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Old 02-09-2007, 02:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,056 times
Reputation: 14

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I grew up in Southeastern Kentucky (more specifically, London) and I have a true love/hate relationship with my home town. It's a beautiful area and I will always consider it to be my home, but I could never live there again because of the racism. True to the concept of "Southern Hospitality", everyone will be very open and friendly when you meet them at the bank, in your neighborhood, or at the local Wal-Mart (which is pretty much the focal point of most small towns in Ky, haha). It's after you leave that the real opinions come out. I will never be able to forget the hundreds of jokes and hurtful comments I've heard about Mexican, Japanese, Middle Eastern, African American, and homosexual people, and for that I will never be able to forgive the people in my hometown. Because I'm white, other white people assumed I was "in their circle" and as soon as the targeted person was out of ear shot, it was open season for insensitive racial or sexual jokes. I quickly let them know it was not.

Sure, someone of a different race is okay if they're on the ball team with your son or if they work alongside you in the coal mines, but if they were to date your daughter or go up for a leadership position, now THAT is another story. "They" have to remain within certain boundaries. The fact that a man has been friends for years, maybe even for a lifetime, with the family of the African American boy dating his daughter, or with the Hispanic man that's toiled beside him in the coal mines for 20 years, no longer means anything. All that matters is that they are DIFFERENT on that one level: race. All of the good qualities and wonderful memories of their friends are pushed aside to make room for racism.

I speak only for my area of Kentucky (Southeastern/Mountains), because I've never lived in another area of the state, but it's not the best environment for people of different sexual persuasions or ethnicities, especially if you have children. For the most part, people will be very friendly to you, but know that that will only last as long as you know your "place" and don't try to rock the boat. Not every last person in town will have feelings of racism toward you, but the vast majority will.

I'm not someone that tries to deny where I came from, and I'm definitely not someone that says all of this as I sit on my high horse thinking I'm "too good" for Eastern Kentucky. I say this as someone who loves where they came from, but can't bear to live in that kind of environment again.

 
Old 02-10-2007, 07:13 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,836 times
Reputation: 11
Post How much "racism" would bother you?

I have been in Kentucky for about 4 years...since my senior year in high school. Since then, I lived on Fort Knox for a year, Louisville for 2 years, and Lexington for one year now. Having moved all over the country with the army, I've seen a lot of different attitudes and beliefs and was raised to accept people of any race. (I can't tell you much about racism in the schools in the Hardin-Meade county areas because military base schools always seem to be fairly free of racism)
However, I too heard the prominent stories of KKK activity in KY, but about it being closer to Elizabethtown; although I love to visit there as my parents are retired in nearby Doe Valley (which by the way is a beautiful place! its out in the woods enough that my parents can watch deer and foxes from their window but it has its own pool and lake and is close enough to Radcliff, Brandenburg and Fort Knox that they only drive 10-15 minutes to a walmart or grocery store). I also heard the stories in Louisville which I will not tell because in a city that size there are bound to be accounts of racism at least every now and then.
Anyways, my boyfriend (whom I met in louisville) is a white guy from Owensboro, KY. His parents also raised him with a very admirable respect for any and all races. Since we have been in Lexington, we have received a few dirty looks for being a black/white couple. This doesn't really bother me at...it just kind of makes me feel sorry for the people who do it because they were never taught any better. If you are pretty good at shrugging insignificant things like this off, then I don't think that you will mind KY much at all.
The part about KY that bothers me most is that as a previous poster said, jobs are not so easy to get in KY. An example would be that my father, retired after 30 years of active duty, has no trouble finding a job even as a black man from mississippi, but even with a degree, I have been limited to in some cases, half of what my peers of other races make. I guess that can also be attributed to the fact that my degree is in interior design, which means I can now work at furniture stores... and not much more. I am working on a bachelors degree in architecture, but i am already sure that even if i was a licensed architect, it would be hard for me as a young, black woman to get a professional job in this state. Not just because I am black either, but in "professional cities" like Lexington where everybody seems to be, be related to, or be friends with a doctor or lawyer that is a white male, I'm not counting on much success for myself.
Besides being scarce on creative careers, KY doesn't seem to have too many problems to me. My boyfriend and I have decided that we will not stay in KY to raise our children simply because the percentages of minorities are too low in the state for us to ensure that our children will not be looked at for being biracial over anything else. Actually, to be honest...although we love the green unoccupied land in KY, CA is #1 on our list of places to go because of it's diversity and acceptance of creative careers like interior deisgn, architecture and 3d modeling/character design.
 
Old 02-10-2007, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Mc Kee, Kentucky
109 posts, read 739,928 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ymbk View Post
Ah, but the lightning. Surge protect everything! I've never seen lightning like here. It's amazing. Sacry as h---, but amazing.
ymbk....You must never have lived in Florida...The lightning capital of the USA. I tend to love the storms here with the awesome lightning, but that's just me.

Joe
 
Old 02-11-2007, 06:02 PM
 
26 posts, read 122,967 times
Reputation: 23
Default Calif - some info FYI

[Actually, to be honest...although we love the green unoccupied land in KY, CA is #1 on our list of places to go because of it's diversity and acceptance of creative careers like interior deisgn, architecture and 3d modeling/character design.[/quote]

Hi, Fenix fyr,

I live in So Calif, it's quite diverse and interracial marriages are so prevalent that it's not at all out of the norm. Tolerance for races is a different matter though...the racism I see in So Ca is primarily between African Americans and Hispanics. These two groups (I am primarily referring to youth) have a serious problem with each other due to both their desires to be percieved as 'tougher' than the other. The racism is primarily gang related too (black and hispanic gangs at odds with each other). Normal people (not gang affiliated) for the most part (both black and hispanic) get along fine.

I can understand your desire to live in a diverse community and one where your degree can be more practically applied however if you were to ask me about relocating to Calif I would advise you against it. Calif has allot of great things going for itself in terms of the weather and jobs but the congestion is incredible. It is so crowded and the freeways are horrible. The cost of living is ridiculously high and gang proliferation is unfortunately a real problem in many communities.

You stated you have young children...I would not move here (to So Calif) if I had small children. I am looking to relocate within 5 years to Ky (when I retire). Good luck, I hope this is probably what you did not want to hear but if it helps provide a little more objectivity for your decision then I would hope you have that discussion with more folks from the Ca forum.

Last edited by Wayne G; 02-11-2007 at 06:05 PM.. Reason: format
 
Old 02-12-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Central Kentucky
850 posts, read 2,857,720 times
Reputation: 503
Default Please don't go

Fenix - I am so sorry you feel the way you do about the job situation. I have to tell you - it has nothing to do with your race if you are attempting to work in the bigger cities.

I am not proud of what has happened in the past in this state - and I know about the KKK of which you speak - they were actually more centered in my county - Bullitt - but I can tell you, they have pretty much been squashed.
The only 'rallies' or whatever they call them are held once in a long blue moon - and then they take it to the capitol or downtown Louisville, and are silenced pretty quickly.

As far as the jobs are concerned - I think most states are having a really tough time right now - and it doesn't have anything to do with the color of your skin. The economy is just not what is was - anywhere - right now. I do have high hopes that this is going to pick up. I have been in medicine for 13 years - and I can tell you in the Louisville market - you will find the most diverse ethnic backgrounds among all professionals, but the market now is bad.

With U of L having it's own School of Medicine, and University Hospital being the only level one trauma center in the region - along with it being the teaching facility for U of L - the mix is astounding.

As for your profession - I do not know what the market is like in Lexington - but I am guessing it is flooded due to the program itself. My son checked into the Architecural programs at U of L and U of K - and I cannot remember the exact difference - but the 'regular' architectural classes he wanted could only be received at U of K. Perhaps those graduates are just staying in town?

My cousin attended U of K - with his degree in Architecture back in the 70's. He now owns his own firm - and they recently completed the huge Bass Pro Shop over in Indiana. I know there are jobs out there - it's just knowing where to look - and for all of us, regardless of race or gender - networking is the key.

I really wish you would stay. I firmly believe if we are ever going to stop the racism and classism that does still exist in the U.S. - it's people like you and me who have to teach our children and grandchilden tolerance.

I was born into a white family - welsh/French actually. I didn't choose it. I was raised in Louisville when the desegregation was occurring - and no families - black or white wanted their kids bused to a school on the other side of town. They said it was to expose kids to diversity - why not fix the entire school system instead of busing theses kids miles and miles away from home - when most mothers back then stayed home and could not get there kids from school if something happened?

The point is - if we - women like me and you - don't stand up now and stop this stuff - from all angles - it will just continue. I have taught my children to respect people of all colors, creeds and nationalities. When I managed at a doctors office in Louisville - I had two African American women who looked at me as though I was going to be a racist boss - like every one they had ever had before. I wasn't. It took two months - but they finally figured out that I do not care if you are red, yellow, black, white or polkadot - I treat people the way I want to be treated. I respect the differences and look for the joy in diversity. We became best friends and still keep in touch to this day.

I know things are tough all over. I know racism and classism exists. I just think it's time to stop it. And it has to begin somewhere. Why not with us?
Please don't leave yet. Assume for now the job has to do with the economy - and try a different market - like Louisville. I would really hate to lose someone as wonderful as you and your family - I can tell your character by your post.

KimmieyKY
 
Old 02-20-2007, 08:16 AM
 
2 posts, read 10,534 times
Reputation: 11
Default I know what you are saying

I know exactly what you are saying! I have always lived in the Southeastern part of Kentucky. I know that some people would disagree and say that London and surronding counties is a very diverse place to live but just because you have a melting pot of different races and ethnic backgrounds does not make this a race friendly environment. It's almost as if everyone lives in the town but do not necessarily mean that everyone is accepted. And yes, the backbiting and the talking behind someone's back is in this area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktelschow View Post
I grew up in Southeastern Kentucky (more specifically, London) and I have a true love/hate relationship with my home town. It's a beautiful area and I will always consider it to be my home, but I could never live there again because of the racism. True to the concept of "Southern Hospitality", everyone will be very open and friendly when you meet them at the bank, in your neighborhood, or at the local Wal-Mart (which is pretty much the focal point of most small towns in Ky, haha). It's after you leave that the real opinions come out. I will never be able to forget the hundreds of jokes and hurtful comments I've heard about Mexican, Japanese, Middle Eastern, African American, and homosexual people, and for that I will never be able to forgive the people in my hometown. Because I'm white, other white people assumed I was "in their circle" and as soon as the targeted person was out of ear shot, it was open season for insensitive racial or sexual jokes. I quickly let them know it was not.

Sure, someone of a different race is okay if they're on the ball team with your son or if they work alongside you in the coal mines, but if they were to date your daughter or go up for a leadership position, now THAT is another story. "They" have to remain within certain boundaries. The fact that a man has been friends for years, maybe even for a lifetime, with the family of the African American boy dating his daughter, or with the Hispanic man that's toiled beside him in the coal mines for 20 years, no longer means anything. All that matters is that they are DIFFERENT on that one level: race. All of the good qualities and wonderful memories of their friends are pushed aside to make room for racism.

I speak only for my area of Kentucky (Southeastern/Mountains), because I've never lived in another area of the state, but it's not the best environment for people of different sexual persuasions or ethnicities, especially if you have children. For the most part, people will be very friendly to you, but know that that will only last as long as you know your "place" and don't try to rock the boat. Not every last person in town will have feelings of racism toward you, but the vast majority will.

I'm not someone that tries to deny where I came from, and I'm definitely not someone that says all of this as I sit on my high horse thinking I'm "too good" for Eastern Kentucky. I say this as someone who loves where they came from, but can't bear to live in that kind of environment again.
 
Old 02-23-2007, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Central Kentucky
850 posts, read 2,857,720 times
Reputation: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by atcarr View Post
I know exactly what you are saying! I have always lived in the Southeastern part of Kentucky. I know that some people would disagree and say that London and surronding counties is a very diverse place to live but just because you have a melting pot of different races and ethnic backgrounds does not make this a race friendly environment. It's almost as if everyone lives in the town but do not necessarily mean that everyone is accepted. And yes, the backbiting and the talking behind someone's back is in this area.
atcarr - what you have just described can happen in every small town in America! It's calle dgossip and 'clicks' and I have grown up around it. It's not racism, in the situations which have spurred it - it is the simple fact that no matter where you go or what you do - there will always be somebody who will think they are better than you, will make you feel worthless (or try) and some people spend their rntire lives trying to 'keep up with the Jones's'.

It's all a matter of perspective. I have lived in this town for over 20 years and am still at times considered an outsider. Now related to half the town by marriage (my step-father, my ex-husbands step-daughter married in, etc.) things are better - but they were never eally bad to begin with.

I have found in rural Kentucky - it is not so much the racism as it is classism - i.e. someone always thinks they are better. But that is life. How you handle it is what counts.

Now, since I have not lived in the area you speak of - I cannot talk intelligently about the racism itself. If it is anything like my area - you are treated the way you want to be treated, generally speaking. So many new people are movinf into the area, the older generation is dying off (sadly) but my generation (40's) has worked hard to abolish the entire notion of judgement by race, color or creed.

We all just want to get along and have peace for our children.

Hopefully - that will soon be the case everywhere. Why continue thoughts and actions which have no place in this world, have cuased nothing but pain and heartache, and serve no viable purpose?

My only complaint - anyone lazy who complains about not being able to get a job - when they will not even get off the couch to apply. THAT topic will fire me up.

Just my 2 cents worth!
 
Old 03-02-2007, 01:36 PM
 
6 posts, read 19,579 times
Reputation: 11
on the racism topic.now i from delaware and as a blakc male..i see hidden racism in teh job market and around the people i tend to be aroudn and work( that with the colleges and the diversity) ..but to me afte rreading this post and the is there racism in ky..i tend to fall into the side of " you treat me with respect, i treat you with respect" but truthfully there is more racsim in the mid atlantic states (maryland,delaware and new jersey ) then down south..im sure that there little pockets still around and that going to be the norm until we root that out and accept each other as equals... so this hasnt change dmy view of coming down and to visit..and hopefully making my move there
 
Old 03-02-2007, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Central Kentucky
850 posts, read 2,857,720 times
Reputation: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by junior_kluivert View Post
on the racism topic.now i from delaware and as a blakc male..i see hidden racism in teh job market and around the people i tend to be aroudn and work( that with the colleges and the diversity) ..but to me afte rreading this post and the is there racism in ky..i tend to fall into the side of " you treat me with respect, i treat you with respect" but truthfully there is more racsim in the mid atlantic states (maryland,delaware and new jersey ) then down south..im sure that there little pockets still around and that going to be the norm until we root that out and accept each other as equals... so this hasnt change dmy view of coming down and to visit..and hopefully making my move there
I could not agree with you more! There are always going to be pockets of people who refuse to let go of stuff that should have ended long ago.

But I am with you - I treat people the way I want to be treated - regardless of race, color, creed, religion etc.

I have hope, and do BELIEVE - that it is the future generations coming up who will finally wipe out racism and classim altogether. But it's up to us to teach them - give them the tools to do it.

It is time. 2007 is pleanty enough time to get past the horrible history our country has on this subject and strat buildin gour furture for the good of all.

I am glad you are choosing to come down for a visit. I think you will find many people in Kentucky are changing, and respect and integrity go along way on both sides.

Thanks so much for writing. You just made my day.
Kimmiey
 
Old 03-04-2007, 12:58 AM
 
6,320 posts, read 13,257,822 times
Reputation: 2800
It also cannot be denied that there is plenty of racism in KY, especially in rural areas. KY is 92% white and that is only because Louisville, Lexington, and N KY have significant black populations as well as a small minority of hispanics, asians, and others. Most rural KY counties, especially those not close to the major metro areas, are over 97%-99% white. All this information may be obtained at www.census.gov.

I am of Middle Eastern decent and had some choice comments spoken to me in a couple rural KY towns which I will not name. This is anecdotal evidence but I have arab friends who have had the same thing happen. This goes for most of the south and even most of the Midwest even. Even the big cities of the Midwest like Chicago have horrible segregation and racism. The racial tension is so bad in Cincinnati that they had race riots there less than 5 years ago! But, if people were not racist, they would choose to live in more integrated areas. Why live 25 minutes away from your job when you can have live 5 minutes away in a house just as nice that costs half the price? Only social, cultural, and racial segregation can explain this phenomenon. I tend to agree that mostly today you see socio-economic segregation, but implied racism cannot be denied. Because, in urban areas anyways, most poor people are minorites. Anyone who tells themselves that race is not still an issue is kidding themselves. Until we see minorites living in approximately equal concentration to their population incidence in every neighborhood, I will always believe race is an issue. For example, Louisville is 30% black, yet you will be hard pressed to find a neighborhood that is 30% black and 70% white. Usually, its either 90% white or vice versa. That is not a coincidence, race IS an issue. However, there is at least one neighborhood in KY where different races and sexual orientations live in harmony, and that is Old Louisville. Old Louisville includes svereal zips (that also include other neighborhoods like California, Park Hill, and Smoketown) so its hard to get hard census data, but if you did a random sample of houses you would find blacks, whites, college students, gays in surprisingly equal concentrations. Highlands, Clifton, and Cresent Hill have their diversity as far as values but the fact remains they are over 90% white.
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