Race in my Community
Growing up I was never so immersed in cultural diversity. My community was a white
community. Until I made my first of many moves, to a townhouse when I was 8, there I saw my
first members of color. Still though that was limited; it wasn’t until I moved to Arlington when I
was 18 did I truly appreciate that there were many peoples of different race, skin color, culture,
religion, language, and ethnicity. All my experiences and opinions on cultural diversity are
derived from my time living in Arlington. For me it was like moving to another country. The
culture shock was great. I knew that not everyone was the same but I had never lived among
people who did not share my customs, culture, religion, skin color, or race.
In the United States the majority may be White Americans; however, in my community I feel we
are in the minority. My estimates for Arlington County’s population are 80% illegal Hispanic
immigrants, 15% African Americans, and 5% Whites. According to the US Census bureau’s
2004 poll, though, the percentages do not match up. They show Whites are 63.5%, Hispanics
17.1%, and African Americans 9.1%. (US Census Bureau 2004) I find these numbers hard to
believe being a member in the community. The census bureau would not be able to get an
accurate account do to the illegal population of Hispanics that enter our community every day.
By asking myself and others in the community these key questions I offer a more personal and
accurate view of race in my community.
Do members of your community look like you? In what ways do they look the same or different?
There are some members of my community who look like me share my race, religion and
culture; however there are those who do not. Some are different races and different skin tones.
Many do not speak the same language as me. Still others do not have the same religious
beliefs. I would say the majority of them do not share my race, color, religion, or culture. Even
still there are basic similarities. For example they breathe, bleed, live and die just as I do. They
have children, work, and have two arms, two legs, one head, and one heart just the same as I
do, so one could say that the basic human qualities, which are most important, are the same for
I asked my brother and mother to answer these same questions I had to answer in a survey
form. In my brother’s response to this question he states: “Yes they look like me ‘cause they are