Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Ugly Secret of Seattle: Racism

Seattle, the capitol of cool, one of the most progressive cities in the United States, sophisticated, smart, where everyone wants to move, also home of racism beyond that experienced in most large cities in the United States. Seattle is more racist than San Francisco, certainly more racist than L.A., and more racist than any city out east. People may think of Seattle as rivaling New York, but when it comes to basic day to day treatment of racial minorities Seattle comes out closer to a backwater than to anything present in the New York area. There is no excuse for it. Originally it may have been caused by the geographic isolation of the Northwest and the lack of immigration to it by folks who weren't Scandinavian, English, Scottish, German, or Irish, but it lingers on in an era where it has no place. Not only that, but the secret shame of Seattle, the most hidden flaw, is that the brain trust that came in with Microsoft and company, that continually replenishes itself with smart people from around the country, has largely adopted the same racist attitude as their neighbors. The alternative, counter-culture people in Seattle aren't racist, but the tech people outnumber them by a large proportion. They come here and adopt the sort of hardline that would have normally gone out of practice several decades ago, and then when they procreate their parental instincts become an excuse to deepen their racial attitudes---all in the name of protecting their children.

So in that sense, Seattle is a sham. You can't be the capitol of hip and progressive people if you ride a bike everywhere and eat organic and yet snarl at every brown face you see. But money insulates these people from having to face the consequences of their hypocrisy.

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

How does the racism manifest itself?