Monday, July 21, 2008

#10 Southern California

(A JAM C) Every year, I go out to the Los Angeles area for a conference in the middle of February.  It is such an awesome break for me, because along with 95% of minorities, I really dislike the cold weather.  February is notorious for being a freakishly cold month.  So, I get to go out to SoCal, and enjoy a few days of summer weather before I have to go back to the misery of my Columbus, OH winters.

My first trip out to LA was a pleasant surprise.  I fell in love with the area.  Everything about it just seemed to say to me "this is where you belong."

With all of that being said, the reason why biracial people like Southern California is because of the diversity.  California as a whole is one of four states (along with Texas, Hawaii, and Florida) with more minorities than white people.  Nothing against white people, but that is pretty sweet.  It should probably add some perspective as to how diverse Southern California is when you consider the fact that Northern California might as well be called South Oregon.  That's really what it is.  Anywhere north of San Francisco is pretty much just as white as anywhere else.  So, when you consider that, Southern California even more than just 50/50.

The thing that I love about the unique diversity of SoCal is that there isn't more of one race than another.  There's plenty of black people, white people, Asians, and Hispanic people.  Because of that, there's also a ton of mixing going on.  My old roommate Matt just got engaged to a girl from Southern California who is mixed Hispanic and Philipino.  In his eyes she's the most beautiful girl in the world.  I don't know why he could possibly say that since he's definitely friends with my super hot fiance, but that just goes to show that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.  Anyway, that's a different story for a different time.

Here's what a biracial person experiences when they visit SoCal.  We get off of the plane, take a few looks around, and for the first time in our lives, we realize something... we're not different, because everybody is different.  Being different from everybody else is being the same as everybody else, and that's beautiful.

Is there anywhere else in the world like that?  Seriously, I want to know.  Is there anywhere where the land isn't dominated by white people, black people, hispanic people, asian people, indian people, etc?  I don't know.  Well, there's one other place... there's a verse in the Bible that talks about Heaven, and the apostle John says that in a vision he looked around and saw people from "every tribe, tongue, and nation."  In other words, he saw diversity.  He saw a melting pot, and I'm not talking about a melting pot like the United States of America claims to be... which is really just a melting pot of the different European countries with their slaves, and the remnants of the people they kicked out... I'm talking about something far different, and far superior.  And no, I'm not saying that SoCal should be compared to Heaven.  Far from it.  There's still something sweet about it though.


berkeleygirl said...

If your mixed how could you hate on norcal? socal may be diverse, but people there tend to self-segregate, come to the bay area, everyone and there mama here is mixed, or spend one day at berkeley high, you'll feel right at home there- my best friends in highschool were black/chinese, black/phillipino, mexican/jewish, and cuban/white/chinese, and black/white... sure north of us is hella white but you have to give the bay some props!

A Jam C said...

You're absolutely right berkeley girl... I have to admit that I have never been to the bay area, but if I had, your description of it seems like an ideal place. I was definitely not referring to the Bay area when I was talking about Northern California. That's why I mentioned Norcal as the area north of San Fran. Sorry for not being clear about that.

Anonymous said...

Check out Sacramento--it's North of San Francisco and also considered America's most diverse city. Not just in California, but the United States. I've lived in Northern California my whole life and have grown up around so many multiracial people that I thought nothing of it. I moved to Southern California awhile ago, and while there is a large population of people of different races, I find that races are more so segregated down here than up North. There are more cities down here that cater to specific races and are very exclusive in the sense that they accommodate specific races and not much else (for instance, cities catering to only Mexicans or Chinese). It may be considered "diverse" because there are many different minorities, but not so much multicultural in comparrison to Sacramento.

Caleb said...

London is pretty diverse, as is Melbourne (Australia) where I am from. Australia has the highest rate of inter-marriage in the world. I've heard Singapore is pretty diverse too (which would stand to reason given its four recognised languages of Malay, English, Mandarin and Tamil, not to mention the many other unofficial languages).