We threw a Mardi Gras bash on Tuesday, hosting about 20 people from Cursillo as well as all of our kids and a girlfriend or two. San Diego Catholic demographics being what they are, the population was split about 50-50 between whites and Hispanics. It's actually hard to tell with this crew, inter-marriage being so common.
The conversations were about food, wine, beer, music, faith, the upcoming retreat weekends, sports, cars, friends, family and other odds and ends. Having hosted lots of parties with guests drawn from a fairly large pool of candidates, these are the conversation topics every time. Sometimes the parties are "whiter," sometimes they're more "Hispanicky." It never matters. I suppose the most racial topic of conversation is where we grew up with the El Centro contingent mentioning it in passing. If you closed your eyes, the only telltales would be stories about what mom cooked when you were a kid.
Whenever I hear race discussed in the media or watch movies about racism, I try to square it with my own experience and end up feeling like I must be some kind of weirdo. Yeah, there are cultural differences in food, accents and interests, but they don't manifest themselves in any significant way. If one of our kids wanted to marry one of the Hispanics' kids, we'd be over the moon with joy because they were marrying Catholic.
Being devout Catholics, most of us are pretty conservative politically. I know a few true-blue progressives, but given the Democrats embrace of Planned Auschwitz, they are quite rare. Again, what am I missing here? If I draw people from this political persuasion, aren't I supposed to find racists? Shouldn't we be discussing, err, "white" things when we get together?
And just what is a "white" thing, anyway? My cuisine is Southern and Caribbean, both thoroughly influenced by, um, "people of color." Shouldn't I be making casseroles instead of gumbos? For the party, I made a Pandora station seeded with Buckwheat Zydeco, John Lee Hooker and Dr. John. Should it have been Pat Boone or Whitesnake? What am I doing wrong here as a white? I don't get it.
I sometimes feel the way scientific atheists must feel when dingledorks like me start talking theology. If it's so real, why can't I see any evidence of it in my life? My response as a Catholic to that topic has gone on ad nauseam on this blog, so I won't repeat it here. In any case, that's not a perfect analogy, but it's close enough to dismiss the topic and move on.
|Ta-Nehisi Coates. He lectures a lot about racism in America. To me, he might as well be lecturing about the Easter Bunny.|