I'm getting really tired with all of the xenophobia around my land, lately. Apparently, anybody whose skin is a little darker than average is a problem in the eyes of much of America. And too much of it is centered around my birthhday, 9-11. And as I'm sure I've previously mentioned, it's pissing me off.
So, I'm instituting a new holiday today (sorry for the lack of advanced warning). It's a xenophilists dream holiday. I call it "Other Day". Other Day is a day to get out and experience 'The Other'. Take it slow this year. We can ramp up more next year when we've got more time to prepare.
Some ideas to celebrate:
= Go out to a foreign restaurant (are you comfortable with your choice? pick something different, then. Go morrocan instead of mexican, or vietnamese instead of chinese!)
= Watch a foreign film, or a film about some demographic with with you are unfamiliar (competetive pigeon racers? brazilians? transvestites? hindus?).
= Say Hello to a stranger (with a skin tone different from yours... or with clothing that is unfamiliar... or with an accent you don't recognize).
= If there's an group you are appalled by, spend some time looking up and reading the websites supporting their side of the question.
= Attend an interfaith meeting.
= Visit a business in that part of town that 'your people' never visit.
But stretch for it. Push yourself a little. We've all got blindspots. We've all got people we don't trust. Let's try to wear down that discomfort with those who differ from us with a little more experience of that Other. It might be good for us all.
And next year (or next week, if you find you've caught the bug), we can push it a little further. Eventually, this country may be an even better place to live!