Celebrating Diversity in Ladue, and Everywhere Else
Nearly everyone in America came from somewhere else.
President Obama referred more than a few times to the definition of diversity in the State of the Union address recently.
That got me to thinking about what he was talking about.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen diversity not just talked about, but become a reality.
We all migrated from somewhere else
This all remind me, we all came from somewhere else. If either we, or our forefathers were on the reception committee when the Mayflower landed, then we all came from somewhere else. Only American Indians can lay claim to the statement, they are the real native Americans, and we know how that story has played out.
Everybody has a different life story to tell. Our community is diverse in nature, settled by the French, the Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, African Americans, Latinos and other ethic and national groups. My father was a refugee of Nazi Germany, having escaped at age 19, right before World War II began.
Whether our forefathers were from the Horn of Africa, or the Scandinavian countries of Europe, we are all immigrants.
Look around for yourself
Just look around and see how things have changed.
As a student in the 60s at Ladue High, there was just one African American student in the entire school.
Growing up, putting it frankly, Country Day School and John Burroughs were institutions of higher learning for white children of privilege only. Most others need not apply.
Somewhere, down the line, all of that changed. The board of regents of these hallowed institutions and others decided they needed real diversity in their classrooms and on their teaching staffs.
Those schools should be saluted for both recognizing the need, and doing something about it before it was too late.
Just stroll the campus of Burroughs or MICDS and readily, you will see the change immediately. Both schools have made certain that minority children, mostly African Americans can learn alongside third and fourth generation locally-produced youngsters.
Celebrating diversity in our community
I celebrate that diversity with great joy. These schools guarantee generous amounts of financial aid to make sure everyone is considered and all are welcomed and provided for.
Even better, these youngsters get along famously. Children are not born with prejudice. They learn that from their parents.
On the sports teams, in the clubs, in the show choir and the orchestra groups, a visitor would immediately see a wide range of fresh diverse faces.
Within a couple of decades, just like South Africa, the United States will be a nation of more Latinos and African Americans than White.
I for one, think this is a wonderful thing. We are all Gods children, and we all celebrate our diversity and differences together. Argue what you want, but in my mind, diversity is what truly makes America great.
I am ready to celebrate this diversity and those cultural differences, 365 days a year.