15 thoughts on “Being “The White Girl”.

    1. Wow. Thanks, Jeanne. I’m grateful when anybody reads me. I spend so little time reading anybody else. Perhaps it’s because of a sense of urgency, due to time of life. Being older than many, I might be thinking that energy should be directed toward giving back instead of sharing and developing community. Sometimes it feels too late to do the latter! Thanks, again!

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    1. oh, MAN – I am so behind, on you. Not literally. Of course. Never want to just graze your stuff, and keep waiting for a good chunk of time which, of course, never comessss………..grrr!! message me a nice long one? not literally, of course??

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  1. From the perspective of the one asked that type of question: There are about four questions everyone asks me, which telegraph hostility and ignorance. Those questions tell me that this person has a limited range of conversational skills and is not cultured enough to exercise some restraint. I spent the first 15 minutes at my last seminar for city hall talking about my home country. At the end, a woman comes up to me and asks, “So, may I ask you a question? Where are you from?” Obviously, she already knew the answer but thought it was a good idea to be the 3.5 thousandth person to ask me that same question. Then she ignored the fact that I was working I an advisory role for city hall, something that no expatriate has ever been asked to do. As a woman shouldn’t that be the purpose of approaching me? Keep up the good work? No. she wanted to know all about reggae dancing. Because people from my country don’t have jobs. They dance all day. Fix it, Jesus.

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  2. Well, I hope that you have become convinced that hostility is never my motive. As for being cultured enough to avoid exercising restraint, that is likely my problem in the minds of many. I recall doing a paper on David Hume, when I literally found him in a search for comparative study while fulfilling a graduate requirement to write about Farinelli. It was only then wherein I discovered that there were cultures which trained their young to exercise restraint. Having never been trained to exercise any apart from the usual bodily behaviors which all children are trained to avoid in public I have always been the bell ringer, the one who speaks up against moral offense and outrage (not specific religious belief, mind you, but actions which either openly hurt or clearly marginalize) regardless of the feelings of those in proximity. Perhaps that is considered by many to be evidence of absence of restraint but, I assure you, around here I consider it a moral necessity and will not be ceasing anytime soon.

    As for my encounter with the two customers and the cashier, I will have to leave the incident to Providence. Unless I search out the two men, whose names I do not have, I don’t see how I can rectify what I did which may have hurt them. As for the cashier, I was convinced by his actions that he had already considered me either hopelessly uneducable or had chosen to forgive me because he was just that good person. When he mistakenly charged me for the box of what appeared to be candy into which I stored my cards, I forgave him with absolutely no judgment or rancor expressed; rather, I considered the whole error hugely entertaining, as it had happened twice before elsewhere ( race, nationality, and gender of the “offenders” a random mix), and left with no malice in my heart. Does this make me self righteous? Would another alleged white person have judged him with suspicion? My own father’s people regularly endure being judged categorically for their cultural history of mob brutality, and I among them. I, too, endure unacceptable treatment by humans just because I do not resemble them or share their ethnic history. It’s the story of life on this planet, and I don’t expect it to end any time soon. Have you seen the CNN doc series on the Kennedys? I would highly recommend it.

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    1. Thanks for the docuseries recommendation. I will look into it. Always on the lookout for more Kennedy stuff. Back to the topic at hand: It’s hard to understand how these things work unless you have had to endure the indignity of gratuitous staring and suspicious questioning. It’s up to us in the minority to reserve ourselves and be better people. You will never hear about those of us that do. It’s an unseen courtesy; a tax we pay for being allowed to live amongst a majority. We don’t get awards for dignity and courage. But our hardships and scar tissue from these are the glue that holds civilisation in place.

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      1. I hesitate even Liking your comments, because their subject matter is so emotionally difficult. Yes; only in recent years, maybe the last two or three, have I noticed baleful stares from certain ones just because I’ve entered the room whereas, for much of my life, if I presented with a smile, people would perk up. I think military look at me, and are reminded of the “enemy” in Iraq/Afghan…..and, others just categorically decide I’m arabic or some other ethnicity they deem “rejectable.” I don’t resemble the other Italians around here, as my father relocated from Boston when he met my mum. So, believe it or not, I also endure in silence. Yes; holding civilisation together, indeed.

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