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Turning Over New Leaf

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Philosophical Thimblese









Philosophical Thimblese








As a result of a news report I saw this morning, I researched a few definitions of the word ethnicity and here is what I found:

1. The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.

2. Relating to or characteristic of a human group having racial, religious, linguistic, and certain other traits in common.

3. Relating to the classification of mankind into groups, especially on the basis of racial characteristics.

4.  Identity with or membership in a particular racial, national, or cultural group and observance of that group's customs, beliefs, and language.

Now, nothing jumped out at me initially, but the more I thought about it, the more I was bothered by the earlier news report. I began thinking about how much progress we have made in the USA, and in much of the rest of the world, in the area of race and cultural relations. I was not raised with prejudice or bigotry, so I have been pleased over the years to see the progress we made as a society. In America, we have not solved all our problems. However, we ended segregation and put a huge dent in discrimination. As a nation, we have worked toward equal opportunity for citizens - without distinction.

So why did I hear a news report this morning that Crayola has now produced for our children markers that are ethnic-sensitive? It sounds like we are back to stressing insignificant differences among us.

20 comments:

  1. I think that will be an undying issue till the end of time....Obviously 'someone' was upset about the color/name of a crayon. Wonder if some anti crayon group is picketing?

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  2. KBF: In the crazy world we live in, please tell me there are no picketing anti-crayon groups!

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  3. @JJ: I bet there is, there is a lot of craziness out there! lol

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  4. KBF: The world is nuts! Your blog comments are correct - Pure and Simple. It works.

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  5. I hate that kind of silliness. There is so much wrong in the world. If someone wants to "fix," something why don't they spend their precious time actually HELPING people in some way? Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  6. I go about my life in the belief that everybody is equal and thats just the way i like it. interesting post JJ, have a lovely weekend with your family. dee ;-)

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  7. @Miriam: Its easier to complain (for some folk) than to actually do...

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  8. hmmm really? I'm going to have to go look that up! I know where we are there is a long discussion in kindergarten about light people and dark people - it is over kill. My second son came home very confused - he has a nice dark olive tone - "mom and I light or dark?" I asked him what he wanted to be and he said he didn't know. I told him it didn't matter.

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  9. I love my blogging group. Like Dee says, if you start out with the belief that we are equal as a species, there is no problem. It is very silly, as Miriam stated. KBF is also very astute in her observation. There is always someone out there to rain on every parade. And CailinMarie, I cannot ever remember even one time in my life when the color of a child mattered to me at all. Ridiculous!

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  10. Ethnic sensitive markers? I don't even understand that. My son James, who is biracial (black/white), is autistic and has somehow grown up without ethnic awareness. He describes an African American person as "brown," for example. Maybe Crayola should hire him as a consultant!

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  11. I am taking this post to meaning the naming of the markers is wrong. The markers themselves are a good idea giving a child the opportunity to use tools to represent themselves. The naming should just be called skin tones and without the media fanfare.

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  12. Galen Pearl: I don't understand it either. One of my daughters is half Chilean and half Araucanian Indian, with a dark complexion. It has never been an issue at our home. I don't see the purpose in pointing out differences in comparison to other people.

    Chibi Janine: I am definitely not qualified to determine whether something that someone else does is right or wrong. I think skin tones makes more sense. Ethnic Sensitivity indicates to me that some people have skin tones that might not be as good as those of others, thus requiring sensitivity. I am accepting of all people. I don't want to emphasize differences in race or ethnicity to my children.

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  13. The only color I can think of in the Crayola box that MIGHT be changed is "flesh," which to me never ever represented the color of ANYONE'S skin. I probably threw that one out, because it was misnamed, and was a pretty awful color to begin with. I wonder why, since Crayola has changed the names of several colors over the years, the company would even bother to announce a change. They never have in the past.

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  14. Judie: Exactly! I wonder why also.

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  15. Well, this is a new one on me! What in the heck is Crayola thinking? Sheesh!

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  16. I have to say that those who think they are doing the most 'good' for race relations often just don't get it. What a colossally stupid idea. Why does anyone focus on the minor differences among people, such as skin color, so much when really we all just have so much in common? Ridiculous!

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  17. PAMO: I guess even bad press is good for business.

    'Yellow Rose' Jasmine: I agree. Make the colors. They do not have to label them. The kids can figure it out.

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  18. Goodness gracious me! What a mad, mad world we live in. Ethnic -sensitive crayons!!! How absolutely rediculous!! This is political correctness out of control.
    To me .. a person is a person is a person.. what lies beneath the skins surface is exactly the same no matter what corner of the earth you come from. We all share the same planet, toil under the same sun & sleep under the same moon.

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  19. Kath: Those of us who truly believe "a person is a person is a person" cannot understand why they would make ethnicity an issue. I don't think ethnic awareness comes from coloring books. It comes from living a life without bigotry. I don't need Crayola for that, and neither do my children and grandchildren. We don't tolerate bigotry in our family.

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