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07-14-2012, 06:52 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Stephenville - YJT
Country: Canada
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Actually, this brings me to an interesting point on the topic. When I was in my first year of university we all had to do English 1000 as a core requirement. Our professor was from New Jersey, anyway, he assigned a story for us read and then discuss in the next class. The story was about a black man, I can't remember the plot or anything but I remember the discussion pretty clearly. He had us go through and try to pick out everything that was racist/politically incorrect (as it turns out, the story was written specifically for this exercise by the school's english department). Anyway, the word "negro" was used several times in the story, but in a class of 35 not a single person added it to the list. It wasn't until the end that the prof pointed this, and several other phrases/words out that we missed.

What came out of the discussion was that when you come from a place that has very little diversity you aren't as sensitive to racism except for the obvious. When you never have to deal with minorities you don't pick up or get exposed to potentially racist or predjudiced situations, the problem is that you're more likely to find yourself offending someone inadvertantly and not realizing what you did.

Just to give an example of the lack of diversity, my hometown has a population of 6,580 - 80 of which are visible minorities, 10 of which are black, now that suprises me because I've only ever seen 2 black guys in this town. Newfoundland as a whole, has 900 blacks out of a population of just a shade over 500,000. In high school, my entire graduating class was white. That doesn't mean I'm racist or predjudiced (because I'm really not) or that most of the people are (because as far as I can tell, they're not either), but the lack of experience with people of different backgrounds does sort of breed ignorance. I really had no idea that "negro" was an incorrect term (we all picked up on the other N word), I just thought it went out of style with the 70s. And I can almost guarantee that if someone of a different background came here for a week, they would at some point be offended by someone that was 100% well meaning and had no idea they offended someone.

And there are probably people like that everywhere, but I can say without doubt that probably 90% of the people here are in that boat. And don't get me wrong, there are some complete ***** here, there, and everywhere and there is no excuse for racism, but a person from a place that is less diverse can be less in tune with racial/cultural sensitivities.

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