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Old 08-18-2013, 01:56 PM
 
16 posts, read 43,872 times
Reputation: 85

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Just to begin, I have lived in a handful of cities and this website is always helpful when I'm thinking of or planning a move. So I'm a long time visitor, first time poster. Heck, all I have to say is just some unorganized babble.

I'm going to get to the point....just wondering what others may think of what I have to say.

1. I'm not Mormon...I don't claim any religion (even though I believe in God)
2. I'm not White...I am a blend and look like a blend of a few races (complexion & facial features), but I identify myself as Black.
3. I'm from a small city of 50k people in NC
4. I have lived all over NC, Atlanta GA, Houston TX, SLC UT

Ok, for those who do not know, Utah is the DESERT. I was hoping to escape some of the heat from back home, but it is HOT here. No humidity, so the heat doesn't feel 3 dimensional like back home, but the sun is HOT. It sits on your skin and tries its best to penetrate your cells to get to your bone marrow. Even though it cools down quickly, it's an intense heat. I wonder how the winter will be?

Utah is beautiful, but it's a different type of beautiful than I expected. I lived in the cool, green Appalachian Mountains for a few years. This place (salt lake valley) is not cool or green. It's the desert and some mountains. Oh yea, and that lake. I drove here and came via I-70. When we crossed the state line, I swear I thought I was on Mars. For a couple of hours. It looks like the land before time. I could imagine that if dinosaurs actually existed, their remains would be well preserved in this lifeless land. But God, made it and I appreciate it and am thankful for the chance to experience it.

When I finally reached Salt Lake after 3 days of driving, I found out that the city (and surrounding cities) is much bigger than I thought. I checked wikipedia and google street view, but was not prepared for this sprawl. And this was actually a good thing. So, Salt Lake has some girth to it.

There's a good proportion of the women here that I find attractive.

People are really, really actively engaged in all types of physical activity.

Most of the streets are on a numbered grid system in relation to the temple, which seems that it would be easy to navigate, but it took some getting used to. There are many, many stoplights. I live downtown and my school is about 6.5mi away. Takes me 25 minutes. I can ride my bicycle there in about the same amount of time.

Oh yeah...the bikes!! Everybody rides bikes here! It's so cool to see so many people on bikes and it makes drivers very cautious of their presence. Bike lanes are prevalent and well thought out. I've seen "Bike Valet" at events for crying out loud! Skateboards are very common as well.

The city is very clean (where I live) and everything around the temple seems new and crisp. Especially City Creek, and the Gateway. No litter or anything. Just appears to be a perfect little city. But like observing a wealthy, picture perfect American family from the inside, it is far from perfect...

Again, I am from NC...so I'm used to hospitality. Southern Hospitality. No hospitality here...just awkwardness. A city full of social awkwardness. Regardless of what others have to say about the people being so nice and this and that....they're not. Could be because of my stature (6'4", 210lbs). Might be something about my vibe or aura that I'm not aware of. Maybe because they have never seen my face in church. Could be because of something else. I might simply expect too much.

I have run into some super super nice people (2 senior women at Harmons downtown, cashier at Family Dollar, and salesman at the Ferrari Dealership) but generally speaking, people aren't that nice or outgoing to strangers and that's that. Don't let anyone on this site or elsewhere tell you any different. And remember, this is relative as I am from NC where people are super nice and outgoing. (I only realized that this year after moving back to NC from Houston)

Yes, I said this city is full of social awkwardness. In my opinion, it is. I sincerely think that some of these people around here are afraid of what's different. Personally, I embrace diversity...read the title. I think alot of the people here look down their noses at me. I have a feeling why, but I don't have any concrete evidence. Hell, I don't want any concrete evidence. Really, the only thing that I can conclude is that [allegedly] the book of mormon says that people with darker skin are the descendents of Cain of the Bible and are cursed by God or some shi*t like that. That was the reason for denying Blacks into priesthood (until the ban was lifted in the 70's allegedly because the church was going to lose its tax exempt status). So, racism is embedded into this fluke of a religion and that religion built this big beautiful city. Why would I expect anything different? And yes I know that Joseph Smith and some others were avid abolitionalists, but I'm speaking on what I experience daily.

But on the contrary, there is a concert series in the summertime here in the park. Rapper/quasi movie star Ludacris was here last week and over 40,000 people showed up. It broke the record. Sooo...white bred, picture perfect city hosts down south rapper singing about weed and hoes in every area code and gets biggest crowd ever? That's some weird sh*t especially when on my day to day basis, people seem like they want to avoid any contact with me at all costs. I guess its because I'm tall, huh?
I had this huge farm raised looking guy at the concert (out of the blue) come up to me and my visiting [Black] friend and shake our hands, but it was as though he was saying that he gave me permission to be there and we weren't going to have any problems. awkward.

Also, I was riding my bike and saw a rap concert downtown. Summer Jam I think. This was in close proximity of the temple. These rappers are rapping about weed and other deconstructive things with lyrics resonating throughout downtown, while really really young girls (14-15?) are dressed slutty to the max with camel toes showing...in a city that was built on religious beliefs. These polar opposites left me really confused and feeling awkward.

Another thing on the dichotomy. About this huge, pretty temple here that has a gold statue on the top. It's also within a few feet of Nordstrom's, Cheesecake factory, and an abundance of those glitzy stores and restaurants. All of it looks brand spanking new. It's called City Creek and it was funded by the investment property group of the LDS church to the tune of $1.5B-$5B. Why the hell does a church need a property group and why was it so expensive? How about building something a little less pretty and use the money left over to build a homeless shelter? If I were truly a follower of God's word, there is no way that I could look at all of those homeless people on the streets and in Pioneer Park and go to church (with a shiny gold statue on the top) across the street from Nordstroms and the Cheesecake Factory...that the friggin church built. Now, if that is not 2 polar opposites in ideology I don't know what is. Awkward.

It reminds me of riding down peachtree st in Atlanta on a Sunday where this cop stopped traffic to allow a couple to cross the street from their {Baptist} church to the parking lot to get in their brand new Bentley. If you have ever been to Atlanta, you know that there are plenty of homeless people on peachtree. How the hell can you get in your $250k car that you drove to church and ignore the homeless people that you drive by in your house on wheels? I'm passing judgement and I do not believe that is what Jesus would have done lol.

Apparently, there is a gang culture out here. Supposedly, lots of people in Northern CA with 2 strikes move out here to do dirt. There's an episode of Gangland about it. I can't tell, but I won't rub any Hispanics or Polynesians the wrong way, that's for sure.

People seem to be really health conscious as there are a vast array of good grocery stores. There are also some really good looking restaurants, but I'll never eat anywhere in this town where I cannot see someone prep my food...as a result of the vibe I feel that I listed above.

Ummm...I guess that's it for now...let me reiterate my points;

Large, hot, naturally beautiful city with a clean downtown and a significant proportion of women that I personally find attractive. Ride your bike, don't talk to strangers, stay out of the cult, don't worship money or sex, and eat well. You will be engulfed by a general sense of overall weirdness.

Lastly and MOST importantly, if you are not a sheep, not LDS, not white and you don't know anyone out here and you are socially sensitive....there are probably better, more receptive places in this country to reside. Much, much better places. Like ANYWHERE on the east coast. Again, this is my personal opinion. But for socially aware people who frequent this site for questions and answers on being a minority, non LDS, interracial couples, etc moving or living in SLC, here is my OPINION on living here for 4 weeks - Its fine, I haven't had any real problems, but you'll stand out. People will not go out of the way to make you feel comfortable. You may notice that pedestrians will put extra space between you and them on the sidewalk. One guy last night chose to walk on the grass when there was enough room for 5 people on the sidewalk, so I moved as close to him as possible. Probably scared the sh*t out of the racist. A girl did that to my visiting friend last week and he threw his hands in the air and went "boogey woogey woogey!" So funny! I have a low tolerance for racism and you should too.

People tend to want to remain "pure" so interracial couples are few and far between (relative to the east coast). I've seen less than 5 interracial couples and I'm talking where one has darker skin than the other, not Asian/white couples etc. My experience may be greatly varied from someone else's view and is liable to change...but i highly doubt it as I am very aware, sensitive, and observant.

Don't let a non black person chime in and say, "I have a black friend or am friends with an interracial couple and they don't have a problem at all and they love it here." That's bologna. They could love it, but somebody had to make some sacrifices...whether sacrificing ethnicity, awareness, care or whatever...it's just not as easy as I have been led to believe. For the most part, these have been weightless opinions....just the same as non Black men commenting on being pulled over by the police....your perspective isn't the same and there's a historical precedence.

So basically, if you're up for a challenge it will be fine, but if you are not LDS or white and have options, you may want to push SLC down the list. To the bottom.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:36 PM
 
Location: The other side of the mountain
2,277 posts, read 4,167,152 times
Reputation: 916
I would hope that non whites would not push SL to the bottom...I, as a non Mormon and white woman, WANT more diversity. Quite honestly, having moved from NJ almost 20 years ago...I miss my Black neighbors!
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:22 PM
Status: "A Shallow Pond" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Salt Lake City/Las Vegas
1,062 posts, read 893,150 times
Reputation: 1185
It's actually a relatively comprehensive and insightful review of Salt Lake City. The OP paints with a broad brush, but I think his post would be a worthwhile read for people of color contemplating moving here.

Kudos, doctorbombeii, and a warm welcome to the forum.

Bill

Last edited by UTES; 08-18-2013 at 07:34 PM..
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
3,711 posts, read 6,080,552 times
Reputation: 2419
Uhmmm ... , the Ferrari dealer would have nice to anyone regardless of what they looked like or how they behaved ...
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
15,298 posts, read 11,783,956 times
Reputation: 5576
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaytidid View Post
I would hope that non whites would not push SL to the bottom...I, as a non Mormon and white woman, WANT more diversity. Quite honestly, having moved from NJ almost 20 years ago...I miss my Black neighbors!
And I, as a white Mormon woman would also like more diversity. It is what it is, though. We can only start at where we are right now and try to move forward.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:08 PM
 
Location: USA
498 posts, read 843,550 times
Reputation: 395
Is any of this really not obvious? -- not littered all over the board already? There are heaps of threads about 'will I fit in' in regard to race, religion, and practically anything else that could make someone stick out. I don't know why on earth you thought it would be an easy transition.

You act like you've never been treated differently before. If so, I'm impressed. But considering that Salt Lake County is less than 2% black, I'm more impressed that you've already seen 5 interracial couples. You're obviously very sensitive and aware of your race and that of others. But what I don't understand is why you're surprised by this. I'm just gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you did a decent amount of research before moving here, so you'd have been well aware that you were going to be a minority here, and a very uncommon one at that. Did it not occur to you that there could be a natural naiveté among some locals in regard to racial consciousness? I'd be willing to bet that most people in Utah see far more black people on TV and in the media than they do in person on a regular basis. So, would it not be possible that many people's views are shaped more by stereotype (which, like it or not, popular media helps to perpetuate) and folklore?

You call people racist left and right, and that very well might be the case. But most people here don't consciously think about race much at all. So maybe, if they actually are treating you worse than they'd treat others, maybe it's because of genuine malice, but more likely it's because of ignorance, which is a result of racial tension not being very pertinent to most people here. If people see you and consciously distance themselves from you, you can basically assume the worst and choose to be bitter and resentful like you've done, OR you can forget it, acknowledging that people might be unaware, naive, misinformed, or even prejudiced (in which case they'd be even less worthy of your attention), and move on.

There's some painful irony to all of this, which is that you're probably just as naive toward the people here as they are to you, if not more. If people treat you poorly, you can return the favor. But two wrongs never make a right. So there's no point in making excuses for yourself or playing the victim card if you are going to make light of people's beliefs and not bother to educate yourself accurately about the history and culture of this place and its people. You've demonstrated that you are thoroughly misinformed about some things, i.e. LDS beliefs, history, and practices. If you continue on like this, you're obviously not going to be happy.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
15,298 posts, read 11,783,956 times
Reputation: 5576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamborgotti View Post
Is any of this really not obvious? -- not littered all over the board already? There are heaps of threads about 'will I fit in' in regard to race, religion, and practically anything else that could make someone stick out. I don't know why on earth you thought it would be an easy transition.

You act like you've never been treated differently before. If so, I'm impressed. But considering that Salt Lake County is less than 2% black, I'm more impressed that you've already seen 5 interracial couples. You're obviously very sensitive and aware of your race and that of others. But what I don't understand is why you're surprised by this. I'm just gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you did a decent amount of research before moving here, so you'd have been well aware that you were going to be a minority here, and a very uncommon one at that. Did it not occur to you that there could be a natural naiveté among some locals in regard to racial consciousness? I'd be willing to bet that most people in Utah see far more black people on TV and in the media than they do in person on a regular basis. So, would it not be possible that many people's views are shaped more by stereotype (which, like it or not, popular media helps to perpetuate) and folklore?

You call people racist left and right, and that very well might be the case. But most people here don't consciously think about race much at all. So maybe, if they actually are treating you worse than they'd treat others, maybe it's because of genuine malice, but more likely it's because of ignorance, which is a result of racial tension not being very pertinent to most people here. If people see you and consciously distance themselves from you, you can basically assume the worst and choose to be bitter and resentful like you've done, OR you can forget it, acknowledging that people might be unaware, naive, misinformed, or even prejudiced (in which case they'd be even less worthy of your attention), and move on.

There's some painful irony to all of this, which is that you're probably just as naive toward the people here as they are to you, if not more. If people treat you poorly, you can return the favor. But two wrongs never make a right. So there's no point in making excuses for yourself or playing the victim card if you are going to make light of people's beliefs and not bother to educate yourself accurately about the history and culture of this place and its people. You've demonstrated that you are thoroughly misinformed about some things, i.e. LDS beliefs, history, and practices. If you continue on like this, you're obviously not going to be happy.
In all honesty, Lamborgotti, this has got to be one of the most insightful posts I've ever read on city-data. Thank you.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
132 posts, read 124,713 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamborgotti View Post
Is any of this really not obvious? -- not littered all over the board already? There are heaps of threads about 'will I fit in' in regard to race, religion, and practically anything else that could make someone stick out. I don't know why on earth you thought it would be an easy transition.

You act like you've never been treated differently before. If so, I'm impressed. But considering that Salt Lake County is less than 2% black, I'm more impressed that you've already seen 5 interracial couples. You're obviously very sensitive and aware of your race and that of others. But what I don't understand is why you're surprised by this. I'm just gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you did a decent amount of research before moving here, so you'd have been well aware that you were going to be a minority here, and a very uncommon one at that. Did it not occur to you that there could be a natural naiveté among some locals in regard to racial consciousness? I'd be willing to bet that most people in Utah see far more black people on TV and in the media than they do in person on a regular basis. So, would it not be possible that many people's views are shaped more by stereotype (which, like it or not, popular media helps to perpetuate) and folklore?

You call people racist left and right, and that very well might be the case. But most people here don't consciously think about race much at all. So maybe, if they actually are treating you worse than they'd treat others, maybe it's because of genuine malice, but more likely it's because of ignorance, which is a result of racial tension not being very pertinent to most people here. If people see you and consciously distance themselves from you, you can basically assume the worst and choose to be bitter and resentful like you've done, OR you can forget it, acknowledging that people might be unaware, naive, misinformed, or even prejudiced (in which case they'd be even less worthy of your attention), and move on.

There's some painful irony to all of this, which is that you're probably just as naive toward the people here as they are to you, if not more. If people treat you poorly, you can return the favor. But two wrongs never make a right. So there's no point in making excuses for yourself or playing the victim card if you are going to make light of people's beliefs and not bother to educate yourself accurately about the history and culture of this place and its people. You've demonstrated that you are thoroughly misinformed about some things, i.e. LDS beliefs, history, and practices. If you continue on like this, you're obviously not going to be happy.
Very nicely put!
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:19 AM
 
16 posts, read 43,872 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTES View Post
It's actually a relatively comprehensive and insightful review of Salt Lake City. The OP paints with a broad brush, but I think his post would be a worthwhile read for people of color contemplating moving here.

Kudos, doctorbombeii, and a warm welcome to the forum.

Bill

Thank you very much, Bill!
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:22 AM
 
16 posts, read 43,872 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
In all honesty, Lamborgotti, this has got to be one of the most insightful posts I've ever read on city-data. Thank you.
Thanks, that means alot!
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