Friday, October 8, 2010

Open seats, closed minds

Today I flew to Serbia.

One of the delights of the day was a free International Herald Tribune (a much shortened NYT).

In the editorial section was a short piece entitled, The Seat Not Taken. About an American black intellectual who rides the train daily from NYC to Rhode Island, and how the seat next to him is always left open, which can only probably be distilled down to his race.

I found it timely, in that I'd just noticed the same thing on the train here in Germany, watching my fellow travelers. It's not just an American affliction.

I really wonder when (if ever) race will stop being such an issue?


Anonymous said...

One of the things I've always noticed is how the more personal the issue, the more race plays a role, even for supposed liberals and progressives. Take religion and dating for example. How many integrated churches are there? Dating/marriage is probably the most race conscious institution of all. Most people would argue that it is 'just my preference' to be selective. So what exactly is the term for preference based on race again?

Sara said...

That's a good question. I read something about that not too long ago regarding online dating profiles, and how people selected based on "preferences." It's tricky because you might sort of prefer a certain type however, there's always going to be exceptions to the rule... It doesn't seem like someone could truly make a blanket statement but I think they do sometimes.