My suburb is getting pozzed and I would like to avoid confrontation and stay out of trouble. Tips?

MajorStyles

Pelican
I've started thinking of America as a fallen Roman empire. The solution now is to find one's "tribe" and then interact within that country-club sphere as much as possible. The goal is that, with enough effort, that tribe becomes a self-sufficient entity with its own financial system, lines of communication, belief systems, activities, etc. Nobody can (or should) enter this tribe unless they have been vetted beforehand.

Re-examine your inner circle and limit your locations. Look to build from the inside out.
 
Short-term, you just need to go into severe avoidance mode when it comes to blacks, LGBT, Latinx, blue-hair wammens. There is nothing you absolutely need from them. E.g. if youre in a drive thru and you hear a black voice, just drive on and say to yourself "Oh well, I guess I dont get my smoothie today. I should probably 'do without' anyway.". ITS NOT WORTH THE RISK OF AN ALTERCATION WHERE YOU'RE INSTANTLY AT FAULT FOR BEING WHITE.
 

kel

Ostrich
I've started thinking of America as a fallen Roman empire. The solution now is to find one's "tribe" and then interact within that country-club sphere as much as possible. The goal is that, with enough effort, that tribe becomes a self-sufficient entity with its own financial system, lines of communication, belief systems, activities, etc. Nobody can (or should) enter this tribe unless they have been vetted beforehand.

Re-examine your inner circle and limit your locations. Look to build from the inside out.
Correct but can be tough. A lot of people, I suspect, are looking up and seeing the friends and colleagues they've had for years have become quite menacing and extreme, now they're trying to figure out how to build their tribe when what they thought was their tribe turned out to be good-time-gals that turned into bad times. And there's (reasonable) paranoia about outing oneself, so it makes it tough to make meaningful new connections. Definitely something I struggle with, I'm essentially living a double life while I try to transition from one to the other (and juggling all that with the normal responsibilities of life, the brass tacks things it takes to build any life, etc).
 

Easy_C

Peacock
Short-term, you just need to go into severe avoidance mode when it comes to blacks, LGBT, Latinx, blue-hair wammens. There is nothing you absolutely need from them. E.g. if youre in a drive thru and you hear a black voice, just drive on and say to yourself "Oh well, I guess I dont get my smoothie today. I should probably 'do without' anyway.". ITS NOT WORTH THE RISK OF AN ALTERCATION WHERE YOU'RE INSTANTLY AT FAULT FOR BEING WHITE.
One thing you learn growing up in some parts of the country even before this is that there are some racial interactions where, if present, should cause you to skip fast food stops. If you’re the only white or Hispanic guy in a Taco Bell just move on.
 

Max Roscoe

Kingfisher
Just some logistics about my suburb - it has close to 100,000 people, so it's definitely large enough to not be a "small town". It's about 80% white and 6% black - probably at least 5% of that white number is hispanic, so I'm dealing with 75% white at best, it could possibly be as low as 70%.
If you are having trouble with 6% of the population, you moved into the wrong apartment complex or neighborhood.

I live in a 60% black city and I frequently don't lock my doors.
It's been dawning on me lately, though, that the happiest I've ever been is when I was abroad. I don't really have any roots in any major metro areas in the US (moved a lot as a kid), and I wouldn't lose much if I was an expat for the rest of my life.
Most other countries, rich or poor, have a greater cohesiveness and center because they have things like a homogeneous population, physical city center, attractive architecture, cities designed for walking, and a system of government, that may be corrupt but is at least Mexican bureaucrats working for Mexican citizens, etc. I felt this many times when I would be in Asia and a Taiwanese taxi driver would assist the Taiwanese girl I was with because they had a common identity and didn't want to screw each other over, unlike the way a Nigerian taxi driver in the US feels no comeraderie with an Indian customer he picks up.

A close friend is in the FSU now and is having a blast, about to get married there. Just ask yourself this: When you are traveling abroad, do you get upset or angry at the behavior of others, and try to influence or change them? Or do you just accept their society for what it is. It sounds like you are trying to fight or save some aspect of US culture and that battle was long ago lost. My family is the only reason I'm still in the US.
 

Leonard

Chicken
I wish! My username is the name of Tony Soprano's boat. (Although I'm mostly southern Italian ethnically and a traditionalist Catholic. My grandmother was an immigrant and spoke all Italian until she hit her late teens.)

If I do end up spending time away from the United States to teach English, it would probably be in Italy or Spain (I'm definitely high intermediate level in Spanish, so Italian wouldn't be that much of a difficulty spike). Maybe an Eastern European country if I end learning one of the languages of the FSU, but those are a lot harder.

I spent nine months in the Middle East as a student and probably wouldn't go back. The pressure to convert to Islam wasn't overwhelming, but pretty constant, and I couldn't make any real local friends there as a result.

It's been dawning on me lately, though, that the happiest I've ever been is when I was abroad. I don't really have any roots in any major metro areas in the US (moved a lot as a kid), and I wouldn't lose much if I was an expat for the rest of my life.
Oh,
I did not know the name of Tony Soprano's boat. (When you pronounce it a certain way it's a vulgar southern Italian expression. Something like: "...my foot!" but referring to another part of the body.
Large cities in Europe, of course, have a large migrant population. Even in Italy there a lot of migrants now, who settled there in the past twenty years. But migrants are not necessarily a problem. Not all of them bother me. For example, in Italy there a lot of migrants from eastern Europe, mainly Romania. They are Christian, very respectful and well integrated.

When I go there (to Italy, I mean), I make a point to search for and rediscover all the things that I hadn't seen before. Italy is, by far, the richest country in heritage of our Christian European culture; but all Europe is a treasure trove. And the Americas too, which I like to call a Magna Europa, are a testimony to the greatness of European Christian civilization. Now we are told that we renege it, and actually be ashamed of our cultural heritage. I think it's worth fighting for; but fight for real. In Italy, Hungary or Minnesota.
Dio sia con te,
L.
 

stugatz

Pelican
A close friend is in the FSU now and is having a blast, about to get married there. Just ask yourself this: When you are traveling abroad, do you get upset or angry at the behavior of others, and try to influence or change them? Or do you just accept their society for what it is. It sounds like you are trying to fight or save some aspect of US culture and that battle was long ago lost. My family is the only reason I'm still in the US.
Never. Maybe that comes across as weird due to how angry my initial post was, but I almost never got upset about the behavior of others overseas.

When I lived in Casablanca, there was moderate noise coming from the streets quite often - and I just shrugged at it or put in headphones. Much of it came from the mosques, obviously - that call to prayer can extremely loud depending on who's shouting it. Coffee shops there are interestingly enough, not meant to be quiet like they are here, probably because they're male hangouts that would be bars in the United States. If I had to study there or wanted to read, I learned to tune out the hooting and hollering that went on during soccer matches.

Morocco, while not ridiculously so, has an authoritarian bent to its culture. (Their parliament has some power, but not really any that can make a difference. It had even less before the Arab Spring.) It's actually illegal to say bad things about King Mohammed VI or Islam's prophet Mohammed as well. Every restaurant or coffeehouse has a shrine-like picture of the king greeting you when you enter. As far as Christianity went, any church I attended that hadn't been there historically (so, anything built after 1956) was one that was underground, advertised through word of mouth, and had a different location every week. All of this I disliked or was bothered by, but I considered myself a non-Arab guest in the country and acted accordingly. I'd likely do the same in an FSU or European country.

Reason I push back here domestically is because I'm trying to regain what I see as lost ground...but the more I look around, the more I don't really think it's something I can make a difference about. I think I'm going through the stages of grief in a way, I almost think we're all saying the last rites for the west.
 
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magaman

Sparrow
Never. Maybe that comes across as weird due to how angry my initial post was, but I almost never got upset about the behavior of others overseas.

When I lived in Casablanca, there was moderate noise coming from the streets quite often - and I just shrugged at it or put in headphones. Much of it came from the mosques, obviously - that call to prayer can extremely loud depending on who's shouting it. Coffee shops there are interestingly enough, not meant to be quiet like they are here, probably because they're male hangouts that would be bars in the United States. If I had to study there or wanted to read, I learned to tune out the hooting and hollering that went on during soccer matches.

Morocco, while not ridiculously so, has an authoritarian bent to its culture. (Their parliament has some power, but not really any that can make a difference. It had even less before the Arab Spring.) It's actually illegal to say bad things about King Mohammed VI or Islam's prophet Mohammed as well. Every restaurant or coffeehouse has a shrine-like picture of the king greeting you when you enter. As far as Christianity went, any church I attended that hadn't been there historically (so, anything built after 1956) was one that was underground, advertised through word of mouth, and had a different location every week. All of this I disliked or was bothered by, but I considered myself a non-Arab guest in the country and acted accordingly. I'd likely do the same in an FSU or European country.

Reason I push back here domestically is because I'm trying to regain what I see as lost ground...but the more I look around, the more I don't really think it's something I can make a difference about. I think I'm going through the stages of grief in a way, I almost think we're all saying the last rites for the west.
Same man.. Some days I feel like I should try to make a difference but then I remember that most people aren't really listening because they've already made up their minds one way or the other. Now I'm just gonna take advantage of what I can get and make things work for me whatever way I can.
 

Lian

Pigeon
Gold Member
Based on what you wrote I second looking into expatriating. It sounds like you don't have such deep connections to any one particular place or part of the US, and in these mini battles you want to regain ground that was lost, all feelings I understand, including your struggles with rage and wanting to react, and I have dealt with the same issues. You can blow on the hull of the Titanic until you're exhausted and struggling to breathe, but it won't make one bit of difference in altering its course, that's the sad reality. Eventually, there will be nowhere there to run. Do you feel like it's your fight to fight when push comes to shove, say on a plot of land your extended family has owned for centuries that is deeply intertwined with your DNA and heritage, or are you just another rootless mutt American, like so many including myself? If the latter, I'd say it's worth it to consider leaving.

Being of predominantly Italian ancestry I think you said, you might even qualify for citizenship. As you said, English teaching is an option. Leaving permanently isn't for everyone. Then again, all of our (US) ancestors did it at one point, many with no guaranteed job, or much money at all.
 
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stugatz

Pelican
Based on what you wrote I second looking into expatriating. It sounds like you don't have such deep connections to any one particular place or part of the US, and in these mini battles you want to regain ground that was lost, all feelings I understand, including your struggles with rage and wanting to react, and I have dealt with the same issues. You can blow on the hull of the Titanic until you're exhausted and struggling to breathe, but it won't make one bit of difference in altering its course, that's the sad reality. Eventually, there will be nowhere there to run. Do you feel like it's your fight to fight when push comes to shove, say on a plot of land your extended family has owned for centuries that is deeply intertwined with your DNA and heritage, or are you just another rootless mutt American, like so many including myself? If the latter, I'd say it's worth it to consider leaving.

Being of predominantly Italian ancestry I think you said, you might even qualify for citizenship. As you said, English teaching is an option. Leaving permanently isn't for everyone. Then again, all of our (US) ancestors did it at one point, many with no guaranteed job, or much money at all.
I feel the need to elaborate a little. I apologize if this turns out to be stream-of-consciousness.

Trying not to doxx myself, but I currently live in crappy, decaying Minnesota (obviously). Lived in Wisconsin around a decade during and after college, and I feel like I have the strongest roots there. Before then, had moved NINE times due to being in a military family, mostly around the southwest. I'm actually originally from Massachusetts. I can't say I know the vast majority of my very large extended family. (Most of them are spread around the US, a good third of them, interestingly enough, in the DC area.)

For example, a cousin is getting married in the fall and I have absolutely no intention on going to the wedding. In fact, the last relative I spoke to was another cousin - he felt the need, right around New Year's, to make a threatening phone call to my dad over a Facebook post they butted heads on. I contacted him within five minutes, and calmly told him that if he ever spoke to my father like that again, I'd put his ass in the hospital. I don't at all regret telling him that, and don't care if my aunt tries to get us to make amends - I'll probably just tell him a second time, and suggest that his kid probably isn't his.

Ultimately - I don't know the majority of my relatives, and don't really care to at this point - I had no chance to get to know them growing up. I have a strained relationship with my own immediate family (my father especially), and really don't talk to my siblings much. (Unless I'm nerding out with my brother over food-related stuff, or we're bonding over talking about what a crappy upbringing we had and how cringe our dad is whenever we're out doing something. My sister renounced all religion and married a non-Christian.)

Last time I was happiest was, to be frank, when I was in a majority Muslim country struggling to learn Arabic for a major I ended up abandoning. I didn't have a penny to my name and, during weekends (where most of my rich classmates RyanAired around nearby Europe), I read voraciously in smoke-filled coffee shops.

It was this odd and comforting feeling that I'd ESCAPED. My problems were on the other side of the Atlantic, and it was like my life up until that point had just been a bad dream. If I decided to maybe just take a ferry to southern Spain, I could disappear, or make a solid effort at doing it. I've always been gifted with languages, and could probably achieve fluency in a Romance language within a year. No more college debt, my family wouldn't be a millstone around my neck anymore, and I'd get to be the interesting foreigner forever.

If I could right now drop everything and leave without any explanation, I'd do it. I just don't really have the money right now, and so much could go wrong.
 
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