Donna Woodka woodka at pauline.sdsc.edu
Tue Mar 5 16:09:03 EST 1996

>Aaron Pawlyk (aaron at ccat.sas.upenn.edu) wrote:
>: Yeah, the over-PC attitude is nuts.  But you have to understand that there
>: are a lot of people with an ethnic background that feel very strong about
>: that background.  There are a lot of people in America that feel their
>: ethnic background is very important, and those people wish to be "labeled"
>: in a certain manner due to pride in their background.  I respect that.
>: I just respect others wish to be called whatever they want!  Whether it is
>: American, Black, Afro-American, Cuban, Latino, Japanese, Asian, Croatian, 
>: etc. etc.

Well, we *all* have a background, don't we? Celebrating your heritage is
wonderful, if you are lucky enough to know what it is. I don't think we have
to "label" anyone, however. Labeling stops thought. When I'm asked about my
race or color, I tend to ignore the question or politely put it aside if it
isn't relevant to the discussion at hand. I can't do anything about being 
perceived as female, that's pretty obvious, but I try not to let that be 
an issue either unless it's important and relevant to the discussion.

>	Always remember what the intention of the individual is... is it
>	to insult or do they genuinely NOT know what to call you?  I've
>	met many people who call me Chinese and I'm not simply because they
>	don't know what else to call me.  =)
>	Eileene Coscolluela	       |"All our science, measured against 
>       University of Illinois	       | reality, is primitive and childlike --
>     ecoscoll at students.uiuc.edu        | and yet it is the most precious thing
>http://www.students.uiuc.edu/~ecoscoll/| we have."  --Albert Einstein

Yes, I think the intent is indeed the important part. To react stongly
to someone who is merely ignorant *will* give them the impression that you 
are sensitive to race, and then they will probably just choose not to discuss
it with you at all, thus remaining ignorant. To explain or give a reasonable
pleasant answer opens them up to discussion, and gives you the chance to 
educate and remove them of some of their ignorance.

To react strongly to an insult is a "gotcha" to the person doing the 
insulting. They know they have gotten you angry, which was the point. If you
simply blow it off, or better yet just stare at them until *they* become 
uncomfortable, as if you're expecting an apology, you are more likely to
get them to back down.

Donna Woodka     | "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my
                 |  bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the
woodka at sdsc.edu  |  kind of car I drove... but the world may be different
                 |  because I was important in the life of a child."

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