Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Are You a Racist? Or Just an American?

Just got the March issue of Men's Health in the mail, and after skipping past the hetero-sex tips, I came across an interesting survey about race relations.

Says the magazine: "Odds are you're a bit of a racist - at least according to a Northwestern University study. Researchers found that 93 percent of participants harbored some degree of racial bias."

The survey of 1,229 men found that 46 percent men think race relations are a serious issue in this country, while 50 percent of men believe we will never achieve racial equality.

Barack's victory this past weekend be damned, America is still a pretty racist country. And I suspect that many whites who are on the Barack train are just trying to make ammends for their own innate racism, reciting verbatim Team Obama's mantra of "we need new thinking and change we can believe in." Yawn.

I think that racism is a European American concept. I was just in Latin America where I had to explain to my family what the term mixed-race meant. Sure, people down there are aware of color -- they even joke about it, we have songs about beautiful indian women and black men with big lips -- but people in this part of the world are considered Latinos first.

My mom always flips the channel when Mariah Carey gives her sob story of being a bi-racial gazillionaire. And rightly so. My grandmother is black and my grandfather was a white man. Which is why my mom once asked "Davicito, que es bi-racial?" She didn't understand that that's how she could label herself.

In Latin America, economic class trumps race. If you're of the moneyed elite - an institution that can easily be broken into through marriage, a beauty title win, a soccer championship -- you're golden. Otherwise, you're just a poor working stiff. And given the smog and pollution in most Latin American cities, y'all wind up being the same color of soot anyway.

Anyhoo, here's a shot of my mixed race family. We're like a L'Oreal commercial, right?

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