Culture and History -  Cultural Diversity (188 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon4/4/06 5:11 PM 
To: All  (1 of 30) 
 2003.1 

Wrote this for Thursday's paper. Wanted to share.

Never a bad time for cultural diversity

Maple Heights — I’m proud of Maple Heights.
For three years I’ve covered the best and the worst
the city has had to offer.
Last Thursday, I covered a story which made my heart
swell with pride, sending me home to Akron feeling
excited to have attended a meeting that could actually
accomplish something.”
The meeting that made me smile as I sipped my coffee
down I-77 was the diversity forum at the Maple Heights
Regional Library March 30 called “Destination Common
Ground.”
It’s not so much what I heard there, but what I saw
that made me feel so good.
I witnessed white senior citizens, most of whom I’m
sure would think Eminem was a chocolate-covered candy
treat, shake hands and smile at young black men
wearing brightly colored jerseys, droopy jeans and
ball caps.
I felt good watching this scene play out in front of
me because I could tell the smiles were for real.
According to facilitator Pat Davis, the night was
intended to break down walls and destroy
misconceptions about race and culture.
If the camaraderie that filled the room was any
indication, it worked.
The group of 40 or so attendees may have started out
from different cultures and races, but at the end of
the evening, after being placed into groups to discuss
various questions about racial perceptions, the groups
blended and seemed to become one.
The only disappointment I felt was that there were not
enough people who attended. Racial walls can be broken
down and diversity taught, but all need to hear the
message.
I suggest everyone attend at least one of the
remaining two diversity forums in April and May.
Misconceptions about cultures and races can sneak up
on you suddenly and without warning.
I know.
Almost 18 years ago my sister announced she was
pregnant. She also announced that the father was
black.
At the time I was a Summit County Deputy Sheriff. Most
of the people I dealt with on a daily basis were
black.
I think you can imagine the misconception I had built
up.
I decided I did not want anything to do with my sister
or the baby.
A few months later my sister gave birth to not one,
but two very premature girls. I still had the barrier
up, refusing to go to the hospital to see the twins.
After a long stay in the hospital they were sent home,
but I still kept my distance.
One day I was asked to baby-sit while everyone was
out. I grudgingly agreed. One of the girls began
crying and I, still in my cop shirt, went over to
check on her.
It was a simple procedure. Diaper wet. Diaper needed
changed.
Uncle Tim went into action, changing the first of
hundreds of diapers.
But something else also happened.
A little girl, with beautiful wide eyes and long curly
hair, took my pinkie finger in her little hand and
gave me one of the widest smiles I had ever seen.
Instant diversity forum. And the great wall of China
came crashing down.
I was disarmed by a smile, much like the ones I saw
last week. After that, Uncle Tim could not get enough
of the twins. Many times I went to work with baby
drool on my uniform shirt. But I didn’t care. I was a
willing prisoner of their love. Still am.
When Chieanne and Chaundra were old enough to notice a
difference in skin color, I would tell them they were
the color of love.
I would also show them that exactly two spoonfuls of
powdered creamer and two spoonfuls of sugar made Uncle
Tim’s coffee the same color as them.
They liked that.
Now, those girls are my life blood. I could not love
them anymore if they were my very own children.
Uncle Tim realized that it was not the wrappings on
the gift that was important, but what was inside the
package.
And while not every resident can be fortunate enough
to have two wonderful bi-racial angels come into their
lives to show them what diversity is, they can plan to
attend one of the upcoming forums.
Who knows? There may be a resident who finds the gift
of a lifetime inside the wrappings.
E-mail: TTroglen@recordpub.com

 
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From: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon4/4/06 7:05 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (2 of 30) 
 2003.2 in reply to 2003.1 
nice piece..how long have you been a reporter? dang a cop? why did you leave the force?... so to speak...if ya are cool with sharing... ;-)
  • Edited 4/4/2006 7:05 pm by Madam D (MadamD)
 

 
From: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon4/4/06 10:03 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (3 of 30) 
 2003.3 in reply to 2003.1 

Great article! I live in Honolulu and have the good fortune to come in contact with a variety of people from different backgrounds, who have different appearances, speak different languages and have different beliefs. It's wonderful. I never stop learing and never stop finding out interesting things. And never run out of a variety of different types of food. Can't forget that.

And I like everything - when it comes to the variety of food and people!

Jeanne

 

 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon4/5/06 11:22 PM 
To: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (4 of 30) 
 2003.4 in reply to 2003.2 

Hey D.

Been a reporter for three years with the paper. Before that I was a news camerman for a tv news station. Was the one they called out in the middle of the night to film the fires, homicides and all that.

Left the force years ago after they found I was carrying a switchblade and made a big funk about it. Believe that? I'm a cop, can carry a gun, was even in a shooting (a car tried to hit me, gun aimed at car, not person). but was in trouble for carrying a blade. Sheesh. I was also heavy in the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) Union and that was a mistake and I'm sure it helped lead to my demise. I was young and kinda rebellious. I'm better off outta there.

Never mind sharing with ya D.

 

Tim  

 

 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon4/5/06 11:26 PM 
To: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (5 of 30) 
 2003.5 in reply to 2003.3 

Hiya Jeanne. Long time no see.

Thanks.

Are you from Hawaii originally?

 

Tim

 

 

 
From: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon4/6/06 10:07 AM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 30) 
 2003.6 in reply to 2003.4 
WOW...kind of sounds like they wanted ya out...any reason would do...maybe I am wrong...are you happier as a reporter? maybe it is a lot safer. your friends and family probably feel that way...Peace
 

 
From: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon4/6/06 12:53 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (7 of 30) 
 2003.7 in reply to 2003.5 

I'm originally from Los Angeles and got hooked on Hawaii when I came here on vacation in 1977. Moved to Honolulu in 1979 and have been here ever since.

California's nice, too, but there's just something about Honolulu that speaks to my heart and felt like home.

Jeanne

 

 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon4/7/06 2:51 PM 
To: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (8 of 30) 
 2003.8 in reply to 2003.6 

It is somewaht safer, but more stressful, but I am much happier. Even as a cop I was writing things, sotries, poetry and stuff.

I was born to write. Being a cop changes ya too much. Makes you see things not as they are, but as people (police and others higher up) tell you they are.

Tim

 

 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon4/7/06 2:52 PM 
To: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (9 of 30) 
 2003.9 in reply to 2003.7 

does your family like the islands too?

tim

 

 
From: Coconut Queen (JEANNE2469) DelphiPlus Member Icon4/7/06 5:31 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (10 of 30) 
 2003.10 in reply to 2003.9 

My father visited me several times here before he passed away and he loved it here. My sister loves it here as well. My mother doesn't like anything anywhere - she's too busy being cranky!

Jeanne

 

 
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