Saturday, August 01, 2009

People of color and colorful people

So, I’ve been on the road for 18 days now. I’m in Eugene Oregon, where I did my undergraduate.
I remember back to first coming to Eugene from Cheyenne. It was a study of night and day—going from a dry brown/grey conservative Wyoming town to a wet bright green radical college town. One of the things that struck me at the time was how much racial diversity there was/seemed to be compared with Cheyenne.
As I passed through Cheyenne last week I noticed a few more non-white folk than I remembered from growing up—not a lot more, but a few.
Now that I’m in Eugene I can’t say the same thing. There doesn’t seem to be any more racial diversity here than last time I was here. In fact, I looked around the U of O campus a few times and said to myself, “man there’s a lot of white folk here.” Eugene may have cornered the market on colorful people (e.g. Frog—the itinerant joke book salesman), but does not seem to have done quite as well with people of color. I bring this up because Eugene and the U of O pay great lip service to fostering diversity of all types, including race.
I’ll be interested in reading census figures when they come out in 2010 to see if my brief subjective perceptions have any founding in statistical objective reality. I wonder if racial diversity has grown more in Eugene Oregon or Cheyenne Wyoming since the last census.

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