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GiantHockeyFan
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28 Apr 2014, 1:57 pm

After having a talk with African-Canadian coworker who told me we 'could be good friends', I was just thinking back to my childhood. I grew up in an area that was 99.9% White and had almost no experience moving to an area with a sizable population of people of African descent. I was warned about how much trouble they were and many did fit the 'big bad' stereotype to a T and was warned to avoid them if you valued your life. I don't need to repeat my bullying stories but looking back as tough as the "Black" kids were and yes, they were generally into a lot of trouble in my school, they NEVER EVER gave me a hard time not even once and were about the only kids not to bully me at all. In fact, I ran into one lately and he calmly said how he was only good at 'drive-bys' like I was an old friend almost like he wished his life didn't revolve around gangs and drugs and was envious of my relative success. I once had a friend and never even realized he WAS a visible minority until someone pointed it out!

There aren't many minorities where I work but they seem to all universally love me. My best guess is that they can pick up that a)I take people at face value and to quote Dr. King judge them by the content of their character and b)I know what it's like to have to shield yourself from the "mob" and be treated as inferior. Even when visiting a multicultural city like Toronto I got along great with all the various ethnic groups and felt right at home. Perhaps this is a case where being on a spectrum is a major advantage because we aren't so blinded by the herd mentality and this is the upside of being an independent thinker. Anyone else have similar experiences?



starvingartist
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28 Apr 2014, 3:27 pm

i couldn't fail to notice all through school that i seemed to be a magnet for foreign students. anyone who had moved here from somewhere else i would end up befriending somehow, which is strange because i really don't know how i ever made any friends to begin with as i never myself actively sought friends; if i ended up with friends it's because they somehow found me. but yes, all through elementary and high school and even into college, foreign students seemed drawn to me. i've pondered this since and wonder if it has something to do with the fact that i've always felt foreign in my own community as a consequence of not fitting in and not intuitively understanding my own culture's norms even though i was raised surrounded by them, and perhaps this causes me to send out an "alien" vibe that others who are unfamiliar with our culture can pick up on and sympathise with. it probably helps that i was always a curious and inquisitive child, and i enjoyed talking with people from other places i'd never been to because i liked learning about other languages and cultures from the people who speak/live them rather than reading about them in a book; and i was never judgmental about differences because other cultures never made any more or less sense to me than my own did.



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28 Apr 2014, 5:39 pm

I was best friends with the super smart Iranian girls in school. I loved going to their homes--their parents were so interesting and nice; usually very highly educated and academic in their approach. I also made great friends with a contingent of Caribbean people in university. I never thought of it as a problem. Most middle-class white people I grew up with and went to university with were too concerned about social status and always made me feel unwelcome when I spoke my mind about something or when I didn't dress to their standards (apparently it is very embarrassing to walk through town with someone who doesn't dress in certain designer brands or hipster gear). Oh well.

I truly do think that Aspies are some of the most open-minded people out there when it comes to not judging on the basis of looks, class or age.



kraftiekortie
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28 Apr 2014, 5:53 pm

I'm married to a African-Caribbean woman. I dated African-Caribbean and Hispanic women in the past. I'm of Northern European lineage. I'm of Russian-Jewish and Dutch-Catholic descent.

I grew up in a mostly Jewish neighborhood whose residents became fearful whenever a "visible minority" took up residence. Nowadays, that same neighborhood is mostly South Asian (i.e., Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) and Russian.

I've always gotten along with people of different races---and they've always gotten along with me. One of my first crushes was an African-American English teacher. I see them as people. It's only when someone gets political that I see, say, a Black person as Black.



GiantHockeyFan
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28 Apr 2014, 10:52 pm

starvingartist wrote:
i couldn't fail to notice all through school that i seemed to be a magnet for foreign students.

I have also found this as well. My friends were almost exclusively foreign students England (elementary), China (Junior High.... but he moved within months), and Oman, Qatar and England (University). Like you, I never sought any of them out at all and they all took right to me although usually just before leaving the county :( . I assume this is the same reason as with visible minorities with the added fact we stand out in a good way to these students.



CyclopsSummers
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29 Apr 2014, 5:26 am

I am a visible minority (mixed race Afro-Caribbean/Pacific Islander), and while I usually find myself among an ethnically diverse crowd when I'm among kindred spirits, I should say that I don't particularly get along better with other folks who are of ethnic minorities here in Holland, than with white Dutch people.

In fact, my own experience is that, whenever I was at a workplace where most of my co-workers were of foreign descent (Caribbean, Moroccan, etc.), I actually got along worse with them, than in places where my co-workers were mostly white. My POC co-workers had different expectations of me than they would have had of a white co-worker, because they figured I was 'one of them', and so was also supposed to 'get' the social norms. Let me just say they didn't take too well to a 'fellow POC' who was both autistic and bisexual.

In general, I get along with the more geeky, eccentric crowd, regardless of ethnicity.


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LastSanityJermaine
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29 Apr 2014, 5:54 am

Well I'm black so it's the opposite, I attract a lot of white people. I keep getting told I'm atypical of what the usually expect from an African American.



Toy_Soldier
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29 Apr 2014, 6:20 am

Interesting subject. I noticed early on, that if there was a minority person in whatever situation I was in, that they would most likely be the ones I became friends with. It happened over and over again. But I also noted I tended to befriend any one that was an odd person out.

Part of it was that I tended to feel the odd person out mentally and not in tune with the typical socializing.

I also thought some of the reason was an instinctive empathy for other people who where or might feel isolated. I found they were generally good people to be friends with and the friendships more real/less shallow. Perhaps being isolated made them more open to friendship when it occurred.



YourMajesty
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29 Apr 2014, 6:35 am

CyclopsSummers wrote:
I am a visible minority (mixed race Afro-Caribbean/Pacific Islander), and while I usually find myself among an ethnically diverse crowd when I'm among kindred spirits, I should say that I don't particularly get along better with other folks who are of ethnic minorities here in Holland, than with white Dutch people.

In fact, my own experience is that, whenever I was at a workplace where most of my co-workers were of foreign descent (Caribbean, Moroccan, etc.), I actually got along worse with them, than in places where my co-workers were mostly white. My POC co-workers had different expectations of me than they would have had of a white co-worker, because they figured I was 'one of them', and so was also supposed to 'get' the social norms. Let me just say they didn't take too well to a 'fellow POC' who was both autistic and bisexual.

In general, I get along with the more geeky, eccentric crowd, regardless of ethnicity.

Same here.

I think it's all heavily dependent on what the cultural background of the PoC is. Usually -relatively- large minorities tend to have their own distinct group culture which is pretty much exclusive to those who aren't part of it. How exclusive these cultures are depends on the religion or background of that specific group, though I'd say many aren't aspie-friendly at all.


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