My block is a true cross-section of America. African-American families live on either side of my house. Across the street, there are a few White families. Next door to them, a Latino family. A Native American family lives at the end of the street. There’s a lesbian couple, an older lady and her dog, and a foster family.

In my own home, there’s me – a tiny, little “ginger” (5”5), so white that, in a snowstorm, you’d miss me; ☺ my tall (6”3) bi-racial, teen-age son who wears his brown hair in an Afro; and our cat, who’s black, brown, and white – the perfect mascot for the family and for the neighborhood.

I’ve got to be honest. In all my years here in New Jersey, I’ve never used the word “diversity.”  The reason for that is that it’s a part of my life, so it doesn’t need a label. It’s just, y’know, my block.

My theory is that most people who use the word “diversity” really have no experience of it in their lives, so their views may be based on stereotypes or misconceptions.

I’ve heard a lot of people rail against the Black Lives Matter movement, and the usual argument is this: why should any one group matter more than the others? Don’t all lives matter?

SueBe wrote the book on this issue, literally, with Professor Duchess Harris, and critics piled on, even before the book came out. Lori spoke for me when she wrote of her anger toward people spewing such hate without having all the facts.

I look at it this way. I’m a proponent of the “Faster Care for Veterans Act.”

While I support the idea of veterans receiving faster care, that doesn’t mean that I think everyone else should receive slower care. I just believe it’s long overdue that this group should have their specific concerns addressed and resolved.

Supporting a group’s right to have their issues heard doesn’t mean that nobody else matters. It means that we’ve still got some work to do. We live on the block together. Can’t we live in the world together?

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