I am a Caucasian American Male, I am heterosexual. I guess in many ways I am the “Average white guy” as some who follow stereotypes would pretty much like to say. I really honestly had to stop and think about this paper. Not who I was, we all spend the better part of our lives trying to figure that out and probably never come to conclusions. No, I had to understand where I lived, and trying to understand where I live, and those around me and to who they are, how they affect me and each other might sound daunting. However, I digress it has to better than trying to understand who I am. That is when it got me by writing this and looking at everything. By looking at the others, I in turn gained knowledge about myself. I am not “the average white guy” because I do not live in the suburbs and so forth. I am very happy with my neighbors and where I live, because we are all the same. We are human beings. Just because some might worship a different deity or have a different skin color, doesn’t make them different, it just makes them human.
The people where I currently live are without a doubt different, which in all fairness is unique considering where I began; everyone looked like me in respects of skin color. Now, wow just wow! I live the back alcove of an apartment complex, which seems to cater to an international affair. On one side I have Indian Americans (Hindi), German Immigrants, and Russian, to the other side, A gentleman from Kenya, A Moroccan family, an Caucasian American family, and last but not least, a few Mexican American families. However, I feel I am blessed with this mixture, because the rest of the city is not so “mixed”. The City of Columbus is mixed with equal parts African American and Caucasian American. There is of course, a budding Mexican American population. When it comes down to it, outside of the
skin color, and the odd genetic different in hair texture, we for the better part look the same, because we are in fact the same.
As for the local community I feel try to treat everyone with a fair order. The mayor, the school board, the upper police and fire departments are all African American, even the postmaster is. Now I have ran into some people who think this is an unfair advantage for African Americans. Personally, I have not seen anything grim. The fire crews put out the fires when they happen. The school board still tries to insure that everyone has a fare shake at getting an education. The Mayor still does his best to guide the city council into making the city grow, and the police do what I imagine they do in every town, protect the innocent, and arrest those who might prey on the innocent. For the better degree, no one is being mistreated by anyone in regards to actions of the government leadership here. There was some brouhaha a few years ago when they claimed the police were acting as racist towards African Americans. However, a lot of that talk went away when they showed on public record, that a majority of the arrest made in one day was African American police officers arresting more African Americans then Caucasians were.
I think to the better degree, people around here treat each other the way we like to be treated. We smile at one another and say hello on the street. They treat others and I like me, I feel the same as they treat each other. I mean sure, there are the odd looks from the Mexican Americans who appear to always give that look like they are in “second thought” over me or my neighbors. However, for the
better part and others dismiss it as one of two possibilities; they either are having not learned that much English yet and are second-guessing because they need more comprehension, or they are what my interpretation of who they are as a culture, simple. Now I would like to clear this up. Simple by no means is meant as an insult. In Mexican culture, they are old fashioned much as if our ancestors were. Moreover, with old fashioned, come the values and the fears that our ancestors did. They are from appearances a deeply religious people, (the good people wear black and the bad people wear black.) Nevertheless, in many respects, they are just like us. Thought our interpretation has changed (We know the good people can wear whatever color they wish and so do the bad people.) there were some unacceptable behavior toward the Arab Americans locally after the events of 9/11. Thankfully, that stopped as quickly as started. I remember going into a local convenience store that afternoon on 9/11 and there were some Caucasian Americans in there giving the shopkeepers grief. Nevertheless, the police showed up and put an end to that, and to this day, from what I have been told they have not ventured into there again. I am hoping they have not ventured into there anymore because of the Caucasian troublemakers realized they were in the wrong and not over prejudices. However, realizing that these men were driving pick-up trucks with stock car racing stickers on them, I fear that they might be avoiding the store because of prejudices.
I work for the Columbus Museum of Art. I am a security supervisor, who is in charge of training all Control Room Operators. Now a control room operator is a person who sits in pretty much the most secure room in the building, more secure than even art storage. In addition, looks at over 100 cameras pictures and monitors the building and grounds, they see something odd, they report it and me and or guards investigate. It really is a lazed job; you are sitting in a room watching reality TV all day. You just have to be prepared to call for medics if someone is hurt, or lock the entire building down given the call to do so. We recently updated the training manuals a few years ago, and I noticed the manuals had not been updated since the 1950’s they showed the guards as Caucasian, and whenever there was a suspect of wrong doing it was African American. I knew this to be false. People don’t realize that museums are subject to a thieve everyday. Seriously, we and other museums have something stolen every day, however it is not artifacts or art work stolen, it is always items from the gift shops. Now comes the real statistic, it is mostly teenagers who shoplift. It does not matter the skin color or backgrounds, teenagers. So, when I updated the training manual, I changed some words, but more importantly I took pictures, and illustrations out. I want the Control Room Operators to be diligent on facts and statistics, not some misconceptions brought out of stupidity.
The local media has a mixture, I will admit I think there are more Caucasians that other races, but this may be in part that after looking into schooling for media there are just more Caucasians interested into schooling for broadcasting. Ironically, though the local paper seems a pretty fare amount of all races represented, a bit more Caucasian once again, but the mixture seems to include everyone. I like to think that everyone on the media here try to represent everyone fairly. Moreover, this may sound biased, but it is truthful, they represent all sides except for our local Fox News. I have noticed some stories in which they try to downplay the Mayor and others.
The differences between the community leaders and me are simple, there is none. We are all human. Now they might have a different ethnic background but for the better part, they are just people trying to get wrong corrected. Now personally I feel the minority for some part is not represented properly, this city has a lot more than just African Americans. There are Irish, Hindu and Mexican Americans to say the least about Arab Americans and other cultures. Sure, it is great to see people of a minority in positions of power; however, I think it could be outraced to include all minorities. Nevertheless, in fairness, the minority interests are put forward, which is a good thing. So in many respects I go back to my father’s old expression of “I don’t care who is there making the decisions, as long as they are making the best ones for everyone involved.”
For some degree, I guess I would just change how the community is divided up. I often think the reason why crime is higher in poverty-stricken areas is because there is no real development in those areas as far as neighborhoods and community is planned. I would try to end the use of the outer suburbs for development and agree with the Mayor that the revitalization of urban areas is one of the best things we can do. Only by showing the community that great things can happen in any of the districts’ the city is dived, and making sure that the downward areas are provided jobs and places to shop, or have entertainment will we actually grow as a community. Because only if we can make sure that the next generations who succeed us, will surpass us in tolerance will we know that the past is merely the past.
Therefore, that is it, which is where I live. It like many places has its flaws; it has its positive parts. Nevertheless, more importantly it has people who try to accept one another and make sure we are all pushing to the betterment of it and the children who are growing up here. We are in the end, just one culture. One built out of many, we are one race, one race which divisions are only choice. A choice in which, we are always trying to overlook the prejudices of others, and another in which we embrace our differences, and make them our own. We are Americans. We are humans.