I like that title.
So this is another post on racial issues, but it goes in a very different direction from my past posts.
A lot of this post is theory taken from a dissimilar situation and applied to the racial divide. I work dish room at a tourist restaurant in Lancaster County. The managers are extremely nice and friendly people and will often help us with our work. Most of the dishroom staff, myself included try to be sensitive to others who may have disabilities or handicaps and most of the workers have some kind of learning disability or handicap. Well, there is this one man that I work with frequently who we'll call Carl. Carl is a bit slow, and someone who you would say is "not all there." We get along and work together, laugh and joke when we are in a good mood but mostly just work.
Well, on several occasions we would have a very busy day at the dishwasher and at 10:00PM we would still be backed up in which case "John" one of the managers would jump on the dishwasher and start helping us. The odd thing is that as soon as John started working, Carl doubled his pace and they both started singing and laughing and joking. Several of John's jokes however were extremely insensitive and he poked fun at Carl's lack of intelligence. However instead of being resentful or angry or hurt, Carl loved it, and feels more accepted by having his differences poked fun at. Instead of denying that such a problem existed, John closed the gap and treated him like an equal that didn't have to be treated sensitively.
I wonder if the same thing is applicable in racial contexts. I have known many people of Asian-American descent, but the relationships have been a lot less strained and polite than those I have had with people of African American descent. Part of this I think is due to the respect that I think society often demands for people of one minority group over another. While we may be friends with Asian people groups, we must acknowlege and be cautious the African people groups. To this etent, racism most certainly is present in our culture today. Most of the Asian kids find their identity in their origins, but poke fun at themselves at the same time.
At college my one growth group leader was asian and we would always say "where is the asian kid" and things like that or poke fun at Asian stareotypes because it was a way to share something with them. It is somewhat akin to the hilarity we get from listening and debunking homeschool sterotypes.
Yet society blocks us from having this casual kind of relationship with african americans because we are to respect an not look down on them, when in fact all that is sought is a casual an light-hearted interaction.
That's all for now I guess....