Is it better to live in a diverse community or a tolerant community? I can't have it both ways

Laurie - posted on 10/04/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

7

10

0

I live in a very diverse larger community. I have three mixed race children. Through a lot of inner soul searching and finding of "myself" I now recognize that my diverse community is not very tolerant. What I mean is that the races tend to segregate themselves into different areas of town. They work and go to school with other races, but back home to their own kind. There is the "black" part of town, the Asian parts of town, the "white" neighborhoods, and even a popular "artsy" part of town where most of the gay/lesbian population lives. As my oldest nears the high school age, I am considering moving to a more tolerant area. The minority communities here are largely uneducated. There are many stereotypes about race that I just don't want to deal with any longer. My children are black, white, and who knows what else (do any of us really know?). Would a more tolerant city be better to raise black children in, or a diverse community where they will have to eventually choose whether they are black or white? They Ghetto culture is very strong here. It penetrates most of our schools to the point that I'm afraid my children will only see black people as being Ghetto. But, I want my children to see and live in an educated community that accepts everyone. Ghetto isn't black, but you can't tell here. I am white (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, and Irish), educated, and a single parent. My wish for my children is to be surrounded by tolerant people of all educational levels and nationalities. Unfortunately I can't find tolerance/acceptance and great diversity together.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tara - posted on 10/07/2010

60

15

4

I believe it all starts in the home and how you teach them about their race and culture. In every city there is going to be a ghetto and these days they have all races living there. I really think it has to do with the mentality of the people in the area not so much as the race. You have alot of white people that have that ghetto mentality as well as black people. I grew up in the ghetto my whole life cause that is what my parents could afford. My mom is white and my dad (not biological) is black and they tried to teach me to strive for the best and not to get sucked in by my peers and live that ghetto lifestyle. I am well educated and do my best to instill proper morals, values, and standards to my children. My family is very diverse my biological dad was white but died when I was born, so I really wasn't raised around my white side of the family, because they didn't approve of my mother marrying my dad cause he was black, so I was raised by the black side of my family. I have all kinds of cousins and aunts and uncles, and they all live different lives. We all grew up in the same projects but we all have taken different paths in life, some of my family still have that ghetto mentality and feel like they dont want to change anything and live very dangerous lifestyles, and then I have some of my family including myself that have come up out of the projects and made something out of our lives. So you see I really feel like its up to us as parents to teach our children that it has nothing to do with race or where you live to be successful and responsible men and women and make something of yourself. If you surround yourself around positive people doing positive things in their lives you are more likely to live a positive lifestyle, so that is what I do with myself and my children and I think its the best thing that I can do as a mother. Have a blessed day!

Nicole - posted on 10/07/2010

115

21

10

Im black and white myself. I spent most of grade school down south. I had NO issues making friends. We lived in a trailer park. I went to a predominately white school. Its also a military town. High school i spent in a predominately white school. 2 high schools in the same town. One mostly white and the other in the more city part is mostly black. Even when the schools were first bulit it was like that and rivalries were even worse than they are now. My parents instilled values in me and to be proud of myself and everythign about me. Im still a strong proud mixed woman :) They decided where we would go to school based on how good the school was. I was a strong enough person at the point to deal with any racial issues if i had to (which i didn't, mostly just kids being kids). As a parent of a mixed child thats the best you can do for them. Teach them to be confident in themselves and not to worry about color. Promote education as opposed to acceptance by their peers. I have 3 kids and my oldest started just started kindergarten at the best elementary school i could find in this county (my husband is a marine and we are now stationed in Long Island) Theres tons of different races (but mostly white) she has had no problems making friends. Its all about how comfortable they are with themselves.

www.QuitTheBitching.com

Victorya - posted on 10/06/2010

79

24

4

Its not necessarily what race you live by but the economic effect on the community. Where I live its mostly poor white people. So that's how my lil brothers see all white people as. They also have only lived in a poor black community so thats how they see all black people. If you where in a higher economic status than thats how they will perceive that race. I really do not think that there is any where you can live that will not discriminate or separate themselves. I cant believe its 2012 and people are still like that thought. i cant use my son hes only 5months.

[deleted account]

like it or not your kids are going to identify more with 1 race than the other. and often that race is black because when you have a mixed child they will always be seen as black in greater soceity.
i think it's important to live in a tolerant community where they have lots of different positive role models to choose from, not just your stereotypical "ghetto" black people.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

10 Comments

View replies by

Vickie - posted on 10/15/2010

14

7

0

It wasn't until I started reading the responses that I became grateful for the fact that I now live in Canada in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America. Here it is more uncommon to see someone who is not "beige" like my son. There are times that I think about moving back to the states, then I read discussion like this and I remember what it was like growing up in an "us or them" mentality and do not want strap my child with that limitation. We are in an area that is both diverse and tolerant. In our cul-de-sac, there is every race you can think of and nationalities I had never heard of. This has always been my husband's experience, but I didn't believe it until I saw and felt it for myself. The best gift you can give to your child is self-confidence and a positive self-worth. This foundation will help them to deal with adversities and adapt to difficulties with grace and poise. Education may help and being in a "good neighborhood" may help, but if they are feeling lesser on the inside, none of that positioning will matter in the long run. How many times have we seen lousy people come from "good homes", "good neighborhoods" or "good families."

Liz - posted on 10/15/2010

5

3

0

I think the obvious answer is to live someplace that is the most accepting (not tolerant) community you can find. There is a huge difference between tolerant and accepting. Also- your children are not Black OR White, they are biracial/multiracial. The best thing to do to foster positive identity development is to teach them about all aspects of their heritage.

[deleted account]

If I were you I would first think of what is best for your kids as far as education. I think of one of my jobs as a parent is to prepare my child for adulthood. No matter how we would like, us as parents are not going to be the only infulence over our kids. When you look at the school district and the population in general in your current area; are you setting your children up for success, or are you in a situation where it could go either way?
For your alternative; you may be frightened to move your children in to a community where they may feel different. In all communities there are people that will judge. Eventualy they will have to learn this and find a way to deal with it in their own way. Hopefully with your help they will be strong willed, and confident to be able to not let other's bring them down. I think that you will not have to worry about this as much as our young and future generations are becoming color blind. I asked my daughter about one of her daycare teachers because I was getting them confused. I asked her is she white or mexican (the two I were confusing)? She was so confused. I said is she white like mommy or brown like you? She said shes brown like me. She had just realized for the first time that we were different. It's not really good or bad. I hope that you can find resolutioin, and good luck with your journey.

Jennifer - posted on 10/14/2010

7

0

0

I live in an extremely rural area - all white. There are 300 kids at the high school. I don't know how Katie will be received by her peers, teachers, or other parents. I worry about her dating as a teen. If need be, we will move to the city to give her a more diverse area to grow up in. But, I'm hoping that folks will be welcoming and accepting of her as they were of my husband and I when we moved to the area. We shall see...

Jackie - posted on 10/11/2010

576

61

70

I totaly understand your point. When we lived in Memphis I had a really hard time. I'm so white I just about glow in the dark. I was married to a mexican. He didnt fit in in the white part of the city and I didnt fit in the mexican part. However we lived in North Memphis and I absolutely most definatley did not fit in. My ex husband did but I wasnt looked at very well. We moved to Galveston after a year of Memphis and not only was I not fitting in I was also not welcome in the mexican part of town. We ended up moving to the predominatley black part of town and yet again I didnt fit in. We moved in with a Puerto Rican family and for the first time I fit in. I loved it! There were 4 Puerto Ricans, 1 mexican, 1 white girl, and 1 guy that was half black half chinese. I loved living in that house. My new hubby is Italian. Now its 2 Italians, 1 white girl, and one chicano baby (my son). Where I live now is actually quite tolerant as far as race. I live in a town of 12,000 in Kansas. Only once have I ever experienced racism or any kind of intolerance here. I tried to take my half mexican son to Cinco de Mayo and was told that since I was white I had to leave. So I guess I'm saying that it realy doesnt matter where you go. It happens everywhere. The workplace here is very diverse and so are the schools. However the living is not. The south of town is the black part. West is Mexican, North is white and the rest is for everyone else. We have indian, asian, and many other hispanics but they dont mix with the mexicans here. I dont get it because we all bleed the same color.

Julie - posted on 10/09/2010

11

2

0

Hi Laurie, I agree with you entirely it's very hard but if you just keep your children positive about all races then they can't go wrong. My children have friends from all cultures as I and my husband do - it's not going to be easy but we made that choice a long time ago didn't we. I will say though that I made sure I lived in an area where we would all feel comfortable when our children were growing up.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms