|Re: RE Diversity||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: John Major (jmajordayna.com)|
|Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 12:10:35 -0500|
Well, well, Buzz blurts the dark secret out - > We have made no attempt to make our community diverse. Why not? one may > ask. Why should we? I would reply. We at Wasatch CoHousing recently had a short discussion about this topic, when it was suggested that we advertise in some senior/gay/hispanic publications in the area, instead of just the "mainstream" New Age publication. One of our seniors said "oh, you don't want that bunch from (a seniors mag) - they're just a bunch of boring right-wingers..." So this brings up something I might call "cultural diversity"... > 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. I've been feeling guilty recently because in (arch-conservative) Utah, Wasatch CoHousing probably represents the densest collection of Democrats in the state! Conservatism tends to be a cultural thing here - tied closely with the dominant religion, Mormonism, along with things like jello deserts and large families. We had a Mormon couple with us for a while in the early days, but they eventually left, I believe, because the wife had a hard time leaving her current community, her LDS neighborhood Ward - and perhaps was a bit nervous about her kids growing up around folks that felt it was OK to drink coffee and alcohol ;-) We have a lot of age and income diversity, and we like that a lot. But I'm still interested, quite frankly, in attracting some Republicans/Mormon/mainstream Utahns, because as a "middle son" I've always been a bridge-builder - had a few good Republican friends in Massachusetts, where they were as rare as Democrats in Utah! I fantasize that having such members might make it easier for, some time in the happy future, a CoHo development to be built by a whitebread developer in the next whitebread suburban development going up around here - something that has to happen for this society to start straightening up and flying right, and the teenagers to stop shooting each other in rage and boredom... But at this stage of things, it just may not happen for Wasatch CoHousing. There are certainly current members who have *no* desire to recruit such folks, and a Republican joining us would have to be awfully brave. Is our attitude about conservatives in our group similar to the prevalent Utahn attitude towards homosexuality - conservatism is a "choice", and therefore an intentional and perverse going against the will of "Gaia"? ;-) In our case, any Blacks/Hispanics/Tongans/Vietnamese/Native-A's that came on board will probably do fine as a tiny minority, because that is what they are in the Utah scheme of things. I hope we get a chance to find out - recruitment is difficult because they are even a smaller minority than Demmicrats! We are building some rent-to-own affordable units, which will help with this issue, 'cause we all know that strangely 'nuff, income and ethnicity are somewhat correlated in the US, and especially in Salt Lake City. And we are building in a neighborhood that is much more varied than my current one - can you guess why? Anyhoo, I appreciated Buzz' post, because it illuminated an aspect of CoHousing that I've been curious about - folks' natural tendency to band together. Perhaps the neighborhood is a *natural* unit of uniformity in America and elsewhere - history seems to tell us that. A big problem has been that neighborhood tends to uniformity by income, too. I think we will see CoHousing that is ethnically very uniform (ala Denmark), and also very mixed, in places like LA, where it comes quite naturally. I certainly hope, like Rob Sandelin, that folks will try every possible permutation - just get to know your neighbors a lot better! Of course, in the grand Net tradition, any time someone posts a message like Buzz' that voices an opinion that may not be entirely "correct", we can expect a humor-impaired response jumping down the throat of the poster: > Buzz there wasn't a white sheet (KKK for you more protected readers) > among us. They, though, had sets of sheets colored after their pride. > > Buzz why don't you tie-dye that white sheet of yours and join us. Sigh... John Major Wasatch CoHousing jmajor [at] dayna.com ps. To the journalist culling responses on "diversity" - you already got a response from one Wasatch CoHopi, so please don't consider this one as being addressed to you - I didn't write it intending to get quoted anywhere else but in the 'net - thanks.
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