2008-07-30

Does Your Region Determine Racism?


So at this seminar I am going to, which has nothing to do with race, me and a couple of women had a discussion about race. I should note that these women were black. One of the ladies was from California, and someone asked her how she enjoyed Texas. She said it was hot, the people were friendly, but it seems that it is really racist here. The conversation continued on, but I couldn't help thinking is California less racist? I mean I think of Rodney King and say no, but I do know that the black people I do know from Cali seem to have a more idealistic view of race and race relations than let's say from me, who was born six miles from a sundown town, and was raised constantly reminded that I was different than the "norm". I mean most of those I know from Cali date IR, whereas IR is still seen as strange in this neck of the woods, in particular with black women and white men. Per some women IR is all the rage in California, and if I was into white guys I needed to move there as they were plentiful. I still managed to find one here in Dallas, but it was I admit slim pickings for the most part in terms of IR, most guys here at the time I was dating wasn't up to the challenge of stares and comments from strangers, friends, and family, not to mention here, blonde hair, blue eyed, stick thin, with fake boobs reigns supreme.

I know up on the east coast, there is a perception people in the south are all red necks, and we have not discovered central air and heat (is there a reason in every movie about the south, people are always sweating and drinking ice tea, even inside their own homes), but there is also a perception that whites down here are more racist, and then I think of thinks like Bensonhurst, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. I know when I think of Florida, I never think of Miami, I always think of northern Florida with backwood rednecks. Or Mississippi, I always tend to think that the KKK is still out and about, even though I have no evidence of this. I think of Washington state as the white holy land, filled with neo nazis, but great coffee and lots of rain. Georgia I always think of Deliverance and the KKK.

So I am curious, does region really affect racism, or does it affect the type of racism?