EDITORIAL: Multicultured, but still one community
June 10, 2010
In the first part of our series on Lake Tahoe’s Latino community last week, we talked about their unique role and importance in our communities as a whole. This week, we begin to narrow that focus on the education aspects that affect this community – both immigrants and natives – and next week, we’ll look at the economic/business aspect.
Any series about a specific demographic mandates that we look into their community identity, and how they view themselves in regard to the larger region, as well as how others view them. Are they hidden behind fences, or are they involved and in the open? Are they ridiculed in community meetings as a burden or accepted and welcomed for a different point of view?
We can state as a fact that you could answer all those questions in the affirmative – which is why these are never black-and-white topics, and our series is not about arriving at a resolution, but explaining the grey area in which we all live.
For example, the Latino community’s local involvement is often ridiculed unfairly and inaccurately. When the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District reconfigured its schools last year, the Spanish-speaking and Latino population showed up in large numbers. They asked questions. A few offered to help clean our schools and feed our students instead of placing that burden on the taxpayers. Most recently, we witnessed nearly 50 percent of the turnout for our area clean-up days was from our Latino and Spanish-speaking neighbors. It was a strong message that we are one multicultured community, but one community nonetheless.
We hope this series continues to show the ways the Hispanic community participates to make our community stronger, healthier and more interesting, and that we see more commonalties among races and cultures than differences. We all chose to live here, which gives us a common platform for community discussion across cultures that should never be ignored – because this inherently means we should all want to make it a better place to live.