I’m not racist but…


When I was younger I had an in-depth system for choosing library books. This involved looking first at the spines and picking out a few that caught my eye. I would then read the blurb and eliminate any that sounded rubbish. Finally, if I was still having trouble choosing, I would read the first line and borrow the ones that grabbed me. That all seems pretty normal right? But there was a fourth clause. One which I still feel a little odd about.
Sometimes I would open a book to that fine print page just before the dedication. I would skim down the technicalities to find out where the book had been published. And then I’d eliminate all the ones that were American.
Much like last week’s confession about female writers, I basically never read American authors. Most of the American books I’ve read have been for school or uni. I did go through a brief but memorable phrase where I read a lot of the books from a series called ‘WICCA’. Think Twilight but better written and with witches. (I was a teenager ok? Leave me alone.) Even those books, much as I enjoyed them at the time, used to grate on me a little.
I don’t watch American TV. Hardly at all. I have a number of respected online sources who I look at for TV recommendations. Yet even those people have a hard job recommending anything that originates from the USA. You may now yell indignantly. I know that “the best” television comes out of America. I know they have HBO and NBC and all those other  important acronyms. But… I can’t even justify myself. I can justify my steadfast and verbal support of Australian content. I can tell you that no one makes costume drama like the BBC. But I can’t tell you why I haven’t seen [INSERT NAME OF AMERICAN SITCOM HERE]. Honestly, unless it’s 30 Rock, I probably haven’t.
So I haven’t seen Girls or Louie. I haven’t seen Arrested Development or Community or The Office or…what’s that other one that I always get confused with Community? Parks and Recreation. That one.
I’m still not really sure what it is about the American turn of phrase that I find so disconcerting. At first I think it was words like ‘mom’, their oddness making me cringe. There’s something alien about the American experience. Unlike the UK, I’ve never really wanted to know what it’s like to live there. There wasn’t a yearning to relate, to understand.
But at the end of the day I think it’s really nothing but prejudice. The kind of prejudice with no logical foundation.   

Maybe I am racist. I’ve come to realise that I regularly disregard voices based on their origin. And I’m not sure I feel ok about this. 

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year