Let me start with an anecdote or two so that you can know a bit about where I’m coming from.
When I was in high school, I thought I was pretty enlightened. I didn’t have any racist views like “all black people are stupid criminals” or anything like that. My favorite favorite family that I babysat for was a mixed race couple and their adorbs kids. One summer at camp one of my roommates was African-American and she was one of my best friends that summer. (That was also the summer that I was one of the “cool kids.” But that’s irrelevant.)
However, it also didn’t bother me that my (“gifted and talented”) classes were all white and Asian. When I was asked in a college interview why diversity is important, the lousy answer that I gave was “it’s easier to spot my African-American friends from across the room.”
Fast forward to my professional life in DC and foster parenting, and my eyes have been opened to the shallowness of my “appreciation for diversity.” I certainly would not say that I’m “color-blind”, nor should I be. In fact, I’m more willing to own up to racist (or prejudiced) attitudes (not sure that’s the right word, exactly) that I have than I ever was before I worked day-to-day in an environment that truly is diverse (at least on the black-white spectrum). Now it’s not enough to know the “right” things to say in the abstract–coming face-to-face with issues challenges one’s knowledge of one’s beliefs.
It has been bothering me for MONTHS now that the craft blogs I read and the arty people I follow on twitter are rather, um, white. (The non-knitting craft blogs that I read are almost entirely written by white stay-at-home-moms, many of whom are LDS.)
Do you notice this as well? Are there bloggers or twitter folks that I should be following who I’m not?