Seinfeld, and the Tale of the White Lunchroom
Joel Leon.
37127

The reaching out, when you’re not sure you’ll be welcomed or hell, even wanted, that’s the hard part that can scare people. I work in Hartford, a majority Black and Brown city, and I itch to move here in a couple of years when my kid goes off to college. The suburb where I live is ridiculously pale and the attitudes match. Why did I move there, then, from a diverse and wonderful town? Because we had to start renting again, and the new suburb has outstanding (free!) schools. But the tradeoff for the last 7 years has been a sea of white faces nearly everywhere I go: Starbucks, the grocery store, the gas station, the restaurants, etc. etc. etc. I think that is why I love Hartford and my lunchroom. It isn’t so damned Becky-with-the-good-hair-everywhere. I am fortunate to work for an entity that is comprised of many different colours and cultures and languages and traditions, all of which are respected. (Sidebar: my supervisors are Black and Brown women, as are a lot of other supervisors. In fact, there are a LOT of women in charge.) Then again that’s how I, a middle-aged white woman, see it. Others who are not MAWW may not see it that way. I am not sure what I’m trying to say, Joel, other than I hope people will consider your invitation to open up and listen, be a little brave, step out of their boxes, and allow connections to happen.

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