Monday, April 16, 2007

A lesson in line crossing

Okay

Hispanic friend: When I see other fellow Hispanics coming to the beach with loud boom boxes I think "oh no, here come the Spanish people!"

Desi friend: When I drive through my neighborhood and see my desi neighbor sitting in the driveway making chapattis I think "oh man... those obnoxious desis!!"

Not Okay

White friend listening in on the conversation: "How funny! You know, when we see hispanics at the beach or see Pakistani/Indians in our neighborhoods, WE SAY THE SAME THING TOO!"

18 comments:

yasmine said...

As a tangent from the line-corssing point of your post (sorry!) I must comment on this part:

When I drive through my neighborhood and see my desi neighbor sitting in the driveway making chapattis

I had to laugh. =) Apparently, I'm not the only one whose relatives use the garage not for parking their cars, but, rather, for cooking chai and multiple-course desi meals? This supposedly keeps the kitchen spotless. But then, what's the point of having a kitchen?

yasmine said...

and that would be *line-CROSSING.

Bee Amma said...

i must say i have never heard/seen driveway chapatis!

Jane said...

I am amused, only because I just finished a post on the identical topic. We are of the same mind today but going in different directions.

On my end, I have to admit that when I see the white trash with garbage all over their yards in my neighborhood I think, "Damn! The value of our home just went down again."

Huda said...

Huh, my comment didn't show up... so here it is again:

I don't understand why it's okay for an ethnic group to make jokes about itself but not okay for another ethnic group to make the exact same jokes. I would argue that if it's not right coming from somebody else's mouth, it's not right coming out of your mouth either.

Can somebody explain, please?

Aisha said...

Yasmine, yes its so funny, actually quite a few friends of ours, their parents have seperate kitchens for ooking which s in the basement or outside in the patio. The point of the main kitchen is quiestionable :) But I think its better for resale of the home.

Bee Amma, its a sight to behold :)

Jane, lol.... its just interesting...

Huda... this could be a conversatron that could go and on... I guess I'll just say I purposesly used the word "okay" and "not okay" instead of "right" and "not right" .. its not right but there is a different zing when your own say it as compared to others. Why that is nuanced to me for several reasons, perhaps a coffee date after my exams is in order :)

Bee Amma said...

i agree with huda....i just didn't have the guts to say it myself (",)

In essence it should not make a difference, but in reality it stings more when someone else says it.

Aisha said...

Huda and Bee Amma, I apologize to you both and any one else who finds my post offensive. My intent was to share an interesting conversation and how the same words sound different coming from someone else. Its the essence of human nature in some ways that when someone else puts down your race it hurts more than when you put it down yourself. Everyone should be polite and should be kind to one another. My intent is not that some types of negativeity is okay and others are not. My intent was simply to reflect on how what I was saying ended up feeling not quite so okay once reinterpereted and sent back to me from a 3rd party. Bee Amma, you should never feel nervous to say what you feel. You are entitled to your views! Please dont think otherwise. Again apologies for what this post may imply to people... but in reality, it does sting more coming from an outsider to the culture... whehter that is acceptable is an entirely different question but for me, it is what it is.

Mia said...

Priceless! But it's always like that isn't it we can say the most horrible things about our kind but heaven forbid someone of another race dares to.

Tee said...

I understand what you were trying to convey, Aisha, but I also understand Huda.

This is a debate my husband and I often have. For example, there was a time when we (my husband and I), both enjoyed watching Carlos Mencia's comedy. We often wondered, if Mencia was Caucasian, no one would be laughing - is that fair? ... Having asked that question we wondered, so should we be laughing at Mencia?

It's hard to know where to draw the line between having a sense of humor about ones race/culture/nationality and being racist.

Something to consider though... You may not have seen this perspective - your white friend may just feel you are such a great friend that they are comfortable enough to say such things and did not mean any hurt feelings. Likewise if you said something about whites, they may not have been offended. They might have laughed.

A controversial topic for sure.

{HUGS}

Bee Amma said...

hey.....i wasn't offended at all! I think you brought up an interesting point, and what i said above was that REALLY it is one and the same thing....but when someone else says it about your race it stings alot more!

Aisha said...

Bee Amma, okay phew :0)

Tee, you know what you said reminded me of Chappelle on Oprah sometme back when he said how one of the reasons he went to Africa and left his hit show was b/c of how he used race in humor and saw some of its effects. He said he had used the N word quite liberally and one day as he was taping he looked u and saw a white cameraman laughing his eyes out an repeating the word. The camera man meant no harm and Chappelle clarified that, but hearing those offensive words on his lips made Chappelle suddenly realize what he was doing and made him feel awful. so its true.... its a complicted issue. As for the white "friend".. if a friend had said it would have been funny perhaps but actually I mislead by saying "white friend overhearing conversaton" beacuse this was our ex rooomatewho was extremely reacist and openly so. She would talk on the phone loudly about us and use racial slurs.. so it was definitely not well intentioned. But I can see how it could be seen as a joke. Had it been that way, it wouldn't have been as offensive. BUT offesnive or not, it was just interesting to hear it being said from an other perosn.. it jut makes you think twice about what you say, you know?

Ahmed said...

I've never seen people cooking (unless its a bbq) in their driveway...

Was your friend joking? If so...thats hilarious.

Anisa said...

bet you didn't think this would be so controversial...

i get what you are saying! it's like you can complain that your aunt or whoever gets on your nerves, but if someone else says it, it's offensive. same thing.

Tee said...

I missed Chapelle on Oprah long ago (and I had wanted to see it, too)... Hmm, maybe it's on YouTube. LOL... That's a cool example though.

Aisha said...

ahmed, no she wasn,t but yes it could be hilarious if she was :)

Anisa... certainly did not expect it, lol.But you captured the sentiment to a tee :0)

Tee, it was interesting... i dont know if you caught the past few days on Oprah where they were talking about hip hop and if the self deprecation is hurting African Americans in acheiving success as a whole. It was interesting.

Tee said...

Aisha, honestly I haven't been watching Oprah in general. I'm kind of boycotting her. LOL. I lost a lot of respect for her when she came out endorsing that New Age "The Secret" book. Oprah still claims to be Christian but "The Secret" is contrary to Christian belief... Which is fine - if she wants to believe "The Secret" - but she shouldn't continue deceiving her viewers. I think she's afraid of the backlash and loss of fans if she tells the whole truth. I'd respect her more if she was honest and said, "Look, this is what I believe", instead of pretending to be something she's not.

Regardless, the content on her shows is sometimes too much to resist... Sounds like I missed another interesting one. I had heard she doesn't listen to rap music for that reason... I don't think she should use such a broad brush though. There is plenty of rap and hip hop that is uplifting and positive.

musicalchef said...

I know what you mean. As an American, i have my own critiques of America and Americans, but i sometimes start getting annoyed when others go too far. Especially when the "k" bomb enters the conversation (the kafir this, kuffar that, you know).

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