Monday, September 25, 2006
Reading about diversity today as reported by the newspaper. The only kind of diversity that sticks out in my mind is the haves versus the have nots. I work in Pasadena but live near Figueroa and Century. I'm a "have" though I work hard for the little that I got. I'm surrounded by "have nots." When I drive home, I take the harbor freeway and get off on Century. I noticed that they got what looks like twenty foot walls on the side of the freeway, designed to muffle the sound of all the traffic zooming by but if you ask me, I say it's designed to keep folks from seeing poverty. Them walls seem to disappear once you get out of South Central. That's diversity.
When I'm coming home, I make a right turn on my street and feel good that I've got a home to come to. But then I look down the street and see young ladies on the corner looking half naked and desperate. I was at a stoplight today and a young woman walked across the street holding her pants up with one hand and carrying a purse that looked like it came out the trashcan, in her other hand. Her clothes were dirty. Her skin looked like she hadn't bathed in months; maybe even a year. Makes you wonder sometimes. I look in the direction from which this female came from and I see a church with it's doors closed but I can't talk because I wouldn't let this lady in my house either. I ain't proud of those feelings but they right there in whatever part of my soul that causes me to judge everyone and everything I see like these local liquor store owners that ease up when they see I look neither hungry, homeless, or threatening.
So, everyday on my lunch break I walk over to the park. I sit and read my newspaper. I might have a little snack now and then but mostly I like to relax and catch up with the news. Ain't nothing new that I read about but I just like to keep current. Ain't no park in my area for miles and whenever I do drive over to the nearest one, I gotta keep track of the time 'cause things change when night time comes. Those have not's begin to take and like my mama once told me, I ain't always in my right mind so I will try to defend myself and make it a long day for anybody trying to take what belongs to me. The world that I read about in the newspaper is just a soundbite to reality. Counting blessings go hand in hand with counting how many lives were lost over the course of a weekend.
Diversity... Children smiling behind a backdrop of crime, grafitti, drugs, and the devastation of being the less fortunate. Ten mintues away from where I live you see this image on a day to day. I often wonder why there's so many police officers patrolling a small project housing area. Is it truly to protect and serve or to make sure nobody leaves. Twenty minutes away is Beverly Hills. You dont see police that often. As you walk around you can listen to the breeze. People are smiling. Some might even say hello and wish you a pleasant day. You can fill up your car at the gas station without being approached by a bunch of people that want to pump your gas or wash your windows. You can stand back an relax as the gas fills your tank without someone offering to sell you CD's and DVD's. I love my home and I even love my neighborhood but diversity to me is all about the differences you find based on where you live. I see it all everyday as I make my commute from South Central LA to Pasadena. LA ain't really growing. It's just filling up and getting crowded. The noise level be the only true thing that grows. People talking louder everywhere you go. People shouting into cellphones. Everybody gotta have music playing. Nobody appreciates a good dose of silence. That's why I come to the park on my lunch break. I welcome the night time at home though my heart goes out every once in a while when I hear a distant gunshot or some life altering foolishness that goes on in the streets. Those of us that got homes in this area can lock our doors, turn up the television and block it all out. I'm one of the "have's" so I'm guilty of avoiding what's outside my door. I haven't built a wall up but I do from time to time, look away... Then I read the newspaper about diversity and wonder what are they really celebrating because once they recognize who you are, you are then directed towards where they believe you should be... Back to work...