Midtown’s Diversity is its strength
I participated in the Atlanta BBQ Festival this weekend and had a great time. Kudos to Bob Herndon and the Atlanta BBQ club for putting on a class event in their 4th year.
When at a BBQ contest, there is a lot of 'wait and hurry' time periods. Mostly wait.
When I wait, I sit. And when I sit and wait, I think; mostly about… anything but BBQ. I was thinking ‘food’ then ‘feast’ then ‘community feast’ then ‘community.’ I overheard a comment from yonder on, that sent me thinking in another direction.
So I've been thinking about this issue with the Muslims. You know...tis us and them thing.
I live in one the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the world.
GA Tech pulls more than its share of international students. People from all countries, but especially non-Euros walk the sidewalks of Midtown every hour. Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, India, etc. are all representin’. Obviously, these students mostly come from (relatively) well to do families and/or are of higher than average intelligence. There are no full burkas but there are scarves, as well as open toed shoes with pretty nails. The gamut of international style walks 5th Street each day.
I'd love to have a dialogue with them, but they are all probably too focused on studying and adjusting to culture shock (did I just stereotype smart people as hard studiers? *gasp*)
After 7 years here, one can tell the freshmen from the seniors by how Westernized their appearance is; the new ones follow the only traditions they know.
And that worries me. That is not good for us and it is not good for the world.
It's like a small infection.
It's not that they have 'become' an 'American'. It is that they have fallen for All The Things. Things all of us born into the system take for granted. Our image of ourselves as successful has been cultivated by others. You know… the worse things we can say about our own lives.
Smart kids with money come to the US and they all graduate with an advanced degree in American Consumerism.
Most of the men (notice I didn't say women?) responsible for sectarian violence were raised or educated in a Western Environment. Some of them were actual real-life Americans; just the 'wrong color' and definitely on the wrong end of a drone’s wrath. They seem angry all the time. They call us names, like Satan and a Sinful Empire. The scream not only do we usurp their natural resources; we usurp the souls of their children.
Booyah! The Creatives have created. We now have ourselves some new Evil Empire Nazis to hate and fear and to forge tanks and bullets and military industrial profits, ha hahh!
We are so easily tooled these days it’s a wonder that we aren’t born with a slot to stick in the screwdriver. Yep, they are the driver, we are the screwed. Nice visual.
More than a majority of the world gets its impression of Americans from two sources: Television entertainment (think about that), and those who have been here. Probably more than a fair share don't go back; the infection is too deep and it would be too painful to 'go back' to what you were, when you are not that person. Your friends are here and those old friends become "people I knew".
The ones who go back home? Well they realize what is happening, and they preach a different sermon about The Great Satan to children playing in the sand.
And we wonder why they burn our embassies; because there is no such thing as a small infection. And unless you are wearing red/white/blue filters on your beer goggles, you see it too.
I heard a new label that kinda/sorta worked for the gay community to label, mock and dismiss extreme hatred for the gay life.
When you hear of people who express violent negativity towards those not of the Christian persuasion *clutches pearls*, give them a little hard love.
Give them a label. Islamaphobe.
Do we argue with homophobes? No, there is no arguing with them, the hate is deeper than any rationale can dislodge. And you know what they say about people with phobias. It's simply crazy to argue with them.
Then I had to go put another log in the firebox, and the ribs need prep. And life goes on.
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