My son told me this story which happened yesterday. I will try to be vague to protect the innocent, but . . .  He is in graduate school and in one of his classes they had a day of Cultural Competency Training or something. Well, he has similar beliefs to us here. The teacher and the whole class is white, while my son is half white and there is another person in the class of indeterminate race. So anyway the teacher, who is white says, "Some of the people you work with will be different. For instance, some of them may believe in some kind of 'Folklore'." My son can't believe what he's heard because from his perspective, the majority of the class probably believes in "some kind of Folklore". And THEN it gets worse. One young man, an ADULT obviously, since this is graduate school, raises his hand and asks, "And what should we do when we meet someone who believes in this 'Folklore'? Should we tell them they are wrong, and try and talk them out of it?"

At this point my son said he almost laughed out loud and was dying to stand up and say, "I think all YOU people believe in Folklore!" But he was too stunned to do anything, and the teacher answered, "No, no you shouldn't do that . . ." etc. So next she asks, "Is there anyone in this room with a different culture or ethnicity?" No one says anything. So inexplicably she asks, "Are there any . . . say Koreans?" And my son is wondering what the heck she is talking about because there are obviously no Koreans in the room, when her gaze lands on him, and she asks, "Did you have anything you want to say?" My son shouts, "I'm white and black. I'm not Korean."  And she gets all flustered and says, she's sorry, she thought she saw him move or raise his hand. And he just says, "No, I didn't move or raise my hand."

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Wow. Cultural competence, eh? Maybe they should go to a mosque or something.

It's nice to think of Christianity as folklore. Your son sounds like an outstanding human. Of course, as a black and white, I could be biased :)

Where is the "Like" button? :)

Exactly what in the world is Cultural Competency Training?! I think I get cultural sensitivity, cultural understanding, and cultural recognition.  I mean, I'm "competent" at my job, and I'm "competent" in a kitchen (like to cook and bake), all of which means, to me anyway, I know what I'm doing, what's expected of me, how to use the tools of the trade, and how to accomplish tasks.  I would suspect I'm generally "competent" in most aspects of American culture, but would be "incompetent," and a fish out of water, living in a  village on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador, or Jakarta, Indonesia.  And, it's because I, don't know the idiomatic expressions, what passes for generally accepted humor, and no nothing of the mores, accepted social norms, and language.  Long winded way of saying, what the hell is the point of this class?

I'm going to have to change my name to a pseudonym before I can tell anymore funny stories, but many cultural-sensitivity--challenged people are not actually racist, but they are just completely oblivious. They haven't met anyone outside their home town and they just don't know there is any other way to view the world. They think that everyone is who matters is a white christian from their home town and it's safe to laugh at anything that surprises them.


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