[Homestead] Ethnicity (was Tortillas)
billj at harborside.com
Sun Apr 8 20:10:19 EDT 2007
Clansgian at wmconnect.com wrote:
>Very interesting to hear the ethnicity of areas described by recent
>transplants to those areas and the social implications of the ethnic makeup.
>It is to be expected, I suppose, that the view of ethnicity taken by the
>natives would be somewhat different. I was born not 20 miles from here and
>besides various sojourns in other areas I've llived here all my life.
This alone can lead to a skewed view. When I first moved here I thought
I could tell bums by their overdressed look (and being the only people
walking, mostly); here it's just an ordinary guy going to work.
> This area's majority ethnicity is Appalachian. Officially the black
> population is about 4%. Curious thing is that most natives raise an
> eyebrow at that
> figure thinking that it must surely be too high. After all they only
> know one
> or two black people usually that they have met at work or church. But
> reminded that they know Sid, Clyde, Mary, etc. They dismiss the notion
> with, "Oh,
> you don't think of them as black, their families have lived here for 200
> years!" That is, Appalachian comes in all colors.
> The most significant influx of another ethnicity is, of course,
> Hispanic and
> most of those Mexican. With them came Mexican restaurants and
> 'tiendas'. The
> Mexican restaurants were an instant success since it is really corn
> bread and
> beans (just called 'frijoles y tortillas') which is the same ethic food
> people here have eaten for centuries. For the most part Mexicans here
> are very
> well liked and looked upon as just another variation of "good ol'
> boy". I've
> ceased to be startled by crusty old Appalachian recluses now greeting
> their old
> cronies as "Cabron".
> But there is a sinister side to our changing ethnic makeup. There are
> several other minories whose numbers have increased of late much to
> the irritation
> of the Natives and the more desireable arrivals.
I like the idea of thinking of "Appalachian" as a "native" culture.
Even if the people of Appalachia are mostly of European ancestry
genetically, the _culture_ was "born" here, as surely as any other.
>This is an extrapolated guess at the current ethnic makeup:
>4% black including 3% Appalachian black
>1 % Asian and Indian
>1.2% Whiny Yankee - always quick to point out how much better, prettier,
>cheaper everything was up North and how much they dislike being around these
>imbred, ignorant, indolent, biased, biggoted locals.
>.7% Snooty Californian - viewing themselves as bringing culture,
>refinement, and enlightenment to backward folk here. "God, how DID these people
>survive in these mountains for 300 years without us!"
I hate to say it, but I find the people here to be bone ignorant, even
about the things you might expect somebody to know about. The only
people I've met who know what fava beans are either work at the feed
store, or are from California, Germany, etc.
But if you go to an average neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY or El Cajon,
CA, the typical person there is also ignorant, indolent, biased, and
bigotted, in addition to uncultured, unrefined, and unenlightened. It
makes them easier to sell products to. The difference is that the
person who has the power to leave, to live wherever they want, is more
likely to be more educated (on paper at least) and more affluent. NY
and CA have a higher percentage of these people, because that's where
the money is. Unfortunately the correlation being actually being great
vs. having a great bank balance is a fairly loose one, and this leads to
having all kinds of pompous neighbors who happen to have money telling
you what they think they know, among the worst of whom is my "native"
neighbor from Medford.
S. Oregon coast
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