I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. Despite having the largest graduating class my high school had ever, or still has ever, seen, there was little diversity in it. The biggest diversity was probably between those who lived in town and those who lived on farms or those who lived in Owego and those who lived in Apalachin. You could have counted on two hands diversity within my graduating class – three African-Americans, a few of Asian descent, a couple of Hispanic descent and an exchange student or two.
I still live in a fairly homogeneous community. At a recent graduation party, several of the adults and I were speaking about the diversity within school communities in our area and ours truly is negligible.
So, why, you may wonder, is this white born and bred female wishing the NAACP a happy hundredth birthday? Because diversity is what we yearn for. We do not yearn to be with those who are exactly like us. That makes for a dull time. We yearn to be with those who are somewhat like us, but different. We want to learn, on a life-long basis, from others around us. We want to know about other experiences. We want diversity, regardless of what the area we live in looks like or what our current friends look like. We want to have change and expansion of thought and culture. We want to know what it is like in other parts of the world, in other religions, in other races.
As our world tries to become more one, organizations with missions such as “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination” become more important.
So join me in wishing the NAACP a happy hundredth birthday. Join me in hoping we all strive for the objectives, vision and mission of the NAACP as these will only make our world better.