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You must be a charmer in real life...Your posts are tinged with negativity and a bit of down right nastiness...I too feel further discourese with you is not indicated...however i do wish you a Happy New Year and best of luck this new year...
I bought a peice of property out along the Yakima, built a house on it and lived in the area from 1980 until 1996, opened a business, and generally did well in the area. I did so to rasie my kids primarily as the area I am from on the west side was going urban and going of the hook. I am not completely white, and my religion is not Christian. I wass a Libertarian then and still am now it has became popular.
That said and done, I will say some of the impressions people have posted are arguably in part correct, regarding certain groups in the area, though certainly did not apply across the board to all the natives of the area.
There are as noted several Tri-Cities, and all of them do not act the same. There is a Mormon contingent, and they are not always the nicest people to those who deviate from the WASP mold they see as the natural order, though many were exceptions to this rule.
There was a stong funde Christian political Taliban type group who could be extremely offensive and make real pests out of themselves, and they even operate a church K-12 school there in furtherance of this. These people would rip bumperstickers they did not like off your car, call you up and tell you they were praying for you or threaten you at 2 am, track down gay and lesbian people (or anyone else they did not like) and complain to their employers and gernerally act like morons. They were especially offened by a Planned Parenthood place opening up in ''their' town, and wanted 'Intelligent design' taught in 'their' schools.
There were the Hanford employees and they were pretty cosmopolitan and got along with most anyone who wanted to get along with them.
As noted there were the retirees, who were laid back and generallly kept to themselves.
There were a lot of Hispanic Americans, and they had their own culture, which though a bit closed to imediate outsiders, could be quite freindly and warm once you got to know them, though they were conservative in general.
There was the 'old guard' who seemed to look down on everyone else.
Then there were the normal republicans who got along well with everyone who wanted to get along with them, and the normal democrats (fewer in nu mber) who could be said to be the same.
There was a fringe of white trash, dopers and assorted other losers of this stripe whp spent much of their time either destroying themselves or staying in jail. If one of them was obnoxious it was a function of their social failings in general.
There was an Asian community of Laotions and Vietnamese refugees, who were learning to be both North American and United States citizens, and some of their children did very well at it, they certainly might be among the jewels of the community by now if they stayed. A service organization I belonged to was one helping them make the transition, and some things they did were considered quite wrong by normal US mores and norms until they were shown how things were done in the United States.
This caused some substantial friction at first. We also had to educate the locals that these people came here from a radically different enviroment, and learing to live as a rice farmer or jungle slash and burn farmer in SE Asia in the midst of a communist insurgency would be a severe challange for most white Tri-Cities residents, so they shouild bear with the people they (the Tri-Cities) sponsored as they met these challanges.
I suspect this may be the source of some of the resentment concerning Asians, though it is no excuse. And in a decade, they were getting acclimitated, their kids were doing well and were as much a United States citizen in the budding as anyone else there.
There was a small but long term Black Community in Pasco.
There were large numbers of migrant Mexicans, many who were not legal.
There were a certain number of country folk who had farms or ranches, who had their own way of doing things, thought they were more intolerant of cultural differences (and they thought as much about 'city slickers' as they did about cult members) then they were of any race or religon.
In summary you had a bunch of differing people, some small few of whom could be obnoxious if you did not fit their worldveiw.
In short about like other similarly sized regional hub cities around the United States.
Guess I've never seen much of the "stares" here. Ok, I'm white, but my ex-wife of 10 years was Mexican-American, making my kids half. Never saw that in the decade we were married. She's had very little experience with racism- what she did have was from one person over and over in the workplace. But you'll get that anywhere, and no matter what ethnicity. There are bigots anywhere. But, I've not seen it here, and I grew up here.
Not a lot of hispanics or asians in Richland in the 70's and 80's I can tell you. The few I remember in school were involved in all the clubs and sports, etc. and didn't seem to be anything other than just like the rest of us. Except cooler because they spoke another language. When the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotions came in, they integrated into the schools too. Vinh Tran taught my friend and I to say "I'm cool and you're stupid" in 6th grade- the coolest thing ever for a 6th grade boy... And friends and I hung out at the new shoe repair store in the Uptown in Richland in 7th grade and learned how to run the shoe polish machines from the owner, who'd been sponsored by CUP. We had fun and he had free labor- good for him and us!
When Carmelita Gomez got cancer in 7th grade everyone was devestated, and when she came back to school with no hair and wearing scarves she was the most popular kid on campus. The Chin boys, who's dad ran (and to this day still runs) Ray's Golden Lion, were both active in all kinds of things in school and no one thought of them as any different than the rest of us.
My kids have friends that are from the Baltics and former Russian countries, mexicans, blacks and asians. My kids are middle-class (I guess), mixed-race, multi-lingual, and from a divorced, "broken-home" (boo hoo). One is exceptional academically, and one scrapes by and their friends mix with each other at our house.
They went to one of the local Christian private schools (a financial struggle, but you do what you do) from K-5 through 6th grade. I didn't agree with some of what they put forth (Harry Potter is the DEVIL!) but they didn't get hassled for reading it, or talking about it on the playground (their friends had read it of course- under the covers or at the library) and no one cared that they were mixed-race. It never even came up. The only reason they didn't continue through the rest of school was they both wanted more intramural and other activities.
They've been reading this post along with me. Just some background. We moved to Orange County, CA in 2003 and stayed through 2006. My daughter was 13 and my son was 10 when we got there. After 3 years of "Diversity" in all ways (culturally, racially, economically) they couldn't stand it, and told me they were leaving for the Tri Cities and I could come if I wanted to. My daughter hated the fact that "my friends turned 16 and their parents bought them breasts for their birthday. They'd drive a 700-series BMW to school, wearing Prada shoes and carrying Gucci bags. Their values were warped" (her words here). We've been other places, folks. And I've dated across ethnic lines clean back to high school and in the years since my divorce and NEVER felt like we were being stared at. Ok, that may not be true. I'm pretty aware when another guy is checking out how good looking my date is! Especially when the guy's wife/girlfriend gives him grief for looking...
All three of us agree. We have no idea where any of the above-mentioned things occurred. It's hard to believe these incidents happened in the Tri Cities. When they have, it is an EXTREMELY isolated experience overall.
I meet a TON of new people each month in my work out in the public. I deal with long-term residents, new arrivals, and people who are thinking about relocating here. I've dealt with all races, religions, political and social ideals. I socialize with iron workers, engineers, attorneys and bartenders. I've lived in Seattle/Bellevue, Pullman, Newport Beach and Irvine, and the Tri Cities. I've never lived anywhere with people as friendly, open-minded, willing to pitch in and help, and just plain fun to be around as what I've always found here in the Tri Cities.
If you want to believe the worst about the area, be my guest. I respect your opinion. But don't kill my buzz, because 2 generations, 2 races and 2 sexes here just can't see what you're seeing.
Bye from me and hasta from the kids!
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