Regardless of what others may say, I believe the US has the best internal race relations in the world. Obviously there are still a lot of crusty old racists around, but you have to admit that in many cases Americans stand arm in arm—descendants of Africans, Asians, Europeans, and Latin Americas—all “proud to be an American, where at least [they] know [they’re] free.” Granted, this quasi-nationalism and superiority complex creates a poor image of America around the world, but it really isn’t really nationalism—America is not one nation, in fact we are almost to the point were no one race (an even broader grouping of people) is the majority anymore. In America, citizenship is more important than nationality—in fact, I suspect some of my audience doesn’t even understand the distinction as they read this. Meanwhile, within 100 miles of me, there are Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Macedonians, Albanians, Greeks, and Turks who probably all believe their nationality is superior, and over the centuries these groups have slaughtered each other over slivers of real estate. Seriously, even today, many point to the maximum extent of their historical borders (which, of course overlap) and say, “actually this belongs to us too.” Even in the more “advanced” west, Chris told me that in Belgium there is still a simmering animosity between the Dutch-speaking Flemish people and the French-speaking Walloons.
On the gender front, American men may not be perfect gentlemen, but they simply aren’t allowed to express a lot of the macho b.s. that is common elsewhere. I understand the anti-harassment and political correctness hysteria in the US goes overboard, but I think that if I were raising a daughter, I would prefer a more supportive environment (then again, girls here learn to stand up for themselves.) I say this after hearing some expats yesterday talking about how they’re glad they don’t live in the US and don’t have to self-censor their speech. I bristle at the label “feminist,” but again, I ask myself how would I feel if I had a daughter.
I certainly welcome any discussion—drop me a comment if you think I’m niave, a complete idiot, or if you agree with me.
I say all that to introduce the picture below. This is a package of cookies I saw at the grocery store yesterday; the name roughly translates to “Little Negro.” Now—come on—could you sell this product anywhere in the US anymore with this name & artwork on the box?
I'll let you know if the "assorted biscuits" were tasty as they look; come on, you knew I had to buy them—they're just so deliciously politically incorrect!
[UPDATE] Wow, I hit on a hot topic; check out the comments I got! To the anonymous Arab commenter: yeah, you're right; much of this brotherly, multi-cultural America stand united...against the Arab & Muslim world. The new kid on the block always has it hard; in WWII it was the Japanese. But is it much different in Europe? Look at France.