Under The Sun

Saturday, July 12, 2003


"You Americans feel so guilty about racism. As if you had invented it and nobody else--except maybe the South Africans and the Nazis--had ever practiceed it as heinously as you. And you can't tell one yellow face from another, so you think of the yellow races as one homogeneous block. When in fact Orientals are among the most racist peoples on the earth. The Vietnamese have hated the Cambodians for a thousand years. The Chinese hate the Japanese. The Koreans hate everybody. And everybody hates the 'ethnic Chinese'."
--Lisa Foo
(John Varley, "Press Enter")

Riding a Greyhound bus (especially one that set out from Detroit) does tend to make one think a bit about race in America. And what I think is: racism (in America) is not about race. A vast majority of the people in this country are able and willing to look beyond skin color. The problem is that when you do that, you still see difference. Socio-economic difference; cultural difference. Racism itself creates some of that cultural difference, of course, either through history or through previous individual experience. But the root of the problem is class, not race: if we fixed the class problem, the race problem would dwindle away.

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