“I’d never want to go to Tennessee...” Oh, goodness, Sylvia, what my neighbors and friends would say to this! Even I blanch, having lived in other Southern states. Tennessee is no haven for righteousness, to say the least, but having spent some time in Georgia, where I faced some brutal racism at times, as well as Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina, not to mention Florida and North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia (and you could go further...) your niece’s pinpoint on Tennessee is somewhat naïve. Personally, as much as I love this “place,” many of the people here could be burned to a crisp and you would find the air refreshed. That part is true, but just as true elsewhere, I’m afraid. And you do realize, aware of European history, that it was the hundreds of years of anti-Semitism that led to the anti-Jewish laws under Hitler and other regiems during the 1930s-1940s. That anti-Semitism has not dispelled, much like the racism in the US (and in other parts of the world--the Chinese with the Uighers just as one example; the Hutus and the Tusti in Rwanda...the list is endless). So, just as the US has a long way to go, so does nearly everyone else. All groups, all "nationalities" carry some legacy of "hate." It doesn't get the US off the hook--not by a long shot. But someday, maybe, people elsewhere will stop "talking" about equality and start living it as well. Being part Irish--and having to face the English from time to time--one would think this is on your mind once in a while. It's on theirs.

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

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