Thinly Veiled Racism

Perhaps this is just happening within my own social circle.  Perhaps this isn’t becoming prevalent throughout America like I think it is, but doesn’t it seem like people now a days are just making excuses to cover up their own bigotry and racism?  How many times have you heard someone say, “I got nothing against (insert minority) but I fucking hate it when they do such and such”. 

Clearly today’s generation is much less tolerant of being intolerant.  Racism is just not as acceptable as it once was.  Obviously I think this is great.  However what I don’t like is how sneaky and ridiculous people are about their racism now.  I almost prefer people to be open about their racism, rather than tip-toeing around it.  Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to my family talk about Muslims.  They talked about how they don’t mind them so long as they can understand what they are saying, or they don’t seem like they are terrorists.  What they meant is, they seem more American and less like their own culture.

It is not just my family though.  You see this shit on TV too.  I’m sure most of you have had the pleasure of seeing gubernatorial candidate Tim James give his heartfelt speech about the Alabama state drivers test.  I feel that this ad sums up how people like to express their racism in our modern times.  Look at that face.  Look at how he seems so concerned at the end of his little speech.  Someone that caring couldn’t POSSIBLY be a racist right?  He just has our best interest in mind.

This fucker is what the modern day racist looks like.  I am guessing that this turd burglar has never actually lived in another country before.  Notice I say LIVE and not VISIT.  They are two entirely different entities.  For those of you who haven’t lived in a different country before, let me explain a few things to you.

1. LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE IS FUCKING HARD.

Learning a new language is hard as shit.  We are lucky as Americans, that English is basically the universal language as of right now so that most people can accommodate us.  Learning a new language isn’t as easy as just studying it for a couple hours a day or picking it up in your free time.  Learning a language is an intensive learning experience.  It takes total submersion and dedication to learn a new language.  Just think of the thousands of fucking words that you know.  Now think of a toddler.  Now imagine that you have the same vocabulary and understanding of a language as that toddler.  Ok, now go open a fucking bank account with it.  That is how it is to move to a new country with a limited knowledge of a language.  Each new experience you have in a new country requires you to relearn a whole new load of vocabulary.  Things that once seemed easy like going to the bank, going to the post office, talking to a person on the street, getting a job, now these things become tasks that are now coded and must be re-learned.  On the rare occasion that I had to spend a whole day speaking Japanese without a word of English, I would find myself physically and mentally exhausted.  I was more tired from that than I ever was from school.  This brings me to another subject

2. LEARNING A NEW CULTURE IS FUCKING HARD

Not only are their language barriers, but there are cultural barriers you must cross as well.  It isn’t always as easy to learn as something like bowing instead of giving a handshake when you meet someone.  Everything we do and say is seeped in culture and routine.  It all seems so obvious to us, but guess what, IT ISN’T TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T LIVED HERE.  I will give you an example of how deep culture goes into our daily routine.  Even the way we count our money is specific to where we live.  It is little things like this, that you don’t even think about and do every day, that a person from another culture has to learn when they get here.

3. IT IS REALLY FUCKING TEMPTING AND EASY NOT TO LEARN OR WANT TO LEARN A NEW CULTURE

Ok, I fully believe that it is disrespectful not to learn the culture and at least some of the language of the country that you are living in.  That being said, American’s are notorious around the world for doing just that.  And really, who can blame them.  It is fucking scary to be in a culture different from your own.  It is embarrassing to make social faux pas or speak like a babbling idiot.  So what do people tend to do?  They tend to find people like themselves and interact with them, thus hindering their immersion and learning.  How many people do you know, have stage fright?  I am one of those people.  I can tell you that every day you live in another country with culture and language different than your own, you are on a fucking stage.  People are looking at you, and they are judging you.  They are watching your every move.  Just imagine doing that day in and day out.  It gets tiring.  So it is pretty common for people to try and find sanctuary and escape this feeling if they can.   Some people give up all together.  I don’t condone it, but I can’t fault them for doing it.  It is really hard and scary to be constantly judged.

I honestly and truly believe, that if you are a guest in someone’s country, that you should try to be respectful towards them.  As if you were literally in their home.  But in reality, this analogy is an oversimplification.  Moving to a new country is one of the most difficult things a person can do.

When I was in Japan, I was astounded by how homogeneous it was.  Japan is made up of 99% Japanese.  Their biggest minority, which makes up less than one percent of their population, is Chinese.  Everyone looked the same, and from what  I could tell, everyone acted the same.  It wasn’t until then that I realized that America has been blessed to be such a melting pot.  It is extremely uncommon to find countries that still say, “if you are born here, you are one of us”.  America still does that for now.  This mixture of people and culture makes America what it is.  I think people tend to forget that.

So when you run into a guy or gal that is struggling to speak our language or understand our customs, cut them some slack.  At least they are trying.  You got to admire their bravery.  They came to our country to make a better life for themselves.  They probably gave up a ton to get here.  So be patient with them.  There are enough dicks out there already that probably give them a hard time as it is.  Speak clearly and slowly if need be.  DON’T ADD TO THE PROBLEM ADD TO THE SOLUTION.  That is, unless they are dicks themselves.  That or bad drivers.  Seriously, screw those guys.

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8 thoughts on “Thinly Veiled Racism

  1. BobChuck says:

    WOW TIM JAMES, HE IS SUCH A SACK OF SHIT, THAT IS A SHITTY ASS COMMERCIAL GOD DAMN.

    Yea, super hard new language and shit.

  2. csalzman says:

    One time [person] did [thing I don’t like] now I hate all [person’s group].

    Marshall, man, that site…if you ever start a sentence with “I’m not ____ but….” the end result is guaranteed to make you sound like exactly that thing.

    Keith, great post. Lots to think about. It reminds me of Javier (Javierno!). We were talking about him learning english once and I mentioned that I had taken some spanish classes and he actually thanked me. I think it meant a lot to hear that in a convoluted way people were trying to meet him halfway. (that was the same job he got stung by all those bees, never seen anyone get off a ladder so quickly without falling in my life.)

    And, that money counting video is messing with my head. I just assumed everyone counted things the same.

  3. lainosaur says:

    wow that notracistbut site IS infuriating. holy crap. Yokadok at that politician.

    This country is pretty fucked up. I try not to think about the ignorant people because it just makes me sad. Worst part is their ignorance isn’t the biggest problem, but rather their close minded stubbornness and insistence that they are right.

    There’s not even an official language in the US, a lot of people probably don’t even realize that.

    In a related, but not directly piece of info, I saw somewhere something like American children are in the bottom quarter of math and science in first world countries, but tops in self esteem and the belief that they’re good at math and science.

    Raising people to be confident while ignorant is absurd. It’s like in the video game when the bad people don’t realize how bad they are, the more skilled players realize there is a lot of room to improve. It’s so damn annoying. AKA EVERYONE HUMBLE UP.

    • BobChuck says:

      Yea, it’s kinda fucked up that the reason Americans/Brits get so many opportunities in other countries is not cuz the locals are stupid. but because they aren’t confidant enough to say something and defend it, right or wrong.

  4. scottodactyl says:

    I hated the japanese guy that I went to film school with. he couldn’t speak english very well, and everyone fucking loved him because he could barely talk and he seemed mysterious, and well shit, people love non-mexican foreigners, right? japanese friend? hipster street cred! know some asshole from kenya who works at the gas station? Hipster street cred!

    needless to say, every fucking paper he wrote in my theory classes were about japan, every film he made had something to do generically with being from japan, and it kind of pissed me off that he was sort of skating by on it instead of having to be more creative.

    so I don’t hate japanese people, of course, but I did kind of hate THAT guy BECAUSE he was japanese and exploiting it. WHITE SUBURBAN PEOPLE IN FILM SCHOOL HAVE TO COME UP MORE CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES! (that was a half joke)

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