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Old 10-21-2007, 05:59 PM
 
Location: In California
3 posts, read 5,162 times
Reputation: 10

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I am African-American and I plan on moving to Northumberland, PA for work within a year or so. Just by reading the statistics and talking to a few friends, I notice that Northumberland and the surrounding cities are mostly White (non-hispanics) people that reside in Northumberland and the surrounding cities. My question: How does the community react toward African-Americans as for as living in the community? Is Northumberland a good community for me to reside in?
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,776 posts, read 72,956,630 times
Reputation: 17708
I personally don't think you'd be treated any differently on account of your race at all. NEPA is the type of an area where a lot of people are very opinionated, yet they will kill you with kindness to your face before slandering you behind your back to the neighbors. I say this from personal experience with some in my own community. My one friend's father is a well-respected physician in the community, and since his daughter and I are inseparable, I'm at his home very often. The racial jokes and comments he makes behind close doors are rather unnerving, but I'm sure he's nothing but cordial to his patients of minority status. The same can be said for myself as an openly-gay male. 99.9% of the people around here publicly treat me as an equal because they want to look compassionate and open-minded to their friends, but I know deep down inside that the vast majority of them would rather shove me and "my kind" into an airplane and give us a one-way ticket to San Francisco.

You most certainly shouldn't be treated any differently for being a minority to your face, but bear in mind that people become much more candid when they are behind closed doors and assume nobody of importance is listening to them "vent." Trust me, I've overheard some rather hurtful things said by people whom I thought were friends. Then again, I didn't really hold it against them. It's just human nature to talk behind someone's back from time to time.

A good strategy I often tell people to employ to diffuse racism is to wait for someone to make an off-base joke or reference at a party, bar, or social gathering, and then wait until everyone else is done laughing at the punch line to say "My deceased wife was African-American", "My uncle who served valiantly in the Vietnam War was Jewish", or my personal favorite that I have used in the past "My boyfriend happens to be gay." Nine times out of ten this elicits dead silence, and the one who said the rude remark or joke is often embarrassed to the point where they can reflect upon what they said and learn to refrain from being so narrow-minded in the future since they truly do not know everything about the audience they are addressing.

I personally have several African-American friends, and the good news I have for you is that my generation, Generation Y, is probably the most open-minded age group this area has ever seen. The bad news is that my generation is a very small minority in itself in this area due to the "Brain Drain," which is the mass exodus of our youth out of the area after high school. I doubt anyone will be unaccepting of you when you're around them, but I would almost GUARANTEE that you'd become the "talk of the town" at PTA meetings and barbecues. I can already picture some of these "nice to your face" pious people waiting until you're gone before they say "Guess who just moved in. There goes the neighborhood." Trust me, I experienced this myself when a lesbian couple from Philadelphia was pondering purchasing a home in my subdivision. As soon as word got out that there was a same-sex couple looking to move to the suburbs, the whispers and murmurs began. I'm sure the same would have occurred had a Buddhist, African-American, Hispanic, Muslim, etc. family had likewise been pondering moving to my community. People would have shown up with gift baskets to welcome them to the neighborhood just to "save face" before back-stabbing them with cruel remarks behind their backs.
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Old 10-21-2007, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Lakeville, Pa
92 posts, read 282,019 times
Reputation: 48
Moderator cut: rude

Goodman, it's not so much your race as your affiliations that will affect your assimilation. If you're just a guy who goes about his business and takes care of his family, you're in. Join the fire department, have a yard sale. If you hang out downtown outside of your jet black six-door Hummer, copiloted by a eerily alert Pit Bull, with your hat on sideways and wearing all the same colors while loud, thumping bass lines rock the local windows and shelves, the local people will talk...but not about you. They'll talk about your race in general...and in your heart, you understand that response. People fear what they don't understand...and they want to destroy what they fear. I'd say the best rule of thumb would be, "When in Rome...". You won't find any Oakland/LA suburbs around here, and hopefully...that's what you're looking for. What you'll find here is a still-rustic, snow intensive, pot-luck dinner sharing bunch of communities that will welcome anyone that makes them feel welcome by not standing out.
Capisce?

Last edited by jco; 10-22-2007 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Selinsgrove, PA
1,518 posts, read 6,385,875 times
Reputation: 562
Do you have kids? If so, they'd go to the Shikellamy School District (the high school's in Sunbury) and that's pretty diverse. In most of this area African-Americans are scarce. The dinner table conversation sometimes goes: "Hey, I saw a black guy downtown today." That's usually the end of it. Having colleges in Lewisburg and Selinsgrove, there are "persons of color" around so no one will be shocked. I think no matter where you go you'll run into someone with a chip on their shoulder for some reason, but for the most part, if you follow tcwest's advice, you'll be fine.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:53 AM
 
Location: San Diego native.
470 posts, read 1,634,686 times
Reputation: 118
Please, he said straight up that he's moving to Northumberland FOR WORK.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Ashley
201 posts, read 513,102 times
Reputation: 143
I am not sure about Northumberland but as far as the people I see, most are not predjudice unless you are (like we see many of from NY) a non working, drug dealer who is just here to cause problems. Unfortunately, many group African American people in this category because of an experience with one or two or because there are so many troubled ones that flock to this area. I am sure you will have some looks but once they get to know you, you will be fine.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Hooterville, NV
216 posts, read 789,772 times
Reputation: 61
Default leave the pit bulls out of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwest View Post
If you hang out downtown outside of your jet black six-door Hummer, copiloted by a eerily alert Pit Bull, with your hat on sideways and wearing all the same colors while loud, thumping bass lines rock the local windows and shelves, the local people will talk...but not about you.
Why does a pit bull have to get thrown into that scenario?

Pit bulls and "thugs" just go together, I guess?

That entire paragraph reeks of bias, both towards a race of people and a breed of dog.

If I was the OP, I think I'd run the other way.

I hope that's not the general attitude towards pit bull dogs, because if it is I'll be nixing my move to NEPA.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Scranton
2,940 posts, read 3,517,145 times
Reputation: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Five View Post

I hope that's not the general attitude towards pit bull dogs, because if it is I'll be nixing my move to NEPA.

I'd be in an uproar if a neighbor of mine owned a pit bull, just to let you know. Please...let all pit bull owners know who are considering a move here to NOT do it. I'm happy having neighbors with labradors and golden retrievers.

And there are reasons that drug-dealing thugs own pit bulls and not labradors, goldens, Boston terriers, etc. Because they have a tendency to be vicious, thats why. I don't recall hearing too many stories around here about kids getting mauled by a labrador or a collie, but the stories about pit bulls attacking kids, adults, other animals, etc are too numerous to count.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:54 AM
 
Location: San Diego native.
470 posts, read 1,634,686 times
Reputation: 118
I'm afraid of pit bulls by reputation ...

I was definitely objecting to the bias of the respondent.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Hooterville, NV
216 posts, read 789,772 times
Reputation: 61
Glad to hear from both you, and glad to know before I go any further in my search for a home.

Just as an FYI - try educating yourself on a subject. "Pit Bulls" are no more "vicious" than any other breed. All dogs need to be raised correctly, with proper training and socialization. Gee, kind of like kids.

And the reason why you don't hear about other breeds biting is for a number of reasons, among them incorrect breed identification and heck, it just ain't good news. You can easily look up statistics and other FACTUAL information on the internet.

conorsdad - you may be interested in knowing that between any of the breeds mentioned - labradors, golden retrievers and pit bulls the one most likely to bite is the lab, seconded by the retriever. Not that I let a few incidents color my perception of an entire breed or breeds of dog.

I specifically asked about breed specific ordinances at the beginning of my seach. And found there aren't any. Tough noogies, huh?
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