A commenter on the Ta-Nehisi Coates thread, a Turkish Muslim living in the US, posted remarks strongly critical of the way many Americans regard race relations, saying that in his view, too many blacks complain for no reason, and that whites are “suicidal” for trying to appease minorities. I looked up the commenter’s email address online, and found that he does indeed post on Muslim forums, as a believing Muslim. I assume he is genuinely a Turk. Had that comment been made by, say, a white guy living in a suburb, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to it. It made me wonder, though, how readers of this blog who are not native-born Americans, but who live in this country, see the way the United States thinks and talks about race.
So I want to make this an open thread. If you are a foreigner living in the US, or a naturalized American who grew up in another country, I would appreciate it if you would share your views of how we Americans deal with race. I’m not really interested in your opinion of white people, black people, Hispanic people, Asian people, and so forth; I’m interested in your take on the way we Americans think and talk about race — and what we don’t talk about when we talk about race.
Let me be clear: I don’t care which “side” you take, but I do care about why you take it. Please be as explicit and as candid as you can. If you post on this thread, please state your country of origin, and your race or ethnic heritage. If you are a regular poster and want to adopt a pseudonym for this thread, that’s fine.
I am sure that I will have some people trying to troll this thread. I will do my best to weed them out. If I don’t publish your comment and you think I’ve failed to do so unfairly, please drop me a note and make your case, and I’ll reconsider. I urge you to be thoughtful, not needlessly provocative. People who just want to lash out at others, save your trouble, because I’m not going to post your stuff. I am genuinely interested in how people from other countries see us in this respect, and what we Americans can learn from you.