Sunday, February 10, 2008

Racism and Elections

I have to admit that I have found all of this talk about Ob.ama and is America ready for an African American fascinating. Although I am Canadian, I lived in America for 10 years. For the most part, I loved living there. Americans must be the most friendly people on earth. I found America's obsession with race interesting. (I had to be told that Mexicans were not white.) Canada usually takes a polite, "How interesting" attitude towards culture and race. While Canada is not free of racism, we are open to expressions of different cultures. We often even pay for them, with our taxes no less. America strives more for an obedience to the purity of the perfect American culture. Deviations are frowned on. My DH told me one of his coworkers was ashamed when his parents spoke German in public. I don't mean to say that all Americans are so closed to deviations from the perceived norm. So all this "Is America ready?" questioning by the pundits seems a tad bizarre. What is America ready for? Would electing Ob.ama mean that Americans are accepting all races as equal?

Of course, I cannot claim to be free from all racial stereotypes. I have to admit that I have chuckled over jokes about Asian drivers, oh and H.ondas too. I do live in an area of town where 30% of the population is Asian, many first generation. I moved here knowing that and I can't say that I regret the lack of whiteness. Many stores around here have multi-lingual signs and Asian foods are available in the grocery stores. I like the food and the people. It is a good place to raise a family.

Update on the list coming soon.

Note: After thinking about this, I want to say that I was not trying to suggest all Americans are race obsessed. I think it is more just that racism is so strange. Of course, Canada has not had a Black Prime Minister. We have had a woman, Kim Campbell, but she lasted a very short time. Maybe, I didn't have a point.

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