural world stems around food, and which food is acceptable in the workplace. [a whole bunch of examples edited out because I can't write about this with politeness and clarity].

Another, is for children happily bringing home food in their lunches. How is that received by classmates and teachers? Again, I've seen different schools' reactions. My father hasn't, because in our culture, his home food is just food.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.

A non-personal example that comes to mind is in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  As a girl the main character brings home food to school for lunch.  The other kids ask (not in a friendly, curious way) what it is (moussaka) then laugh at her for eating "moose caca".  When the main character is an adult in college she brings a sandwich for lunch and is happy that she now fits in.

In the workplace this might look like complaints that someone has smelled up the whole office by bringing X for lunch.  Not commonly made against anyone bringing a burger and fries back to the office, because fries may be fragrant but are majority-culture food.
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Goldielocks

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #64 on: April 19, 2017, 05:38:47 PM »
A weird thing I've witnessed two recent experiences of:

If a person has a specific heritage reflected in their last name or other "heritage giveaways", and we steward our finances, we're told it's because we're x culture. It makes no sense, because gauging by the MMM forum alone, heaps of different people from all sorts of backgrounds are stewarding their finances. But some people have their heritage pointed to -in a derisive way- as the reason.



Are you referring to people with Scottish last names?

Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2017, 06:10:25 PM »
In Hawaiian pidgin English the word pake (pronounced pah-kay) means Chinese but is also a synonym for frugal, cheap, tight, miserly...

Growing up in a blue collar, mostly Catholic neighborhood, I remember hearing the word Jew used both as a noun and a verb, i.e. "to jew somebody down," on the price of something he was selling...