Sunday, March 08, 2015

Do narrow minded Americans need to travel more to see how others live?

We have travelled outside the U.S.—Ireland, Russia, Italy, Finland, Estonia, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel (and briefly Canada, but that was just airports). What we saw there in terms of little population groups disliking each other and ethnic battles that dated back for centuries should make Americans feel proud (until the last 6 years) of the way we’ve patched up centuries of ethnic battles.

I think the Lapps (Sami) in Finland have 11 different languages, wander over 4 countries, have special protections like our American Indians, and are generally not well liked by Finns who are a different ethnicity. And among the Sami the reindeer people don’t like the fish people who don’t like the forest people. The Somalis in Finland have a high crime problem among the youth who need to know both Finnish and Swedish in order to get a job and are experiencing discrimination—but were never slaves and have socialized healthcare and free college.

When we shopped in Estonia, the retail clerks were speaking Russian to each other.  Big problems there between native Estonians, and Russians who have lived there for generations—or since WWII. We were pleasantly surprised in Israel, which is another melting pot with Jews, Muslims, Christians and others like Bahai.

In Italy, which hasn’t really been a nation all that long, the light skinned, fair northerners who believe their culture is the only one that matters, look down on the dark skinned, poverty prone southerners.

In Ireland the hatred for the Brits and what they did to them during the famine is still palpable. There seems to be a monument to every battle back to the Scandinavian invaders , most of which we’ve never heard of. Also in Ireland it was the economic boom years when we were there and almost the entire service trade were foreign—Poles, Czech, and other east Europeans whose economy hadn’t yet recovered from Communism—the nannies were head covered Muslims. The Irish wouldn’t take any of those jobs in the tourist industry—except in the rural areas where they were entertainers and historical site managers. Even the restaurant managers were foreign (serving Irish food for the tourists). These people stayed to themselves, had their own churches, clubs, even trades. Meanwhile the Irish were searching for deeper roots with special schools and summer internships in Gaelic language.

The Volga Germans, invited to Russia because of their superior farming skills during Catherine the Great’s reign, are some of the most discriminated against people in Russia, and now its eastern former provinces. They speak a form of old low German, and aren’t welcome in Germany either after 3 centuries since many speak Russian. They do make it in the U.S., however.

The push for diversity and multiculturalism in the U.S. has done the opposite of what those words would seem to mean. And leading the pack in finding irritants among groups is the Obama administration, with appointments like Holder, cheered on by the likes of Sharpton,  filled with poverty and race pimps who fear a loss of their jobs or non-profits if people really were working together for a greater country and the greater good.

Update: Somalis demonstrate at the welfare office in Sweden. 14% of the population in Sweden are immigrants.

No comments: