Here's maybe not the place for such a (philosophical?) discussion... but certainly GM won't be the place.
I'd like to discuss Nastase's statement on Friday, regarding Serena's baby. And maybe here's the right public, because we have:
- Romanians who live in Romania
- Romanians living abroad, including the States, who may be ideally placed, with knowledge of Romanian mentality, but also with a front seat perception of racism over there
- Non-Romanians of different backgrounds, from countries with different views and perceptions on the matter.
Now, here's my case: I was born in Romania. Never in my own family, my extended family, or among my close acquaintances, do I recall, even, 1 racist comment related to color. Or more precisely, I don't recall 1 negative comment. There were positive comments, mostly portraying them as having better genes, like the fact that they're less prone to wrinkles, are better resistant to the sun, the skin color helps them better mask their pimples (which made me a bit jealous given my notable acne),... and let's not mention that "quality" that makes their men particularly popular with the ladies.
When later on I learned the first bits about racism in America, I couldn't understand why that is. The only "racism" I knew was ethnically based - and rooted in the pain we had to suffer in the past 1-200 years from some of our neighbors. Any reference to their skin as "chocolate-like", or that of a mixed-race person as "chocolate with milk" would have been (and still is in my mind) nothing but positively discriminating if at all, given how tasty chocolate is. If anything, the comment would be rather sexually inappropriate in my ears rather than racist.
Now, I know Nastase can be a pig. But that aside, my perception is that color-based racism is really not typical for Romanians. If any of you saw the interview, did they get the feeling, from context, body language & face expression, that he meant it as racist? I won't argue that, for someone who has traveled so much, he should have known better. But was he just old, stupid and lacking finesse; or really meant it in a racist way?
And leaving Nastase aside:
- Question to Romanians still in Romania: did color-based racism become a thing in Romania since I left?
- Question to Americans (and any foreigners in general): just how racist does the "chocolate" comparison sound to your years? And if it does have a negative connotation for you, why is that? It's one of the most universally accepted tasty / irresistible types of food out there.
I understand the fight against negative discrimination. But what's so wrong with positive discrimination?