America is still run, in the main, by whites, but that is changing. That huge mass of white America is melting, very much like a giant Antarctic iceberg under attack by warm seas. Indeed, white America is eroding most rapidly at the outer edges, where racial tides wash relentlessly inland. The coastal cities of Los Angeles, New York, Miami, New Orleans and Dallas (hah) are no longer white. They are a giant hodgepodge of mixed races, black and brown and yellow. Los Angeles is less than 50% white, I know, because I used to frequent the ethnic restaurants there, from Indian to Japanese to Thai to Cuban. You like variety in what you eat, Los Angeles is the place to go.
One big splash of American ethnicity landed smack dab in the President's Oval Office at White House.
The Philippines is different, for sure. More resistant to the floods of foreign ideas and looks. It is strange to me.
On one hand, you have this very rich country, America, that has always welcomed the "huddled masses" from afar. The nation gave them resources and opportunity, and from that opportunity and their own drive to succeed, wealth arose and became abundant. On the other hand, you have this very poor country, the Philippines, which does not welcome immigrants, preferring instead to hold its resources and opportunity for its own huddled masses. Wealth grows not abundant at all.
It is the thinking, the consistency of thought, in the Philippine mind that confuses me, and amuses me. It is this same old same old "100 percent" mentality that I wrote about a few blogs ago. You are either Filipino or you are not, and if you are not, stay that way. In other words, "keep out". A Filipino is special, a racial line to be preserved.
But it is like all the closed-in cross-breeding generated a bunch of high-strung thieves who are out for themselves and not anyone else amongst the huddled masses. So the huddled are also muddled masses without the inclination or determination to grow and expand and learn and innovate and take care of one another and compete. It is a giant black hole of self-service that concocts little in the way of new ideas or problem-solving.
Americans are blunt, too, you might have noticed. They don't worry so much about their own face, and let others take care of theirs.
The preservation of the Filipino seems to go beyond race to patriotic loyalty, as if being non-Filipino were a security threat. Dual citizenship, common in America, is begrudgingly handed out to Filipinos who have returned from overseas. It is like the Philippines gets angry when Filipinos adopt foreign citizenship because it gives them the right to vote overseas, or gives their kids the opportunity to be president or win American Idol. It's envy maybe. Meanwhile, white guys like me are not openly welcomed as a citizen here. Not trusted. Might take something away, rather than add it.
The Filipino iceberg is built of denser ice than American, I guess. Less trusting ice.
I suspect that a Philippines open to foreign investment and full involvement of outsiders, as citizens, would create both wealth and trouble. Wealth for all the innovation and exploitation the inbounds would bring, and trouble from the anger of the natives left behind, or dragged about on the coattails of the new rich.
Maybe it is good to be closed, huh?
Of course openness could also energize the land and bring it into the fold of competitive nations and allow it to grasp a big batch of that wealth building in Asia. Inspire Filipinos old and new to become determined and innovative and productive. Qualities today often missing in business and government enterprise.
I also observe that the Filipino race, although marked by brownness and falling on the shorter end of the elevation scale, is remarkably varied as to facial features. Eyes come in all shapes, from narrow to round, although just about all brown. There are no blond Filipinos, like there are in Samoa, where 10% of the population mysteriously has blond hair. Faces are oval or triangular here, or even thin. Man, no one looks alike.
So as near as I can tell the only thing consistent, physically, is the color brown. And that ranges across the entire hue from almost white to almost black.
I have also come to observe that personalities of Filipinos vary widely. There are as many personality types as there are people. Most fun-loving, indeed, but some introvert, some extrovert, some loud, some quiet, some curious, some not so. Some like to read or speak English, and others are fine in a smaller space. There is no one-sized personality that fits all.
So I am kinda like wondering, ummmmm, if the only commonality is brown, why are Filipinos so rabid about sealing their nation off from the non-brown world? Why does it build high sea-walls that hold back the floods of fresh thinking and wealth washing across from the greater world?
To preserve the color brown?
My grandfather, a rather handsome but kinky old coot, taught my mother to swim when she was about 5 by taking her in a boat to the middle of the lake and throwing her in. She had to swim to live.
I think Filipinos are afraid of being thrown from the boat they are on, into the big, dynamic, warm sea that surrounds them. Or afraid of jumping into the water, as if swimming were something a Filipino did not know how to do . . .