Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Predominantly White Groups / Activities - some thoughts

Someone recently asked me why there weren't more people of color involved in the Tea Party movement.

You know what? I have no idea.

But it reminded me of something that happened during my college days. For two years I was in charge of recruiting for my college marching band. And on several instances I was approached by members of minority groups telling me that the band needed more "blacks", "minorities", or what have you. The conversation that ensued was always the same. It would go something like this:

Me: "do you play an instrument?"
Them: "I played ____ in high school"
Me: "well, then, why don't you join? We'd love to have you."
Them: "No way. There aren't enough (fill in minority group)s"
Me: "but if no (fill in minority group)s join, then how will there every be "enough"?
Them: {mumbles incoherently & ends conversation}
In fact, after being coming friends with a member of one of the black sororities, and having her ask me the same question, I offered to do a recruiting presentation to her sorority sisters, but she declined.

I never understood this. There was nothing preventing them from joining. The band's only requirement was that you were able to play a band instrument. But they wouldn't join because there weren't enough minorities. But there will never be enough minorities if more minorities don't join. The logic just doesn't make sense.

So, I don't know why more people of color aren't involved in the Tea Party.

I also don't know why the people at the American Heart Association walk on Sunday were predominantly white, especially considering that blacks are statistically more likely to have heart disease.

I don't know why there aren't more people of color involved in the pet rescue I joined.

Or the water rescue I used to belong to.

Or volunteer at the zoo with me.

I don't know. I don't have the answer.

I don't think it's a matter of education. All of the groups / causes mentioned above are regularly on the news, on the internet, etc. So it's out there for anyone to see.

I can tell you this. I also don't think a group should feel obligated to extend a special invitation to any minority group. Any group at all.
If you want to join, then join. If you think it's a good cause, then do it. If you don't, then don't.

But please, don't refuse to join a group /  cause, then complain that there aren't enough (fill in minority)s involved. If you want more people like you to be involved, then become involved yourself!

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Nice post...I think people should join a group because the cause speaks to their heart, not because of who the other members are. Enough said or I'll be off on another rant...

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