I thought this worthy of sharing if for no other reason than to help someone start a conversation.
I grew up in an all white neighborhood until I got to high school and there were other black kids because we lived in a different town. Of course, we were still the minority, but at least I was no longer “alone” and I could see others who looked like me walking in the halls.
I remember in high school some kids specifically saying that they wanted to go to a black college, but not me. First, I think as humans, we gravitate towards what we know and/or what we’re comfortable with and for me, I think I’m more “comfortable” being around white people, since it’s been my life since I was a child. I say “comfortable”, but “familiar” is probably closer to the truth.
I purposely went to a university that was diverse because I wanted to experience other cultures outside of black and white because I had never really been exposed to anything else. The only time I ever saw an Asian person was when we went to the Chinese restaurant. I often wondered why there were no Chinese kids in school. Surely these people who run the restaurant have children, yet I never saw any Asian children in school. We didn’t get our first Latino kids until I was a junior in high school, at least I never saw them until my junior year. I remember they had their own class regardless of age because they did not speak English, so they could not be placed in classes with the rest of us. I believe that was the first year that my high school, which also had grades 6 through 12 in the same building, had to “deal” with non-English speaking students.
I knew in high school that it would not serve me well to attend a college that was predominantly any race because that is not the world that I live in, so I chose a racially mixed university. Not only that, but I got involved in any and every organization that did NOT focus on black students because I wanted to learn about other cultures.
I remember being the FIRST person to show up for the meeting for the Asian club and listening to the organizer tell us that she purposely deleted all the names of interested students if they were not Asian. Now, how can you expect anyone to learn about your culture if you commit racist acts like that???
My college housed what was then called the American Language Academy where students from all over the world came to learn English. I was able to spend time with people from South Korea, Mexico and the United Arab Emerates and learn more about each of them as people. One of the most difficult questions someone asked me was “why does America have homeless people?” when your country is so rich. Yeah, a powerful question and quite difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t speak English well enough to understand my answer.
Even the church that I attend…you can count the number of black people on one hand. I did not purposely look for a non-black church, but I wanted a church that reads the Bible word-for-word, verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter. My church is predominantly Italian, and Latino with a few Asians, a few blacks and at least one Egyptian. I like diversity and clearly, so does God, otherwise He would not have created so many beautiful people. 🙂
Wow, I did not intend to write so much based off of a short video. I guess it got me thinking and remembering my past.
I hope this video sparks some honest and forgiving conversations.
In honor of my Dad, my Uncle John, Bill Lupetti and ALL of our veterans who sacrificed so that I can enjoy the freedoms of this life and this country.