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Old 12-20-2007, 09:09 PM
 
86 posts, read 381,149 times
Reputation: 24

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Currently we are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We have had several changes to our employment situation for 2008. We are currently a military family seeking a change to civilian federal careers. I am looking into getting a position as a counselor and my husband as an administrator ( he is Captain in the military).

Spokane is an option at this time. The other obvious option for us is the Tacoma area ( McChord and Ft Lewis employment) because we own a house in North Tacoma / west end.

Our only worries are based on how will we fit in that area.... We are a mixed family ( husband is white and I am a Spaniard/Puerto Rican raised in Puerto Rico) and we have a daughter. My concerns are legit as I have experienced quite a bit of discrimination here where we live.

I have faced blatant discrimination where I live right now. some comments I hear directed at us are just outrageous. The most direct and nasty one occured in October while we ate at a restaurant and I was overheard speaking Spanish to my child ( I'll leave it to your imagination..).
I have to say I did not face blatant discrimination in the Puget Sound...

How will Spokane fit my family?
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:08 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,568,796 times
Reputation: 3535
You'll be fine in Spokane. There are lot's of Hispanics in Spokane and even here where I live in western Montana I really couldn't see anyone being rude like that. After all, Montana's state motto is in Spanish ! Spokane area, the Idaho panhandle, and western Montana are very similar in many ways and the people are nice.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:41 PM
 
231 posts, read 1,016,665 times
Reputation: 136
As someone in a 'mixed marriage' I've never experienced any problems in Spokane or had anyone make comments about the fact. Based on my experience, I think you'll be fine in Spokane. Good luck with your move.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:33 AM
 
4 posts, read 23,322 times
Reputation: 12
Default Simplistic responses to complex issues

In general I would say that anytime you get two sentence responses to complex, serious problems, you need to keep asking.

Spokane has a long history of racism. Of course, the land, river and name belong to an Indian nation that has suffered the evils of U.S. genocidal policies against native peoples. There is a serious lack of awareness of the realities of the several area tribes and the 60 some odd "urban Indian" groups represented here. And fourth graders still come home from Spokane Schools saying excitedly, "Mommy, daddy, we are Spokanites, that means we are "children of the sun". To which I told my son, "Yes, son, we are all children of the sun in a way but that is the name of a people and land we killed, pillaged, and plundered and should learn more about."

Sure there is a Latino community in Spokane. However, anyone whose response is as simplistic as "I live there, there are Hispanics, my spouse is Hispanic, and you'll be fine" probably either: 1) doesn't speak the language and/or live in the "community", 2) is generally priviledged by virtue of education, position or color, and/or 3) doesn't openly identify as Latino.

There are many experiences people can relate to you about Spokane and racism. Many of these are Latinos. There is certainly racism in Spokane -- blatant and subtle.

Until recently and for 3 years I had the only Spanish-language radio program, Los Caminos de la Vida. There is now another program in its place hosted by two women. There is a mass in Spanish and few protestant congregations. There is no barrio and most Hispanic community members hearing that there are 15,000 Latinos here say, "No hombre, si es asi, por donde andamos. No he visto ni casi uno".

This area may want more diversity but usually talks about it in terms of attracting new high tech companies whose young workers want the energy and cultural variety brought by more ethnic diversity. But in reality, it is not evident that diversity means equal opportunity, equal access, and equal visibility.

The legacy of the Aryan Nations, the Phinneas Brotherhood and other racist organizations in this area lies just below the surface. Two of 16 domestic terrorist incidents in the U.S. between 1990 and 1996 occurred in Spokane, according to the FBI, carried out by white supremecist organizations.

I welcome you to my home town should you come. I just hope you do not come as one of the naive ones who says "I live there, there are Hispanics, my spouse is Hispanic, and you'll be fine". As I say that is not the reality of many here.

Video Journal: Immigrant Rights March (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/video/archive.asp?postID=125 - broken link) Journal: Immigrant Rights March
Spokane Racism Racism
Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present Police Abuses: Past to Present

Feel free to contact me for more thoughts or perspectives on this matter.

Last edited by ElkHunter; 02-07-2008 at 10:28 AM.. Reason: Fixed URL's
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Washington
479 posts, read 1,998,043 times
Reputation: 252
FYI: I don't think you should have any problems in Ft.Lewis area.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:18 PM
 
231 posts, read 1,016,665 times
Reputation: 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by arroyoribera View Post

I welcome you to my home town should you come. I just hope you do not come as one of the naive ones who says "I live there, there are Hispanics, my spouse is Hispanic, and you'll be fine". As I say that is not the reality of many here.
I certainly appreciate the robustness of your response. Tackling the issues of history and race in any area of the country stretching back into pre-white settlement (and all the atrocities associated therewith), while certainly having a continuing impact on race and community in the present day, was obviously beyond the scope of my response and, I could be wrong, seemed to be beyond the scope of the question posed in this thread.

Further, I didn't say there was no racism in Spokane. I'm not aware of a place about which such a statement could be made. I had enough confidence in the person asking the question's intelligence to understand my response was not so sweeping nor so callow.

What I said in my post was a statement of fact. My spouse is Hispanic and I'm not. We are therefore a 'mixed-couple.' We have never experienced any issues as a result of being a 'mixed-couple' in the Spokane area.

It was based on those facts that I made my post. Sure, the experience of the poster may turn out differently (and I never said my experience spoke for that of everyone similarly situated in Spokane) but nothing in my experience has led me to beleive otherwise. Thus, based on my experience, the poster will be fine.

I can see that you're heart is in the right place on this issue. At the same time, you make numerous assumptions about me and my experiences while simultaneously attempting to label such experiences as naive or otherwise invalid, which aside from being incorrect, is both unfair and uncalled for. Likewise, you attribute views and attitudes to me that are far beyond the scope of my post, which, again, seems uncessary for you to add your thougths and opinions on this topic.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:59 PM
 
4 posts, read 23,322 times
Reputation: 12
Default To Kena regarding my response to BellaBella2

Thanks, Kena. To clarify something right from the start, I was not responding to your post. I was responding to BellaBella2 and made reference to your post in the course of doing so.

I really was only taking your response, Kena, as generally representative of a category of comments I have heard often from people, people who for whatever reason take their personal experience of little or no racism in Spokane and extrapolate it to make a terse, reassuring statements to inquiries such as that made by BellaBella2.

In responding to BellaBella2, not you, I assumed -- perhaps incorrecty -- that someone like BellaBella2 who has suffered the indignity of someone directing nasty comments at her and child because she and the child were using the beautiful Spanish language would in fact be interested in a response well beyond the scope of your response. My assumption is that BellaBella2 is looking for a place that is safe--physically, emotionally, culturally, and linguistically--to raise her child. It is a part of an important life decision for her. My response was intended in the same serious light.

Spokane is the town of my birth, one I have come and gone from over 50 years. It is a racist town which largely lives in denial of that reality. Thus, when I come across honest requests for information about that reality, I tend to provide my perspective.

Thanks for providing your feedback, Kena. Glad you have not experienced what friends and family of mine have in Spokane and what the historical record says about Spokane and racism.

Again, I would direct you to my two blogs, Mod cut-no blogs allowed]

Thanks, Kena.

Last edited by Waterlily; 02-07-2008 at 10:11 PM.. Reason: No links to blogs
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:18 PM
 
4 posts, read 23,322 times
Reputation: 12
By the way, by searching in Google or any other search engine using the terms "Spokane Police Abuses" and "Spokane Racism" you will find my two wordpress blogs, since per the edit by Waterlily, apparently it is not permitted to list blogs here. I mention these two blogs because the information in them is directly pertinent to the issue of racism in Spokane. Thanks much.
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:11 PM
 
231 posts, read 1,016,665 times
Reputation: 136
No worries arroyoribera, I understood where you were coming from in your post and that you were responding to the original question starting the thread. I'm glad you shared your views on the topic. I just wanted to reply because your post seemed to cross over from making the fair argument that my exprience isn't representative of your experience into attempting to undermine the legitimacy of my experience by couching my response as simplistic and naive. I won't argue your experience isn't valid (by, for example, couching your post as hyperbolic) because I'm sure it is; I just felt you could have made your point without attempting to invalidate how I related my experiences. Cheers.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:57 AM
 
18 posts, read 37,064 times
Reputation: 21
Default Discrimination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellabella2 View Post
Currently we are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We have had several changes to our employment situation for 2008. We are currently a military family seeking a change to civilian federal careers. I am looking into getting a position as a counselor and my husband as an administrator ( he is Captain in the military).

Spokane is an option at this time. The other obvious option for us is the Tacoma area ( McChord and Ft Lewis employment) because we own a house in North Tacoma / west end.

Our only worries are based on how will we fit in that area.... We are a mixed family ( husband is white and I am a Spaniard/Puerto Rican raised in Puerto Rico) and we have a daughter. My concerns are legit as I have experienced quite a bit of discrimination here where we live.

I have faced blatant discrimination where I live right now. some comments I hear directed at us are just outrageous. The most direct and nasty one occured in October while we ate at a restaurant and I was overheard speaking Spanish to my child ( I'll leave it to your imagination..).
I have to say I did not face blatant discrimination in the Puget Sound...

How will Spokane fit my family?
I know what you mean about discrimination. I am white and live in Los Angeles and face discrimination all the time. I can't even get a cleaning job.
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