Friday, July 17, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #3

Greetings and salutations! It's time for this week's lunchtime poll.

I've had a request for controversy, and oddly, I just can't think of anything. However, this topic has been brewing in my mind for awhile, and it was also suggested by someone else. So here we go.

Are you a racist and/or bigot?

Think hard. I don't mean the blatant, slur flinging, white hood wearing, confederate flag toting bigot. If you're one of those, go away. I don't need your readership. I'm talking about something more subtle. Be honest with yourself. Do you think a person will act a certain way based solely on their ethnicity? Do you feel uncomfortable with people of different races? How do you feel about interracial marriage? And I'm not just talking black and white. I'm including all ethnicities in this.

I've decided that I'm not a racist or a bigot, but I am a culturist. I totally made that word up. Feel free to use it. I have no problem with interracial marriage. I don't think ethnicity has any bearing whatsoever on intelligence. But if I was hiring someone for a job, I can't say with 100% certainty that I wouldn't let a person's ethnicity influence my opinion of them--for better or worse.

Growing up, I was friends with people of many races. It never entered my mind that they were any different than I was outside of physical appearance. But though they may have been Black or Korean or Jewish in ethnicity, they were all still just kids from the mainly white, upper middle class suburbs of New England.

I didn't notice any prejudices start popping up in my mind until I'd gone out in the world a little and started meeting people who had been raised in an entirely different culture--be it a foreign country or the South or the inner city.

In college I worked at a store called ShopKo. It's like Target and Wal-Mart had an illegitimate love child. Anyway, I started to really dread the Korean study-abroad students who came in. They, without fail, would take something completely out of its packaging and look it over, and then leave the product (and the box. And the wrappers. And the foam. Etc...) in a heap on the shelf and they'd buy one that they hadn't torn apart and fondled. It pissed me off like you wouldn't believe, and it was only the Korean students who did this. Now, it's not because there's some genetic mutation that makes all Koreans inconsiderate shoppers (the genetic mutation only applies to Fan Death). It's apparently something cultural. It's rude here, but it happened so regularly that I have to assume it must be perfectly acceptable where they were raised.

I have lots of examples of my culturism (some a bit more controversial than the example above), but I'm anxious to read what you have to say, so I'll shut up for now.

Also, don't let this give you the impression that I think my culture is best just because many other cultures have things about them that annoy me. Ohhhh no. After living in Europe I discovered that my own culture annoys me too. Now I strive to be more European.

Let the discussion commence! And while we all like a good fight...errr...debate, please be nice and remember that people from all over the world read this blog.

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