Thursday, March 24, 2005

Prejudice (Part 1 of 4)

Here goes the first serious post. It'll be long, so I'm going to break it up into four posts and put the funny Wal-Mart adventure and phallic balloon story in the middle so that the [oddly] ever devoted stay that way. Which, by the way, I totally emailed just like 10-15 people when I made this blog to let friends know I had gone and done it, but now I'm having so many random people email me (40% of which just want to make babies with me, but whatever-a reader is a reader, I suppose) it's not even funny. Where do you peoples come from? In particular, "ET" is commenting and I feel like I should know you or something because who would just randomly read this if you didn't know me? So, tell me who you are in a private email or something. The suspense just K-I-L-L-S me!

On to part 1 of the very large oddity that just pisses me off to no end:

Houston opened my eyes in a lot of ways. Houstonians are far more liberal than Oklahoma, but I'm well aware that Houstontonians are far more conservative than other parts of the country. Here's a few things I noticed in Houston that are just not true in Oklahoma:

1) Not everyone in a big city is W.A.S.P. (I swear to Budda, it appears that was in Tulsa)

2) Interraccial marriages/marriages that are a little out of what you'd normally see seemed to be totally accepted, almost expected
Let's see...Just in my school (and teachers are SUPPOSED to be, ya know, conservative or something) Wendy D.-T. married a man more than 10 years older than her; Wendy H. is white, her husband is Asian; a couple that lived two buildings in my apartment both had Downs, Cecilia is Latina and Catholic, her husband (who lived in Tulsa for a bit because of his job) is white and Jewish. These are just people I saw everyday down there. I had never thought about the fact that I honestly am not sure I can name a single couple in Tulsa that are different in very obvious ways-race, religion, ethnicity, etc.

3) You're not allowed to be gay [not that there's anything wrong with that:)] in Tulsa. I've only met one gay couple in OK. Then again, now that I think about it, I believe I've only met like 5 gay people in my life, two that propositioned me, so...? Unless you want to count a few closet cases I've dated. Let's just not, though. Apparently, we either supress all of the anything but straight people here or my gaydar is non-existent. I'm thinking it's a combo.

The thing is, growing up, I never noticed that I wasn't surrounded by anything other than light-skin people. I leave for JUST a year and when I come back I realize just how backward we are here. And it was one event in particular that caused me to start taking notice of the extreme prejudice here. I showed about 5 friends my school class picture. You know, the one where the kiddos are on risers and the names are listed and the teacher (thats was me!) is standing there trying hard not to cry because these pictures are usually taken in the spring just when the kids are starting to go bonkers times 10. In all five instances, the people seeing the picture were from Oklahoma, and in ALL cases the very first thing out of their mouths was something to the effect of "Well, we certainly are...diverse (said with great disdain), aren't we?" I umm...well...sure, now that I look at the picture, but I never thought about the fact/noticed that at times in the classroom I was the only white person.

It's just...not an issue. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

ET said...

Okay. I have to say a number of things here (none in defense of Oklahoma, mind you). First, there are no true W.A.S.P.s in Oklahoma. There just aren't. Oklahoma does not have that much class. Second, my best friend from law school was white and the widow of a black man. Granted, she was from Arkansas, but she lived here for three years and, let's face it, Arkansas is not a far reach. Also, a couple who went to my church (back in the day that I went to church) comprised an Italian woman and a black man. I do not say "African American" because I do not know that he was from African heritage as opposed to, say, Jamaican or what have you. But I digress. Anyway, my final comments are on the gay issue. I just want to say that I have a number of gay friends, including a guy I went to college with locally, my sister who is a lesbian (and who conceals it from her own family for fear of reprisal and religious retribution or disinheritance), and my neighbors who are "married" (and fully supported on one side of the union but virtually ignored on the other). There are a lot of them out there. I went to the Gay Pride festival last year and there was no shortage. But we are in the so-called "Bible belt," so while the gays celebrate on one side of the street the zealots are picketing and yelling on the other. A very Christian thing to do, I am sure. So, Oklahoma creates its own oppression. I think those of us who claim some form of enlightenment should leave. After all, Piggly Wiggly is making a comeback in Oklahoma. Can the confederate flag be far behind?