University of Phoenix Online
Influences of Race in my Community
The topic of race in my community never crossed my mind until I took this course and has finally open my eyes to the existing issues that people of all races and ethnic back grounds face on a daily basis. I am somewhat embarrassed about the actual lack of knowledge that I have about my community and the people who reside here. As I did different research assignments and projects, through this course, my eyes were drawn wide open of how much racism and prejudice is actually hidden from everyone’s everyday life until you see it on the news, hear it on the radio, or read about it in the newspaper. It saddens me to think that in the year of 2010, these racial issues are so predominant and are so much a part of our country and the people that we are as a whole society. As I have taken a closer look around at my community, I am finding that there are so many different races who live, work and play around me, but I just never paid attention. I almost feel as if I have been living in some kind of a shell and have been oblivious to the entire situation. I am learning that we have quite a large white people non Hispanic and black people. Population in a very close proximity to my home and where I grew up. There is a part of Philadelphia which is 15 minutes away from my house where there is an area called ‘Chinatown” where here is nothing but Chinese restaurant and stores. I am also learning the extent of the racism towards these very groups because of their skin color, religion, clothing and other factors are very different than mine. The city of Ridley Park PA and the other surrounding areas have many more different races and ethnic groups who live there, but it seems I only hear about them when there is something bad to report on the news. The area where I live is mainly a white people area.
Leaders in my community do often treat others who are different from me with carelessness and thoughtlessness. The community leaders somewhat “look down” upon others that are less fortunate. As I have started to read the newspaper to become prepared for this assignment, my local police department seems to respond to areas of my community where people live that seem to also be a little less fortunate than I. I recently spoke to a police officer from a local police department here in my town of Ridley. He stated to me that there is a lot of hostility between races and ethnic groups in my community. He told me about a recent incident where we had a shooting that involved an old man and a younger man that lived behind him. They lived just a few minutes from my house. It was involving an older white man and a younger black man. The black man was building a shed in his back yard and the older white man wasn’t happy about it at all. One day the white man waited outside of the black man’s house for him to walk out of his door then the white man shot him. In my community we do not have a bilingual educational environment as we do not have a large population of Hispanic or Spanish speaking people who live here. Spanish and French are taken as electives in our local school system, but we do not have the need for a bilingual learning environment like other states such as California or New York. I have also noticed that even in my church, there are a very few folks from a different races. The church members are generally nice to everyone and treat others with respect and courtesy. I asked a close friend about racial issues and in our church group but she offered me no insight since she only knew a little bit about it. Members of my community treat people who look like me in a nice fashion as my family is very well known and respected here in the community where I live. My family has been living in this area for over many years. My grandparents and parents were very active members of the local community for a long time. While growing up, I did not experience racial issues in our town. The town’s people were old fashion, very prejudice and they would let no other ethnic groups or races move into our community until the late 1980’s. At the time, I knew no better as this is what I was taught was right. I often heard of gang violence in the community next door, but never witness anything towards myself or any of my friends. Now I believe I am still living in a community of prejudice and racism as others who do not look like me live in segregated neighborhoods and are often mistreated and referred to being in the “ghetto”. In my community, the local media does represent people like me however; they do not represent people who do not look like me. The local media in my area are mostly White Americans and as I am going through the news and sports channels here just right outside of Philadelphia, there are very few other races and ethnic groups represented by any of the media. As I have been doing further research of different areas in my community I also found that my community leaders mainly represent White Americans. As I took a look at the elected officials in my area, the white non Hispanic and black population is not represented at all and they hold no public office positions. I would like to see more minority groups being represented so that they have more of a say in what is happening in our area. I feel that the community leaders do not have very many differences in opinion as I do in my area either. Voting is either Republican or Democratic and nothing more. If I could resolve inequities within my community, it would be a better understanding of the other races and ethnic groups; giving the other racial and ethnic groups more of a say in voting and the media. Other races seem to live in certain areas and do not go outside the boundaries of comfort. I live in a small town and grew up in not too far from where I live now. As children, we were told by our parents not to venture out of our immediate community as the surrounding town and cities had “bad people” living there, unfortunately, this was all I knew. I have found, by researching for this final paper, that there is quite a racial issue in the next city where gang related violence seems to be spreading into my immediate surrounding area because of drugs. Also, I currently live in a rural area that is about 10-15 miles from Philadelphia, where the 9/11 attacks happened. I feel almost ashamed that my country and the people who live here are so prejudice and racist. I hear it every day on the news and usually choose just not to watch it. Life would be so much easier if people would not judge others and accept that people are different. The world would have less war, less loss of live and a better understanding of the needs of others. I can only hope that my children grow to be more understanding of these issues and become educated adults and be a lot more open minded than most people are now a days. What I have come to learn is that white people are treated the best and get more than any other races in my community. I as well as my family am treated very well by people who are higher up in the community because not only that we are white but also because we have police officers and people who work in the court house in our family. My family for many years have been treated with much respect because we are a prominent family who helps the less fortunate and doesn’t look down on other people. I personally wish everyone could just get along and not say hurtful things to each other.