When my now-fiancé first told his parents about his new girlfriend a couple years ago, me being Chinese-Canadian, the first question my now future father-in-law asked was, “does her family run a Chinese restaurant?”
Now, I love my father-in-law to pieces, who is a lovely man with not one drop of racist blood running through his veins. But in his mind and through his experiences, perhaps the idea that a Chinese family can do anything other than running Chinese restaurants is a revelation. As far as I know, no members of my immediate family has ever ventured into the restaurant, grocer or laundry business. So he might be disappointed that I’m not that good of a cook after all.
The point of the story is that when it comes to the issue of race, there’s a lot missing in the collective European psyche. Through its own lack of experiences with multiculturalism – unlike in North American and other parts of the New World, where barriers and stereotypes get broken down and built up again, Europe is still stuck on Racial Issues 1.0.
I think this ad was meant to be funny, but is it?
Entitled “Ideal” – and to my eyes without the slightest sense of irony, the narrative goes to say that in an ideal world, the Netherlands is a small village, and then goes on to name various members of the farming community that produces the cheese in question.
After what feels like a great start to a propaganda film made for the Third Reich, where wholesome blonde girls and boys are contentedly occupied with various aspects of farm fun, the camera pans to an obviously dark-haired and ethnic girl – Fatima.
Slight pause, followed by the surprised but still jolly voiceover, oh, what the heck! The implication being that as long as she’s making cheese – and playing by the rules of the farm, she’s part of the village. Read more...