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Race and community are too important concepts worth to talk about. Community consists of different individuals in terms of age, gender, race, among other aspects. But for individuals to live peacefully in community, they need to embrace proper ethical standards such that everybody lives in harmony with one another. It is in respect of race that this paper finds ground as I embark to address race and my community, with a clear understanding that man is a social animal. In the following section, I will proceed to talk about myself and the various differences that exist within different classes of people in respect of race.
I am an American from South Florida in the area of Coral Springs. I grew up in Deerfield Beach, Florida and went to school in the same town. I belong to a very prestigious family, as both my parents are considered among the wealthy in the region of Florida. In fact my relatives have a very strong political influence in the government. First, my uncle Mr. Gwendolyn Clarke-Reed is the State Representative in the region. Further still, I am related to Mrs. Sylvia Poitier who used to be the commissioner in the hometown. This to me and to the reader should be a clear indication of what class I do belong to.
In terms of race, I am white American, and to be more specific, I am non-Hispanic white. From facts it's evident that whites occupy a greater percentage in terms of population: over 70%, while African American take up 16%, while the other groupings occupy smaller portions as can be found in the American Census Bureau.
It is important to give a comprehensive cover of the general information that will make this paper into perspective. First, remember earlier on I talked about being from South Florida, if I may give a wide perspective. South Florida, when talking with Gwendolyn, is synonymous with Gold Coast; and as the word suggests a place for the rich class of people in the US. Further still, the population structure is in such a way that urban residents are many compared to rural residents. But South Florida is big; it consists of various counties and cities. I come from Coral Springs City of Broward County with an approximately 126,875 population. In deed Coral Springs is one of the highly populated cities. The city is also one of the best places to live in the USA because of its safety level, which is quite high.
The question of race has driven people crazy especially as there is a very distinct difference in terms of personal looks. The Black American has been considered the minority although this disparity has been addressed by activists who believe that we are all equal. I belong to the wealth class in the region as I am associated with prominent persons in society. A great percentage of the State residents are white Americans, who are considered superior compared to the other race groupings. A question that most people may ask is whether members of this state of Florida look like me. Well as I have pointed out, I belong to the white Americans who occupy over 70% of the population. The rest are different from me for they are black, Hispanic, Latino, African American, among others. But still among this 70% of the population some people belong to wealthy families, while others belong to middle income families, and the remaining being low income earners. Again I am different from some of the members because of the fact that I belong to the prestigious family; and those who don't are not expected to strongly associate with me. It is strange how society looks at different people.
The wealthy are treated with respect by leaders while the poor are treated with disregard. I happened to have had an encounter with Gwendolyn Clerk-Reed who has been the state representative. It's amazing how he describes the encounter those in leadership position have with either the black or the whites. Leaders could only associate with the rich because they feel more comfortable associating with people who could actually share the same social status than associating with people who have low social status.
However, on the contrary the other members of the community, the lower class and other races, they look at us the rich as people beyond their standards. They consider us superior and they consider themselves inferior. This is reflected in the kind of jobs they take, the kind of places they stay, the kind of schools they take their children to, or the kind of hotels they it from. This has lingered in the minds of many people over the years and it's only now that social activists are trying to bring people together since we share one common blood and we are all human beings.
Forgive me when I say that I have been a strong proponent of discrimination especially in what I say or write. My work manuals and texts contain majorly information from my elite whites. This is because I tend not to associate myself with the other low class Americans, for in doing so means bringing myself down to their levels. I am always tempted to write good things about my class of people compared to the bad things about the other races that I discriminate against. Whatever I write resembles what the local media tends to transmit both in the newspapers, radio stations, and television stations.
The media is always a powerful tool especially in giving people direction as regards what to believe in and what not to believe in. Whenever there is a big function, the local media will avail themselves to hear what we have to say; whatever we say will always hit the headlines in both local media. On the contrary, an occasion graced by people who do not belong to our class, is never talked about unless something bad happens in the due course of the occasion. Those of other classes do not have a say; the only time their say matters to the local media is when they have done something bad that the media will find it easier to talk about so that they can remind their end customers that what they actually believe about the other group of people is actually true - they are associated with crime, and any other social evils.
The rich and the community leaders are not similar per se; however they share a great deal of similarities. First, one should understand that leaders in most cases are drawn from the rich. It is the rich who out of self actualization and fulfillment desire leadership roles. This in turn means that their ranking in society resembles that of wealthy families. The less privileged when they desire leadership, they do so in with a need to change society to a level of their liking and mostly to a level that commands equality. But surprisingly, if they happen to be elected, they end up associating with the rich forgetting their primary drive to leadership. A rich person and a leader in my region share many common elements, ranging from the place they stay, the hotels they eat from, and the kind of schools they go. This is actually my case for I went to one of the rich associated schools in the region. I grew in Deerfield Beach from where I went to school. In fact I went to an elite private school - Highlands Christian Academy. This actually means that the kind of education that I received was of high quality with the best teachers in the area, and with better learning materials which many of those who did not belong to my race did not receive.
After discussing on my various experiences pertaining race and community, it is important to come up with a final analysis of what community should be adopted. Here I acknowledge that there is need for a true community embraced by "deep respect and true listening for the needs of the other people in this communityâ€¦reflects a deep yearning in every human soul for compassionate understanding from one's fellows" (Peck, 1987). A true community should be able to maintain a deep sense of community even though this is difficult in the current era.
In my case I was born and grew up in areas that exhibited a very discriminatory environment. I have had to put myself in the situation of discrimination for it has always given me joy to consider myself superior. However, little did it occur to me that we are all human beings who should be treated with respect, with care and understanding. It had never occurred to me that nobody desired to be born black, white, Hispanic, to name but a few. Everybody is unique, and it is this uniqueness that brings out the beauty of the differences that exist.
Many proponents of morality affirm that all humans should pursue goodness. And by goodness they imply that which all things tend to; for instance the need to be in community. It is important to note that we are social beings; at times we may wish to be alone, but never alone all the time. Excessive solitude my even drive one insane, and has often been used as a form of torture -in the case of solitary confinement- or social punishment - ostracism- thus social interaction is necessary to our nature. Secondly, the use of language as a distinguishing factor from other animals is another indication that we need community as natural as possible. Better still, for an explanation, let us consider the duration a human infant takes dependent of others which is extremely long, and thus an indication that we are meant to live in communities.
Community can either be a geographic community, a cultural community, or an organization community. A geographic community can be discussed for instance in terms of village, town, city, neighborhood; example is the state of South Florida which is a wider community composed of smaller communities like Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach Florida. Within these communities there exist people of varied racial backgrounds such as Whites non-Hispanic, blacks, Hispanics, among others. These people are expected to co-exist despite the varied backgrounds that they have. Each racial group comes with unique talents and culture which, when integrated, brings out the richness of culture.
A cultural community, on the other hand, is a community characterized by people of the same cultural upbringing. This is where race differences come in. Each racial group has its own culture which is their way of life. There could be a culture of whites, blacks, Latinos, or Hispanics. This culture dictates their way of life, their passage rites, their values and aspirations. The same applies to organization community.
An organization community brings with it the values, mission, vision, and objectives of various organizations. All the members will always work towards achieving a common goal. This goal could be market share growth, profit maximization, optimization of services rendered, or quality of product manufactured.
Therefore it is my wish that a lot of those life denying aspects of my culture be eliminated so that we can all co-exist in harmony without one having to look over his/her shoulder to check if some other person is actually expressing discrimination over him/her. This requires us to understand the fundamental essence that we all possess as human beings. As human beings we all have the rational faculty, the cognitive faculty, and also, the emotional faculty. There is no normal human person lacking these. The languages we speak should not imply that we are not equal but rather show that we are uniquely different. Given a chance we can acquire different skills and abilities which some times in my case I considered meant for the elite in society.