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Jane Lake and Race!


Living in the United States, and especially in New York City, we take ethnic diversity for granted. Out of the 300 million in the US, 43 million are Hispanic, 38 million are Black, and 13 million are Asian.

I always thought, probably because I am US centric, that Europe was similarly broken down. I was quite taken aback to discover that in Europe, the breakdown is quite different.

In France, out of 59 million only 1.5 million are Black
In Germany, out of 82 million only 250,000 are Black and there are only 40,000 Jews (not too surprising).

What does this all mean? Why do I care?

I'm not sure. It just makes me think that a topic that is such a hot button in the US, may be seen quite differently around the world.

Just one of those hmmm... realizations!

I read your blog first time today and had a quick look at some previuos posts too. You seem a very well informed individual and am glad for that. We ignore too many things in life thinking what does it matter? So what does not matter to us, does matter to someone else. Rightly said at the end of the blog by you.

Coming from Asia myself, I have realised so much difference in outlook in America and my home country. But America is more culturally sensitive than many other countries. Hopefully I will read more of your blogs in coming days. Keep up the good work!

came to your blog through craig's list... interesting read...
and what you said in your previous post - SO true.

What's even more interesting is that, with the numbers that you cited, European countries have anti-immigrant movements as equally racist, if not more so, then what we have in the U.S. France's Jean Marie le Pen and his National Front come to mind, for example.

After reading this post, I thought i havent seen much of the world, so let me take a survey of my office.. then i thought oh man! even my office is too big, so went for the survey of just my section of the building which is the smallest. There are 10 colleagues in this section and surprisingly i could see only humans and nothing more!

Am i blind to something ? I wish everybody is blind like me!

You forgot a few points. In Europe ...
the religions play a more centrist polital role. In the USA southern baptists and protestants make up the radical right wing, in Europe catholics, protestants, and muslims are more central not radicalized. And perhaps the most important point you neglected is the thousands of years of traditions that developed each national culture. Today Europe has evolved true multiculturalism while the melting pot of the USA is now evolved into a super sensitive national state sensitive to other languages and practices within its borders. You also forgot to mention the difference between American representative government and European parliamentary government. Just a few major points you did not dwell on.

ethnic cleansing in Europe did not end with the Nazis. It's still going on. America has it's problems - that's no doubt - but you won't find an amazing mix like here (especially in NYC) anywhere else in the world!

Disregard Euroyank's comments, because he hates America. What you don't mention is that the U.S. is actually much more successful in integrating its minorities than are European nations, especially France. We are not having Muslim riots in the streets. Other diverse populations are assimilating into the American mainstream at record levels. African-American civil rights progress has been phenomenal, and those who have not prospered economically and politically have lacked the family- and individual-level cultural attributes promoting upward mobility. The United States is and remains the land of opportunity for all people, despite what the shakedown civil-rights lobby will tell you. President Bush has done more than any other president in appointing blacks to top positions of power in government, and a number top U.S. corporations are now headed by African-Americans.

Burkean Reflections

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