9 comments on “Racism and the making of an English traveller

  1. Very true, traveling and racism are an unlikely combination. But what about all those people out there who will never travel? Those just sitting at home allowing the mass media or their local [insert religious structure here] to tell them which country to hate this week. At least you learned at a young age not to classify people by their religion or skin color. I also learned this as a kid. Of course given that I come from a melting pot of a metropolis and have been surrounded by people of all races since birth, my upbringing wasn’t quite as “white” as yours, thus making this much less of an accomplishment.
    Aside from the occasional drunk stranger, I have not encountered much racism as a white traveler either. In fact I’ve seen more coming FROM ignorant white people disrespecting the people/culture/religion of the place they are visiting, either purposely or without fully realizing what they are doing. I also receive hate tweets from racist non-travelers around the world, usually in response to something I tweeted, like photos of a mosque — even when its a popular tourist attraction.
    What frustrates me is that most people in third world countries are not racist of white people, so why the hell are all these “rich white people” racist against them?? One can only conclude that it must stem from a sense of superiority. And although international travel is one cure, what about those who do not travel? No matter how many elegant photos we take with absolutely perfect captions — much like you so skillfully demonstrated above — nothing will ease those racial thoughts/fears until they travel…

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    • There’s certainly no shortage of fuck wits back home but not being as high profile as you I’ve only had one Islamophobic comment – that will change as I’m intending to start a site about Islam later this year which is sure to attract the attention of the non traveling people you refer to.
      There’s definitely a sense of superiority with some and I think even travellers can make that mistake, albeit without racist intent – people do tend to assume their own system is better. I think we’ve both seem things in other societies that our own could learn from but people don’t always see these things as they are distracted by the poverty or poor government.
      I suppose that we’ll never get through to a lot of those stay at homers but I think it’s our duty to keep trying by sharing our experiences. At least in arguments online with people we can say, “I’ve been there and spoken to those people so I know”, rather than having seen some shit on Fox news or the like

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      • Yes yes YEESSS! I also travel with the same philosophy: firsthand experience is better than merely reciting something you heard on the news. You can give more insight than a 20-second news clip can! And sure, you’re right, we may never reach all the close-minded non-travelers but at least we’re trying.

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  2. Although you did just remind me I do have one childhood friend that we all still call Chinese Mike…..but that’s more because we’re used to finding him under “C” in our phones and not “M” 😉

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  3. Pingback: Even in the so-called freeworld countries racism exist | From guestwriters

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