On Ethnicity

There’s rampant xenophobia going on right now in this country, thanks to the GOP presidential candidates. Mostly, they want to prevent anyone but white Europeans from coming into the country. They feel threatened. Their Angry White Man Order is on its last legs as Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics threaten what they see as the natural order.

I’m Caucasian. I see individuals, not groups. I don’t feel threatened. Why do they?

Because of a few issues in my personal life, I’ve been seeking distraction the last couple weeks. I’ve played a lot of Quazi’s Quest, an online mahjong game, and a hidden objects game I’ve owned for a few years. The goal? Mindless entertainment. I don’t want to think. I just want to be in the moment. 

Part of the distraction process has been watching old seasons of Survivor on Amazon Prime. Yup, I’m a fan. It’s the only reality show I watch pretty much religiously. That, and Amazing Race. (Guilty pleasure, guilty pleasure.)

I viewed Survivor: Africa a second time and fell in love with Ethan all over again. He was the inspiration behind Ethan in Blue River, my time travel novella. Following that, I screened Cook Islands again. That’s the season where tribes were divided into Asian, African American, Latino, and Caucasian.

I did see the original showing, but it had a much bigger impact on me this time, maybe because racism is so rampant in the US right now, thanks to the GOP candidates for president. They disgust me. I’m appalled anyone is giving them any attention at all.

The four tribes were quickly reorganized into two, with everyone mixing. And eventually, after a number of events, one tribe was down to four: two Asian, one African American, one Latino. They ruled, thanks to Ozzie’s amazing ability to swim, spearfish, climb trees, and excel at challenges. They were tight. They were one unit, and they weren’t shy about announcing that.

It didn’t matter what their ethnicity was. It didn’t matter what their culture was. What was important was loyalty to each other and who they were as people.

I wish to hell the US would remember this again. It doesn’t matter where we came from or who our great-great-grandparents were. Not when it matters! We are a melting pot nation. Our strength lies in our diversity.

We must embrace our differences, because those are our strengths. Please remember that when you vote.


I’ve been working but not writing much. My head just isn’t in the right place. Other things are more important right now (hence the distractions mentioned above), but I slowly plug away at the current WIP while mightily resisting an persistent idea that has bugged me the last couple years. Y’all know what I’m talking about? 🙂

Have a great weekend! See you Monday.


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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10 Responses to On Ethnicity

  1. Helena Stone says:

    Here’s my two cents on the whole ‘foreigner/ethnicity issue popping up in all those campaigns. It’s a diversion tactic. Get the whole country (or at least a substantial part of it) up in arms about any group which can be defined as ‘other’ or ‘foreign’ and you don’t have to address the real issues such as distribution of wealth, health care, education and (dare I say it?) gun control. The Germans ignored or forgave Hitler’s rants about Jews because he managed to provide them with jobs and incomes after decades of suffering and because they needed to blame someone for their ‘suffering’. The same is happening now. You can’t have more money invested in everything that so desperately needs investment because: FOREIGNERS and TERRORISTS! People are easy to scare and always happy to blame those who are ‘other’. It’s a strategy and has worked for as long as people have inhabited the world. I wished I knew how to fix it but I have no idea.

    Stepping off my soapbox for now, I have to admit that I’m not sure what that persistent idea is you’re referring to. Should I be ashamed?

    • Re: the persistent idea. I have mentioned it to almost no one.

      The real problem is humans won’t evolve. They keep repeating the same damn mistakes–and using the same tactics over and over to make them–and expecting different outcomes. While the elite may enjoy a momentary increase in power and wealth, eventually the people they oppressed will rise to cut off their heads. History is full of such examples.

      I honestly think religion needs to be done away with if we are to progress as a species. Fat chance of that ever happening, eh?

      • Helena Stone says:

        Take religion away and you suddenly make people responsible for their own actions and that is far too scary for most. It’s much easier to hide behind a book and a person on a pulpit telling you how to think, feel, speak and act. Can’t see that happening any time soon, if at all. Even if you managed to abolish all the existing ones they’d just come up with new versions, just as bad as the older ones.

        • This should tell us we are raising our children incorrectly. Kids should feel comfortable making decisions without the need to consult some imaginary being. If they don’t, parents aren’t doing it right.

  2. Jaycee Edward says:

    Wait. You didn’t tell me you watched The Amazing Race too! *fistbump* (“Swing you fat fucker, swing!” – my favorite moment right after the gay kids’ mom on this season getting sprayed in the face by the tribal elder. Hahaha!) Totally understand the need to bury yourself in mindless entertainment. It works, at least while you’re doing it.

    The Hitler references are frightening, aren’t they? So is how divided we’ve become, not just in this country, but in the world – and it’s getting worse. I can’t help but think social media is to blame for that. I’m afraid there’s no going back and the path ahead is bleak as hell.

    • Jaycee Edward says:

      As for the Survivor 4-tribe thing, it made me think about 9/11. The one take-away memory I have of that day was seeing all the people in NYC covered in gray ash. You could no longer tell if they were Asian, Mexican, Caucasian, African-American…everyone looked the same and we were all just “American.” Driving home that night, no one was honking at anyone…traffic was amazingly quiet. And at every intersection, when I stopped and looked into the cars around me, everyone looked stunned. People waved for others to go first. We were courteous to each other…our fellow Americans. I thought that feeling would last much longer than it did.

    • It’s bleak no matter what we do. Climate change is the major game changer. It will affect everything: food, water, where we live, how we survive.

      I am often glad I’m in the last 20-30 years of my life and never had kids. Life is never going to be easy again, and I suspect it’s going to get much harder.

  3. diannegray says:

    I saw a great quote the other day. It came from an Australian aboriginal elder and was very tongue-in-cheek. He said “Don’t let anyone from any other country into Australia. Look what happened last time when the white men landed on our shores.” That certainly shut the mouths of racist haters.

    The entire issue (I think) is about fear which leads to control. Religion and politics are subjects I rarely mention, but if those in power can make us fearful of particular people they then have control of us (and we’re giving it to them more and more). Religion = fear of going to hell. Politics = fear of anyone who is not ‘like us’. I was pretty impressed when the people of France got out in numbers to protest during the recent climate talks after the Nov 13 attacks. They refused to bow to the constant fear we are all being bombarded with at the moment. Good on them I say…

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