November 05, 2008

Where were you when...

I was watching TV at work, not a very entertaining story. I'll have to glam it up a bit. 

Having witnessed the racism that runs rampant in the Deep South, it's amazing that he was elected. I lived, however briefly, in a place where white people go to one church, and black people go to another. Where you shopped at very specific Walmarts, depending on your race. The segregation there isn't systemic, like it once was, but still very palpable. 

For me, being a Canadian, that kind of racism is almost unreal. I've seen the movies and read the books, but had not really seen it for myself. I'm sure that if you asked an African-Nova Scotian the same question, they'd have a difference answer, but I can only speak from my own experience. I don't think a lot of Canadians really "get" what living in that kind of cultural environment is like.

When I lived in Alabama I worked with a girl whose grandmother had been a slave and had told her stories about it. That's recent memory for people there, while for us up here it seems distant and disconnected from our modern life. Not so for Southerners. 

All that is just to say that this is a monumental moment (regardless of your political leanings), and I'm very jealous. What do we have in Canada to get as excited about? I'd like to be in the "greatest country in the world", it looks like fun! It's a challenge to feel that glowing pride for your country when all the cool stuff is happening elsewhere, everything seems to pale in comparison. Where is our Oprah? 

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