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Multiculturalism & Diversity: Not in my back yard!

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Anyone may look across the world landscape over the last 1,000 years to witness that racial conflict injects itself into every aspect of human life.

Such and such a group hates some other collection of people. Religious groups bomb other religious groups such as the Protestants and the Catholics in Ireland. Muslims hate the Jews in the Middle East with thousands of killings.

You never hear about racism in mono-ethnic societies like China or Japan. Why? Everyone enjoys a similar background of values and cultural cohesion.

In America, with hundreds of different ethnic groups, especially black, white, brown, red and yellow, we exist in a tenuous but tolerant dance guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

It's not been easy with Jim Crow Laws, the KKK, Watts Riots, separate but equal, anger of Malcolm X, white flight to the suburbs, smoldering and seething ghettoes and Pastor Jeremiah Wright in Chicago with "God D*** America"-."-

In 1965, Senator Teddy Kennedy created an even more tense society by immigrating millions from incompatible cultures that now call America home: Muslims, Hmongs, Koreans, Somalians, Ethiopians, etc. Additionally, he created even greater racial tension from competing and growing cultures that fail to assimilate into America as Americans.

We now designate Muslim-Americans, African-Americans, Russian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, while our national identity drains into confusion and tension.

This week, in D Magazine, Texas journalist Trey Garrison wrote a piece titled: "Why I don't want diversity in my neighborhood."-

"When I made the hard decision to forgo buying a house in Dallas, I knew I was gonna' get it,"- Garrison wrote. "The thing is, I really wanted to live in Dallas, but we just couldn't do it. So we chose Plano.

"Once we pulled the trigger, the judgments came a-flyin'. Mainly it was from friends who are, well, urban yokels. You know the kind "" hipper-than-thou provincialists, for whom where you reside in relation to a municipal taxing boundary defines you. This was fine. Friends tease you like that. But then I started getting comments from readers at one of my other publications about "diversity," whatever that means. Apparently, in choosing a house in one of the top school districts in the country, in a suburb where the poverty rate is low and the median income is high, I was guilty of the high crime of "-white flight.'

"My humbled, guilty reaction consisted of two words: "So what?"

"I mean, what the heck does diversity mean? Some of my new neighbors in Plano include people from Thailand, Armenia, India, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Colombia and the Ukraine, but apparently that doesn't count. And when a school is 85 percent white, it's not diverse, but when it's 85 percent Hispanic, it is?

"I was scolded that my daughter, by being in a Plano school, would be sheltered from "" nay, ill-equipped for "" life in the real world.

"Well, yeah. Probably. The real world is a lot bigger than Dallas, bigger than Texas, and bigger than the United States. The majority of the real world is dirty, violent, poor and absent indoor plumbing and two-ply toilet paper. More than half the world's people live on something like $1 a day.

"I don't think attending Woodrow Wilson High equips you any better for that kind of outdoorsy, back-to-nature lifestyle than Plano West, but I admit I don't know much about Woodrow's elective courses. I want a school that will prepare her for living in a professional, high-paying world so daddy won't have to pound out columns in his dotage.

"I was also told, most oddly, that by subjecting my kid to suburban life and suburban schools, she'd get no exposure to people from other cultures. That's when it got silly. So I'd harrumph in my best Ted Baxter voice that's crazy "" why, the lady who does her nails is Vietnamese, and our lawn guy is a Mexican from Costa Rica or Panama.

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www.frostywooldridge.com

Frosty Wooldridge Bio: Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His books (more...)
 

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Arab Americans are Americans with an Arab backgrou... by kwalsh on Friday, Aug 1, 2008 at 12:36:57 AM
.... that is reflected in your article, is the way... by Debbie Scally on Sunday, Aug 3, 2008 at 1:02:26 PM