Itty Bitty Blog

Things I love right now:
IKEA Kitchens
The Library

Melting Racism

I know pretty heavy topic for a Tuesday morning but for some reason the topic of Racism has been popping up in my life lately.

Living in Canada I am sometime oblivious to race or skin tone because this country is so diverse you come to expect that the people around you may or may not look exactly like you. I am in no way saying that this country is free of racism. I am just saying that we are lucky to have exposure to so many cultures. On my flight home from Toronto the man sitting next to me reminded me of such a time when I was oblivious to my surroundings.

I was on one of my road trips down into the states and due to a lucky win of $1,400 in Vegas my trip made an unscheduled route change that landed me in San Diego, California at about 11:30 pm in complete darkness. I couldn’t seem to get out of residential neighbourhoods and needed to find a hotel district. I finally found an Albertson’s (grocery chain) that was open and got out to stretch my legs and ask for directions. While inside I remembered that a friend had asked me to pick-up some powdered buttermilk that they only sold in the states. So I wandered up and down the isles looking for buttermilk when a man tapped me on the shoulder and said “What are you doing here?”. Shocked I replied “Ummm buying buttermilk”. He replied “No really, what are you doing here?”. As a crowd started to gather I assured him I definitely was just there for the buttermilk and directions to a hotel. To which he replied “Did you not noticed that you are the only white guy in here? This is a Hispanic ONLY grocery store”. I was stunned, now that I looked around I could definitely see that yes, I was the only “white guy” but I felt proud that I hadn’t noticed. When I replied I didn’t notice, he became quite friendly and escorted me through the checkout line and to my car pointing me in the direction of a hotel.

I personally feel that racism comes from ignorance and intolerance. Either people don’t know enough about each other to understand and that breeds confusion, fear, and hate or people aren’t tolerant of each other. This tolerance I speak of goes both ways. Not just tolerance for differences but also tolerance for other people’s boundaries. Be aware that what makes you different might infringe on what makes someone else different. Don’t change, just respect those differences are at opposition.

Tough concepts that none of us are perfect at but the more we try, and ask questions the better we will become. If you can’t accept the differences, focus on the similarities. For instance people from 32 countries have now read this blog. You now have something in common with 32 other cultures so far. :-)

2 comments to Melting Racism

  • I would have been floored. It may have been a hispanic grocery, but certainly not ‘only’. On my street in Indy, there is a corner market that is primarliy black,Double 8. It is half a block from me and I frequent it a lot for staples (bread, milk, eggs, etc.) Up the street there is a very high-end store, Fresh Market, that serves more epicurean tastes, and much more of a white clientele. These are two different worlds. Many of those folks at Fresh Market would not be seen at the Double 8. That is the nature of the part of town in which I live , south Broadripple, which I call Fudge-Ripple. I love it. Always interesting!

    Reply to this comment

    admin Reply:

    Fudge-Ripple! I LOVE IT! I also love that you frequent whatever grocery works best for you :-)

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Questrade Democratic Pricing - 1 cent per share, $4.95 min / $9.95 max