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8/11/11

White People! Yaaaaay!!

I grew up in Southern California.  Diversity was a way of life down there.  You were surrounded by multiple cultures and philosophies.  I remember taking field trips in school to Olvera Street and learning so much about culture.

I like diversity.  It's so much easier to quell racism and stereotypical judgements when you're surrounded by a variety of people.  The more you know, etc etc.

Well, that's hard to do in Idaho Falls.

Why?

Recent Census data shows this ethnic breakdown for the greater Idaho Falls Area (provided by the ever-hilarious wikipedia):

  • 92.09% White
  • 0.62% African American
  • 0.76% Native American
  • 1.05% Asian
  • 7.18% Hispanic/Latino
  • 3.81% Other Race
  • 1.61% two or more races
(Nevermind this doesn't add up to 100%.  Idaho mathematics, y'all....)

But yeah.  Whitey rules up here.  One man (with a 'Dr.' in front of his name) asked someone close to me if racism still exists.  Well, it's hard to say, when everyone has the same skin color, and everyone working for you is white...  *cough*

Diverse, this place is not.

But fret not!  There is still a way to profit from this monochromatic town.  Simply market to the demographic!

If you haven't read this book, or been to their website, you need to.  It doesn't matter the color of your skin, you will laugh at this book.

With topics like "Ugly Sweater Parties" and "Black Music that Black People Don't Listen To Anymore" you know you have a winner.  Plus you get to talk about Miles Davis and Eazy E!

Ideally, I'd love to be back in a more diverse town.  Going back to my post about Boise, they're listed as 96.1% white.  Maybe Idaho Falls is the 'melting pot' of Idaho?  If so, try not to laugh too hard.

What about your town?  I'd love to see if there are other parts of the world that are as cracker-fied as Idaho...
Please Share it! :)

37 witty retorts:

Lady Estrogen said...

Ummm... yes!

We had only 2 black guys in our school of 1500 people... they were twins... we couldn't tell them apart.

That works both as a funny true story AND a racist joke - how about that!

THE SNEE said...

Hi Brandon,

Busy summer, and I've missed so many of your postings. Sorry about that. I live in a crackerfied world (love the term by the way). Central New Hampshire definitely qualifies, as does most of Northern New England. I'll check out the book. I could use a laugh.

I hope you are enjoying the summer, and I will try and keep up with you a bit more often when fall is upon us. Stay well.

Pickleope said...

You just conjured many a happy memory of Olvera St. The only place a kid can buy a leather whip, Spiderman piggy bank and bootleg DVDs of "Ice Pirates" from the same vendor for less than $5. And Switzerland is way whiter. They think black people are mythical beings who grant wishes.

squatlo said...

Idaho IS a melting pot, Brandon! Just assume they're melting snow. Lots and lots of pure, white snow.

I did the photography for a sales rep party recently, and out of the three hundred people in the room there were maybe three black women at one of the tables. After the awards presentations were made, a DJ cranked up the tunes and folks who had been sipping wine all afternoon took to the dance floor. I wandered around taking candids, then noticed those three women watching people dance. I leaned over and said, "White folks, getting down!"
Thought I was gonna have to call paramedics for one lady, she blew wine through her nose and tried to die on us, laughing her ass off.

Adsila said...

Phoenix has a huge mix of all types of races. We are a lot like Cali.

Shutterbug said...

I've read that book and it's hilarious!!

meandmythinkingcap said...

Which driving school did you go to get your driving license? Mine, I went to Newark and that guy failed me saying that whenever I hit on break he heard some sound?!- True story.
And ranted about Indians and immigrants and stuff. (dont want to get into details)
Do you think a white guy could say something like that and get away with it?

Red Shoes said...

Down here in the MS Delta, where I live, it's about 65%/35% Black-To-White, but most of the time you would swear its like 130%...

I was visiting my brothers the other day at their scrap metal recyling plant, and one of their black customers came up to me and said, 'you look like those guys that own this place...'

My response was, 'Hell, we all look alike... don't you know that?'

He laughed...

~shoes~

Raquel's World said...

Not even a whole black person? Shocking!

D4 said...

There's everything here. I like it, but I also like to keep the basis of my culture, so it gets a little weird.

Drake Sigar said...

When I see a black woman I go googly-eyed simply because they’re so rare around my area that they could be classed as exotic. I see maybe a dozen blacks a year.

JayJay said...

I love that book. It's hilarious...and, in some ways, very true.

JayJay said...

I love that book. It's hilarious...and, in some ways, very true.

Melanie said...

I actually live in a very ethnically diverse area. You would never know it by our census numbers though. I guess a very large percentage of our population, from the middle east, feels they will be less discriminated against if they answer that they are white on their census form...if they even send it back in. The poor census guy for our neighborhood came to the house next door about seven times and I don't think he ever got a response out of them.

Bouncin' Barb said...

I guess things haven't changed much in 33 years. I grew up in Jersey and was used to a very diverse cultured area. When I went to Idaho I was shocked that I didn't see many Black, Asian or Indian ethnicity. There were a lot of Mexicans because of migrant work. I would have thought it changed over the years. Guess not! Wow. Good post.

Insomniac #4 said...

Do they grow sweet potatoes in Idaho, or just.. you know...?

I'm only half-kidding. I really don't know.

MRanthrope said...

so you grew up in SoCal and moved away recently?

The diversity is pretty epic down here. I'm surrounded by Mexican, Asian, White,and Armenian communities on all sides.

Josie said...

This is my home town in northern Utah:
95.23% White
0.12% African American
0.23% Native American
0.48% Asian
0.04% Pacific Islander
2.82% from other races
1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.04% of the population.

And I own that book. It's fabulous.

my day in a sentence said...

Dude, I'm from Croatia and I'm pretty sure we're, like, 99.99% white. No diversity here. -.-'

Annabelle said...

In my particular part of town, we the white folks, are the minority.

It doesn't have any impact on me, except I get more cat calls and hit ons, because my fuller figure is preffered by men of taste.

My kids don't seem at all phased by it and I love that. I love that kids are free of prejudice, until some idiot comes along and tries pollute their brains.

Colors of Benaton Baby - bring it on

Sinclair said...

America is getting even more diverse as time goes by. Soon it'll be white people that are in the minority. Sometime around 2050, or so I heard.

Shaw said...

"One man (with a 'Dr.' in front of his name) asked someone close to me if racism still exists."

Holy crap, how out of touch with the world can you be?

Random Girl said...

I think that book looks hilarious. I grew up in a super small midwest town, we had 1 non-white family in my school. Diverse it was not! That's why I enjoy being in the city now, it's not so...the same.

The Reckmonster said...

I grew up in a military environment - where all of my friends were "mixed." Hell, I didn't even find out I wasn't white until I was in the 6th grade - and we were living in Louisiana. White bread, homogeneous places bore me to tears. But, I happen to live in the middle of white bread/white milk/white chocolate/white rice/white bean land right now...and I have to keep underscoring that I AM half white...crazy stuff, man, crazy stuff.

Zombie said...

Dude, I live in So cal and honestly I would not want to live anywhere else! :)

Clueless Dolphin said...

white people, havin' fun
global domination for anyone ;)

Electric Addict said...

i want to live in socal

The Empress said...

Diversity is great as long as everyone can get along. Plus how boring would the world be if all there were were Cracker Barrels and Applebee's?

Golden Girl said...

Stats for the county I live in: Putnam County NY

White persons 90.7


Black persons 2.4%

American Indian and Alaska Native persons 0.2%

Asian persons 1.9%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.0%


Persons reporting two or more races

2.0%

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin 11.7%


I am happy to report i am of the Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin :-) I was just saying the other day to my fiance i want our kids to be brought up in a culturally diverse neighborhood cause i wont tolerate any kind of racial ignorance

A Daft Scots Lass said...

South Africa is truely the Rainbow Nation with eleven official languages. Talk about overkill. SA is made up of Black Africans at 79.4%, Whites at 9.2%, Coloureds at 8.8%, and Indians or Asians at 2.6% and said to be home to 5 MILLION illegal immigrants! 3 Million to be from Zimbabwe!

Fun and games...

The Angry Lurker said...

I'm a minority where I reside.

Sammee said...

I grew up in Idaho and lived there my entire life until my husband's job in the Air Force moved us overseas. Yes, we are a State with little diversity. No wonder what with the Neo Nazi's doing all their hell raising in the 90's. To be honest, the state just doesn't offer a lot for mixed races but I don't really see it as a scenario of "If you build it, they will come." What you guys have in California was pretty much forced on you by immigrants from Asia and Mexico. Unfortunately, they just haven't made it as far inland as Idaho yet. And you may not post this comment because of my next comment, but that's ok. Being an Idahoan and reading your blog just reaffirms my belief that it is Californians like you that make me hate Californians. You move to Idaho because it's cheaper but then you bitch and moan the whole time because it's not California. Yes it is Republican, and all but run by Mormons (which I don't agree with either) but if you'd learn to stop seeing it as backwater and appreciate what we do have maybe your smug ass would learn to enjoy it a little.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

@Sammee:

Hi, you must be new here. Allow me to share my POV...

I don't censor any comments, so you're more than welcome to share any views or opinions. If you read my posts about gay marriage, racism, politics, etc you will see that. Lots of different views, some I don't agree with. That's ok. I'm not a politician, I'm not the media. I don't believe that censoring the 'other side' to pretend they don't exist works.

My back story can be found in the "Why Idaho" section. I didn't move up here just to make a 'more cost-effective California,' I moved out of need. As with you moving to Germany, it was a severe culture shock to me, and that's just the way it was. I have been to California recently to visit family (and will be there again next week) and I can tell you the infatuation is over. California, like Idaho, has it's pros and cons. I like Idaho now, and its pros outweigh the cons.

The cons, however, are still fun to write about. And as you can see with 721 followers and growing, other people like to read it.

6 months ago when I started this blog, I hated Idaho and this was a place to vent. It has grown into much more, partly because Idaho has grown on me.

HOWEVER, back to racial diversity, you yourself has shown what I think is wrong with Idaho. Outsiders are not welcome. Whether it be the Mexicans and Asians you mentioned, a Californian like me or any other outside culture/race, Idahoans shun and harass anyone who is not one of them. As mentioned in earlier posts, I was flipped off constantly and nearly run off the road because of the California plates on my car. I was called a liberal, queer-o hippie, three things I am not all rolled into one. A staggering amount of locals are racist beyond belief, and can't fathom the thought of anyone different being welcome here.

To counter your last sentence, maybe I am a little smug, but I'll stop seeing this area as backwater when it stops being backwater. Until then, a rose by any other name...

And don't think I'm attacking out of spite. I'm not like that. I'm just defending my stance, and correcting some errors because of your presumptions from only reading a small handful of posts. My longer-term readers (dozens of Idahoans included) know me better.

xoxoxo!

jillsmo said...

I'm not going to wade into the specifics of your discussion here (although I do live in California, but that's not important right now). I just wanted to say thank you, on behalf of all bloggers everywhere, to Sammee, for making her case politely and NOT anonymously, and, most importantly (IMO) NOT being a troll. Also thank you to Brandon for allowing different opinions and not freaking out when somebody disagreed with you.

Carry on....

Leila said...

Ok I'm gonna look so bad, but what you said is not true. Diversity does not make for less racism or ethnic tranquility. If anything, it made me angrier. When I was living in an all-white town, I was NEVER made fun of. A year later, I move to the urban jungle and within a day I hear latinos and blacks trying to communicate with me, "Ching chong go back to China!" Racial slurs were a quotidian thing during my middle school years.

Which makes me laugh, honestly, because I found out a while ago that 23% of the ethnic minorities in my school were illegal immigrants or children of illegal immigrants. And WHO was telling me to get out of the country?

The only people, I find, that are concerned with racial harmony are white people, if not some philanthropic black people. Which is also hilarious.

Thank, Q said...

Wow. An NBA star would have a field day on all of the white women there. "Where all the white women at!!!???" I love that movie quote. Anyhoo, I wonder what it's like to be black in Idaho? I'd love to walk through your airport just to see what the reaction would be. Would it be like seeing Paul the alien from the movie? Send me a plane ticket, B!

Anonymous said...

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