Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Republican National Convention

Wow.

I don't mean to get into politics on my blog so much. I don't want to be controversial, and I know politics is a touchy subject. After all, this is more about writing and my life, but how can I not let this election affect my life? It's probably one of the most important elections since I became a US citizen 10 years ago. There's history to be made, and lives to be changed.

Still, I watched the RNC with heightened curiosity. After the last 8 years, I wondered what they had to say. George W. Bush already shied away from the spotlight by only appearing in a satellite speech. And then I watched Fred Thompson talk about being a brave America by electing John McCain (as if Democrats were not fighting for this country as well). But that's all fine. They're doing what they do. They have to tell us they're the better party (BTW, I am not a Democrat).

What surprised me was not how red it was. What surprised me was how white everything was. Out of curiosity, I played the "spot the non-white people" game. In 15 minutes, I spotted exactly four African-Americans, and one Asian woman. Everyone else was white, and the average age was above 35.

My immediate thought is: This is not the America I know. Not the one I live in. Wherever I go, I see people of all ages and races and religions. Even in this town in the midwest, I see colors. I see Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, Indians, Caucasians. There are Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims as well as Christians. When I watched the RNC coverage, 99.9% were Caucasians. I didn't feel like I was part of that, even as they kept saying we were all Americans. Yes, we are Americans. No question about it. But I don't feel that I belong there. Because I'm not white.

I tried not to be biased, but I can't help it. When I looked at the convention floor and saw only pale faces, I couldn't help but feel that I didn't belong there. Is that the kind of America I want, that makes me feel like I don't belong?

And that was before I heard another speaker talk.

5 comments:

Benjamin Solah said...

Can't avoid politics, Ray. It's everywhere. Bet it's even in your writing without you even realising it.

Yes, the Republicans are a scary bunch. Fit for one of my horror stories even.

You write gay fiction right? See even daring the write that in our homophobic society is being political.

Embrace it.

Joe Iriarte said...

*nod*

Good post.

Ray Wong said...

Ben: thanks! One correction, I don't write gay fiction.

Joe: thanks! I was afraid I'm getting a bit too political here.

Pink Ink said...

Ray: I felt the same way!

I watched the convention and every time they panned the camera and caught a non-Caucasian face in the audience, I felt excited! But there were not a lot.:-(

I call it my "spotting" mode.

Ray Wong said...

I just found it funny how the camera person tried so hard to include minorities in the footage, but the effect was just jarring.