My cousin Kevin writes for the Baltimore Sun. I have always admired him and his writing abilities, (since long before he was published in The Best American Sports Writing) and I love reading his posts. He had one the other day that I particularly enjoyed, which isn’t surprising considering it was about sports, Montana, and Barack Obama.
Anyway, in my lazy NaBloPoMo state, I have decided that my post for today will be a copy of the comment that I just submitted to Kevin’s blog. I spent a while writing and editing it (not that I’m neurotic or anything…) and don’t have much left in me.
So here it is! It won’t make much sense unless you read his post first. Thanks, Kev, for being such a great writer and blogger.
Glad you’re back, Kevin. I really enjoyed this post. And because you said so many interesting things, I’m going to comment on a few…
I thought that Post article was interesting, and I was heartened to hear that so many small town folks were examining their prejudices during this campaign and also encouraging their community’s young people to travel and experience more diversity.
However, I’m always sensitive to the use of the term “diversity” to mean “black people.” When I lived in Montana, I used to think there wasn’t any diversity, in the true sense of the word. However, now, having seen other places, I realize that, as my mom says, “our diversity just looks different.” In a lot of ways, I think the fact that I grew up exposed to so few black people made me think that that was the only kind of diversity. When, in fact, I was surrounded by minorities with which many other people from larger cities may not be as familiar. Hmong and Russian immigrants, Native Americans, as well as members of the GLBT community colored my world in very important ways and helped me become the person I am. In some ways, moving away from Montana has made me realize this because the city I currently call home doesn’t include them all.
I would never argue with someone who said Montana was severely lacking African-Americans. However, I don’t believe it isn’t a diverse state.
That being said, I’m sure that some of the small towns in the Post article don’t include much diversity, be it racial, socioeconomic, or any other kind. Hopefully Barack Obama will be a positive influence in their lives in more ways than one. It sounds like he already has.
I loved your view on sports as a unifying force. Fivethirtyeight.com was a fixture in my daily surfing, and I always think about the power of sports when used in analogies. When I saw Michelle Obama’s brother speak, it was interesting to see the way the crowd reacted to his sports analogies… I had the same thought you did – this is something almost everyone can understand and relate to. Granted, the crowd wasn’t very politically diverse, but still an interesting concept.
Thanks for the great post. And welcome back!