I live in one of the reddest areas of the country: the East Valley of Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe country. But it is also a cosmopolitan area, near Phoenix, not far from Tucson. In a trip to Costco one encounters all the things that drive Trumpers crazy.
But before I describe the scene in Costco just before Thanksgiving, let me state that my Black wife and White me do not excite much notice anymore, not like we used to. Once in four or five visits, we get a look. The rest of the people – all types, ages, sexes, races, react to us in a normal way. Elsewhere on the blog I have described incidents that occur all the time but here I am addressing just passing through a crowd; when people deal with us directly, e.g. checking us out in a grocery line, they may address us as though we were not together, etc. But overt hostility is unusual and the more upsetting when it does occur. Today in Costco one guy gave us a hard look – why, I can’t say.
Today was very crowded and as a language nut I was in heaven as so many languages were being spoken around me. People were friendly. I thought about Mexico and Russia where the relaxed interaction of people was not the norm (understanding that I may have been recognizable in some way as an outsider – but generally people in Russia were dour) What I saw was a Trumper’s nightmare: people from all over the world who had money and who were intermarrying with Americans in all sorts of combinations. The with money part is what they must find to be a rotten state of affairs. They do not understand that the people who immigrate here are usually ahead of the curve in education and experience. So they work at Intel and shop at Costco.
In fact, the whole city of Chandler is like that. Some Hispanics are poor and have arrived from Mexico recently, but they do not figure in the overall Hispanic population that much. After all, Arizona is a border state and received an influx of Mexican immigrants in the 90s onto a earlier base of assimilated Mexican-Americans. To show the changes that so disturb Trumpers, I will describe the crowd at a cineplex we went to much further east about twelve years ago, in what you might call Deep East Valley. Out of hundreds of people, about 4 Hispanics, no Blacks, no Native Americans, no brown people. Not long ago we were out there again and the complexion of the crowds has changed a good deal.
And this is what bothers Trumpers about a changing America. I would imagine that someone living in a small, isolated town with few immigrants and no minorities to speak of would come to the Costco in Chandler and experience shock. JUST TOO MUCH DIVERSITY!
Nov. 25, 2019 Ha! And a guy in the grocery store, sitting at the Starbucks area, was looking hard at us. To make sure, once he turned his gaze elsewhere, I also turned away and then swiveled back and he was again looking at us hard. What was that about? Anyone’s guess, right?