Post # 1
This month marked the 1 year anniversary of Fiance and I’s big move to the “Great White North” as we like to call it. Over the past year I have had to come to terms with a changed life style and a shockingly different societal atmosphere. We are originally from Vancouver Island and are now living in a small Northern oil town.
Seeing the difference in racial, ethnic, religious, and social tolerance here has really opened my eyes. Growing up on Vancouver Island made me a pretty well rounded person, but maybe a little sheltered to the out-dated mentalities that many communities accross North America still have. There is a huge sense of community envolvement on Vancouver Island will an emphasis on environmental awareness and tolerance of a mixed community. It’s a region full of people who hate fur, love diversity, and hug trees. I grew up going to summer camps that planted trees; attending schools that praised the beauty of different race, religion, ethnicity; and volunteering with the countless societies aimed at making our community a better place for EVERYONE.
With that background you can imagine how mortified I was to discover that my new “home” is full of uneducated, ignorant, intolerant assholes. I would have expected it to be that way in a predominately white oil-driven community 20 years ago, but today?? It really hard to deal with people and their racist slurs. The racism is what gets me the most. Second to that is the disregard for the environment. It’s just so sad to know that there must be many more pockets of communities like this. Yes, I’m living up North, but I’m also still living in British Columbia, Canada. This is supposed to be one of the most environmentally friendly and tolerant regions in the world. It’s mind-boggeling to me that these attitudes still exisit, and then again there are so many things that tell me I shouldn’t be surprised….
Tell me what region you live in and what the tolerance is like there. Have you made any big moves and seen the difference once you had an outside perspective?
Post # 3
I have lived in a NYC suburb in coastal CT, a college town in Southern California, Manhattan, and a college town in Northern California. Basically places that range from far left to very far left.
Tolerance-wise, I think that people tend to be very into diversity and very tolerant, with a bit of lapsing into the “just not quite getting it” classism of people who abhor racism but don’t quite see where it’s an issue in our society. They want to eliminate poverty, but criticize poor urban parents for feeding their children junk without understanding the economics of feeding a family in an inner city environment.
I think there’s also a bit of intolerance for people without similar political views. I tend to be fairly left wing on most stuff, but there is this idea that anyone who has more conservative political views must be a total lunkhead who has been brainwashed by Rush Limbaugh.
Those things can be annoying sometimes, but definitely better than confederate flags and gay bashing, imo.
Post # 4
I live in the Northeast (NYC/Norther NJ) and it’s great here. People buy from farmers markets, eat organic and more healthful, embrace diversity, protect the environment (getting better, anyway), accept same sex relationships (hopefully we’ll get marriage equality laws soon), have steep laws against animal cruelty and the only fur you really see are on older women or wealthy/out of touch. It’s a good mix and of course it still has room for improvement but I am happy to be here.
We lived in a few other areas but they were all on the east coast and metro areas, where you get more of this type of community. I ALWAYS look into the ‘ideals’ of an area before I move because I would be super unhappy in a lot of places. My sister lives in SD and while it’s really pretty, some of the attitudes about anything different or humane are really pretty scary. It’s like going back in time to her…
Post # 5
I live in the midwest. It is not a very tolerant place. I am from southern california and have lived in Seattle so i see this area as very close minded and narrow–you get a lot of bible thumpers here. luckily my husband’s family is none of those things–but i definitely see it when i’m out and about.
Post # 6
I live in Indiana, and for the most part, tolerance only has to do with how much alcohol you can drink, sadly. Racism, sexism, homophobia…these are all fairly rampant. And heaven forbid someone else have different beliefs than you! The only oasis in the whole state is Bloomington. My family is also racist, though it seems to get worse the further back the generations go. There’s a bit of thought-correction one has to do when you grow up hearing this stuff all the time, even when you know it’s not true. I really can’t wait to get out of here after the wedding. We’re specifically applying for jobs in regions where they are more open and tolerant.
Post # 7
We live in an awesome suburb of Philly (40 min. away) that is pretty racially diverse and mostly tolerant of interracial dating/mariage. Considering he and I are an interracial couple, we won’t ever live or have children in an area that is not similar to where we reside now. In fact, house prices are cheaper as you get out in the more rural areas from here, but we won’t move there because of the higher potential for racism and I don’t want future children going to a school in that area. I love where we live now!
Post # 8
I consider it a huge privilege to have been born and raised in Vancouver, BC. There are few cities in the world that are more diverse and tolerant than Vancouver, and the general public tends to be quite educated and aware of the various social injustices and environmental issues that are affecting the world around us.
That said, sadly, we still see examples of racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and general ignorance far too often. I’m Chinese-Canadian, and there are a LOT of us here in Vancouver. You may have even heard the nickname “Hong-couver.” Anyways, you’d think folks who hate Chinese people would steer clear of Vancouver, but I’ve personally been confronted by some scary and unpleasant racists.
Post # 9
I live in Somerville, MA, which I love. gay marriage is legal and welcome (our STD pics were actually taken at my friend’s lesbian wedding in provincetown this summer), there is a ton of racial and ethnic diversity, etc. There’s lots of class diversity too – everyone from yuppies to people on food stamps congretate at the farmer’s market Saturday mornings. (I love that the FM takes food stamps!)
Post # 10
I grew up in a PA town of primarily German and Dutch descendants and faily same diversity-level county and almost everyone is conservative. We were the most conservative county in the nation for a little while (now we’re in the top 5 I think) and I didn’t see near the intolerance I see now in Central Texas. Up until the mid-80s all the high schools were still segregated black-hispanic-white until the state came in an forced them to change.
While back home everyone was some denomination of Christian, we were all very understanding of those outside the norm, here if you’re not Baptist or Catholic something is wrong with you.
It’s just strange to me. Not that we’re sticking around the area, I’ve had my fill of Texas. Once I have my degree, we’re gone.
Post # 11
I grew up in Northern California. I didn’t realize until i moved to Northern Idaho that people in Northern California are pretty rude. And the marijuana problem is BAD in Humboldt county but I never knew anything else. In the high school I attended there I was made fun of by the majority because I didn’t smoke pot. It was so different when I moved up here because there was a big “ooh and ahhh” when someone was discovered to be a pot smoker. But the people here are also quite a bit nicer as a general population. Racism is more of a problem here but it isn’t terrible, I have gotten a few racist comments thrown at me ( I am native american). But over all I like it here a lot more than Nor Cal =)
Post # 12
I’m in Austin, TX and I think people here are VERY tolerant. It’s a little hippie-liberal oasis in the middle of a lot of red. Outside of Austin, I find a lot of people are very intolerant to “different”.
Post # 13
I live in Boston, which is incredibly tolerant (well, they are rude socially to be honest, but they are very liberal and open to all types of people).
I grew up in Texas, which was the polar opposite. I found the people there to be extremely closeminded and alarmingly conservative. I wouldn’t move back no matter what the salary or low cost of living was. (on the other hand, they are very polite, which I always found funny!)
Post # 14
Born and raised in Vancouver, BC also. So like you other Vancouverites said, you’re pretty well rounded and tolerant of all cultures, ethnic groups, etc. I’m half Chinese, half Caucasian so I think that also gave me a bit more tolerance and sensitivity to racist remarks. I now live in Calgary, and have for the last 11 years and when I first moved here, I was asked almost daily “what are you?” What do you mean “what am I?!” I had never been asked that before. Obviously people were wondering what my ethnic background was but I was so taken aback!!! And my first (and only thank goodness) run in with racism was yup you guess it, in Calgary. By a man driving a company vehicle (oil and gas non the less.)
I think Calgary is getting better, but it does sting when people make racist remarks, whether it’s to Chinese, black people, East Indian, Pakistanis, etc. even when it’s not directed at me. I try my hardest to ignore those comments, but I have on occassion had to speak up.
Post # 15
i moved from the south to the mid-atlantic, so from VERY conservative and closeminded to VERY liberal and tolerant!
Post # 16
It depends on who you talk to. I grew up/live in PA, which is a rural and relatively undiversified state. Some people are incredibly kind, and some people are incredibly ignorant. The good ole boys can be both at the same time, haha. Most people around here are ambivalent though; they’re tolerant in the sense that they go about their own business and let people live, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their lives. Race isn’t an issue for most people, but gay marriage seems to be a kind of personal insult for others. So, it depends. The general trend seems to be towards greater open-mindedness.