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 Post subject: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Hello newbies, and old folks. Yes, it's been a while since I last posted here. No, I am not a troll. My husband would disagree on an average day, but I'm really not. I am the real Sam Harris. I'm not here to make trouble (though my question probably will...still it is important to me). I probably won't post here a great deal, religion in general is not something that I choose to discuss with anyone at this point. It's just that the "issue" (it should be a non-issue) that I have is one best discussed here. The group of people was broad enough when I left, to include members and non. Maybe you can provide insight on something that I keep being told is dead within the church, but I keep seeing otherwise.

I still have LDS friends. The few people who accept that I left the church. There are a few who may be in denial, but we get along just fine.

I have a friend who I am very concerned about. I'm not bringing this subject up to paint all Mormons with a broad brush, because the ones I know are not like this. But my friend lives on the other side of the country, and unless she is Angela Davis (wasn't that my old nickname on here? BC?), she's not militant when it comes to race. I sure as hell am not, I like my multi-ethnic fam. Well, except for my in-laws. My cow of a MIL can bite me.

It's just that I watch her get used as a token friend by church members time and time again, and it burns me up. "You know I love you, insert inane platitude about your struggle that I can't relate to, also, do you know Jesus? You don't seem to, because you talk about your issues with race. It's an illusion." Every single time she points out an injustice of ANY kind, she gets hammered by these folks, who start talking about Jesus, and condemning her for pointing out that racism still exists, and she is a victim of it. They talk down to her for her feelings and say that she is going against what Christ taught. She advocates equality, and because she is black, she's told she's making a mountain out of a molehill (I have watched contemporaries of ours who are not do the same thing and get a "hear hear").

But these are people who would not let their sons marry her. These are people who were young during the priesthood ban and "Cain" teachings. These are people who have her as their ONLY black friend.

Every African American Mormon female friend I have is single. They walked the same path as me, we went to the temple, all of them went on missions (one is on her mission now, after being jilted right before the altar), we're talented, they have degrees...mine is still in progress.

Bottom line, we're good people. But they sit with the old ladies who no one would marry, and dream of the men Heavenly Father has waiting for them in the CK. Well, not me. I chose an imperfect existence with my very own Peter Griffin. I just feel anger for my friends. We've been paired up with every African man that passes by. Culturally, we're closer to the white men we sit next to in Sacrament than we are our brothers from Ghana. I have more in common with my husband (though his parents think I'm from Compton, lmao) than I did with the cute guy from Ghana who scared the crap out of me by getting my address from the Ward directory and showing up on my doorstep randomly. Perhaps had he introduced himself one Sunday first, I'd be his wife now. Meh...

I feel for my sisters. I feel for my closest sister who gets shut down every time she points out injustice in the form of prejudice or cultural ignorance. Shut down by Mormons who admit they have not been far from their own kind in their life. She's told that the problem lies with her, that SHE is the racist. A woman who has never married, yet adopted a mixed child who was abandoned at a hospital, while she worked for Family Services. I remember when she called me about him, seven years ago.

I just don't understand why someone would hold out, and accept a lifetime of loneliness in a place that emphasizes family, because someone is too afraid to see just how alike we all really are. Not to mention the assumptions. Yes, my hair is "velcro-y". No, you can't touch it. You'll cut your fingers. Yet, when the subject of prejudice is brought up, we're told we're not like Jesus. I don't get it. I'll be honest. I left because I wanted a family. Religion is just a vehicle to me (I'm walking right now), and I didn't have the strength to "wait it out", so to speak.

For those in the church...I'm not even going to suggest that YOU INDIVIDUALLY are racist. Hell, being Mormon doesn't even have to be a pre-requisite for that....not these days (tea, anyone?). But what would you say to my friend, when she's struggling? Those who are not LDS, be they never LDS or people who have left, what would you say to her?

Because I'm tired of people treating my friend like her name is Token, and I'm feeling a bit defensive. This person is the reason why I stayed LDS as long as I did, she reached out and taught me a few things about what it was like to be "us" within the body of Mormon culture. She's getting more and more frustrated, and she will never leave the church. Why should she, if she doesn't want to? But all these folks who claim to love her...but they can't even try to think about what it might be like to be her?

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 4:44 pm 
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"You know I love you, insert inane platitude about your struggle that I can't relate to, also, do you know Jesus? You don't seem to, because you talk about your issues with race. It's an illusion." Every single time she points out an injustice of ANY kind, she gets hammered by these folks, who start talking about Jesus, and condemning her for pointing out that racism still exists, and she is a victim of it. They talk down to her for her feelings and say that she is going against what Christ taught.
I have Native ancestry, and tried to pass for white for many years. I know exactly what you mean. There is a double standard, and no matter how hard you try, you can never get "white" enough to please them. They deny that race has anything to do with it, yet it is so ingrained into the core of their being, that they are blind to it. Maybe they really think a miracle will happen. II Nephi 19:25 and 30

I have no answers.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Don't you know that you should stop your bitching and praise God--Hallelujia!!!--that He brought your ancestors to "the promised land"?

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:41 pm 
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I suspect this is not so much a Mormon thing as a white people thing: at least a certain kind of white people. But that it should happen in a religious setting - and a religion she believes in - will probably make it just that little bit more unbearable to your friend, I do appreciate that too.

I am sorry in a way to have to state this conclusion, since I am white (actually , the usual kind of pinky-grey) myself. But color brings no guilt in itself, so I suppose I don't have to pretend it does.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:54 pm 
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Just wana chime in to thank the responders. I'm on my nook right now, and won'tbe able to post at length until the am. Thanks for bothering with the question.

Chap, you shouldn't feel guilty. I don't feel guilty for not being the type of black person my family is used to. Funk them, I like my Game of Thrones (books first), "white people's music", crosstitching, etc.

Night night....Carton, the Uncle Tom mentioned in your link (omg), isn't Beecher-Stowe's Uncle Tom, is it? It's been a while, but I swear reading that book had me thinking "Uncle Tom" was misnomer. Will explain tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:38 pm 
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Sam, perhaps what you may better understand about Mormons is that all their power is held in a shared unanimity. Anything that shakes that faux oneness it tantamount to treason and good reason for shunning. And nobody knows shunning like Mormon know it. This fact should send up alarms and whistles in their complacency but it wont. They keep a lid on tight and even though they want to THINK that they are inclusive.......well......they are not....never will be, can't because they are at heart absolute hypocrisy. They know this and pretend it does not exist too.
So, actually, it is because she is black even though it is not really about race or even about her. It is all about them and what they must do to continue.*

If you would like to know more please get in touch with me.........oh, brother!

*I should explain better. Real saints, latter-day, if you can find one, or previous age saints are visited of the power of God by taking upon them the name of Christ with full purpose of heart. Well, we all know that driving a BMW and having your kids excel in school, go on missions and marry in the temple is way more important to LDS than getting visited of God's power and be raised up to a higher state of existence. So rather than be given a new heart from God that would seek the welfare of your neighbor before your own best interest, (yes, Zion, folks, you know that it is) they got to imagine they are good as they are in an imperceptible slide toward something somewhere out there in time........H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E

Sorry to turn this thread into preaching but I am really talented that way and can turn any discussion in the world to a gospel sermon. So the tension is not racial it is actual.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Hey Sam Harris aka the real Sam Harris circa 2006-07. :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:31 pm 
First of all...Sammy!! It is so nice to see you posting here again!!!

*HUGS*

Let me think about your post, and come back a little later with an answer.

Look for a PM from me!

Liz


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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Sam Harris wrote:
Those who are not LDS, be they never LDS or people who have left, what would you say to her?

I wouldn't say anything. I would just listen and accept her words as 100% valid.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Quote:
Perhaps had he introduced himself one Sunday, I'd be his first wife now. Meh...


FIFY

Sorry. I see humor in everything.

:redface:

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Hey Sami. Glad to have you back where you belong. That's a cute picture with Stevie.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:15 am 
Sammi wrote:
I feel for my sisters. I feel for my closest sister who gets shut down every time she points out injustice in the form of prejudice or cultural ignorance. Shut down by Mormons who admit they have not been far from their own kind in their life. She's told that the problem lies with her, that SHE is the racist. A woman who has never married, yet adopted a mixed child who was abandoned at a hospital, while she worked for Family Services. I remember when she called me about him, seven years ago.


Wow. This sister did a wonderful thing, adopting that child. Is she still active in the Church?

In answer to your question, I think it is sometimes difficult to find worthy young men when you are looking exclusively in a ward or stake, particularly, a ward or stake in the mission field, where the amount of LDS young men may be scarce.

My daughters dated outside the Church, and converted their own. :lol:

My oldest daughter is dating a young man who happens to be black. He is wonderful, and treats her so well. We love him like another son. He is awesome with my 8 year old autistic son as well.

I don't know if I have helped you at all with your friend. I think that she is not being treated well, but I am not sure what can be done about it. This is frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:15 pm 
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MCB wrote:
Quote:
"You know I love you, insert inane platitude about your struggle that I can't relate to, also, do you know Jesus? You don't seem to, because you talk about your issues with race. It's an illusion." Every single time she points out an injustice of ANY kind, she gets hammered by these folks, who start talking about Jesus, and condemning her for pointing out that racism still exists, and she is a victim of it. They talk down to her for her feelings and say that she is going against what Christ taught.
I have Native ancestry, and tried to pass for white for many years. I know exactly what you mean. There is a double standard, and no matter how hard you try, you can never get "white" enough to please them. They deny that race has anything to do with it, yet it is so ingrained into the core of their being, that they are blind to it. Maybe they really think a miracle will happen. II Nephi 19:25 and 30

I have no answers.


I spent a lot of time trying to do that. And IMO, singles wards are the worst. You're banded together with people similar in age to you, to find someone with compatible interests in order that you might achieve that eternal union. Well, what happens when most of those people assume by just looking at you that you come from the wrong side of the tracks? And where the hell is that, in the city where I was raised? There are nothing but rich people there, they tore down the projects a long time ago, but I never lived there.

And what of it if I did?

Sundays used to be hell, I would look at my sisters with utterly fluorescent personalities, and I thought there was something wrong with me spiritually, because I was not like them. It took me many years to realize that it was a culture clash.

At the time, there were three black females in my singles ward. None of us are active. I think I'm the only one who had my name removed from church records.

It's funny, because according to my family, I'm "too white".

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Carton wrote:
Don't you know that you should stop your bitching and praise God--Hallelujia!!!--that He brought your ancestors to "the promised land"?


Carton, you're funny. I like your humor.

With regards to the thread and the blog it references, I'm almost speechless. But I'm familiar with DCP, so...I guess it's probably better I just don't say much. This is the type of patronizing BS that gets thrown at us by folks who love our velcro hair, and they just can't understand why we get fed up after a while.

For the record, I'm a mutt. Yeah, some of my fam came over on the boat, but some of my fam were also Robert E. Lee's fam. Apparently his mom was a Harris, and her father owned slaves all up and down VA. Some of my fam were here before everyone else, and they weren't Nephites or Lamanites, either.

Off topic, I love the bathroom in the pic of the person doing what he should be in response to DCP. :rolleyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Ok, instead of flooding the thread with play-by-play replies to everyone, I shall regurgitate now.

Nightlion, I get what you are saying. And on the surface, it does appear that Mormonism is all-inclusive. I remember a manual that had a little speech on the back of it saying something to the effect of all the religions of the earth being in existence by God's ordained purpose. Back in my early days of feeling like I was something icky in comparison to my TBM counterparts, this comforted me.

You know, the first thing that I told the Elders who knocked on my door was that I had a problem with racism. At that time, I was not talking about white people. Being a light-skinned black person sucks. Peola is a term that has been tacked to me all my life, simply because I wanted more out of life than what my family presented me with. I didn't want to help perpetuate the stereotypes (and we are the reason why they're there, I will admit), so that meant I was uppity. Churches were the worst, because firstly, if you weren't a member of the club that was a knock against you (try being an invalid, like I am now...you'd think I run a brothel...sh**, at least we'd have money), and if you were the only light-skinned person in a room full of brown people, well you were shot.

The Elders told me that such behavior didn't exist, and in a way they were right, because out of my singles ward of 500, at any given time, there were no more than 5 black people. Their words didn't prepare me for the dreams that I lost.

Still, what you speak of is present in Evangelical Christianity as a whole now. I've been sick for years, and between not being able to make it to church physically (we have an online stream), and being liberal, the smiling ostracism is lovely.


Bond...James Bond. It's good to see you are still around. :wink: How are ya, darlin?

Lizzie, it's good to be back! I'm not sure how much I will have to contribute, but hey, it's nice to talk to folks. I'm seeing now that I've missed my old friends on here.

Shades my friend, I accept my sister's words as 100% valid, because she was the one who pulled me aside as I began drowning in my cognative dissonance. I had a friend who tried to warn me about my innocence in the beginning, but when you go from being a complete outcast to having folks actually be nice to you (and tell you that God sees value in you, no less), you devour that without asking questions. When I started questioning the cultural aspect, that's when the issues started. Since I'm not a Bible literalist, it didn't bother me that I was not a Book of Mormon literalist either. I was prepared to remain that, so long as I could be accepted as a person. Well, we know what happened there.

It's just that when my sister points something out, and she gets crudded on by a TBM my palms start itching, because I want to melt my keyboard with the book I would write asking this person if they were born after 1978 (the answer is no in just about all cases), and if they are seriously that blind, not to question the whole skin-color issue in the Book of Mormon, the lack of African American members, despite claims of being so diverse and inclusive (the only AA men that I met were Darius Gray, and one dude old enough to be my dad who wanted to breed me). I guess this issue is the one issue that has still stuck with me.

And it's not just Mormons. My in-laws assume that I'm the devil just because wife #1 is black. Hersheys and Godiva are not the same thing. You buy me at the mall, you buy her at Rite Aid. Why they can't see that, I don't know. Who doesn't like chocolate? Their son loves it. :lol:

It just bugs me to see all these people who claim to be her friend, who claim to love her, and yet they shut her down on this issue every single time. She is their token black friend, the person they bring up every time their racism is pointed out. That person they really know nothing about, who they would shun if they did. And I just don't like seeing her treated the way she is.

BC, I meant to say "his wife first" as in his wife instead. Some of my black female friends were accused of rejecting African men simply because they were; that we were too ignorant to learn about their culture. And while our cultures are vastly different, I have and have had family from "the Motherland", so such a thing doesn't bother me. I couldn't see myself eating Fufu, but I hate soul food...so it's even.

Hey Mok! If there is one good reason to be on here more, it's to talk to you. Steven is a hellion and a handful. I can ship him to you any time you like.

Liz, your last post, I want to reply to individually.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:06 pm 
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liz3564 wrote:
Sammi wrote:
I feel for my sisters. I feel for my closest sister who gets shut down every time she points out injustice in the form of prejudice or cultural ignorance. Shut down by Mormons who admit they have not been far from their own kind in their life. She's told that the problem lies with her, that SHE is the racist. A woman who has never married, yet adopted a mixed child who was abandoned at a hospital, while she worked for Family Services. I remember when she called me about him, seven years ago.


Wow. This sister did a wonderful thing, adopting that child. Is she still active in the Church?

In answer to your question, I think it is sometimes difficult to find worthy young men when you are looking exclusively in a ward or stake, particularly, a ward or stake in the mission field, where the amount of LDS young men may be scarce.

My daughters dated outside the Church, and converted their own. :lol:

My oldest daughter is dating a young man who happens to be black. He is wonderful, and treats her so well. We love him like another son. He is awesome with my 8 year old autistic son as well.

I don't know if I have helped you at all with your friend. I think that she is not being treated well, but I am not sure what can be done about it. This is frustrating.


Liz, you have always struck me as an exception to the rule. And perhaps it's being in close proximity to me, in a geographical sense. When you are of a faith that is not the majority where you live, you interact with people differently. The branch I was a member of 9 years ago, a more humble group of people you never met. The BP used to bring me to his house, he and his wife would feed me, and I would just vent about what was going on in my life at that time, as I was struggling a great deal with my Dad. That was right before he died. the BP literally walked up to my Dad one day, told him he was the head of his family, and to act like it for our sakes. He did so gently, and with such love in his eyes, but he did it.

I have a friend from Ghana who converted her husband. When I really started to have my crisis of faith, I didn't think that this was possible to do. How could I bring someone into something that I struggled with believing myself? Goodness knows, Steve is not a religious person. He believes in God, but the only time I got him to church was Mother's Day, 2 years ago. And at this point, with the judgment coming from Christians over the fact that I'm not a regular church attendee (goodness, enough with the roll call), I'm really starting to re-evaluate whether or not I want to keep associating myself with that. I'm sick. I'm supposed to be on the sick-and-shut-in-list, I have a legit claim. I should not be having to defend my morality because my brain exploded.

I think that at the time I initially left the church, I was determined that I would set up a faith of my own that would remedy the problems I saw in the LDS church. But I see more and more every day that modern day American Evangelical Churches are not that different from the aspects of the Mormon church that people take issue with...if you stop to look at it.

At the end of the day, all I want is peace in my home, and to honor the connection I feel to the world around me. That's it. If I have to be a clone of the people around me to do that, I don't want to.

Love ya, Liz!

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Oh yeah, Liz she is active. That will never change, and to me she would not be who she is otherwise. She sings in Gladys' choir. I've seen them perform three times now. Love it!

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:50 pm 
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BC, I meant to say "his wife first" as in his wife instead. Some of my black female friends were accused of rejecting African men simply because they were; that we were too ignorant to learn about their culture. And while our cultures are vastly different, I have and have had family from "the Motherland", so such a thing doesn't bother me. I couldn't see myself eating Fufu, but I hate soul food...so it's even.


I know. What you meant the first time was clear but the juxtaposition was funny.

Do you think then that it's valid to see cultural differences as possible stumbling blocks to marriage?

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:30 pm 
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bcspace wrote:

Do you think then that it's valid to see cultural differences as possible stumbling blocks to marriage?


Yes - good play bcspace! Try to get a black person to say that, then you can post forever about the CoJCoLDS not being racist because it counsels people not to marry outside their cultural and racial background.

Why that would be almost as good as Schryver's wonderful story about the black pianist in New Orleans who told him that slavery had led to good in the end, plus saying Schryver played the piano absolutely divinely:

viewtopic.php?p=591308#p591308

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:08 pm 
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bcspace wrote:
Quote:
BC, I meant to say "his wife first" as in his wife instead. Some of my black female friends were accused of rejecting African men simply because they were; that we were too ignorant to learn about their culture. And while our cultures are vastly different, I have and have had family from "the Motherland", so such a thing doesn't bother me. I couldn't see myself eating Fufu, but I hate soul food...so it's even.


I know. What you meant the first time was clear but the juxtaposition was funny.

Do you think then that it's valid to see cultural differences as possible stumbling blocks to marriage?


You know, now that I am married, I think that there are so many things that people let be stumbling blocks to marriage. This whole business about irreconcilable differences...um, they were probably there before you said "I do", so why did you say it?

The African gentleman who pursued me, I don't really think that I would have had a problem being part of his family, past the whole politeness thing with eating. I recently learned my son is Autistic, and I suspect Aspergers for me. I have had food issues all my life, and when in the presence of others, especially other cultures, I always struggle with the issue of food, because isn't feeding someone well a sign of hospitality?

I married a WASP male. While he is more enmeshed in "black culture" (media-wise) than I am, his family still sees me as a bit of an oddity. But I don't let that bother me. We aren't the first interracial/inter-cultural couple in my family, so I guess I'm used to it.

I think it would be kind of fun to marry someone from a completely different world than yours, so to speak. I would welcome the adaptation. With the exception of the food. If they let me sample on my own, that's fine. But that has never been my experience, LOL.

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 Post subject: Re: Token...
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 4:20 pm 
God
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:35 pm
Posts: 2158
Chap wrote:
bcspace wrote:

Do you think then that it's valid to see cultural differences as possible stumbling blocks to marriage?


Yes - good play bcspace! Try to get a black person to say that, then you can post forever about the CoJCoLDS not being racist because it counsels people not to marry outside their cultural and racial background.

Why that would be almost as good as Schryver's wonderful story about the black pianist in New Orleans who told him that slavery had led to good in the end, plus saying Schryver played the piano absolutely divinely:

viewtopic.php?p=591308#p591308



LOL, ha, did he get me? :lol:

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