Living in a global village. Ain't it cool?

In my high school, twelve miles north of here, there was one hispanic kid and three Chinese kids, two whose parents owned the Chinese restaurant (totally Cantonese and flavorless) and the other’s parents ran the totally cliched Chinese laundry (she was a couple years younger and I was an idiot who didn’t realize that she was cute and mom and dad, with a cleaner’s next to the cummuter rail station for an affulent suburb, were sitting on gold mine. They sold out. How hard is it to learn Mandarin?)? :wink:

Today I cannot vote for Tammy Duckworth, half Filopina, for a third time because she is running
to be my fricking SENATOR!

Today some dude yclept Raja Krishnamoorthi is running against some useless Pub. As far as I’m concernerd, Raja’s my boy.

Ain’t it cool?

Whats the frequency, Kenneth?

Not really. Like the OP, I went to a school with non-diverse people. Only 2 or 3 of my classmates had a parrent who was born in a different state. One Jewish girl, whose family moved away. No blacks, Hispanics… After the war, a local church sponsored a refugee family. Pizza hadn’t been Americanized yet, and the only time I saw Chinese restaurants was when we went to Canada. In the city you could hear people speaking old-country languages (all European), but not in my town.

Quite honestly, I don’t see whee diversity has made anything any better. There was a Cambodian family in my apartment building, but hey never talked to anybody, nobody got invited into their home to see how diverse they were. Half the population of my city calls themselves Hispanic, but they live and act and talk and order pizza like Americans and I have to go to Latin America to see Hispanic culture, which is very very different from any aspect of America’s so-called diversity. The Irish and the Germans and the Italians came to America by the millions, and brought no diversity at all.

Back in my home town, I myself WAS the diversity. My dad was born two states away, my mother in central Europe. I don’t think any of my classmates were as ‘diverse’ as I was, nor did many of them even know that my roots were from afar. And you know what? This is the fist time in my life I ever reflected on that. I was just another kid in school and the streets, but whatever diversity there was, I was it. It sure didn’t seem that way.

My town was mostly Dutch. Played high school ball against kids from nearby towns that were German or Polish or Swedish. Couldn’t tell the difference. Diversity is imaginary, there for those who wish hard enough.

The voice to text translator on your phone is not be working properly.

But the “yclept” isn’t a mistake, is it? I gotta believe that people still use that word.

Anyway …

I grew up in a monoculture as well. Just a few Japanese-Americans to turn a tiny bit of the whiteness down.

Then college, both as a student and as a faculty member. Welcome to the world, FtG! It was just great meeting and getting to know people from all over. I have no idea why people would be afraid of people form other lands, other cultures. No idea at all. It’s like hearing that there are people afraid of “sinister” left handers or redheads. WTF is wrong with some people?

Wish I had grown up in a more diverse environment. It’s good for all involved. It esp., fights off this nonsense about “I knew a family from X, they were Y. So all people from X are Y.”

I am going to answer this straight: Yes. It is awesome. I do not miss, ever, living among people who could not tell Sikhs from Arabs, and had a single pejorative for both of them. I love how I have met people from probably one third of the nations in Africa. I love how you can translate any web page into a multiplicity of languages. I am fascinated by the rich complexity of manifold human cultures. The world of today beats the hell out of the insular, stuffy, provincial little place where I grew up.

You never eat anything but [del]bologna[/del]… wait… uh… head cheese on white bread?

Yes, things are better: these days there specific pejoratives for every group. :smiley:

And now, The Offenders.

When I come home from traveling abroad, I find that it is still an “insular, stuffy, provincial” place, and nobody even asks me any questions about where I’ve been, except maybe “Just where is Africa, anyway”. Americans are still just as ignorant of the world as they were in the 40s, when I started collecting stamps, as did a lot of kids, and there was actually more curiosity about the world than there is now. Few Americans have ever sat through an entire movie with subtitles, but they all profess to know about the world, somehow

Americans today are completely incurious about the world. They see media representations that are slanted to reflect the prejudices they already had, and are actually being selectively dis-educated about the world. Barely one or two percent of Americans who have traveled abroad have wandered beyond safe western democracies or visits to 5-star gated tropical hotels or maybe conferenced with upper-class London-educated business executives. You don’t get to know Ethiopia by eating injeri in a restaurant with Ethiopian wall hangings.

How many immigrants that you have met have actually love and respect their culture and have talked to you in glowing terms about where they came from? Most of them are renegades who fled frolm a country that they have disdain for. Not reliable unbiased sources of information about the outside world.

jtur88: You raise some good points. First of all, the stuffy little place I grew up was a nondescript suburb in the SF Bay area; my preference for the world of today has at least something to do with the fact that I am living in a much more cosmopolitan area now. Still in the Bay Area, but an urban hub.

However, I would say that in most of my conversations with people from Africa there has been a cognitive separation between culture and political climate/ adverse conditions in their perception of their nation of birth. I venture to say that often people don’t consider conditions imposed from without to define the people they are within. Then again, I am much more inclined to inquire about aspects of culture than about oppression.

You are sadly correct about Americans’ insular experiences abroad. I had a friend who was going to India, and I foolishly asked her to bring me back something depicting the goddess Durga. I was thinking of some small trinket from a street vendor or an out-of-the-way temple, a little handmade thing. Then, looking at the pictures she posted from abroad, I realized that she was on one of those guided planned micromanaged spiritual retreat things, and would be nowhere near the kind of place I had in mind.

Still and all, even if we (collectively) are only partly along on the way to truly respecting and embracing the diverse inhabitants of the earth, it’s a start. And, in what I’m pretty sure I think is the spirit of the OP, I think it’s cool.

Many, although more than “in glowing terms” I’d say “with nostalgia”. But:

  1. I’ve been an immigrant myself, repeatedly and in multiple countries.
  2. from a culture which has long had the concept of ‘doing the Americas’ (emigrating for economic reasons, in hopes of coming back rich or at least well-off) and which sees it as perfectly legitimate. A lot of Americans think that immigrating to the US for economic reasons is some sort of attack on… I’m not sure on what, but it is terribly offensive, I mean, how dare you immigrate to the greatest country in the world for any reason other than its being the greatest country in the world… the idea of wanting to return home for retirement or to start a business merely adds insult to injury.
  3. and a lot of us had bad experiences trying to talk about our countries with the locals when they asked, whereas other immigrants or people who technically were not but who still got treated as such would be happy to hear about it and to help us navigate the treacherous waters of assimilation.