Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mayor Confused by Article?

Mayor Nutter wants an investigation because of an article? Well, there must be something very controversial so I decided to read the article. Now, having never lived in Philadelphia, I am looking at this as an outsider.  In fact, the largest city I ever lived in was Tulsa, and even then, I lived right at the edge of town (or at least at the time it was the edge of town, it has grown since then).

The article about Philadelphia is rather interesting.  Let me sum it up some.  Philadelphia has gone through a large demographic shift since the 1930s.  Some white people have no problem interacting with the black people in their neighborhood.  Some white people do.  Some black people have no problem interacting with the white people in their neighborhood. Some black people do.  So where is the controversy?

This isn't a story about race relations in Philadelphia so much as it is a microcosm of race relations everywhere in the world, throughout the history of the world.  Some people don't like to mix with others not of their "race" while others don't mind at all.  We look at race as a black/white issue primarily in the US, largely as a relic of our slave history.

But go to Africa and talk among the Tutsis and Hutus. They hate each other.  Well, some of them hate each other. To the point that they are willing to slaughter each other. They can see differences between themselves, but I doubt many westerners could. 

In the US we like to lump Asians together (because they aren't that large a percentage of our population).  But in many cases their families have been in America more than 100 years (which is longer than some of my family has been here) and only genetically resemble their cousins from across the Pacific.  Furthermore, try telling a Chinese person they are the same as a Korean or a Japanese (or vice versa), and don't ever think of lumping them in with Thai or Vietnamese.

So what investigation needs to occur?  How about none.  How about we recognize that some people are different.  How about we realize that we don't live in a Utopia.  How about those of us who don't care about the color of the next person's skin continue on with life and enjoying each other's company.  How about we just leave those that do alone, they are the ones missing out on friendships.

There is nothing controversial about this article. I didn't learn any new general ideas from it.  What it did tell me is the specific opinions of several different people around Philadelphia and how they look at race.  I wasn't suprised to find that their opinions run a broad spectrum.

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