My White Bread World

We went out to grab a bite to eat one night at a bar/restaurant that we hadn’t been to before.  The food was very good and the service was fine as well.

Usually I am not too fond of places that have a thousand television sets with music playing overhead because I like to be able to converse while I eat, but this place wasn’t too loud and we were entertained by what was going on in the world of sports, surrounding us at every possible viewing angle.

I was very disturbed though, as we were finishing up our dinner and getting ready to leave.  I looked around us as I was putting on my coat when it hit me. 

All of a sudden I realized that the other diners were not all white.

Now before you misunderstand me, the fact that they weren’t all white didn’t bother me at all, but, rather, I was bothered by the realization that our usual dining places must have no diversity at all, or very little.  You see, if that were not the case, then this crowd probably wouldn’t have stood out to me as they did.

How did that happen?  How is it that I never noticed my community looks like the white-bread section of my grocery store? 

Curious, I looked up the statistics for my township.  Sure enough, the statistics reflect the reality to which I have slowly grown accustomed over nearly 28 years:

The top four entries, roughly looked like this:

82% White
10% African American
4% Asian
2% Hispanic

When I was young I went to a racially diverse public school.  My community college was the same.   

You could defend my lack of awareness in the restaurant that day by saying how wonderful it is that I don’t notice race, but that’s not true, and even if it was, I’m not sure that would be a compliment, because one’s color or ethnicity isn’t something to go unnoticed, but something to be celebrated.

I’ll celebrate you, and you celebrate me, and may our unity be a thing of beauty.

Janet Cassidy


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