consulting, business, international, latin america, spanish language, corporate training, training, leadership, executive training, relocation, business training, expert, work, job, skill, development, spanish, english as a second language, english, argentina, brazil, travel, atlanta business, europe, politics, advice, south america, southern cone, experts
Lingo Consulting
 

When Dorian Turner first walked off a plane  in 1998 and into Ezeiza airport just twenty minutes outside of Buenos Aires, she wasn't astonished to be greeted by stares. She'd already been warned that Argentina was devoid of racial diversity and that she'd be an object of curiousity with brown skin. What was shocking was that most Argentines she encountered during her five month stay there had such interestingly simplistic views on American race relations. For one, they understood that there were still racial divisions in the US, but they also believed that US had not changed much since the days of Martin Luther King, Jr. In short, they viewed African-Americans as victims. I spent the majority of those five months explaining US racial relations, and that it was much deeper than black and white-there were also divisions with new immigrants, moral issues and politics that were dividing our country.

10 years later, Argentina is a different place. Argentines are excited about our new President (not as excited as Americans are, but pretty close). Nowadays when I walk through Buenos Aires, I may still get a couple of stares, but by and large, most Argentines seem nonchalant. My conversations these days center more on what our new President is going to do, and what that means for us as African-Americans than just the racial ills of our country. I've been very happy to explain what seeing a brown face in the White House means for me, but most importantly, that skin color was almost a non-issue in the Presidential race. This seems to baffle Argentines.

It would have baffled me if you'd told me two years ago that we'd have our first African-American President and little to no ripples in the ocean of our racial fabric. I would have expected dissonance, protests and perhaps even some heated racially charged language, but that never happened. It turns out that we as Americans are much more mature than even we thought. I'm excited and proud that the USA is a place that has proved that the American Dream is still possible.

It's true, Obama will have to prove his worth by doing something about the economy. He's obviously got an uphill battle ahead of him. But it's also clear that Americans are ready to help him. I'm finding that showing support to our elected officials and feeling a connection to the political process is actually considered a strange concept to Argentines, more strange even than the fact that we have elected an African-American as our President. However, as they inquire about the American political process and just how they get all of us to vote without it being compulsory (the way it is in Argentina), it's exciting to wax poetic on the virtues of my country's amazing democracy. No matter how many times I have to say it, explain it and go through the details, it feels like I'm a grand ambassador for my country.

Digg!
 


Comments

11/13/2009 06:50

I think obama has brought hope to the USA

Reply



Leave a Reply


consulting, business, international, latin america, spanish language, corporate training, training, leadership, executive training, relocation, business training, expert, work, job, skill, development, spanish, english as a second language, english, argentina, brazil, travel, atlanta business, europe, politics, advice, south america, southern cone, experts