My community ETH/125 My community In my community the area is predominately white; there is not much diversity in the state of New Hampshire. I have viewed the growth of my town from when I was a child to when I have recently moved back a year ago. Fifteen years ago there was one African American family that I knew of and one Hispanic family. In high school there were some other races but I was not friends with them nor knew much about their heritage or culture. I believe that education is the best way to combat racism and prejudice and my small town is an example of that.
When reviewing information from the government census bureau, the state of New Hampshire is 93. 9% white, compared to the United States who has a population of 72. 4% (Census. gov, 2010). These rates show that there is a larger ratio of whites in my state than throughout the country. I was not aware of much culture that had existed in the country and fell into the belief of some stereotypes. I also took for granted that I was not a minority and did not understand the struggles that exist for them. In my community when I was growing up there was much to be learned about race and ethnicity among the children and the adults.
I remember that the kids who did hang out with the minority groups were all considered trouble children and were up to no good. I do know that some of them got in trouble but I wonder if that was a matter of, if you think I am going to do this then I am going to do it. I know that some of the white children who hung around with African Americans and wore their pants around their buttocks were called “wiggers”. I also fell into this trap of stereotyping and did not learn until later in life that it was wrong to stereotype, it was wrong for the African Americans and the white children.
Reading through the government statistics for Derry, NH in 2000 the white population was 96% (census. gov, 2000). This is even a higher rate than the whole state of New Hampshire. When there is not much diversity in your town or state, how are you to learn about different cultures. I know that in high school not only was the student population mostly white so wasn’t the alumni. I look back into the times and know that some of the minority children were treated differently, not only by the peers but also by the parents of other students.
I knew racism was wrong and that racial slurs were wrong, but how do you know what is wrong when parents and adults say one thing and then act another. I saw some families say that racism and prejudice were wrong but when their child wanted to hang out with a minority friend they were told that that person was not a good friend. I remember one of my friends mother told her that the child who was a minority that he was up to no good and would amount to nothing. Why would you in one instance say that it is wrong to be prejudice but then your actions show that you are?
In my home I was lucky to not have to deal with this; my family did not judge someone by the color of their skin but by their actions. I did grow up thinking that some kids were trouble because that was what we were told by others. I did not think much about minority races, or model minority. I did not truly start understanding some of the struggles other ethnic groups face until I left my small town and moved to Richmond VA. While thinking about the difference between the news media in Richmond, VA and Derry, NH, I see that there are major differences.
In Richmond there was more exposure to your community and your community leaders, the news reflected many things going on about in the city. In Derry, I don’t remember much being on about our community with it being a small town, when watching the news in Richmond you will see different minority groups reporting the news. There is one station that reports the news for New Hampshire and there are mainly whites reporting the news. You will see in the news different minority groups but only if it reflects a story.
I am sure there are some minority groups in the news but I have not paid much attention. When thinking about how the community and whether they look like me, I would say yes, I am a white woman and live in an area that is predominately white. I have noticed over the years that I have been gone that there is more diversity in races but not that much. I live in an apartment complex that is fairly large and notice that there are other races here but not many, I have also noticed that the children will all play together but most of them seem to stick together by race.
One family that lives in my building is Hispanic and in another building they are mixed children with an African American father and white mother. I have noticed that the children will all play together but it seems most of the time the minority children will stick together. I know that the two families are close together as the parents are friends, I do wonder though if the children stick closer together because they are more comfortable with each other, maybe not even realizing why?
I am not sure how other races are treated by local law enforcement or even the political field. In my opinion the area is mostly whites and I do wonder now how that affects those of different cultures and ethnicity. I have been taking for granted that I am white and never really put much thought into how others might feel in my small town. I know that there is more diversity in Derry, NH than there was fifteen years ago and I am sure as the years go on that there will be more. How will this affect minority groups moving into the community?
I am not sure, I think that for any minority group it will be hard, not everyone is educated and understanding of the different cultures. I truly believe that education is the best way to approach racism and prejudice. The more we as people know about other races and cultures the more we will understand others. I like to think that I have learned much over the nine week course in Ethics. I have come to understand many things about different races and their cultures. I learned that you do not group minority groups together based on their features.
I did not know there was a difference between Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans and I am pleased to know the difference now. I hope to be able to educate those around me and bring my knowledge to those who want it and need it. In New Hampshire we need more diversity and education to teach the community about the different cultures and ethnicity. Though I have not seen much prejudice now that I am an adult, but I also do not encourage negative talk either. I wonder if it still going on just more hidden now.
I do hope that one day there will not be prejudice and racism and that we are all equal. I have stated before that we are a country based on an open door and acceptance. We as people need to start accepting this idea and welcome everyone who comes to our country. The only people who were originally here were the Native Americans and look how they are treated. The majority of us living in this great country are descendants of an immigrant. We need to remember that when we want to make a stereotype or do not understand a certain way of living.
Remember that your ancestors were once foreigners and might have been thought to be different from everyone else. Educate those around you of facts that you know and when in doubt ask questions or learn. Teach acceptance and others will hopefully follow. References U. S. Census Bureau. (2000). Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000. Retrieved from http://censtats. census. gov/data/NH/0603301517940. pdf U. S. Census Bureau. (2011). State and County QuickFacts. Retrieved from http://quickfacts. census. gov/qfd/states/33000. html