Wednesday, August 25, 2010


One of my childhood friends was a beautiful blue-eyed blond, Ana. She lived two doors down from my parents' one bedroom apartment. There were five people squeezed in a two bedroom apartment with a tiny bathroom and a kitchenette. She had the typical aspirations to become a famous actress and, despite every one's poverty, she dressed differently and used make-up, both luxuries neither she nor her family could afford. She was looking for some knight in shining armor to save her from poverty and she was determined to find him. Ever anxious to fulfill her dream, she ran off with the circus five times from the age of fourteen. She would either be with the trapeze artist, the lion tamer, or the circus clown. The police would bring her back every time she tried to run away. Not that she would get very far without a passport. Heartbroken and locked up on the concrete balcony, she would plot her next adventure. It had not donned on her yet that there was no escape from a communist country.

One day an elegant, handsome African man appeared in our neighborhood. He was hard to miss since nobody had ever seen a black man before. He was well spoken, knew Romanian quite well, and very polite. He paid a visit to Ana's family and the patriarch, Stan. We had no idea how she found this man, it was obvious, Max was her ticket out of Romania. He was one of the first students from Sudan at the newly established Petroleum Engineering School in our hometown of Ploiesti. After a very lengthy and tumultuous courtship, Ana and Max decided to get married. She was so desperate to escape, it did not bother her that her future husband-to-be was extremely jealous, flying in violent rages at the slightest provocation. She also had no clue what her life will be like as the wife of a rich Muslim who had an assortment of other wives. She did not realize that her total lack of obedience and rebelliousness to rules might come in the way of marital bliss. He courted and supported her for the entire length of his studies and, when he graduated, they got married in a very lavish wedding. Ana left for Sudan and we thought, we would never see or hear from her again. Six months later, she returned very ill, she could not tolerate the African desert heat, all the usual tropical diseases, and the harem rules. She almost died, and, when recovered, she divorced her Sudanese husband in a hotly contested split. They loved each other but she chose living in a communist country over certain death in Africa. Many other girls since then have taken Muslim husbands to escape poverty in Romania. Their babies have become a glaring example of the insidious Islmaic occupation of Europe. The Ottoman Turks have terrorized and ruled Europe by scimitar, extracting tribute in gold and grain from the locals for 500 years, in exchange for "peace." Christians eventually defeated them and pushed them back to Istanbul. Islam is now succeeding their conquest that started hundreds of years ago, without firing a shot, through demographics and generous European welfare that supports them financially.

We were born and raised to accept everybody, we were not divided by skin color and religion, the word discrimination was not part of our vocabulary, it was foreign to us. We deplored the apartheid in South Africa and we knew that our society would never treat people with different skin pigment so atrociously. The communist party tried in vain to teach us to hate Jews but we paid no attention. Our parents instilled a fear of gypsies into us, but it was not based on skin color, it was based on their frequent practice of kidnapping small children to raise them into their culture of theft - they needed fresh converts to make money for their nomadic tribes.

The government did no issue statistics based on race, we were all Romanians. There was always a fringe percentage mentioned, called the rroma because they refused to adhere to society, remained illiterate, and kept their nomadic ways. We recognized instinctively economic discrimination because we could see the elite ruling class living so much better than the rest of us, the proletariat. We knew gender discrimination existed because men were always paid better than women. Women were more pampered at work and took more time off with full pay. They had generous maternity leave, while men could only take off if really sick. There was no such thing as age discrimination, everyone was treated equally bad.

As soon as I became part of the American society, I realized that everything is compartmentalized by gender, race, tribe, age, handicap, religious preference, political preference, sexual preference, income, education, intelligence quotient, emotional quotient, beauty, weight, social status, fame, and athletic ability. Every textbook I've ever read used discrimination statistics to make certain points and constant comparisons as if we were in a race. I realized then the American obsession with discrimination. There was a real industry of victim hood, rights, and entitlements based on discrimination coming from the leftist academics, ACLU, NAACP, ACORN, NEA, the Southern Center for American Poverty, et al.

I encountered discrimination almost on a daily basis, especially living in the south where people did not have much exposure to foreigners, but I did not allow it to affect who I was and how I conducted my life. It was not a compliment to be told that I looked exotic. If I sun-bathed in summer time, people asked me if I was black. If I shopped with mom and we spoke Romanian, store clerks would follow us around as if we were shop-lifters. Some shop owners would go as far as asking us to leave because they did not welcome foreign customers. Colleagues from southern towns would tell me that I did not count if I was not seven generations from that area. Memberships to social clubs that raised money for good causes would be denied to me because "they just did not take anybody off the streets." The woman who said this to me was a high school drop-out. She had married into money, to a man who owned a boat dealership, therefore she felt entitled to discriminate because she saw herself as financially secure. If I asked female colleagues about the meaning of Greek sororities and fraternities, which were totally foreign to Europeans, I would be dismissed with, "you would not understand," she did not want to waste her time. In other words, I was too dumb to understand. If I asked pointed questions, I was told that this was not how women behaved in the south, they were submissive and kept their mouths shut. It was the men who made policy and financial decisions. If I applied for a job and I was among the front runners, a person of color or the wife of someone with connections would get the job. It was never based on education or ability as advertised. Affirmative Action was prevalent, not meritocracy. Mediocre students of sub-standard ability and employees would be chosen at various universities/companies over better qualified students/employees based on their ethnicity. The communist regime at least pretended to have written exams by all applicants for a job, and then, instead of hiring the person with the highest score, hired someone based on nepotism. Similarly, the college entrance exam, although very fair, allocated admission based on communist party nepotism in spite of lower exam scores.

Did I get discouraged in my new country? Did I feel discriminated against in America? Certainly, but I persevered, I did not sue, I did not complain. I got up, dusted off, and tried again, even harder. I never allowed myself to become a victim.

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