Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Alabama vs. Europe

Two recent observations came out that I find interesting in their juxtaposition.

First, as part of a study to examine American ideas about Islam, a college student dressed in a black abaya traveled to Arab, Alabama (yeah--never heard of it either) to see how the local townspeople would react to her attire. "I expected people to say, 'What is this terrorist doing here? We don't want your kind here,' " said Hailey Woldt, a 22-year-old blue-eyed Catholic, recalling her anticipation before stepping into a local barbecue joint. "I thought I wouldn't even be served."

Instead, Woldt’s experiment in social anthropology opened her own eyes. Apart from the initial glances reserved for any outsider who might venture through a small-town restaurant’s doors, her experience was a pleasant one.

Maybe she should be studying American prejudices about the South instead. You know how stupid and backwards us rednecks can be, staring slack-jawed at the terrorist Arab lady. One native Alabaman commenter noted that he’d feel safer in Birmingham in a turban than in San Francisco in a Bush/Cheney t-shirt.

The other study, commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League is a little more scientific and perhaps more disturbing. The ADL conducted a poll, which included interviews with 3,500 people - 500 each in Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain.

They found that 33% of Europeans blame Jews for the global economic meltdown. That's one-third to us crackers who don't unnerstan addin' and minusin' and 'rithametic.

In Spain, 74 percent of those asked say they feel it is "probably true" that Jews hold too much sway over the global financial markets. Nearly two-thirds of Spanish respondents said Jews were more loyal to Israel than they were to their home countries.

I thought those Europeans were supposed to be so much more enlightened than us, especially us Southern good ol' boys.

I guess you don't have to go all the way to Alabama to find religious prejudice.


Sean said...

Don't you think they should have asked those Alabamans about the Jews.. might have been interesting. Or the Pope!

Petronia said...

Are you insinuating that the Jews AREN'T responsible for the global economic meltdown?