Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Running in the Hood

This morning I went running in my old neighborhood. First of all, no one in the California suburbs walks, so as I was walking home during my cool-down phase plenty of morning commuters slowed down to stare at me. Second, it wasn't until I walked home that I realized I had seen a total of two white people. I can't exactly estimate how many people I saw while running this morning, but since I headed to my old high school and ran on the track, I'd say I passed a fair number of kids and parents, who were about evenly split in terms of ethnicity: Asian and Latino.

And it made me realize, in part, why I do get so uncomfortable in largely white settings--it's not what I'm used to. I mean, sure, the demographics have changed since I was in High School--it was about 50% white and 50% people of color. Apparently the lone white family on our block has the house up for sale and soon it will be a mix of people whose families originated in Puerto Rico, Mexico, China, Yemen, and Viet Nam among other Asian and Latin American countries.

Is there an opposite to being racially paranoid? Because I have to say I was completely comfortable running today in my old neighborhood.

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