About 8 months ago, my husband and I bought our first home. After many years of struggle, sacrifice, and a lot of luck, we were able to pull it off, and we are ecstatic! We love our house and we love our quiet little suburban “middle class” neighborhood. We love the walking trail down the street and the duck pond that it leads to. We love the rosemary and jasmine that seem to grow everywhere. The neighbors themselves are friendly, enough. The area is somewhat diverse, although probably not as much as I’d like it to be. However, over the years I have learned to be pretty comfortable no matter who’s around, or who’s not. I guess I’ve gotten kind of used to being one of a small few, if not the only brown face in a lot of places. I’m just kind of ‘whatever’ about it. As long as the situation is peaceful, I’m cool, no matter who shows up or who doesn’t.
Well, as peaceful as my new ‘hood’ may seem on the outside, I couldn’t help but detect an underlying sense of racial tension. Sometimes it’s just a strange look, sometimes it’s a little bit more. Is it me? Am I being overly sensitive, waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop and searching for racism out of my own sense of defensiveness or over-protectiveness? After all, even though we are a bi-ethnic family, one of maybe two in our little neighborhood, the world’s changing, right? Isn’t this the post-racial America that the news tells us was ushered in with the election of President Obama? We as a nation have evolved beyond racism, haven’t we?
Well, apparently we are so highly evolved that one of my neighbors thought that this witty little piece of political satire was important enough to post on the HOA community information board, about 15 feet away from my driveway.
Now, I have read every single piece of paper that has been posted on that board for the past 8 months and never has there been anything remotely opinionated or politically charged posted on it. It’s been strictly someone’s lost dog, someone’s found dog, updates from the HOA meetings, police bulletins, neighborhood heads-ups, and the like. While today’s little break from the norm didn’t catch me completely off guard, it did surprise me a little and disappointed me a lot.
We’ve come so far, and yet, there is so far to go. Smh today.