Thursday, March 20, 2008

Amazing Race

I read in our little onboard news paper that Obama just gave a well received speech on race in America. I’ve only seen excerpts, but it brought to mind one of the most striking things about this cruise, aside from the obvious. I’ve done no formal survey :-), but I’d say over a fourth, near a half of all the families here are mixed race. Maybe not apparent to the eyes, our boys too are a part of a traditionally persecuted minority, an ethnicity to which we do not belong, though now have a personal passion in defending.

I wonder where else in the world could you take a 5 minute walk and see so many interracial couples? I’m sure near nowhere else you could find so many parents of children with a different racial background than their parents. Here, not only do all races get along; they are not merely tolerant of each other. They are family in every sense. People are actively loved in some of the most selfless of human forms, regardless of race.

There seems to be in many humans an inhumane pull towards biological tribalism and selfishness, where “family” is a matter of producing and caring for only your biological offspring, and often times as many as possible. Our “selfish genes” make that drive a significant force of nature in the human, one you can see defending itself in the weave of a number of our larger organizations and myths. But such bias towards genetics has been ignored here by the heart, even when the genetic relationship, or lack thereof, is more than apparent to the eyes.

I decided to take notice on my last walk about. There was the Caucasian grandparents coaxing pureed fruit into their Chinese granddaughter’s babbling mouth; the interracial couple with a rainbow of children of various ages straggling behind; that middle-aged white guy who dances so adorably with his beautiful black toddler by the pool, who clearly, by their skill, are putting long-past years of clubbing to good use. There is, though and of course, no issue. Nowhere is the bond between parent and child, grandparent and grandchildren, sibling and sibling lessened for race or genes. It’s so ironic and sad that our opponents think attacking such families, which truly show what familial love means, can be done under the banner of “pro-family” with a straight face.

Eh, enough preaching :-).

Today, we did the “r-mazing Race.” Basically we ran about the ship finding clues and playing games.

It was a lot of fun. We took 29th out of 70 participating teams. And we would have been 27th though if Rob hadn’t stopped to chat!

Right now, the kids are off with their grandparents to a “Grandparents party.” So I’ll just bide my time here I guess, till they return (at $.75/min! the thieves :-)).

5 comments:

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

I haven't listened to the whole speech, but what I did hear/read of it was amazing. Its really interesting to me that the other candidates are so afraid to talk about race - as if the problems we don't talk about will go away. I really respect Obama for not shying away from the topics that could harm him.

I've been thinking about this topic a lot recently: how being a minority of any type tends to teach acceptance of all. In a way, being gay has taught be how ridiculous stereotypes and prejudice are.

What's really sad that it seems to require being discriminated against to really be able to understand how evil prejudice and discrimination are. I guess its just something you have to experience to really be able to understand.

MoHoHawaii said...

It's worth listening to in its entirety. You can find it here.

Java said...

I haven't heard or read the speech, but have heard a lot about it. Thanks mohohawaii for the link.
I think it is wonderful that there are so many different types of people making up wonderful healthy families. It's encouraging how totally accepting everyone is there in that little world on the ship. Hopefully this is a glimpse of things to come in the larger world.
It's fun to hear of your adventures. I'm glad you are posting from the ship, even at $.75/minute. Yes, High Sea robery.

Marmoreal said...

I second MoHoHawaii. I was fortunate enough to be on a work-related, road-trip with the wonders of satellite radio at my disposal and got to hear the speech as it was spoken. Very refreshing to hear a politician speak in such a straight forward, open, honest, and intelligent manner even while addressing what can be a sensitive issue.

Scot said...

Craig: “I've been thinking about this topic a lot recently: how being a minority of any type tends to teach acceptance of all.”

That has to be one of the greater benefits to being gay.

MHH: Thanks for the link MHH.

Java: “It's encouraging how totally accepting everyone is there in that little world on the ship.”

It certainly lifts my spirit to be here. Sadly, I’m in the process of leaving our little floating city right now.

“Very refreshing to hear a politician speak in such a straight forward, open, honest, and intelligent manner even while addressing what can be a sensitive issue.”

I agree. After his letter to the gay community and this, I’m trying not to become politically infatuated :-).