Consider the following: Diversity


unnamedThis week I had the opportunity to visit our wonderful capitol of Washington D.C. It was all that I could expect in most ways. Cute little houses, great food and a very fast paced metro system. But one thing that surprised me about D.C. was not the lack of diversity, but in essence the seemingly lack of interaction of the diverse. People seem to keep to there own particularly race. I would walk into a room, up a street corner and onto a metro rail and quite frankly no one would seem to greet me, unless I made a concerted effort, or look me in the face at all and the ones that did seemed to have a seen one seen them all glance that took me from the individual that I am into a deep hole of stereotypes, and under researched assumptions. I was speaking with an acquaintance that I met his name was Steven White. Mr. White had an interesting background; he was the first in Waterloo, IA to integrate the middle school and High school along with his little brother. He also worked for many prestigious community involvements such as running elections for candidates running as the minority in their district where they were not the majority. Mr. White shared with interesting story and an even better lesson but me. Steven shared with me that he was out and about driving around and getting what he needed to get done, when a police men asked for identification for an out tail light. Mr. Stevens handed him a Virgin Islands identification card and a United States driver’s license card. All to which surprised the officer to the point where he confiscated the Virgin Island card pronouncing it a fake of some sort and drove off with it (later to mail it back to Mr. Steven without an apology). Now this situation could automatically be called Race, oh a white officer took a black mans drivers license. But I challenge you, as I was to think deeper harder and longer at this situation. Was it just race? Or can we find some examples of class issues, sexuality issues and gender issues, along with the question of race. What is it about taking a more multifaceted view of things that makes us have to not only dig deeper intellectually but also emotionally and with ourselves personally? Why is there some long ceded divide in area’s of diversity such as socio economic class, religion, sexuality, gender, race, classism, all the other isms and the other ways that we in society fight to segregate our selves and tear down an individual and make them a “allavidual” taking one characteristic, incident, and stereotype and applying it to the whole. Rodney King gave voice to an interesting question, “Can’t we all get along?” and I believe the answer to that is no, no we can’t get along until we can bring along diversity interaction on all fronts not just race. But not just bring it along, but question why it is not already there today, right now in our society. Happy Black History Month and let’s not just focus on race for a change, but on everything else that so many have fought for on all different fronts of civil rights.

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