My family is Portuguese and in South Africa the majority of the Portuguese people own Fish and Chip shops or Cafes (like the American 7-11's). The jokes are abundant and growing up we were treated differently, but that did not stop us in who we associated with. We grew up during the Apartheid era where the Africans had to have a Pass Book in order to work. In the evening we would hear a siren go off and my sister remembers asking my mother what that was and was told that that was the curfew siren for the Coloreds and Africans to be in their homes. My father's employees were majority Colored and African and we would play with their children at our home. We were raised not to see color and honestly we didn't.
If you got a group of South Africans together, everyone would have a different story to tell. I have many stories, but don't want to turn this blog into a thesis, suffice to stay I lived it. You are probably asking yourself as to why I am on a mini rant today, well it involves a few emails that I have received. The first one was a picture of President Obama shining Sarah Palins shoes and the other was about a plane that test pilot Arabs crashed with the caption that they should stick to riding camels.
This really had me thinking. Would it be because that many in America did not live the life I did and therefore not develop an understanding for different cultures or is it a fear that has been created by the extreme fundamentalist groups out there? Do people not see that what those emails represent is racism? Am I way off base here?
I am by no means perfect and in my frustration have slammed a certain religion because of the hypocrisy I have seen. What I really needed to do was focus on the people who are from that same faith that are the kindest, compassionate people I know. I, like many others, have looked at the few radicals and lumped everyone into the same category - shame on me (excuse me while I give myself a well deserved bitch slap).
I think when we recognize our faults and make steps to correct them, we truly can begin to live in harmony, just like the Coke ad depicted many years ago.