San Ramon, to the naked eye, isn’t very spectacular (or as described in this year’s prom promotional video: hills, hills and more hills). But without a doubt, San Ramon has acquired a trait not many cities can say they have. And with that rare trait, is a question: is San Ramon’s diversity a blessing or a curse?
Automatically, one’s reaction would be “a blessing! Of course a blessing”, and it actually wouldn’t be uninformed, because diversity makes sense and being exposed to it usually breaks down unsupported prejudices and allows people to understand different cultures respectfully. And, at first, cultural differences that may have been an issue. However, here in San Ramon, it’s tentatively safe to assume that being blatantly racist would only make you look dumb.
But here’s the deal: apparently diversity doesn’t come with an open mind. Here at DVHS, we even call it the “San Ramon bubble”, and everyone knows it exists. However, even though it seems to be common knowledge, no one cares to ask questions. What does this “bubble” entail exactly? Is this some exclusive thing to San Ramon? And how will this impact our future lives?
I want to say the San Ramon bubble is safe. It’s this little place where people might not know their own neighbors, but we trust them anyway, or at least to the point of which we don’t assume they’re criminals. And truly, I don’t think this kind of “bubble” is exclusive to San Ramon. It’s not diversity that makes the bubble, but it can certainly contribute to it. The bubble is merely formed around large groups of families raising the next generation. We’re little bubble children until we break off and float off into the rest of the world.
San Ramon’s diversity is a very specific type of diversity. Our families come from so many different backgrounds, different cultures. Furthermore, many of our parents are first and second generation immigrants from those backgrounds, where I couldn’t come close to understanding and explaining all of them. But I have first generation immigrant parents, and I can tell you my upbringing has been drastically different from theirs. My ideas and my values have grown to be different from my parents’ ideas and values and, therefore, my views differ from how they view the world. I’ve been exposed to things they might’ve not been exposed to, and vice versa. So when something like the protests against LGBT week at Windemere Ranch Middle School make it onto the news, I knew undoubtedly my parents and I would have a biased conversation.
And it progressed the exact way you’d expect it to. They couldn’t grasp my way of thinking, and I, theirs. Yet this doesn’t stop us from trying to explain them, but this made me think; how many of the children pardoned from the lessons with little purple slips actually opposed the lessons themselves? With some insider info from my younger sister, apparently she couldn’t think of anybody actually caring that much. She did recall, however, one boy in her class was obviously uncomfortable about the topic until he watched the video and heard the Leadership student speak. Afterwards, he shrugged, saying, “that wasn’t too bad.”
Which I would assume is the point of the week in the first place.
But here, I think, is the problem I have with the diversity in San Ramon. I do not oppose it in any way, nor do I want to eliminate it, but this kind of withdrawal makes me question whether or not our diversity is a fair diversity in the first place. Sure, by dictionary definition, it may be, but it doesn’t seem to fit the ideological definition. Maybe I shouldn’t expect it to be.
I presume these protests come from a place of ignorance. The same way our racial diversity has opened our eyes a little wider to the truth behind racial prejudice, I think the same could be done with the LGBTQA+ community. While a tad far-fetched, I do believe our community would be incredibly different if we had pride parades up and down the sidewalks every Saturday.
I attended Windemere Ranch Middle School for a full three years. The student population is amazingly diverse, and somehow their academic motivation seems to be more intense than it is at Dougherty Valley. But how this protest situation was handled was safe. It was a way to create the least conflict possible and to offend the least amount of people. We’ve got so much diversity, and we’re doing nothing with it. “Safe.”
So, I guess what I’m saying is that San Ramon isn’t a blessing or a curse.
We’re just boring.