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Old 07-26-2015, 08:52 PM
FBF FBF started this thread
 
606 posts, read 752,842 times
Reputation: 534

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Why?

Is it because it is 90% white or they just do not travel outside the state much?

I am of mestizo descent (that is of mix heritage from Native Mexican and European) and yet when people look at me, they say I do not look Mexican enough.

Either because I am not brown enough (I am tanned, however) or too tall (174-175 cm). They insist I must be Indian or Arabic when I am not!

I only get this treatment here in the Midwest, in the West and East Coasts they sometimes mistake me as part East/Southeast Asian or Sephardic Jew (even though it is not a race, but an ethnicity) but they do not stare often. Even in the Deep South, I do not get stare much despite it being historically quite racist.

Details?

 
Old 07-26-2015, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,821,196 times
Reputation: 1444
Isn't making sweeping generalizations about all Iowans based on your anecdotal evidence essentially practicing the same type of prejudice you are accusing Iowan's of?
 
Old 07-27-2015, 12:54 AM
FBF FBF started this thread
 
606 posts, read 752,842 times
Reputation: 534
It happens often after living there for 11 years.

I did not call Arabics or Indians bad names, but I do get annoyed that my race and ethnicity are guessed wrong. They only get it once I tell them my name but they still insist I am this and this.

The Deep South as racist as it is, knows I am latino at least.
 
Old 07-27-2015, 05:57 AM
 
3,613 posts, read 3,282,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBF View Post
It happens often after living there for 11 years.

I did not call Arabics or Indians bad names, but I do get annoyed that my race and ethnicity are guessed wrong. They only get it once I tell them my name but they still insist I am this and this.

The Deep South as racist as it is, knows I am latino at least.
Seriously, you get annoyed over a guess?????

Everyone guesses my ethnicity wrong. Most people think I'm Irish, when I'm really only 1/2 Irish. Never occurred to me that it should annoy me.
 
Old 07-27-2015, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Iowa
865 posts, read 544,853 times
Reputation: 588
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBF View Post
It happens often after living there for 11 years.

I did not call Arabics or Indians bad names, but I do get annoyed that my race and ethnicity are guessed wrong. They only get it once I tell them my name but they still insist I am this and this.

The Deep South as racist as it is, knows I am latino at least.
If it bothers you that much, make up a bunch of T-shirts stating your ethnicity, then they'll know.

It sounds like you're the one with the issues, not Iowans.
 
Old 07-27-2015, 10:44 AM
 
28,699 posts, read 41,748,548 times
Reputation: 37503
Some people are overly reactive to things that really shouldn't matter. Blaming people for not automatically knowing your ethnicity/race is just silly.

I like you because you're you. Not because you are of a specific ethnicity/race.

I can guarantee you that you would get mine wrong. I don't care. It's not important.
 
Old 07-27-2015, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
3,617 posts, read 3,568,561 times
Reputation: 4426
Take to heart what Tek_Freek wrote @ 12:44.

I've incorrectly been told that I must be Jewish purely on the basis of my name & years ago I was told more than once that I must be a "Reagan Republican" based purely on my looks & clothing.
People make mistaken assumptions about aspects of all of us constantly. Don't let it consume or anger you if they are not intending offense. It'll be hard to miss when true offense is intended.
 
Old 07-27-2015, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Knoxville TN
355 posts, read 900,920 times
Reputation: 308
When did we, as a people, lose our sense of humor and become so DETERMINED to be offended by every slight, real or perceived?! Years ago in conversation, I mentioned the city from which I had come. The response was "oh, you look like you are from there"! I have laughed about that for 30 years.
 
Old 07-27-2015, 01:46 PM
FBF FBF started this thread
 
606 posts, read 752,842 times
Reputation: 534
The annoyance kicks in when they still insist I must be of this origin or so "no, you must really be or part..." even when I tell them I am not! It is like they made up their mind with how they want to label me despite it being wrong.

Sometimes strangers even come up at to me and ask me the rude "What are you?"

Excuse me, Iowa? You do not ask people those questions and it is rude to stare like they are animals!

The posters here assume I lash out at people when they say that, no I do not! I only lashed out once when I told this redneck I am not Middle Eastern from a rural part of Iowa. He insulted me and thus I became irritated and no one came to my defense!
 
Old 07-27-2015, 01:47 PM
 
205 posts, read 311,286 times
Reputation: 408
Yes, it is because there is so little diversity in Iowa.

Iowans are theoretically very tolerant and open minded, but because so many Iowans have so little first-hand experience with ethnic and racial diversity, in practice they can be a little insensitive. I find more staring, and more unexamined preconceptions here than in places where folks regularly encounter more different kinds of people.

The upside is, Iowans are generally very open to being educated--they don't mean any harm when they ask "what are you" (the question that every mixed race person gets sick of hearing after about the 300th time). Odds are you're one of only a few people of color they've ever actually spoken to, so once you overcome whatever they think they know (based on TV/movies or the other Latino they talked to once), they'll accept you as an expert on the topic.

To be clear, not everyone in Iowa is like this. Some come from more diverse places, or have traveled a lot, or live in one of the pockets of diversity that exist in Iowa. But there is a fair chunk of the populace that was born and raised in a 95% white community, and hasn't ever ventured very far afield from that demographic.
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