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Ask Amy: Parents’ white privileges are reflected in the description of parents’ daily interaction with others



Dear Amy: My parents are used to mentioning a person’s race or ethnicity when telling a story, although it has absolutely nothing to do with the background, but just pointed out that the person is not white.

For example, “The best black boy scout is here” or “I saw my Chinese colleague in the store!” or “My Filipino neighbor told me a good book.” I tried to gently ask why they felt It is necessary to share the racial or ethnic characteristics of the people I met, but they became defensive and said I was too sensitive.

Is this a weird thing from generation to generation (they were in the early 70s)? They are kind people, but I feel that they become racists unknowingly, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. Am I just too sensitive?

Any ideas?

—Want to know

Dear ones, I want to know: Your people are revealing their basic idea that white people are a normative existence, so it is necessary to provide qualified descriptions for any non-white people who might cross the road. This is the essence of privilege and it reflects the world they have experienced for decades.

One way to express opinions might be to use their typical descriptors and then point them to them.

This is an example:

They: “Our mechanic Tom said we need new snow tires.”

;

You: “You forgot to mention Tom’s race.”

They: “That’s because he is white.”

You: “Oh, well, usually when you mention people I don’t know, you’re talking about their race. Doesn’t this also apply to white people? I point this out because I hope you can consider different Way to do it.”

After that, I think you should let go. Their defensiveness means that they will not admit that you are trying to change this reflexive behavior, but you will give them a reason to consider.

Dear Amy: You published my question in a column recently. I signed my question: I don’t have a crystal. In my question, I told you about my frustration with the therapist, and he suggested that I read a book full of soul gazes, crystals and the holistic approach I call pseudoscience and “courtship”.

Even writing a letter to you is a good cure.

I have considered the frequency of giving advice in many cases. For many people, this seems difficult.

I followed your suggestions and brought my honest concerns to the therapist.

I asked her if this book represents the core of her treatment, because if it is, I will not benefit from it.

Well, it turns out that this book is not important to her treatment. Both of us took this as an opportunity to have a good discussion.

By writing down my concerns, you can help me even before you reply. Thank you.

For all those who commented that I should give up the therapist immediately, I said: “You must all have no patience.”

—I don’t have a crystal!

Dear No Crystal: In my response, I wrote: “Honest! Tell her that you do not approve of this particular method, and ask her if she has other suggestions. She may ask you to talk about your reaction, and this kind of conversation It may bring insight.”

Based on what you said, this is what happened, proving that your therapist is proficient in using the information you provide to help you.She is listening

I am glad you mentioned that this act of asking me a question can help you find the answer for yourself. This is also “good therapy”.

Dear Amy: When I sit here holding Christmas cards, I think about what these cards mean to me every year.

Every card we received from the mail was placed in a beautiful basket in the living room.

Then, on a quiet night before Christmas, we sat together, opening one at a time.

We like them very much and think that everyone is a small gift from the sender, and they spend time and money thinking about us.

In this pandemic year, these “gifts” have nowhere to go, so they are especially precious.

—Ms. Michigan

Dear Madam: Although my own Christmas cards usually turn into “Happy New Year” cards, I agree-especially this year-that these letters sent by mail bring more love than usual.

You can email it to Amy Dickinson askamy@amydickinson.com Or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.


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