Personally, I’d say the racism dynamic is significantly different there than here. The Commonwealth nations didn’t have to fight a civil war over slavery (since the UK had already outlawed it throughout the empire), and in the former Confederate states, there’s even to this day a tendency for whites to look back at the days when it was legally acceptable for them to discriminate against people of color in general, and Blacks in particular. Concerning the civil war itself, I can’t think of another nation where the losing side of a civil war is still glorified in art and music. Even in 2016, there was a somewhat serious debate in Texas on the possibility of secession.

What’s more, the leaders of the former Confederate states are by and large the children of the state leaders who fought against the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s. A great example is my home state of Mississippi: they did not finalize ratification of the Constitution’s 13th Amendment (the 1865 amendment that abolished slavery) until 2013. Yes, six years ago. No, slavery wasn’t still practiced after 1865 (though with Jim Crow, it wasn’t much better), but the symbolism of not ratifying it is pretty obvious. To be sure, the state legislature first passed the ratification in 1995 (“only” 130 years late), but they claim the paperwork for finalization was somehow misplaced. If you believe that one, well, I’ve got a bridge I’d love to sell you, especially since Vicksburg, Mississippi wouldn’t even celebrate our nation’s Independence Day (July 4) until about a hundred years after the end of the civil war (Vicksburg had surrendered on July 4, 1863).

Silly, isn’t it? But to those from the Deep South, it’s a serious matter. Even as late as 1984, I remember the only doctor’s office in town having ‘white’ and ‘colored’ entrances, even though such were made illegal twenty years before. I know South Africa had a similar problem with Apartheid (and Australia, IIRC, had a problem with whites taking Aborigine children until about 1971), but what made it worse here was the never-healed legacy of the civil war.

As a result of all this, America’s got issues, and a great many whites (particularly those in the former Confederate states) are having a great deal of anxiety (fear, actually) with the prospect of nonwhites being in charge of the nation. One last thing — in my experience, the great majority of racists don’t have actual malice towards Blacks, but don’t realize that their assumptions and social attitudes towards Blacks are also racism.

Lastly, I’d dearly love to visit NZ. In the Navy, I was able to twice visit both Perth and Hobart (and I dearly love Tasmania). I’ve told my kids several times that of all the countries they might consider if they emigrate from America, go to Oz or NZ…though NZ’s a bit geologically-active for my liking.

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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