Let’s talk about this for a minute. I am from a country where pretty much everyone is white. That’s it. There was one black kid in my school. So much about diversity. I never had to think about being politically correct, sensitive or anything along those lines. I learned a lot once I moved here about what NOT to say. Or do. Or even just think. Not even jokingly. Hush was the word. People are really easily offended here. I bet that last sentence alone just offended a whole bunch of people.
So I am not using my surroundings growing up as an excuse. Just saying that people growing up here should have an innate sensitivity to this diversity issue, no? I’ve learned how to talk and not to talk these past 9 years. When my family comes out here now, I constantly correct them. And more than often, I am just really glad sometimes that they speak German and no one understands them.
But then, if you’ve grown up here, in the good old US of A, shouldn’t you be well versed in how to handle diversity situations? You’d think everyone here would be a bit smarter about the background of different cultures. Or at the least can tell the smarter questions from the plain dumb questions. Just a little tiny bit. So when people detect somewhat of an accent when I speak, well, naturally they inquire where I’m from. So when I tell them I’m from Germany, I’ll accept a couple of follow-up questions. “Oh where abouts there?” is a legitimate one. “What’s the next big city?” is another acceptable one. “Do you miss it?” and “How does it compare?” are fine, too. Hearing that they once flew through Frankfurt, or landed in Munich or took a trip to Cologne are all random facts I can live with as well.
But why would you start listing random people you know in Germany – by their name – and ask me if I know them?? Uh, there are more than 5 people in that country. It’s not a club. Granted it’s not as big as the U.S., but it does have 82 million people in it. Moreover, at least pretend that you have at least a high school education. Don’t ask me if Germany has electricity. Or cars. Or pizza. It’s not underdeveloped Africa. We’ve grown out of our huts and horses. They introduced power lines, running water and democracy. They even have the Internet. And real clothes, that are made in China too. And pizza. Germany got it from Italy. Good grief.