Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Divide and Conquer

Have you ever watched movies or tv shows that are centered around people in life threatening situations. Usually they have only so much water, so much air, or some life sustaining object. And always in these shows, there is a point where the people turn on each other and fight for what little they do have. Inevitably, this leads to the object's and thereby the people's ultimate demise. In the same manner, this is how minorities have been unable to break through to sustained achievement in Providence and elsewhere accross the country. We have a mentality that says, "if you get a crumb, I want one too." Keyword: crumb. Why do we fight over the crumbs we might receive from government/foundation grants when our collective community continues to fail. Why do some people say, "that ain't fair that they be asking for a bilingual person. This America and we speak English. (grammatical errors intentional)"? While others say, "Soy de Puerto Rico y no tengo que aprender ingles!" It's a mentality among minorities to stick to 'their own'. We've been cultured to think that 'your success equals my failure' and that's such nonesense. Last night, I attended a meeting where immigrant residents were starting a Co-operative temporary employment company. These residents had received some funding to start their program. They were all Latino residents, coincidentally. Almost immediately after presenting their program, people began to question the inclusiveness of their Co-op. "Will you only target Latino residents? You realize that there are other immigrants besides Latino immigrants, right?" Although these are valid questions, they illustrate the level of mistrust existing between minority groups in Providence. This mistrust only helps keep us divided and leave us defeated-left out of community progress. That doesn't just hurt us as individuals, but it hampers the generations that are coming after us. We do have real differences, but we also have common struggles. When one of us seeks to 'rise up' we need to join with them not tear them down. Let us refuse to be divided and conquered as many of our predecessors were.

2 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/27/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Don,

It isn't just minorities that "stick to their own."

When I did some temp. work at American Power Conversion, I noticed something odd during lunch. All of the white people sat together speaking English, all of the Indian (from India, not Native Americans) people sat together speaking Hindi, and all of the Latinos sat together speaking Spanish.

It was weird.

Mistrust between people is a legacy of past negative actions which have occurred throughout history and negative actions which still occur today.

If we want to overcome this mistrust between each other, we have to make an effort to do so. It's up to us to get to know people. Once we actually do get to know each other, we realize that all of us have the same basic common dreams and goals - regardless of language, religion, or skin color.

That being said, the Co-op is just getting off the ground and it is an equal opportunity employer.

(I removed my previous comment due to a grammatical error.)

3/27/2005 05:26:00 PM  

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