Cultural Diversity in a Diverse World: Fact or Fiction By Beth Theve
The Interview Basics <ul><li>In SecondLife, a world based on diversity. </li></ul><ul><li>Hope Delpaso, very good friend and business partner in game. </li></ul><ul><li>IRL located in Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Was curious how prevalent racism and diversity issues were where she was from. </li></ul></ul>
Hope’s Background So, Hope…what does the word “culture” mean to you? ... it's a way of going about your business, type of food, customs.. With what cultures do you identify? So, did you grow up with other languages? Which ones? Do you think knowing these languages has affected your experiences? Chinese, Vietnamese, French and Canadian. One of my parents is Caucasian and the other is Vietnamese. I married into a Chinese family. But I’ve been born and raised in Canada, and so exposed to Canadian/French culture. I can speak and read French, Chinese, Vietnamese and English. Being able to speak all of these languages, fluently, grants me acceptance in areas where I might otherwise have been excluded or ignored. It makes me feel powerful, intelligent, and more in control of my surroundings than other people.
Hope’s Feelings on Race & Ethnicity So, with all those different cultural backgrounds, which race do you identify most with? Mongoloid and Caucasian. And what race do most of the people you encounter identify you as? People always assume I am white. How do you feel about being identified as a race that is only ½ of who you are? Honestly, being labeled as white makes things easier where we live. I grew up in a very racist area…it's all the rage to be “white” where I was born. So I just felt like I could settle for being that. Is racism prevalent in Canada? I’d always assumed it was a very diverse and accepting culture! *nods* It’s very prevalent here, as well. Racism exists everywhere. Here, the different races and ethnic groups split out into their own neighborhoods. Not as a forced progression, but just by choice. Chinatown, the Jews and the Muslims all have their own space. We just have to live around it.
Hope and Segregation Does that kind of segregation bother you? I think people blocking off into their own areas works for the most part. Then in the middle we have the civilized area among us. All colors can mix and match and get along. Are you concerned that people in those segregated areas might not get opportunities in life as good as people in other areas? Well, I think at least in Canada, people don’t *have* to live in those areas – they choose to. That is their right. So if they’re not happy about it, they can choose to change areas.
Hope Questions Me! So let me ask you a question? If I came to the states, and went into a restaurant and was served as a white. Then later, they find out my background or my husband’s ethnicity.... would service change suddenly, do you think? *ponder* I think it would depend on the area. There are places in the States where different cultures and races are not accepted, and neither is the mixing. In some places, especially in the South, tempers can flare and violence can ensue. *frowns* That makes me feel very sad, to think people would judged me based on my heritage and not on who I am. Makes me wanna cry to think I could be ostracized. Yes, it is very sad. But as you said, that racism exists everywhere, right? Not just in the States. If it was only in the States, you wouldn’t be happy to pass as a Caucasian even though you love and are proud of your cultural heritage. Right? Hmm. That’s a good point. I think one of the saddest cases of racism in the States is what we have done to the Native Americans, basically killing their culture slowly and pretending it’s not happening. You hear a great deal about Black and White, but no one ever talks about the travesty of prejudices against American Indians. This class has opened my eyes to some stereotypes I had that I didn’t even know about. Oh, Pfft…don’t get me started on Native Americans. We have them here, too. *sigh* We have had some very bad experiences with them. And yes, ok? I get it. Way back when, land was taken and all. But these days, it seems the natives are just taking advantage of the situation. They get these Indian Status Cards, which bring them tax, military and voting exemptions, but they live in the same place as all the rest of us. That I don't agree with.
That’s the Impression That I Get. What is your impression of these questions in general? How does thinking about these topics make you feel? Well, it's a fact... unfortunately. But is a good discussion, Kaeko... it's needed. To get into so many minute details..... gawds, that would never be done in public though. It's just the way society is… you adapt. I mean no one can be perfect. Do cultural differences make it easier or more difficult to bond with other people, especially in an online environment? Slightly more difficult due to misconceptions in real life. But I have found no judgment based on culture in online relations. There’s no focus on ethnic background here. And if there is.. you simply don't *type* it. Everyone stays quiet. Much more peaceful and at ease.