Best of the Week

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of May 12, 2002, as selected by Y? Thesepostings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s database using the search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the database as well). In the Original Archives, as well as in the database, you will find questions that have received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. You are encouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insights of an individual from that group.
First-time users should first make a quick stop at Y?'s guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.

The book on Y? is here!
"Why Do White People Smell Like Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"

Order it here!
Read the Associated Press story on "Wet Dogs"

Order the book on Y? today!


Question:

What's the deal with a lot of blacks drinking grape soda, Kool-aid and other weird, fruity drinks? I've worked in restaurants and delivered pizza, and it's a strange phenomenon.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Trip, Columbia, MD, United States, Mesg ID 5102002101409


Responses:
I think your generalizations are causing you to notice black customers in your restaurant too closely. A lot of blacks, whites, Asians, whoever like 'fruity' sodas and drinks. If you go to a Korean store, for instance, you will see a whole bunch of fruity beverages on sale. And I ask, what is wrong with that? As far as Kool-Aid, I believe this is a drink of choice for people who are poor or stingy. It is very cheap, it tastes better than plain water and it will give people a boost of Vitamin C.
POSTED 5/14/2002
Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, <kfount500@aol.com>, 21, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Transcriber, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 513200212856

Count me in as a subscriber to the phenomenon. I drink 'grape soda, Kool-aid and other weird, fruity drinks' often, as do my brother and many of my friends, and we are as white as can be.
POSTED 5/14/2002
Ridley S., Chambersburg, PA, United States, 22, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, High School Diploma, Mesg ID 513200232235

When I was growing up, the corner stores often sold cheaper, off-brand soft drinks, and they usually had a fake coke that was usually pretty nasty, but the fruit-flavored varieties were good and cold. Ever heard of Purple Passion? Didn't think so. Mmmmmmm.
POSTED 5/14/2002
Geno, St. Paul, MN, United States, Male, Lower class, Mesg ID 513200233747

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Question:

Why are some gay white males still practicing racism? I would think this group would be the most tolerant, considering the struggles they've had to go through.
POSTED 5/14/2002
A.WMS, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 38, Female, Black/African American, R.N., 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 5132002100105

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Question:

Why is it that some men think it is OK to do whatever they want, like go out and stay out all night and not tell you anything, and expect you to 'clock-in and out' with them?
POSTED 5/12/2002
M. Fernandez, Pageland, SC, United States, <cubancandy2002@yahoo.com>, 20, Female, Christian, Hispanic/Latino, Straight, waitress, High School Diploma, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 511200270105

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Question:

After Sept. 11, my family members tend to look at Arab people differently and hate even those who have lived here their whole lives. To me, this is the same as hating all gays or blacks or priests. I don't feel you can judge a whole group by a few of its members. I was hoping I could get responses from Americans and Arabs on how they feel about this and what is happening in our world.
POSTED 5/6/2002
Nicole B., Mayville, MI, United States, 19, Female, Mesg ID 52200244001


Responses:
I'm a 19-year-old white guy, and after Sept. 11, I have looked at Arab people differently. For me, it's hard to not look at them differently because all I hear about is violence from that culture. I hear about how the men oppress the women, and how their culture declares war in the name of Allah, yet this same religion they declare war in the name of is based on a peaceful life. I don't hate Arabs, but I do look at them differently and will continue to look at them differently until I see them as a whole doing something to show they are peaceful and do not hate Americans. Frankly, I don't have much respect for a culture that hates Americans.
POSTED 5/13/2002
Matt, Sacramento, CA, United States, 19, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 582002120328

I have noticed this same trend following the 9/11 tragedy, and it frightens me greatly. It's very easy to alienate others based on physical features. As a result, people who are Arab or look as if they may be Arab deal with the backlash of hurt and anger. We need to realize that one person or small group of people doesn't correctly identify an entire group of people. When you make those types of generalizations, it becomes easier to discriminate and hate, leading us toward genocide, systematic racism and hate crimes.
POSTED 5/13/2002
Michelle, Cleveland, OH, United States, 27, Female, Catholic, Filipino/African American, Straight, Library Clerk, 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 592002121831



I believe your question is genuine. However, from the examples you cite, you seem to speak from a 'superior' position. Has it ever occurred to you to ask if Native Americans, African Americans, Africans, Aborigines, etc. should hate all white people based on hundreds of years of assault rather than just one event? Should Palestinians hate all Americans because it is American weapons and money backing Israel?
POSTED 5/13/2002
Debra, New York, NY, United States, Female, Mesg ID 59200212303

It is typical. During World War II, many Americans hated Germans, Italians and Japanese. I even hear ignorant people saying we should shuffle all Arabs and Muslims in the United States into concentration camps, like we did the Japanese. Sheez, will we ever change?
POSTED 5/13/2002
Ridley S., Chambersburg, PA, United States, 22, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 5102002120923

The Al Qaeda network responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks was an extremist group no different from David Koresh or other cults. The majority of Muslims and Arab people do not prescribe to these beliefs, and condemn those who do. I don't know why, when somebody is white and does something bad, people don't start judging and hating all white people. But when the person is non-white, everyone is ready to start hating all individuals in that race.
POSTED 5/13/2002
Kristina, Washington, DC, United States, <kfount500@aol.com>, 21, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Transcriber, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 5102002124727

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Question:

The subject of black men choosing to date white women is an often-recurring subject at Y? Forum. The reasons black men go there, according to black women, are numerous, complicated and usually demeaning to white women: they take s*** from black men, they're pushovers, they're easy, just to list a few. What if the real reason some black men date white women? What if some simply find white women more appealing? Is that too painful to consider?
POSTED 2/19/2002
William, Columbia, SC, United States, 38, Male, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Sales, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 217200261059


Responses:
I am from Nigeria and have been in the United States about five years. I never knew this was an issue until I got here and became aware of it. I don't know why it is an issue, but I notice mixed-race couples more than before. It does not bother me, and it is possible that black men just find white women more appealing. I guess when you look at the fact that a significant percentage of black men are incarcerated, on drugs, etc., it kind of puts a limit on the amount of available black men out there. This is an answer I got from a co-worker who is African American. Growing up in Nigeria, most of my friends were of mixed parentage, so I never questioned it. It was part of my life. My sister is married to a white man, my aunt is married to a white man, and so is my uncle, who lives in California. I have also heard him say the same things black women say - that is, that white women are easier to handle or deal with. It makes me wonder whether that may just be the real reason, or if that is just another stereotype.
POSTED 5/12/2002
A .Ifebigh, North Miami, FL, United States, <aifebigh@bellsouth.net>, 28, Female, Catholic, Black/African American, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 326200212156



Each person tends to find certain physical characteristics more attractive than others, whether it's skin, hair, eye color or body shape. Your quote: "The reasons black men go there, according to black women, are numerous, complicated and usually demeaning to white women: they take s*** from black men, they're pushovers, they're easy, just to list a few.' Those reasons are B.S., in my opinion. The real reasons are more complicated. First, there's personal preference. However, one's preference is often affected by cultural standards of beauty. And in American/European society, the white, blonde and skinny standard of beauty, especially female beauty, is idealized. Hence the reason many black women straighten their hair to make it look more 'white,' and why Micheal Jackson had plastic surgery to make him look 'white.' I think black people look beautiful just the way God made them, and they shouldn't have to change the way they look.
Everyone is culturally conditioned to believe white skin is the most beautiful. Many people mostly break out of this mentality, but deep down it's often still there. I think this affects how black men view white women. On the other hand, some of them just prefer those of another race, and there's nothing wrong with that.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Tanith, Minneapolis, MN, United States, <mariahshe@yahoo.com>, 20, Female, Pagan, Irish-American, Bisexual, Autistic, Student, High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 4162002113018

I don't necessarily think black men who date white women date them for those specific reasons. Love sees no color. Maybe some black men 'chase' after white women, but there are many who don't and are with their significant other because they love them and not because of their race. Most of the time that's the case, and race isn't even an issue.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Lindsey, Hamilton, Ontario, NA, Canada, 15, Female, student, Mesg ID 58200240552

That's a perfectly good explanation for two people to be together, regardless of race. And I'm sure that happens a lot. But I believe a lot of black men are under the assumption that white women are more submissive than black women. Black women tend to be more independent and assertive - some people would say 'loud.' Whatever. Some men want a woman who will do whatever he wants her to do. And being a professional black woman, I know that is hard to find in a black woman. It seems as if white women are raised a little differently than black women, probably out of necessity.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Kelly R., St. Louis, MO, United States, 25, Female, Catholic, Black/African American, Straight, university instructor, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 510200235610

The majority of black men who date white women are dating them for the negative reasons you stated. But there are a few who do find white women attractive, just as some black women find white men attractive. The only problem is that no matter how appealing a white woman is to a black man, she cannot provide the things a black woman can provide. The two are much too different. A black man can only stand being in the presence of a white woman long enough to have sex with her, and then he leaves. A black woman provides much more, which the majority of black men already know. We do not find white women more appealing. Chances are if a black man does, a more appealing black woman will come along and take him away. Do not flatter your women, friend.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Charles L., Myrtle Beach, SC, United States, 22, Male, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 512200215248

There are several reasons black males gravitate toward white females:
1. Self-hatred of their blackness leads them to get as 'close' to white as they can.
2. Rebellious black males seeking to overturn the ultimate taboo in historic black/white relations, and advertise the power to do this in public.
3. Black males' refusal to put up with mouthy, pushy black females.

Contributing factors in this are:
1. Adventurous white females seeking to explore the myth of black sexual prowess/endowment.
2. Weak-minded white females eager for acceptance by a boy, even if black.

I cannot pretend impartiality on this subject. I find it repugnant for swaggering blacks to flaunt the white women they attract, and shameful for these women to have so little self-respect to be seen in such company and in such consort. I am pretty open-minded on most subjects, but for me, this crosses a line.
POSTED 5/12/2002
David, Dallas, TX, United States, 44, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 312002122927

I agree with you. In my experience, I haven't found that black women are LESS willing to take sh*t from men, regardless of their color. Women are women and men are men. Preference and sexual attraction is complex and shouldn't be based on racial stereotypes.
POSTED 5/12/2002
A.R., Nevada City, CA, United States, 31, Female, Secular Humanist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Actor and Singer, Over 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 342002120231

I kind of agree that maybe some black men just prefer pale skin and thin hair. Whatever floats their boat, you know? I'm African American and 17, and I've never dated a black guy, only white guys. So far it's because the black guys I've run into are very disrespectful. Plus I live in Livonia, so I don't meet many of them, anyhow. People should forget race, period. If someone chooses another race, that's them; if you choose different, so what? And for the black women who put up a fuss about it, William is kind of right: you get mad because you put up with black men's bulls*** and then get p***ed off when they broaden their horizons, so to speak. You should do the same and stop being bitter. Be comfortable with yourself, you have your natural tans and full lips … enjoy it girls. I sure do.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Elyse, Livonia, MI, United States, 17, Female, Black/African American, Straight, student, Upper class, Mesg ID 34200223620

All black women know these are the reasons, not to mention white girls are freaknasties in bed. By the way, when in their own company, black men admit this. Just not to whites.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Jamara, Anchorage, AK, United States, <brotherquestion@hotmail.com>, 26, Female, Christian, Black/African American, Straight, Professional, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 319200252129

I am a black woman and really don't see as many black men going after white women as you say. You may think this because you are a white man, and you may observe differently from me. We blacks think differently, and see that white women tend to go after black men because of their different and appealing physical attributes. But most black women do not think negatively about white women. Maybe a few have said it, but we don't think that about white women at all. We very rarely think about it at all, because there is a low number of black men 'choosing' white women. For those who do, it is because they find them beautiful, like they may find Chinese, Hispanic, black and Indian women beautiful, also, not because they are more appealing or better than us. You make it seem as black women are jealous of whites. It is good to be proud of your own, but do not degrade us. I think black men are more open to interracial relationships. They seem to date all kinds of races (not just 'drooling' over whites), which is unlike white men. White men seem to not be attracted to, or are afraid of, women of other races. But I have a question for you: Are you attracted to black women at all? It is extremely rare to see white men dating women of other races. Do you white men find white women totally superior to us?
POSTED 5/12/2002
Nicole, Washington, DC, United States, 19, Female, Agnostic, Black/African American, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 3212002123511


Perhaps you should direct your question to black men if you really want to know their reasons for dating white women. Most of these reasons you've listed above are indeed the main ones black men go after white women. Personally I don't give a damn if black men prefer dating green chicks from outer space.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Keisha, Atlanta, GA, United States, Female, Black/African American, Mesg ID 221200273804

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Question:

The book titled 'Why do white people smell like wet dogs' is a racist slur! How would the author like it if I wrote a book titled, 'Black people smell like wet monkeys when they come out of the rain'?
POSTED 2/19/2002
Dan C., Omaha, NE, United States, Male, Mesg ID 216200271244


Responses:

Calm down! It's not meant as a racist slur. People are always talking about what's different about black people, or Asian people, or Chinese people, but this just kind of turns it around and says, well, people are just as entitled to ask the same sorts of questions of white people. And why not? If this web site (and the book) is going to discuss the differences among the human race, there have got to be questions put to white people, too, as they have a different ethnic background as well.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Indigo, Aberdeen, NA, United Kingdom, 17, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID 328200233307

I assume the book is titled that way to get across the idea that it deals with a lot of questions and statements that people usually do not discuss in public or are afraid to discuss. I believe the question about white people smelling like wet dogs was from a real question, so that's an example of 'truth in advertising,' and also I guess the authors hoped the catchy title would sell books. Personally, I would be embarassed to walk into a bookstore and ask for it by name.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Ramonna, Minneapolis, CT, United States, Female, Mesg ID 42200282516

The author of this book is white. I saw him on 'The Ananda Lewis Show.'
POSTED 5/12/2002
Emily W., Fairfax, VA, United States, 20, Female, Black/African American, student, 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 58200295821

You might be shocked to hear this, but the man who wrote the book is white!
POSTED 5/12/2002
Carolyn, O'Fallon, IL, United States, 21, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 582002101342

A white person wrote 'Why do white people smell like wet dogs when they come out of the rain?' Perhaps you should do a little more research before you shoot off your mouth.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Kelsey, Regina, NA, Canada, <k_jeeves@hotmail.com>, 19, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 58200273627

Dan, why must you jump to conclusions in such a manner? Your automatic assumption that a black wrote the book, and your haste to hurl an insult at blacks, just shows the ignorance and level of your racism. For your information, the author of the book is a white man! Please do not lurch out at other races before getting your facts straight.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Cindy, New York, NY, United States, Female, Mesg ID 592002121611

The author of 'Wet Dogs' is a white man. I saw him on a talk show a few days ago and he had a lot of good things to say. The title of his book is an example of the kinds of questions that he would like to get out in the open. On that talk show, some 'experts,' including the author, offered some very good answers to the wet dog question, ranging from biological differences to people simply not being exposed to how other races react to certain environmental situations. I don't think the author's intention was to slight his own people. Instead, just as he is doing with this site, his intention is to get people talking about these stereotypes.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Kelly R., St. Louis, MO, United States, 25, Female, Catholic, Black/African American, Straight, university instructor, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 510200235123

The last time I heard 'kraut,' they were referring to a German, and 'kike' to a Jewish person. Also, the last time I checked, people of both German and Jewish heritage are white, so white people DO encounter racism, no matter if you believe it or not. 'Why Do White People Smell Like Wet Dogs When They Come Out of the Rain' can be interpreted as a racist question because it is not the color of the person's skin that gives them a 'wet dog' smell. It has to do with so many outside factors, such as the fabric one is wearing, the products they use on their hair, whether or not they smoke, etc.
POSTED 5/12/2002
Mary, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 28, Female, Methodist, White/Caucasian, Straight, social work, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 3202002100624

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