The racial issues can vary from community to community; In Hampshire, where I lived there are very few issues because we have very few minorities that live here. The issues that we hold are between groups of people that are of the same race, just different in who we are. Just imagine coming to a place where you could have a wonderful life just to find out that people tend to look at you differently when you walk by or go into a restaurant; you feel out of place. Then you find out there are very few people like you. So what makes this community different than other communities? Is it because in this small community almost all the people are the same; we live in a community where everyone is the same, we all look alike and talk alike, the only difference is that some have better jobs or they drive better cars than others.
I had thought that there were people from all cultures living everywhere but I was wrong; not in this town. This town consists of almost only one race; it has more whites than any other race. This community does not have the different ethnic groups that live in most cities. In most of the places you go you will only see whites out on the streets, in the stores, at restaurants, even in the schools according to Public School Info there are 339 students enrolled at the local school with only one being of another race (Public School Info 2007). Going into a Mexican, or Chinese restaurant is the only place where you will find other cultures. According to the U.S. Census Bureau we have approximately 1247 people living in our town of them, there are 1147 whites, 77African Americans, 2 American Indians, 5 Asians, 0 Native Hawaiians, 17 Hispanics, 8 two or more races, and 8 some other race (U.S. Census Bureau 2007).
Prices start at $12
Prices start at $11
Prices start at $10
What makes this town different then other communities is that here we do not have to fight over discrimination against other cultures it is the fight over discrimination against each other that makes us different. There are only whites; no other ethnic group holds a leadership position in this community, office, workplaces, or in the schools. This is where the racial issues come into focus. We have three groups of whites in this community there is the subordinate group, the minority group, and the group [as I will call them] the get along group, they just want every on to get along, they are between the two other groups. To belong to the subordinate group you have got to have a long life history in the community. Their families have all held some position in the community either as school board members, police officers, or council members. This group tends to always be the ones that hold the leadership positions.
The minority groups are the ones that want to make changes because they have more education and better training than the older subordinate group, so to belong to this group of people you need to be out-spoken and want to make changes in our town. Then the get-along group consists of both groups there are members from each group that can be placed into this category, because they all want the same and treat each other with respect there are community leaders and non-community leaders in this group. The leaders and members of this community treat each group differently; even though we all look the same, we all get treated differently. It does not matter if you drive a fancy car or live in a big home if you are not in the subordinate group then you are treated differently. The leaders and their members treat each other with respect but treat the minority with prejudice.
The minority groups very seldom hold any position in the community. So it is not just for the few minorities’ races that may have problems with this community; it is the lesser white race that has more discrimination against them than other groups. Our leaders have The leaders in this community are here to represent all the people of the community and they should make sure they represent all races, not just the ones that have a history in their community. the opportunity to make this community grow and if they would work for the community this town could become a great city. But not all members feel the same, some do not want change and others do. Even the minority group needs to put the community first they say they want to improve the town but they still have a conflict with each other. As T. Turner a local community member states that “no citizen should feel afraid in any of our neighborhoods, our schools, and no one should face discrimination because of race, religion or any other reason”.
How can a community grow if all they see is the conflict between each other? Both groups say they listen to what you have to say, but I have worked in construction most of my life and have seen the division between the groups they are always trying to put the blame on the other, never settling the conflict between them. How can a place, be run by individuals if they can not correct their own problems. I feel as if they do not represent the minority in my community because if all the members would support what the people want then our community would not have discriminated against each other. We would be a growing community. For the first time, they have allowed a convenience store to be built in the community. This is showing some progress. The only similarities that I have in common with the leaders of this community is that we are the same color, and the difference that we have is that I want to see this community grow and lose the discrimination against all groups.
I am not saying that all leaders are this way but from my past experience, we have many that want to stay in the old times and not grow, they do not even want to take any of the town’s business into other communities. To be able to resolve the inequities in my community would be a great opportunity for all the members of this community. If I could change just a few things it would be to invite other races to become a part of this place and to have the same rights and equal opportunities to run for leadership whether they have family or not. Getting rid of the racism and discrimination between all of the people would inspire our community to grow. Having this community grow; in businesses and job opportunities; for all of the people, not just the selected few. Having the leaders work for the people, and not the people for them. I feel as if we could take on the role to support other races than our community then we would grow and become a more productive community for all that live here now and in the future.
The media can show their support to this community by allowing each member to have the freedom of speech and not just a few. But as of right now everything has got to get approved to be published, so when someone writes a controversial story it can not be placed in the news unless it is approved first. If the media is not putting out the concerns of the community, then the community is no being supported.
It takes all sides to make a community work not division, if the community can not get along then how can it grow? Without the discrimination and prejudice against all cultures whether it is African Americans, Asian, and Hispanic or even between their own race is the only way for a place to have equal opportunities. All individuals need to respect each other and understand the different cultures that come to their communities so that they can grow together as one and not separate.
- Public School Info. ( 2007, September 13).
- T. Turner, Local Community Member (personal communication, September 14, 2007)
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2007, September 3). Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 3, 2007, from http://factfinder.census.gov.