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Old March 4th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Re: Curious: Anyone encountered racism on a cruise?

I believe it was Mr. Twain who often proclaimed that the more you travel abroad, the less you are able to hate.

In thirty-five years of international travel, business and pleasure, cruises and land journeys, I've never been able to find fault with that idea.

It's always great fun on a cruise--when meeting a fellow passenger, officer, steward or other service staffer--to be able to strike up a conversation about their homeland, and the warm memories we have of it and its people. No doubt some would consider this "showing off," but I'll absolutely certify that it brings a genuinely friendly and happy reaction from the person you're talking to. It usually takes the form of a broad grin and the words, "You know my country?!" And maybe it does a little bit to mitigate the world's view of us as insulated, isolated and arrogant.

I think the ongoing struggle against racism has to be active rather than passive. I think each person's obligation is greater than simply not doing or saying overtly racist things. We owe it to ourselves and everyone else to become--to the best of our ability--citizens of the world, meeting and understanding people who are culturally different. Because once we do that we won't be ABLE to be racist.
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