Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Oh, Spain. Not Again.
Just when I think I can hang my happy flag about Spain, somebody sends me a link to this blog post at Black in Cairo.com. It's an open letter to Spain decrying the virulent racism endemic to their country and culture. And she makes some good points.
Of course, not every citizen of Spain is racist, but as Black Girl in Cairo suggests, the country could benefit from some serious sensitivity training and acknowledgement that yes, they have a problem. It would be a welcome first step.
Of course I'm married to a Spaniard and think of the country as my second home, but that doesn't mean I don't cringe and roll my eyes heavenward when I hear about what happened to Black Girl in Cairo.
Funny thing is, I know a lot of Black people who LOVE Spain. Who have never experienced anything but the most respectful treatment in the country. One of my best girlfriends, in fact, is planning to move to Barcelona permanently. And then there is my favorite Black Girl in Spain, Ieishah at Fat Juicy Oyster keeping it real on the Iberian Peninsula. Maybe she can tell us what Spain should do to curb their enthusiasm for being mean, rude and/or ignorant towards non-Spanish people.
What about you, dear readers. What have your experiences been like in Spain or with Spaniards? Do you think there is a market there for Diversity Training 101? Is Spain any worse than any other European country? Do we expect more of Spain because they are often thought of as not quite Europeans?