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Old 02-23-2016, 09:26 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,712 times
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I've recently moved to the area from out of state. I'm AA. I'm completely taken back by the rude stairs, gawking, odd questions or general disdain I'm getting from the folks here. I have an advanced degree, decent job making good money, well spoken and put together. Same for my family. Why am I experiencing this when all I heard about was how nice everyone was here and how the Texas hospitality would Wow me. So not the case. I feel like I've gone back to the 1960's. And what gets me is that no one seems to own it. Signed, completely disillusioned.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:35 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 840,756 times
Reputation: 2299
This is also the state where political advisors publicly declare that women don't have the brain capacity that men do... It's mind-boggling (or is that just my easily-confounded, female pea brain...? ).

Ugh, I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this, NewtoSouthTx. The thing that makes me really nuts is that people are not even aware of their own racism (most places this is true, and most definitely here); They are somehow completely blind to the inequalities and inconsistencies in their own thoughts/perceptions. I'm new to S TX too. I'm a white girl coming from a Black-majority (though diverse, in general) place and S TX feels uncomfortably "white" and singular-thinking to me too. I just about cried when I realized what I was getting into, as my husband and I were house-shopping and one of the houses on our list was waving a confederate flag... Seriously?! It's pathetic, short-sighted and weird.

I know I'm not walking in your shoes (though I certainly know the frustration of being prejudged as a woman. The older I get, the more weary and frustrated it makes me!), but be encouraged that not everyone feels and behaves this way. Be patient and kill 'em with kindness. Personal relationships are the best way to overcome pre-judgements, right? The very fact that you're here and have the opportunity prove who you really are to people by getting to know them will mean progress on a much larger scale. I believe that, fully. Once you get through that first wall, people here really are very warm and friendly. Be encouraged and hang in there!
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:10 AM
 
15,246 posts, read 17,629,619 times
Reputation: 25492
I'm sorry that both of you have had that experience here. To the OP, the AA population is less than 5% here and a significant percentage of the AA people are poor and marginalized. (However, a significant percentage of the overall population is also poor and marginalized.) If you have an advanced degree and and are generally well put-together, people who haven't traveled out of the area may not quite know what to make of you. I'm sure you've noticed by now (and it's documented) that CC is one of the most obese and illiterate cities in the country. People are tatted all over and wear their pajamas to the grocery store. Sometimes being well-put-together is enough to make people look at you. There simply are not many AA professionals and you may very well be drawing attention that you're not used to.

It's also possible that what you're taking as gawking and odd questions is just a type of interaction that you're unfamiliar with. I grew up here and when I first left for college it took me a long time to get used to people (strangers) not making eye contact when we passed each other in the street. I was used to nodding and saying "Hello" to people walking down the street. People here chat in the grocery store line and comment on cute children. If you have an unfamiliar accent people may ask you about that as well, simply because they are curious.

As far as being treated with disdain, I have no idea. I work with AA professionals and I think we have a mutually respectful relationship. I don't socialize a lot outside the workplace, but when I do my AA coworkers are there as much as anyone else. They're certainly not excluded or treated poorly.

Again, I'm sorry that both of you have had negative experiences here. Not only is Texas "a whole other country" but you've relocated to a rather isolated part of it. I can assure both of you that there are warm, accepting people here and I hope you find some soon.

One last thought--you should google some of the stories about our police chief, Floyd Simpson, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident last year. He was an AA man who moved from Dallas to become the chief and he was universally loved and admired. It wasn't just a matter of people all-of-a-sudden saying nice things after he died. Chief Simpson was like a breath of fresh air in CC and both the officers and the public supported him to a degree you rarely see for someone in his position. After he died his wife said that she and their children were going to stay here because they felt so loved and supported.

If either of you would like to have lunch in person to hear from a female, middle-aged CC native, please DM me. I may have some ideas for professional or social organizations you could look into for support. Or it might just be fun to chat.
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 840,756 times
Reputation: 2299
Great post, Marlow! I haven't had any "bad" experiences here; I didn't mean to come across that way. I'm really just encouraging the OP that I understand how "different" and backward-thinking/in-the-dark this place can feel when it comes to social views and the like, as you acknowledged as well! I'm just trying to encourage NewtoSouthTx to hang in there, and know that others (like you and me) are out there too. It never even occurred to me to touch on the likeliness that some of the issues NewtoSouthTx is dealing with could be simple, cultural differences. Of course it is human nature to look with curiosity at someone who appears very different from what you're used to seeing, whether that be dress-code, skin color, or something else entirely. And you're absolutely right: this is a place where people do look, talk, and ask questions (which I actually really like!), as opposed to "politely" leaving people alone. I did most of my growing up in the Seattle area before galavanting from there, and most people have heard of the Seattle "freeze" by now. It's the opposite of looking on with curiosity, asking questions, and being friendly. People are so concerned about being an imposition that they just look at their feet as they walk by you. They are slow/reluctant to invite you into their homes and/or lives. That's a negative extreme in the other direction, and the cold, "PC" feeling that puts off really irks a lot of newcomers to that area. While I'm sure that the OP can sense the difference between negative attention and simple interest/curiosity - at least to a partial degree - that was so smart to remind us that new cultures take some time to adapt to. I should have certainly remembered that, since I seem to get thrown into a whole new set of norms in a whole new place every few years. It's tough to re-learn how to read people each time, for sure!

Thanks for the perspective and encouragement, Marlow! I may be politically/civically the polar opposite of much of Texas, and I may be infuriated by a good number of things I see and hear (I have certainly witnessed racist comments and attitudes), but I absolutely enjoy the friendliness and warmth that is naturally exhibited by almost everyone I've encountered here. I certainly hope that NewtoSouthTx is able to see and experience that side of people here soon too!

Last edited by IslandCityGirl; 02-24-2016 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:49 PM
 
Location: the Permian Basin
4,200 posts, read 3,336,520 times
Reputation: 5929
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandCityGirl View Post
one of the houses on our list was waving a confederate flag... Seriously?!
The sight of a Confederate flag flying here should come as no surprise, considering that The Battle of Corpus Christi was fought here August 12-18, 1862.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qec03

www.caller.com/news/battle-of-corpus-christi-marker-will-be-re-installed-saturday-ep-359291032-316201521.html

Whiskey and the Battle of Corpus Christi
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:02 AM
 
15,592 posts, read 6,892,220 times
Reputation: 9632
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtoSouthTx View Post
I've recently moved to the area from out of state. I'm AA. I'm completely taken back by the rude stairs, gawking, odd questions or general disdain I'm getting from the folks here. I have an advanced degree, decent job making good money, well spoken and put together. Same for my family. Why am I experiencing this when all I heard about was how nice everyone was here and how the Texas hospitality would Wow me. So not the case. I feel like I've gone back to the 1960's. And what gets me is that no one seems to own it. Signed, completely disillusioned.
You wouldn't experience that in Houston. I have never lived in South Texas, so I can't speak for that area. I have heard East Texas near the Louisiana border can be pretty insular and racist, but I don't know if that is true anymore.

Houston is very diverse. We have people from all over the world, and a large black population. Much of that population is middle to upper class, well educated black people. Maybe you could move here?
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:46 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, USVI - Seattle, WA - Gulf Coast, TX
811 posts, read 840,756 times
Reputation: 2299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowpoke_TX View Post
The sight of a Confederate flag flying here should come as no surprise, considering that The Battle of Corpus Christi was fought here August 12-18, 1862.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qec03

www.caller.com/news/battle-of-corpus-christi-marker-will-be-re-installed-saturday-ep-359291032-316201521.html

Whiskey and the Battle of Corpus Christi
Regardless, outside of the South (and I suspect to many who are in it), the confederate flag feels like a symbol of divisiveness, white supremacy, and just plain racism. I understand that this is probably not the conscious intention of those who wave it, but it ought to be though about. I should have been more specific: I'm surprised to learn that the South still willingly celebrates/claims a flag that signifies hatred and inequality to so many. Fighting a war to retain the practice of enslaving African-Americans is absolutely nothing to be proud of. I don't care what battle happened where.
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:28 PM
 
15,592 posts, read 6,892,220 times
Reputation: 9632
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandCityGirl View Post
Regardless, outside of the South (and I suspect to many who are in it), the confederate flag feels like a symbol of divisiveness, white supremacy, and just plain racism. I understand that this is probably not the conscious intention of those who wave it, but it ought to be though about. I should have been more specific: I'm surprised to learn that the South still willingly celebrates/claims a flag that signifies hatred and inequality to so many. Fighting a war to retain the practice of enslaving African-Americans is absolutely nothing to be proud of. I don't care what battle happened where.
That's what I always say to the people that think it's "just honoring our history." I don't care if someone's Great-Great Grandpa fought for the South. It is still a powerful symbol of slavery. Why would anyone be proud of that?

Last edited by katygirl68; 03-19-2016 at 11:06 PM..
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:03 PM
 
15,246 posts, read 17,629,619 times
Reputation: 25492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowpoke_TX View Post
The sight of a Confederate flag flying here should come as no surprise, considering that The Battle of Corpus Christi was fought here August 12-18, 1862.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qec03

www.caller.com/news/battle-of-corpus-christi-marker-will-be-re-installed-saturday-ep-359291032-316201521.html

Whiskey and the Battle of Corpus Christi
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandCityGirl View Post
Regardless, outside of the South (and I suspect to many who are in it), the confederate flag feels like a symbol of divisiveness, white supremacy, and just plain racism. I understand that this is probably not the conscious intention of those who wave it, but it ought to be though about. I should have been more specific: I'm surprised to learn that the South still willingly celebrates/claims a flag that signifies hatred and inequality to so many. Fighting a war to retain the practice of enslaving African-Americans is absolutely nothing to be proud of. I don't care what battle happened where.
Quote:
Originally Posted by katygirl68 View Post
That's what I always say to the people that think it's "just honoring our history." I don't care if someone's Great-Great Grandpa fought for the South. It is still a powerful symbol of slavery. Why would anyone be proud of that?
Exactly. No one displays a Confederate flag because they're celebrating an historic battle. At best, they display it to show that they won't be cowed by Political Correctness. At worst they display it to show solidarity with racists.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:43 PM
 
Location: the Permian Basin
4,200 posts, read 3,336,520 times
Reputation: 5929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
No one displays a Confederate flag because they're celebrating an historic battle.
My dad flies the Star Spangled Banner, the First National flag of the CSA, and two state flags (Illinois and Alabama) in memory of our Union and Confederate ancestors who fought against each other during the siege of Vicksburg. Four of them were killed in action and 1 later died of injuries sustained during combat. I wonder what each group would've thought if they'd have known that one of their great-great grandchildren would marry a descendant of the soldiers firing on them from across the water.
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