RE Diversity
From: Buzz Burrell (72253.2101CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 1996 22:43:40 -0500
>Similarly, have you tried to make your cohousing diverse--in some
>ways reflecting the diversity of America?

>PLEASE BE SUCCINCT. (And I do have a deadline, so I need to hear by
>June 15.)

Interesting ... an "experienced freelance writer" sends out a request for
comments, and I recieve it on the same day as the deadline!  (sorry I couldn't
resist).  I have numerous thoughts (as usual), including about affordability,
but since June 16 is only a few hours away, I'll be brief, if not flippant.

We have made no attempt to make our community diverse.  Why not? one may ask.
Why should we? I would reply.

Indeed, I've never figured out the push for diversity in such a small social
group as cohousing.  Throughout history, in all races and cultures all over the
planet, people do the opposite - they band together with those of a similar ilk.
This is quite natural and normal.  It must work well.

But I too originally assumed I would work to have diversity in my community.
Because like most of us, this concept is firmly implanted in our peer group
(semi-hip baby boomers), and therefor myself.  But when I imagined what it would
be like, I quickly realized the idea was a silly creation of guilt-ridden,
culturally bereft, middle class white people.  Think about it yourself:  why on
earth would a black person want to live in your community?  Or a Hispanic?
Unless they happen to have the same cultural background and inclinations as
yourself (heaven help us), they would feel out of place.  Likewise, if I joined
a cohousing group composed mostly of Vietnamese for example, who could I
exchange sly grins with when "Louie Louie" came on the radio?  Who could I trade
stupid lies with regarding former drug habits?   What would we have to talk
about if they loved their parents and felt fully supported by them?  What if
(please excuse the outrageous suggestion) they were on their *first* marriage??

You can see the problems.  A diverse America gives us strength (particularly in
professional sports), a diverse Colorado gives us great Mexican food, a diverse
Boulder gives us Buddhist chanting on the downtown mall, and a diverse
neighborhood gives us a wide selection of kayaks and skis to borrow when our own
becomes outdated.  I greatly benefit from all of the above, and sincerely want a
wider mix of people in my life and my country.  But a diverse cohousing group?
You want *longer* meetings?

So our group exhibits income diversity, recreational diversity, and favorite
movie diversity, but that's about it.  Oh, and we definitly exhibit gender
diversity - we have both men and women.  That's all the diversity I can handle.

Buzz Burrell
Geneva Community
(who is definitly not speaking for anyone else, and probably not himself

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