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 Personal Connections? 
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I'm just curious....but does anyone have any personal experiences involving their own race, or that of a family member?

When I was little, I didn't understand what "foster parent" meant, and my aunt and uncle were foster parents. I just thought it was really fun that at any given moment, I would have a new cousin...though it was always hard when they had to leave again. However, my cousin Joe was adopted before I was born. Joe is black. It may sound crazy, but when I was little, I didn't even realize Joe wasn't white....I thought he was the same as everyone else in the family....

Joe's biological mother was addicted to drugs, and when Joe was born he had a small hole in his heart along with many other medical problems.

Again, I never realized Joe was a different race, until he went on a church retreat, and was beaten so severely he was put in the ICU for about a week. Two boys on his trip beat him because he was black, and his family was white. The beating caused the hole in his heart to expand, and Joe almost died.

Luckily, Joe lived and he is now married and just had a baby the day before Easter!

I realized after Joe's accident a lot more about race then I had ever known. It was really hard for me to understand WHY those boys hated Joe so much, and to this day I still don't really understand. I do however, feel much more passionately about race, and acceptance now. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had a personal experience, and how it made them feel.

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Laura Serio


Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:37 pm
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I am somtimes surprised at how much we don't know someone. I love my great aunt and uncle. when I was little, they always seemed to be there for me, at the same time they drove me crazy. They were seriously overprotective, I could never do anything normal. They were totally shocked when they found out that my mother let me go camping, martial art, and Scouting activities. When I married my first whife, there was no real problems. In fact I think they accecpted her because she had cancer, so she was aperfect match for me. When Tammy, my first wife died, they accecpted it as if it was to be expected, and we al moved on.
When I married a second time, to a Japanese-American, all hell literally broke loose. I never knew they were rascist. They refleted the attitudes and beliefs of their times. Gerldine, my second wife, was always that person. My aunt and uncle avoided us and always seemed to be uncomfortable around us. When Geraldine and I divorced, we are still the best of friends, my aunt and uncle expressed their true dissatisfaction in my chosing a mate. I really wanted my marriage to Jay-Jay (Geraldine) to work, and I have always felt that part of the problems we had stemmed from their attitudes and feelings about our union.
My biggest regret is that two people that I love, can be so different from me. Jayfeels the same way about her family. Her mother thought I was great until we actually got married, then the question of 'our kind' entered the dialog with her Japanses family. Which we thought was stupid, because Jay is Japanses-American. Was she only to marry another Japanses-American, and I can only marry someone with a disbility?

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Robert W. Triplett


Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:07 pm
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I have a similar story to that, Tripp. My father's family is very racist and my father's sister, Holly, married a black man. They had two kids together and the kids were not treated like the rest of us by our grandparents and our aunts and uncles. My aunt Holly rarely brought the rest of her family to events. They got divorced and now she is with a white man and it's like nothing ever happened. It's pretty sick how family can be so hateful towards each other over race.

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Keara Seiler


Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:03 pm
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My best friend was Black from the time we were in preschool to fifth grade. My Dad never let her come spend the night with me and always told me I needed to pick better friends.

Now, I have a best friend who is White and dates a Black guy. My Dad met them once and refused to ever meet them again. For a while, he refused to come to Boone to see me because he said I was mixed into the wrong crowd.

I haven't let it falter my opinion or ground. I am who I am. I love my friends and I will not let his naive opinions affect me. However, I do not try to convince him anymore. I tried for years to make him understand that he was being ignorant, but people will believe what they want and sometimes there is no use in keeping on about it.

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Erica Shelton


Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:45 pm
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My fiancee's brother had admitted he was gay about 4 years ago, and ever since then his religiously conservative parents, while still outwardly nice to him, have always maintained--and in fact told him on several occasions--that if he doesn't stop "being gay", he will be going to hell.
Now, I am not a parent (and hopefully will stay that way for awhile), but I really can't ever envision a time where I would tell my own child that he or she was going to hell, for anything. Although I didn't know him before he had "come out of the closet", I can say that aside from his being in an open relationship with a man, he probably wasn't different from how he is now, which consequently is sometimes a total jerk.
It is situations like these that contemporary Christianity astounds me. It claims to focus on the family, and yet causes parents to tell their children they are going to hell. It claims that all people are children of God, but those that are different from them are, again, going to Hell. Sometimes I think that if all the non-Christians are going to Hell, then I think I'd like to go there too. I bet it would be a huge party, and, according to the Christians themselves, a lot more crowded.

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Stephan Ostrander


Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:46 am
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I understand exactly what you are saying Stephen. My best friend came out our senior year of high school. Both of his parents are saying that he is "just going through a phase." They just do not want to even open the lines of communication because they are in total denial.

We were both raised in the same church and when he comes back from UNI and we sit together it is like everyone in the place is just watching to see if he and I will get together; that he will "stop being gay."

I do not want to go off on an organized religion rant, but I think that each person has to model what they know is right (even if it is uncomfortable). My family does not get that. They think that there is no repenting from homosexuality and that it is a straight ticket to hell; serial killers still have the opportunity to go however. But we have to remember that we are all human, make mistakes and are not perfect. We need to try and educate and learn from one another to make this world the best we can....


Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:57 pm
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Sometimes I just cant believe the things people say to people who are gay. I feel sometimes it ostrizies (sp) them even more! which is not what you want...

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Melanie Klaus


Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:18 pm
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