There’s hope for the world yet

Two anecdotes will suffice.

Beloved Sweetie has been taking out some clients who want to move here from California–they’re cowboy types, interested in finding property where they can comfortably house their five horses, six dogs, eleventy-something cats and three children. Friendly, earnest Christian folk, interested in knowing the types and quality of churches available around here (answer: many, and about the same as everywhere else). They’ve seen a few things they like and are getting ready (we cross our fingers) to make an offer.

But before they committed, Client Mom wanted to know one thing:

"Is there a racial problem here?"

Jim’s Psycho Sensors were immediately triggered. But she went on:

"I really don’t mean that like it sounds. What I want to know is: are people here going to have a problem with me having friends of all different kinds? Because what I look at isn’t people’s skin color or whether they’re straight or gay, but whether they’re a nice person. If you’re a nice person, I’ll like you and want to be friends with you; if you’re not nice, I won’t. And some people really have a problem with that."

She went on: "Like my brother. He’s a white supremacist. He moved up to Idaho to be around other people like himself and cut off communication with the family; and I say good riddance if that’s what he’s going to believe."

And one more story:

On Friday, I was at the park with a bunch of other moms from my MOPS group. One of them, Shelley, I hadn’t seen in a long time. I asked her how things were going… imagine my amazement when she said "Actually, we’re moving to Fort Collins this Sunday."

Why? I wanted to know.

"Because I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that the world is full of nothing but white people. It’s much more diverse there and there are all kinds of different people, and I think that’s a much healthier environment for them. They need to learn that what they are is not the default."

This, from a staunchly Christian, very very white woman whose parents are missionaries… cool…

Also: tomorrow is the first day back at Tope for Fisher, and the first day of Jedi Temple Academy for Rhys. Full report to follow. (Hold me. I’m scared.)

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
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5 Responses to There’s hope for the world yet

  1. Angi says:

    Yay! I love it when people surprise me like that. It’s refreshing to have your assumptions proven wrong every now and then.

  2. Amy Sorensen says:

    I love this sentence: “They need to learn that what they are is not the default.”
    SO true! Glad you had those two experiences. It is so GOOD to have your life-view affirmed once in awhile, isn’t it!

  3. Hey beautiful so there is hope out there!! Makes me feel good!! Love ya bunches take care Wanda

  4. Herm says:

    Excellent. Good stories, both. Now don’t you go moving to Fort Collins, though…Washington D.C. is nice and diverse, and was just thinking how marvelous it’d be to have you down the block. xo.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hey, not all of us Christians are total idiots! 😉
    But I do have to say that, from my point of view, Portland does have a “racial problems.” I suppose I could be extra-sensitive, moving here from San Francisco, but to me there is still a distinct line drawn between the neighborhoods with African Americans and those without too many. I live in the Northeast, and here, and especially the North, has a much higher population of African Americans. And I’ve heard many people say that it’s more dangerous here. Really!?! Some won’t even come here for a meeting or anything else, because of the perceived danger. And the Oregonian doesn’t help–I’ve seen a few instances of blatant fanning of the racial conflict fears.

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