A Rainbow of Race
opportunity rich, and most liberally inclined areas of the United States.
The wealth of
natural resources, forgiving climate, and particularly, proximity to the sea and multiple
harbors has made this area a natural haven and tourist destination for many immigrants
As a result of its attractiveness as a community and relative ease of travel
from Asia, the Seattle area is extremely diverse, including 70.4% Caucasian, 13.1%
Asian, 8.4% African American, and 5.3% Hispanic residents (U.S. Census Bureau,
As a Caucasian living in Seattle, my race is well represented but I am also able to
enjoy the rich mix of cultures that make this area so vibrant.
Based on the large percentage of Caucasian residents, particularly in my
neighborhood, I see many faces that look like mine on a daily basis.
As I go to work in
Downtown Seattle, the picture shifts to form a mosaic of many skin tones, most much
darker than my own pale Nordic heritage allows.
In the downtown core, African and
Asian Americans are much more prominent, and the different races seem to populate that
area on a fairly equal basis.
As a rule, I am treated with respect by all these members of
my community, and enjoy conversations and interaction with a people from a plethora of
Working in retail in the downtown core, I work with employees and interact with
customers from all over the world.
My day to day experience has been full of variety,
and like one coworker joked, "It is one big diversity training." In addition to the on the
job knowledge I have gained, my company also regularly conducts actual diversity
trainings which seem to outnumber the actual instances of reported discrimination by a
I can not say that the environment is entirely free of racial tensions though
as evidenced by one recent experience I had.
I was ringing up customers in our store and