1. Aqeel Reply

    to Moni:I have been living in the US for a while now and even tuohgh I am confronted to discrimination every so often,it does not make me angry like it used to.Let me rephrase that, it does not make me angry each time and as strongly as it used to.I want to let you know why and why you need to make peace with it.I am not saying “don’t fight it” because I will always fight it but I am saying “do not let this hurt you” as a mother would tell you and as I tell my children.1)if you already have a degree higher than high school, you are more educated than probably 98% of the planet.2)if you have been in another country for more than a week,not even mentioning another continent,you are probably more traveled than most people on this planet.What this mean is that people relate to what they know.If you are traveled or educated or both,you will have encountered more differences or know of them or extrapolate. In Europe,a lot of people travel easily because it is cheap and in several hours driving,you are out of your country.I leave in Miami and after several hours driving,you are still in Florida.Also in Europe,since the countries are smaller,you are also more likely to encounter people from other countries.In every country,people that live in the “middle” of the country and that do not have access or have limited access to others that are different from them,are more likely to be narrow minded.Remember the size of the middle in the US!Also in the US, a lot of people do not travel for economic reasons (and with the gas prices it will become worse) and time reasons.If one only has 10 days of vacation every year, one will probably spend them with their out-of-state family.So where do people find their cues on foreign people:TV (the worst place for stereotypes and very limited for expanding knowledge unless you have cable or satellite) and personal experience.When I meet a new person here, I sometimes get “I was there during world war two” or “people from your city are so rude”,guess were I’m from.I also get jokes about how people from my country are promiscuous and don’t wash!Also geography of other countries is not very big here.Just learning about their own country is a lot of work.Now to be fair, when I went to Thailand, a little girl asked me if there was a princess in my country and it didn’t bother me. Even tuohgh Nigeria is a huge country, you can not expect people here to name a city.They probably don’t even know where it is.They may not even know that Africa is a continent!And this is also due to TV because they usually don’t mention countries and always say “from Africa” when speaking about somebody in the news.The best way to destroy stereotype is to educate.Look at it this way.You belong to an elite, a small percentage of people who have access to a knowledge most people don’t have access to. You are privileged. I am not saying you should not get outraged when somebody mentions about 419.It is extremely rude and obnoxious.However you may want to speak to people around you about your country and they may spread the word.Also clumping all Americans in a group of bigots is not fair either.I usually try to stay away from generalities as much as I can because they only bring stereotypes.Moni, I hope it will bring you more understanding.Unfortunately, prejudice has been around and will likely be around for a while.It is definitely not the US monopoly.Take care.Sandrine

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