Sunday, July 26, 2015


I've not been to a more ethnically diverse city as Toronto seems to be.  It is not only the racial diversity that is striking, it is the coupling, that makes inter racial relationships seem as common as not.

I've not been everywhere like some, but I have been out of Boston now and again. In recent years to Rio, Dublin, Montreal, London, and Paris.  Go back a dozen years or so and I've been to Quebec and Tel Aviv.  And domestically, of course, I've travelled to New York and Chicago many times and San Francisco, Miami Philadelphia, DC, and other large cities with diverse denizens.  I'm hardly a world traveller like some of my colleagues who talk about Iceland and Vietnam like I talk about Pennsylvania.  But still I have been in an airport or two.

And never have I seen the kind of diversity as I do in Toronto.  A kind man gave me a lift from the Exhibition Center on Thursday. He is 80 and told me that until he went to high school he had never seen a black person.  He made the comment as we were driving through the city and it was clear that we two Caucasians were clearly in the minority. He commented, and I agreed, that this multi-ethnicity and the concomitant blurring of racial significance was a good thing.

It is such a good thing.  Even in Boston and New York an interracial couple gets a second look. Here heads would need to spin around necks if people were giving second looks to every interracial couple on the street.  And the wonderful beautiful offspring from these relationships are padding along behind them.

Imagine all the people living life in peace.

At the same time, I smirk when I pay for coffee in Toronto with a different kind of paper.  An hour from here in Buffalo, the money I am using in Toronto is alien.  I cannot make phone calls to the United States unless I have a package that includes "international" calls.  Can't get pandora here and the car I will rent tomorrow has some restrictions if I drive to Niagara Falls.

It's not the kilometers/miles distinction or the fahrenheit/centigrade differences. That is nothing. You say tomayto I say tomahto.  I say pop you say soda. That's just regionalism and custom. But why are there restrictions based on political constructions.

We are one.  I am an American and the fellow who sold me coffee this morning is a Canadian and that means what.  It means nothing. It's too bad I won't be around in ten thousand years when schoolkids will marvel at the fact that in 2015 there were these things called "countries" and they had separate rules and, in some cases, fought over borders.

 Imagine there are no countries. It isn't hard to do.

There is no they. Just many who are part of a very large we.  Toronto seems to be a city that in some ways gets that clearly.

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