by Cindy Tovar
It always throws me off when I venture outside of any metropolitan area. Maybe it’s just me, but I start feeling a little uncomfortable when the only colors I see are black and white, and hardly any of the shades in between.
I don’t think all Latinos feel this way, but I imagine that there must be others, like me, that do.
Perhaps I feel this way because I’ve always lived in areas where it didn’t take long for me to spot a fellow Latino on the street, and where there’s so much diversity that life has never felt like oil and water. Or maybe I’m just too aware of my surroundings and ethnicity for my own good.
All I know is that when I read that West Virginia is the state with the least number of Latinos, I wasn’t surprised. As the largest minority in the United States, Latinos are everywhere, but we’re definitely not spread out equally throughout the country. Here are the top ten states where Latinos are living: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, and Georgia.
When I think of where I want my children to grow up, I’d want to raise them in a place where not everyone looks the same. I’d want them to have friends of various backgrounds, teach them that people are different and that different is okay. It saddens me that children are growing up in places where they aren’t exposed to different cultures. I feel that many of these children grow into adults with a distorted perception of reality.
For example, I visited a friend of mine in Charleston, South Carolina. She told me that her coworkers described many things as ghetto: the bus, the housing projects, a certain part of town. During my stay, I took the bus, passed by the projects and walked in that part of town, but I didn’t see anything ghetto about it. For goodness sake, the projects were only one story, and had a grassy lawn in front of each apartment! When I took the bus, all I noticed was that the majority of the people on the bus were black, which I’m guessing to her coworkers, automatically made it ghetto. I kept thinking, “If this is ghetto to them, what would they think of the projects, or even public transportation, in New York?” It seems like these people live in a bubble and don’t know it.
South Carolina is a nice place to visit, but not on my list of places I’d want to live. West Virginia is out now, too.
People say that living in rural areas is peaceful, safe, and beautiful. I’m sure this is true, and maybe I’ll consider it…when I retire. But for now, I’d feel most comfortable living in a place where I can see people who look like me, along with every color of the rainbow, when I step out my door and take a walk around my neighborhood.
To learn more about Cindy, visit Dagnys Dichotomy.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.