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Race and Community
Anderson, South Carolina: Race and Community
A soft southern twang of the local server at the local cafe and the warmness of the air that envelopes me even into the fall months, the beauty of Anderson, South Carolina is something that I enjoy constantly. It is the environment of Anderson that I enjoy so much that also fosters the community and the human interactions that make it up. Human interactions have helped make Anderson, South Carolina the community that it is- the relationships between mother and daughter, teacher and student, between boy and girl and those of different ethnicities and backgrounds. The different races that are within the community are also interesting and provide a dynamic to our community unlike any other; but, regardless there are distinct differences amongst the different racial factions in our community.
Foremost, Anderson, South Carolina is a proud southern town with a middle-class economic foundation. There are several schools in the area that are good and support students, but there are also some private schools in the area. Anderson can be characterized as a place with a city-country, with some suburbs and some city characteristics as well. The town is a mix with approximately sixty percent of the population being Caucasian, about thirty percent being African-American and the minority percentage being of Hispanic origin. Anderson comes across as a peaceful, sleepy southern town with almost no crime. It's a safe town where families choose to live long-term because of the type of environment that is safe and nurturing for families to grow up in.
The members of the community, although all of us are different, the members of my community do look like me for the most part. Since the community is made up of mostly Caucasian people, and I fall into that racial faction, most members of my community look like me. An obvious way to differentiate myself from the other people in my community is that they have different color skin than me; but, using that as a surface, it seems that we look a little more different other than the apparent things. There are differences in the way we dress, and the way that we sometimes carry ourselves. Fundamentally, we are all human beings but we dress and carry ourselves differently. Anderson, South Carolina has different sections of town where different racial groups have gravitated towards- there seems to be a different area for those who are African-American, those who are Hispanic and those classified as Caucasian, like me.
Community leaders treat the people of all races with respect and try to do their best to address all the different opinions and needs of the community; but, upon further exploration, it seems that the leaders in the community are mainly Caucasian which leads me to ask: is everyone in the community really represented to the best of the leaders ability? Do the leaders know how it is to live in different sections of the town and truly understand their opinions and living conditions and the issues that face their daily lives? When I talked to a local board member, he claimed that they try to hold different town hall meetings so that all people can talk to the mayor so that their opinions can be heard and that issues that are facing them so that everyone is represented (Board Member, 2011).
Members of my community, I think, treat me normally because to be honest, I do not know any differently; but, that does not necessarily mean that everyone is treated the same as me. I have heard that parents do not want their children to venture into other areas of town late at night in fear of their children being in danger- incidentally, these parts of town are the areas where the minority groups of Anderson live- the Hispanic and African-American populations. Though, the comments are subtle and indirect, while probing into them deeper, it certainly seems that the perception of some influences how they are subsequently treated.
I see some ideas of subtle racism and it is backed up by key figures in society, like presidential candidate Herman Cain, who asserts that there are certainly some elements of racism that are still present (Liptak, 2011).
In grade school, my texts did include information and history about people like me but it seemed like more of the historical issues that faced society were against minority populations, including African-Americans…[continue]
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