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Old 02-28-2009, 04:06 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,632 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,
We are a family of 3 looking to move to the midwest from Oregon. We love it here but we are desirous of raising our son in the country where farms are plentiful and natural beauty abounds. We want him to know where his food really comes from and the joy of hard work. That having been said our concern is whether or not we will be accepted and welcomed. My husband is caucasian and I am african-amer. I have experienced racial prejudice in the past and present and I realize that sometimes it is unavoidable. However, we do not wish to move to an area where it is the norm rather than the exception. Any thoughts and ideas on this would be appreciated. Also are there any places in the midwest where this would be less of a problem?
Thank you
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:15 PM
 
9,998 posts, read 10,570,842 times
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Everybody from Kansas will tell you to move to Lawrence, Hays is Beef country . The history of that area should make it one the MOST tolerant places in Kansas but I don't think it is. When Black people settled in Kansas as refugees in 1878? the Ukranians out there were the only ones who would take them in. they were refugees themselves and thats why Nicodemus Kansas was settled near there, It is and old historic black town that is on the National register if you haven't heard about it. Also the farms in western Kansas are so large that the whole area looks like one continous farm
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:24 PM
 
Location: IN
21,251 posts, read 36,937,511 times
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I would suggest Manhattan, KS instead because it is much more diverse than Hays.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:38 PM
 
1,662 posts, read 4,064,538 times
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I grew up in Hays and still return there frequently. If I were you (based on what you say you are looking for) Hays would be near the bottom of my list of places to move to in KS.

If KS is where you are looking, Lawrence or Manhattan would rank up there.

A few reasons: One, if you are looking for natural beauty, Western KS, by most standards, is not nearly as pretty as the rolling hills of Eastern KS. In and around Lawrence or Manhattan you can get directly involved in community or coop garden projects if you choose to. COL is still quite reasonable and you will be as close to nature as you choose to be and yet still close enough to enjoy the amenities of the larger towns and cities like KC when you desire.

In general, these more diverse areas also means you will experience less racism. In the smaller, more isolated communities of KS typically you will see more. Not necessarily blatant and in-your-face bigotry, but the atmosphere is more "closed" in general and you may often be made to feel unwelcome. (Sad, but true)

Best of luck to you - and Welcome!!
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,584,143 times
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Plus, you said the word 'vegan.' Pardon my bluntness, but not only is Kansas generally not vegan-friendly, most Kansans consider veganism anywhere from kind of silly to the dumbest damn thing they ever heard of. That's just the way it is.

Your exceptions are to be found in the college towns and major cities, particularly Lawrence and KCK. If I wanted to get a really odd askance reaction in Hays, the only better method I can think of than declaring veganism would be to start a Church of Satan. People will probably find that a lot stranger than you being black, because even in rural Kansas--and let us not forget it was Brown v. Topeka Board of Education--anyone who isn't a moron understands that you have more choice over your diet than you do your melanin.

I don't know about KCK, but if you try Wichita, while you will find a black population I think you'll find that it's surprisingly segregated. I don't think Kansas is necessarily more racially backward than most other parts of the country, but a lot of Kansas is rural and rural and racially backward do sort of tend to correlate most places.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:22 AM
 
Location: Kansas
23 posts, read 68,068 times
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I am responding to the vegan thing. I am also a vegan and very open about it. I believe that people need to be aware of veganism and the reasons for it; both health and compasion for animals. I would NOT live in western KS because a vegan would be miserable out there. You would be surrounded by the inhumane meat processing industry. The smell is horrendous. There is a stench that hangs in the air at all times, and it is more noticiable when the wind is in a certain direction (and there is plenty of wind). I am an RN and could make a FORTUNE out there in Dodge City, but I could not stand to live near the meat industry. I would imagine that you could even hear the cries of the poor animals in certain locations at certain times.

I agree with the comments on Lawrence. I have family in California and I would like to move out to the west coast specifically for the liberal progressive attitudes. I think you would HATE Kansas. I would love to live in Oregon. I strongly urge you to reconsider this move. You are entering a state that is conservative, and in my opinion very unprogressive, with a lot of uneducated small minded people. Not everyone is like that, but it is one of the things I like least about living here.

As far as reactions to veganism being similar to the Church of Satan thing, I would agree. That is how narrow minded many people here are. I still talk about it though, because I feel like it is the right thing to do. I do know of other vegans in Kansas. It isn't that it is unheard of, but people feel very threatened by it. This is farm and beef country, unfortunately.

On the racisim, I think that coming from the west coast you will feel a lot more of that than what you are accustomed to. It is not going to be to your face; it will be behind your back, which I would personally find more intolerable. At least if it is to your face you can confront it. People will be nice to your face. Just this last week I got into a heated political discussion with a friend who does not like the new President. He used the N word. I was shocked, but it isn't the first time I have heard that word in Kansas. I am white by the way. Good luck to you, and please think over your decision carefully.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:40 AM
 
1,662 posts, read 4,064,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catwoman66 View Post
You would be surrounded by the inhumane meat processing industry. The smell is horrendous. There is a stench that hangs in the air at all times, and it is more noticiable when the wind is in a certain direction
To be fair, this is not true of Hays.

May be truer of Dodge or Garden City, but there is relatively little processing of meat in Hays. Nothing on the commercial scale.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Midwest
164 posts, read 542,517 times
Reputation: 64
I would stay away from Hays if I were you...even if you weren't interracial.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:24 AM
 
Location: 95468
1,383 posts, read 2,151,573 times
Reputation: 938
As a certified member of an interacial marrage I object to these posts of manufactured content that cast stink and suspission upon large areas of our great nation. Speaking for the Midwest I disagree with your false, foul and libelous post.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: IN
21,251 posts, read 36,937,511 times
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I lived in Hays for several years. It is a solid small city with involved citizens. The University is well regarded in that region. The Downtown area is also coming back to life with more shops and restaruants. Being that it is a University town it probably has a few more vegetarians per capita compared with all the surrounding rural counties. However, it is cattle country so they are few and far between. Hays was primarily settled as a Volga German community at around 1876. The last stop on what is now the Union Pacific railroad ended in Hays. They also brought varieties of wheat with them that were well adapted to the steppe climate in western Kansas. It wasn't exactly the same climate zone they came from due to the fact that Kansas is much further south in latitude.
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