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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Annoyed when people assume things. - May 12th 2013, 02:20 PM

Hey guys,
It's been bugging me a lot lately, especially as a freshman in college I have people bringing this up more than usual....let me explain a bit more.

My mom's side of the family is Jewish and my dad's family is Catholic Christians. Now both are middle eastern as both my parents were born and raised in Lebanon. Thing is, people are always wondering "what are you?" and I have to confess I'm quite annoyed at a shallow question like that. When I tell them I'm middle eastern they think I'm muslim. I'm just like no, my mom is Jewish and my dad is Christian...Middle east is a geographic region
Then they take it as Jewish being white. But that's not true. My family isn't white Jews, they're Sephardic Jews from the middle east Besides, historically speaking they were discriminated against and to say they're white is like saying light skinned Puerto Ricans are white. They're still minorities and still treated as such. Well there are Zionists but that's another issue. Not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews.

But then there are some that say I look Jewish. Does Jewish have a look? I mean, in terms of stereotype maybe, but how does someone know my beliefs just by my look? Assuming I'm not wearing a rabbi's hat or anything to give it away
Not only that...I personally don't have a religion. It bothers me so much when people assume just because my parents or parents' family is a religion that makes me that too! According to the Jewish religion, if the mom is born a Jew then the children are Jews. So even when I tell someone (who is also Jewish) I'm not Jewish because I don't really believe, they say yes you are, you're just a Jew who went the wrong path -_-
They also usually marry only Jews. My parents were exceptions and now both sides are angry about it. So in that sense, yes it is a culture because they keep marrying with each other and historically they migrated from place to place as a group..but seriously this whole thing is confusing and makes me upset.

Why can't people stop judging. I avoid this one person who is supposed to be my only real life friend, because she always makes those remarks about racial background and she always says things like "oh you won't understand because you're white" She makes it seem like it's a divide between me and her. It sucks. Even if I was "white" who cares? It's not fair to judge someone like that. Ew. I think I'm gonna go back under my rock and hide from humanity. Isn't being Susan enough? No I need my background I was BORN into to matter more.
   
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Re: Annoyed when people assume things. - May 12th 2013, 04:38 PM

My boyfriend is also middle eastern but looks white for the most part, he gets the same questions sometimes but only responds with middle eastern, he never specifies. You are not required to tell them your background when asked, nor do you need to specify. Yes, people are annoying & you'll probably still get asked. But your friends should respect that & respect your culture, no matter what your skin color is. Have you talked to your friend regarding this? Let her know how it makes you feel when she jokes & you'd appreciate it if she could stop.

I'm also moving this to the religions thread since this seems to relate mostly to that.



   
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Re: Annoyed when people assume things. - May 16th 2013, 03:59 PM

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Originally Posted by Darth Vader View Post
My boyfriend is also middle eastern but looks white for the most part, he gets the same questions sometimes but only responds with middle eastern, he never specifies. You are not required to tell them your background when asked, nor do you need to specify. Yes, people are annoying & you'll probably still get asked. But your friends should respect that & respect your culture, no matter what your skin color is. Have you talked to your friend regarding this? Let her know how it makes you feel when she jokes & you'd appreciate it if she could stop.

I'm also moving this to the religions thread since this seems to relate mostly to that.
You make a good point, but no I haven't talked to them about it. We're not really close friends, more of acquaintances than anything. And I initially was going to put this in religions thread but changed my mind at the last minute, cut and pasted it to general instead
   
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Re: Annoyed when people assume things. - May 23rd 2013, 06:53 PM

Hey Susan, I know people can be kind of insensitive when they don't understand, but it's nothing to do with you. They are ignorant because there is not enough promotion of understanding in our culture, and people on the whole are lazy and do not work to understand.

Also know that some people are genuinely curious, but they may not know how to be polite about it. You have the opportunity here to be the bigger person and promote the understanding that they lack. If you calmly give them information, then they look even worse because they were rude and you handled it graciously. You are not required to give them your personal information, but if you choose to give them cultural information in a calm manner, it might help.

And as for "friends" who keep insisting you won't understand them...they don't deserve to be in your life.


"How dare I? Because it is the truth." -Jane Eyre

"You do what you love, and f#%* the rest." -Little Miss Sunshine
   
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Re: Annoyed when people assume things. - May 26th 2013, 04:02 AM

I'm really sorry that people are doing this to you. You really don't deserve to have a label assigned to you just because you are from a certain place or your parents are following a certain path. You aren't everyone else in the world, you aren't your family. You're Susan.

Laura is right that you do have an opportunity to educate people about things if they genuinely don't know or weren't taught properly, but after you explain it to them once and they still misunderstand, that isn't right.


Let it come and let it be...

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Re: Annoyed when people assume things. - May 27th 2013, 11:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei View Post
Hey Susan, I know people can be kind of insensitive when they don't understand, but it's nothing to do with you. They are ignorant because there is not enough promotion of understanding in our culture, and people on the whole are lazy and do not work to understand.

Also know that some people are genuinely curious, but they may not know how to be polite about it. You have the opportunity here to be the bigger person and promote the understanding that they lack. If you calmly give them information, then they look even worse because they were rude and you handled it graciously. You are not required to give them your personal information, but if you choose to give them cultural information in a calm manner, it might help.

And as for "friends" who keep insisting you won't understand them...they don't deserve to be in your life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cataclysmic View Post
I'm really sorry that people are doing this to you. You really don't deserve to have a label assigned to you just because you are from a certain place or your parents are following a certain path. You aren't everyone else in the world, you aren't your family. You're Susan.

Laura is right that you do have an opportunity to educate people about things if they genuinely don't know or weren't taught properly, but after you explain it to them once and they still misunderstand, that isn't right.
thank you guys I do realize that I tend to not communicate, so I think I'll try that first and explain it.
   
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