Wednesday, March 31, 2010

America's Most Diverse Zip Code

Turns out, my family lives in America's most diverse zip code.

Which explains our move here from a very homogenous neighborhood to this delightfully complex one. The first day we moved here my entire family seemed to sigh with relief, now housed in an area where people look like all of us and families look all sorts of different ways.

But still.  It seems like a pretty segregated neighborhood to me. Maybe I'm missing out on the multiracial party, but my experience thus far is that we're living next to each other more than with each other.  The togetherness I'm seeking John Raible calls transracialization, "living in long-term relationships of caring with racial 'Others.'"

While out and about in the neighborhood I see the diversity, but joining into clubs and activities I see the separation.  Each of the local community centers seems to attract it's own racial group. Restaurant cliental abides pretty closely to cultural/racial lines.  Neighborhood playgroups tend to be white because white moms tend to be the stay at home moms.  Basketball teams and the local Boys and Girls club are almost exclusively black.  The 4:00 school swim classes are mostly Asian kids, the after 5:00 swim classes are mostly black kids. I struggle to understand the logistics and culture divides that drive us to such clean separation.

I hope our neighborhood is leading the way, and maybe living next to each other is the way to start living in relationship with each other.  But looking out from my porch, we still have a longs ways to go.

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