Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stop Making Sense

It's not easy being green.

I ran into an old client on the street the other day and we did a quick catch up conversation. He told me he had just gotten back from South Africa.

"Wow! How was it?"

"Weird. Despite the end of apartheid there is still this thing hanging over the country."

I told him about another friend who had gone to South Africa recently who had a similar observation- official discrimination has ended but the different races do not mingle on a social level.

He ended with "We are so lucky in this country. We just take it for granted."

I know that things are not peaches and cream in this country as far as discrimination goes, but there is a broad acceptance of different people- or at least an abhorrence of crude and ignorant displays of intolerance. There is also room for conversation about acceptance/inclusion. I watch from the sidelines, bemused, as gay people fight for the right to marry. (This "right" isn't as desirable as one might think- I am not a huge fan of this legal institution.) This is a conversation that never would have taken place 20 years ago. I think of my clients who openly refer to their partners. The shame and stigma of this acknowledgement seems to have vanished. I was also pleasantly pleased by the near seamless mixing of Hispanics and Anglos in New Mexico during a recent visit. When I lived there 20 years ago the resentments were palpable between the two races.

There are still many instances of discrimination, hatred and even violence against those who are different. I think, as a country, we don't recognize how things have changed over time. We have every right to be proud of our continued struggle towards universal rights.

Bash on!


fishnet said...

actually now that soupy sales has died the "pie in the face" joke now longer has the same laugh factor that is used to, so you might tell whoever it was that threw one at you that humor of this type is "so 2008".
with regard to your pronouncement of lessening ethnic tension/ more acceptance and all that sort of politically correct banter, you obviously have not spent much time in south carolina et al. i have to assume that all those confederate flags fluttering (and stuck on pick-up windows) mean something.

JAF said...

I have a book for you -- LET'S DON'T GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT -- did you read it? Hey, why is your print so small on your post? BTW, you look a lot like Jamie Lee Curtis with that stuff on your face. XO

SMC said...

I tried reading Lets Don't Go to The Dogs....and it was a non-starter for me. I should try again because I may have just been in a bad mood. It must be that because now TWO people have recommended it.

Jamie Lee Curtis? I thought I looked like Karen Allen,