Monday, June 9, 2008

Diversity in the Bay Area

By Juven, Claudia, Jasmin and Daniela

The Bay Area is known for its diversity. Some people say that it is the most diverse city in the whole United States! Now, we visited different locations in the Bay Area to figure out if that opinion was completely true. Here is what we figured out. When we visited Castro for the first time, we automatically knew when we stepped into that community. The rainbow flags that hanged from buildings and stores declared the unity and support that the homosexual community of the Castro District has.

As we interviewed storeowners and pedestrians, some claimed that the Castro community was very “diverse.” What kind of diversity are they actually talking about? The Castro District was not a very diverse place in our opinions, because this is a homosexual community. Because of that we know that it is not diverse in sexual orientation. It was also not diverse in race since the majority were white men. It also felt like they are not diverse in age groups because adult stores do not contain “ 18 or older” signs outside to warn teens like us. The reason why we feel that this community is mostly homosexuals is because they have established a community where they are seen as equal individuals, where they can walk the streets without hearing bad comments, and not have to deal with homophobia. In addition, when we visited Lakeshore we also felt like it was not very diverse because the majority these were whites. The reason behind this might be because housing these is also more expensive than in other areas in Oakland. Another reason why they might not have minorities in this area is because, just like the Castro, those people have created communities were they fit in. This is the case for Latinos in the Fruitvale Area and Asians in Chinatown: they all want to create a place where they belong. But now we wonder, does finding people of your own race to live with to be more comfortable create segregation between races?

During our Field Trip to Alameda we saw a lot of diversity, for example I saw a lot of white people and some Mexicans and also Chinese ones. We also saw diversity at Chinatown and in here we saw a lot of Chinese people, 2 or 3 white people and like 3 or 4 Mexicans. Some differences that we saw between Chinatown and Alameda were that, in Alameda the streets are very clean and in Chinatown they were not. Another thing that we saw was that in Chinatown there's a lot of Graffiti and in Alameda we didn't see Graffiti. Secondly, we saw that in Chinatown people were littering and in Alameda they weren't.

We also saw some similarities, like in Chinatown we saw a lot of Fast food restaurants and in Alameda there's also Fast food restaurants. We believe that the reason why there are fast food restaurants instead of healthier organic places is due to the fact that most people there are low income, in comparison to other places.

The diversity in the Fruitvale community was all kinds. There were people of all kinds there were mostly Hispanics and African Americans, there were not many white people but there were some Asian people around working. In the Fruitvale community there were people of the lower class, and middle class. In this community there were people of different religions as well, but the most common religion around the Fruitvale community was Catholic, with Saint Elisabeth’s church in Fruitvale.

Since in the Fruitvale most people were Hispanics there were many Mexican food restaurants and some Chinese food places. Again, just like in the Castro District, people come together to a community where they belong, where they fit in, to live more comfortable. This community was in some parts clean and some places were trashed the parts were it was clean it was probably because people care and clean and others don’t. The diversity in old Oakland’s community was mostly Asian people and whites, and some African Americans. There were mostly people of lower and middle class. The community was clean and there were not to many places to go. In this community there were mostly food stores mostly organic and hand made material.My experience when we went to Walnut Creek is that there were a lot of Caucasian people. The ethnicities that our group mostly didn't see where Latinos and other minorities, because of the high economical class that surrounds this city.

The reason that we think that minorities don't live in Walnut Creek is because it’s too expensive to live there regarding their salaries. In Rockridge its more diverse that in Walnut Creek. The religion that they mostly have is Catholic, Buddhist and Atheist. In Rockridge its not that economically diverse everything that they sale their is too expensive. Did you hear about the plain white-T that cost $133? Overall, the Bay Area is diverse as a whole because we have different races, cultures, sexual orientations, religions and much more. But, when you look at parts of Oakland, we found that it is not necessarily as diverse as it could be.

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