28 October, 2006

South Florida's Culture-based Segregation

Perhaps South Florida is a separate entity from the rest of the other states. Perhaps, in many ways, we as a community are so diverse, separated and segregated that we seem to be creating a cultural identity separated from other cities. In turn, we are subdividing each other into even smaller pocket groups based, mostly, on cultural differences and not as much on racial ones.

At first this may seem one of the most ironic statements anyone could make. But the more I sit and watch the cultural mind-set that prevails in my community of Miami-Dade County, the more convinced I am that we're unlike the rest of the other states.

Anomalous as it may seem, other states can be as segregated as we are and for many reasons, not just one. Mostly, though, the differences are often divided into either racial and economic barriers. In Miami, for example, the racial aspects are much more fluid due to the fact that with the immigration influx, there are just as many mixed Latinos of either/or race than there are of just one or other: white or black. I, speaking like the hyphenated Cuban-American that makes it easier for me to define myself as part of an identity, has seen white and black Cubans live and get along with not much distrust, were it not for the fact that we got that "Cuban" identity.

But that's as far as this goes for if any Cuban of any race were to be faced with, say, an Afro-American person, then there would be a different set of interpersonal and intercultural problems arising.

Think of it! Racial biases almost obliterated almost solely based on a common cultural identity, and not necessarily over the divisiveness of race.

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