"The schools, the neighborhood's clean, there are decent people like us who live in the area," said a woman who gave her name as Ann and said she's in her 40s. "You don't live on the South Side."
Holy FUCK! So, we South Siders (by the way, she defines the South Side as anything below North Loop 410, which is far and away the bulk of the city) aren't decent people? Nice.
I'll cop to not being a person like her, and will get down on my knees tonight at bedtime and thank God for that.
Listen, I'm not dumb. I know what "people like us" means. It means white people. Preferably white people from somewhere else.
There's a little PSA that plays on the radio with irritating frequency that I actually like. This child and his mother are discussing the people she works with. She said that they're of many different cultures and ethnicities and have different experiences and that these are good things, because there is strength in diversity (not phrased quite like that, but you get the idea). And then the kid says something along the lines of "So why do we live where everyone else is like us?" And it's a good point. I'm sure "Ann" would never admit to being racist, but that's exactly what she is: she's a racist, xenophobic, insular bitch.
I am constantly hearing "I have black friends" mocked as a defense against racism. Know why people do that? Because they don't have black friends. Or any friends who aren't white. And they realize deep inside that if all of your friends are exactly like you, and you make an active effort to avoid people who are different...Yeah, that's racist (or at least heavily bigoted). Even if you defend yourself by saying you live in a homogeneous area because the schools are better and the crime rate is lower, you're not fooling anyone. You are simply afraid of being around people who aren't like you, and it's made plain by the fact that you're never around people who aren't like you. (Employing an illegal immigrant nanny doesn't count as diversity, by the way.)
And dear Lord but it is hard to find an almost-white neighborhood in this city. San Antonio is one of the most integrated metropolitan areas in the US. Even the technically monolingual folks speak a little bit of Spanish slang. As I've said before, there are many, many ethnic Germans intermarried with Mexicans (my sister among them). My kids play with the next door neighbor's kid--who is, gasp, not like us--whenever they get the chance. Hell, even the name of the city is multicultural--we were named, in Spanish, after an Italian saint. The result of that is a vibrant, unique culture that you simply cannot find anywhere else.
Oh, and Ann's companion Heather? GTFO. When you say San Antonio is "a mess" and "not a nice city at all", while you hide in your gated community, you sound just as bigoted. Please to go back to New York City.
(I'll update this once the newspaper puts the story up on its web. For now, this is all there is.)