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Eth 125 - Culture and Diversity - Race in Your Community

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Race in Your Community

Jose Serna

November 19,2008


As a Hispanic living in America, I have realized that while racism has seized enormously there are still trails of racism even in a highly diverse populated area.

I reside in San Fernando, California which is in Los Angeles County. In 2006 US Census Bureau, estimated that 44.5 percent of the Los Angeles County population was of Hispanics or persons of Latino Origin. The entire state of California was estimated at having 53.2 percent of Hispanic persons or Latino originated persons as apart of the 2006 estimate of population. Hispanics populate our Country at high numbers and I can personally contest to how racism and discrimination has changed or if it has remained the same, as a Hispanic living in America.

Hispanics that populate my surrounding area tend to resemble each other in certain characteristics, such as having dark hair, with curls, possessing dark eyes and full lashes. It is highly recognized that the females tend to have the curvier body frames. Skin color usually ranges from tanned, beige to a darker, caramel colored tone for both male and female Hispanics. The male Hispanics will carry the same dark eyes and the average height is 5'9. The Hispanics that reside in my neighborhood and city do resemble the same characteristics as I do. The differences are usually minimal, they may vary in skin color, as some Hispanics can be darker than others, or even lighter toned with not one characteristics of Hispanic features.

Leaders in my community tend to treat Hispanics as they treat everyone else. They offer the same type of information, grants, services and so forth. Thankfully there has not been a change with how we are treated by our community leaders. For the state of California, specifically, we have a Hispanic that is in office. We have Senator Alex Padilla , who was, also, fully in charge of the Housing and Urban Development program which he added the house buying option for low income families. This was such a great program that would help people like you or me who needed assistance in home purchase with maintaining mortgage payments. I feel that having a Hispanic in such an important position makes me feel proud because it shows that anyone can be anything no matter what happened in the past, what color skin you have, or what anyone says.

My text and work manuals do not include people like me. The publication departments tend to dress up the manuals to have other ethnic diversity in the text, but not of realistic measures, just ensuring you can see a difference in their ethnicity. Our local media do a great job of representing people like me. Every year in Sacramento, which is still central California , they host the Puerto Rican Parade, as they do in New York, and it is broadcasted everywhere for everyone to know and hear. They make the advertisement seem so interesting that you cannot wait until you get the chance to go. I feel that the media has made such a big difference in the lives of Hispanics everywhere. There are many radio stations in which the hosts are Hispanic and they make you feel extremely proud to be Hispanic, whether it is Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Mexican.

When comparing myself to those in Leadership positions in Los Angeles County I do feel very different from them. A majority of the time they are not like me. Although I am a high school graduate that completed my schooling in the top 15 percent of my class of 656, and I am currently attending a highly accredited College, I still feel that I am not considered to be as educated as they were at my age. I have a child and I am very humble in my poise and posture. I don't aim to impress, but it tends to come naturally once I am given the opportunity to speak and converse. Sometimes people of what seem to be higher education and position tend to see me as just a statistic that had a baby at a young age. They do not see that I have my own vehicle, home, a great job, and I am educating myself further. This sometimes makes me feel inferior, but I am proud of my accomplishments and know that my son is too, so that is all that matters, and their stereotypical views of my life are what make my strive harder, and make the importance of success greater; to show people of leadership position that I am not a statistic and I can do anything just as they can. I do feel that the minority group interests within my community are represented as best as they can be at this point. A large number of Spanish and English churches are coming together, and being bilingual is more of a benefit than a disability for the Hispanics and Latinos. You are paid more, for example JPMorgan chase, Inc pays their bilingual employees a 5 percent differential in pay for every hour worked. This increases the minimum pay of $10.00 to $10.50 for each hour. That is over $1,000.00 more a year for someone who is bilingual than for someone who only speaks English.

If there was inequality within my community that I could change it would be the judgmental views that the Sanford white Americans have on the Hispanics. I do not feel that all White Americans have a judgmental view on all Hispanics, but a majority of the elderly white Americans that have resided here since the start of racism and discrimination, which was a big part of every state (the 1960's), still feel and think the same as that



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