When I moved to Northern California from Boston in the early 90s, I realized quickly that things were different here. At my old job, I had more than a hundred faculty colleagues including no tenured blacks or women, and not one that I knew to be gay (of course Harvard has come a long way since then), a state of affairs that was even then barely imaginable in my new outfit. A related difference manifested itself when my daughter came home on the last day of her first semester in public school with her best friends, who first appeared to be about a dozen. After they stopped bouncing around and settled down countably, I realized they were six little girls…of at least nine different races. College students back east still seem to be one thing or another, but mine are a wonderful continuum of world genetics all mooshed up in different assortments. Not that we’ve transcended racism or bigotry in California, but this looks like a good start.
What used to be the “society pages” of the New York Times has a weekly feature called Vows, which seems to especially pick out marriages that advance this entirely excellent antidote to ignorance, racism and xenophobia, and write them up charmingly. This week the lead story, about a jazz musician and a Florida health executive, turned me completely to mush, even without the incomparable photo. Go read it; better than any TV romance fiction out there, and evidence that the world is not entirely going to hell in a handbasket.