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That is how it works, in my experience.

I've lived in inner city America from the time I was 4 on except for 3 years in Europe in my 20s.

Recently, I had dinner with a Korean (woman) and African-American (man) at an Italian restaurant, and the waiter was from NYC by way of the Dominican Rep. The waiter launched into a circus of racial and ethnic stereotypes that had absolutely no one at the table unnerved. It struck me as the kind of easy labeling that an immigrant from the Caribbean to Brooklyn to Buffalo, NY could get away with, the sort of thing I often experienced in Europe. The lack of offense taken came from the power relations between the 4 of us at that table. This is precisely why those who deal in stereotypes have to be aware of the context in which they speak.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 11:52:20 AM EST
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