We talked about those younger than us maybe not remembering their first encounter, because there is diversity all around us? And, yes, there is... to a degree.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s (I don't remember much of the 50s) and remember the homogenous neighborhood where a single mom raising her children was diversity. I remember the first African American child in my class in fourth grade. "Fusun" was a name of a friend I had from Turkey who lived on the hospital grounds of a tuberculosis sanitarium about a mile away from my home. My first experience with diverse food was waking up to what I thought were my kind of pancakes to pancakes made by a Norwegian mother. They turned out to be crepes with preserves on them. And then, I remember going to a friend's home whose only source of heat was in the living room and kitchen. We slept under LOTS of blankets. I thought everyone had heat in their house all over.
In high school I remember the student named Ricky who was in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy. Come to think of it - that is the only student I remember who may have been a student with "special needs" - where were the rest of them? Oh yes, I graduated from high school before IDEA act came into being.
Our town is full of diversity - the families that have Asian restaurants, the families that take care of our toenails and fingernails, the poor, the wealthy, all living in the same community. Even though we look different, speak in different languages, and have different customs, we are all living in the same community.
Yet on Sunday morning, I still attend church with pews full of white faces, and leaning on the side of being mostly over 50. Mostly.... not all.... but I digress.
Today, I watched this video and realized that for the most part, I have experienced diversity under the comfort zone of the United States, where there is conformity to a degree with our culture. I placed myself in their country and wondered what it would be like to be there and be on the other side of the fence. Being the "different" one.
Egypt / Lebanon Montage from Khalid Mohtaseb on Vimeo.