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Modern Racism - Page 2

post #31 of 34
There's such a delicate balance between being a coherent yet diverse culture and becoming fractured and hating the other pieces. I think we're still figuring that out and aren't there yet. I think people just don't want all these different americas smashing into one another and laying on top of each other. the way its set up now, lots of people are just offended or threatened or ignorant. I would never tell someone to be more like me or not be themselves. I want to learn how to work together, how to be respectful of everyone without sacrificing anything about myself, and I ask nothing more than the same from others.
post #32 of 34
One thing really strikes me (remember I spent the first half of my life in the U.S., and have been living in Europe ever since): Americans are very quick to berate themselves about racism, ethnicity, etc., while most Europeans will deny that exists here, but my experience is that there is far more assimilation and acceptance in North America than there is here. I imagine the situation in Australia is similar to that in North America. I just had this discussion with an Argentinian colleague and a Bolivian student last night. I think many parts of Europe are just now becoming sensitized to the issue of discrimination. The role of Islamic immigrants here has obviously fed fuel to the fire, as has the issue of illegal immigrants from Africa.
post #33 of 34
That is very interesting food for thought Jcat. I think perhaps America has from the beginning been dealing with these issues, where in Europe everyone has been in well-established areas for a very long time. The infamous "Muhammed Cartoons" in the Jyllands-Posten are probably a good example, as are the laws banning "religious apparel," really hijabs, in schools in France. Nobody would even think to do either here. I'm not sure if the minority of people who have outright hatred of everyone who is different from them is worse than the subtle, institutionalized racism that seems to pervade lots of things.
post #34 of 34
My Bolivian (ex-)student (she graduated last night), who is herself a mestizo, put it this way: "In the Americas, most people aren't indigenous, and have past injustices in the back of their minds, so they're more careful than people here." I have to agree with her. Although you might know that your ancestors came far too late to have participated in genocide (i.e., destroying indigenous cultures/peoples, or "owning" slaves), there's an awareness of colonialism and all its negativity that seems to still be lacking here.
I'm a bit perturbed about the "guest worker" program now being suggested by the current U.S. administration. There are now third-generation "guest workers" in Germany, and calling them that, rather than "immigrants", puts them in a position where they're still viewed, and treated, as a "foreign body". That really doesn't encourage them to assimilate - why bother, if there's always the possibility of being deported? That's all the more reason to hang on to the culture of your forefathers' land.
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