Becky Says...

September 2005

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Links, Hispanics, and Beads - September 8

The things TeKay links to in his two blog posts here and here are important. What TeKay himself has to say about them is equally profound.

Those writers mention racism. It is embarrassing to me that this country still has so much class consciousness and racism going. In my own world these days the racism aspect of it is more largely directed at Hispanics.

The Triangle area of North Carolina has a large, permanent Hispanic population. More and more of my immediate neighbors are Hispanic. And when I'm on the bus and a fellow passenger asks where I live, often the first comment made is. "You have a lot of Hispanic neighbors. Do they cause you much trouble?"

I am so offended by that sort of attitude that my answer is often louder than the conversation calls for. That answer? "Of course not! Why do you ask?"

So you want to know what it's like to be in my neighborhood? Okay, there are a lot of hard-working people who live here, Hispanic and otherwise. On weekends the families who live here often get together for cookouts or just to sit outside and watch their children playing in the yard. If I happen to pass such a gathering, I am greeted, occasionally by the children, occasionally by the adults. Occasionally in English, occasionally in Spanish.

One other definite influence of the Hispanic population: at dinnertime, in addition to the pizza delivery vehicles there are delivery vehicles from a couple of Mexican food places---including one who cooks on the spot and makes me hungry.

So, as to the Hispanic population: nice people living nearby, sweet little kids (who, by the way, have excellent manners), and good Mexican food. Oh, and salsa music, played at normal volume (not blasting). This is a problem why?

Back to Katrina. Now is the time I was speaking of last week---the time to start to castigate leaders for mismanagement. The time to complain loud and long that precautions for known dangers were not taken long before Katrina had her way with New Orleans and other locales on the Gulf Coast. The time to demand that such precautions be put into place starting now.

There are stories this week in the local independent newspaper from people whose lives were directly affected. Those were fascinating and frightening to read. The paper also has a list of local events being done as fundraisers for Katrina relief. One segment of that is things that are pure fun, like concerts and benefit meals. While I was reading the list, I decided what I would personally do.

I have never been to New Orleans, therefore haven't been to Mardi Gras there. But a friend from high school did go, with her family. She brought back Mardi Gras beads, a strand each for her girlfriends. I still have mine, and I'm going to count the beads and donate for each one.

If you want to steal this idea, be my guest! Want to use my bead count? Just ask!

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky