Friday, January 11, 2008

Diversity

While having dinner tonight at the Brook, I noticed how devoid the area of midtown is of racial diversity. Sure, there are a few African American guys, some Mexican immigrants, and plenty of Native Americans. There is a lack, however, of a closely-knit ethnic community (of any stripe) here. Most of the African American population in Tulsa is concentrated in North Tulsa, while the Latin community resides in East Tulsa. I know there are several Asians (Eastern and Middle Eastern) in T-town, but they are primarily interspersed with the white upper crust in South Tulsa and suburbia. When I look around, I think "what happened to color?".

Perhaps this is the result of living in college towns and a large city for several years. I have grown accustomed to bumping into people from myriad nationalities and hearing foreign languages other than Spanish when I stop to get a cup of coffee. Living in the heartland of America makes me appreciate urban environments and the diversity of big cities. Don't get me wrong, I love the ease of mobility that Tulsa offers and slower pace that Oklahomans settle into, not to mention the low cost of living. Sometimes, though, I long for a little more friction in my day-to-day interactions with random people on the street, on a bus or at a metro stop. When you drive everywhere, it's easy to separate yourself from the world around you and remain in the safe bubble. Basically, I'm going soft.

I'm coming to realize that if I want to satiate my jones for diversity and grit, I need to seek it out. When my current state of flux is over, I plan to volunteer in some of the more ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods of Tulsa. Maybe then I'll have the opportunity to fill that spot in my life's desire while helping others achieve their own.

1 comment:

E said...

hey midtowner, you back online?