My hometown here in Idaho is white, lily white in fact. Sure the college attracts some ethnic types but they are so few as to barely be noticed.
Not that you think about it much walking around town day to day, but get us together in a big group and it becomes very apparent. I attended a choir concert at the University of Idaho this Winter. My girlfriends son was singing in it, as were a bunch of other kids from 9 or 10 high schools in the region. Anyway, I looked out and around and thought, the Martians would have to wear dark glasses if they wanted to tune into this event. Not that there is anything wrong with it.
Lewiston, Idaho was found back in the 1850’s as a launching site for supplies headed to the gold fields in the Clearwater River drainage. In the beginning they could not have anything but tents, as you could not build permanent structures on, what was then, the Nez Perce Reservation.
Like what happened in most places in the country the reservation started shrinking until the Nez Perce could not take it any more. They rebelled and took off for Canada under Chief’s Joseph and Looking Glass in what is considered that last of the Indian Wars.
Well that was around 150 years ago. Today the reservation is right next door and to tell you the truth our cultures do not interact too much, tho that is not universally true, it is for the most part.
I noticed the same thing when I was homeless in the south. White and Black folks seemed, to be traveling in two separate cultures, not even say hello at the super market.
Let’s talk about race. Starbuck’s CEO got a lot of shit when he proposed that his barrister’s should start conversations about race. that may be rightfully so. Um just give me my coffee and a newspaper please, oh and throw in a croissant.
Now the two typical and stereotypical reactions from whites about people of color are this: Liberal’s think ,”oh you poor, poor abused people, what can I do to ease your pain? Conservative’s, especially working class, tend to think, “I got problems of my own I don’t want to be held accountable for what happened 150 years ago.”
But in-between those two spectrum’s maybe we could start having some conversations between races. Does not have to be anything big or special; Just a, “hey man how is it going?” at the checkout line.
Christ asks me to never judge and I do the best I can but like everybody else I fall down now and again. I do want a conversation about race with you people right here reading this article. Tell me what you think, every opinion is legitimate because it comes out of your experience. Who has got the guts to sound off?
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