Cel­e­brate our di­ver­sity

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

In our June 29 edi­tion of the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent, we pub­lished a story on the front page with a head­line stat­ing a fact: The ma­jor­ity of the Charles County pop­u­la­tion is now black, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Cen­sus data.

Af­ter it was pub­lished, a hand­ful of read­ers were hung up on the head­line it­self, and reached out to us ask­ing why we would use a head­line like that, as if we were try­ing to im­ply some­thing neg­a­tive about the lat­est Cen­sus data. We cer­tainly were not. We were only stat­ing a fact. When read­ing the story, it quickly be­comes clear to see this is a pos­i­tive re­flec­tion on the county. Charles County is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing more di­verse, the me­dian house­hold in­come is con­tin­u­ing to rise and the county’s econ­omy is be­ing driven by this di­ver­sity, with more and more mi­nor­ity-owned busi­nesses pop­ping up to serve the com­mu­nity.

Noth­ing at all neg­a­tive was in­tended or re­flected in the story. Charles County should be proud to be home to a di­verse com­mu­nity.

It’s not a se­cret right now that racial ten­sions are the high­est they have been since the Civil Rights move­ment for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, be it some­thing provoca­tive spouted by a pub­lic of­fi­cial, some­one run­ning for the high­est of­fice or on so­cial me­dia, or a tragedy in­volv­ing po­lice of one race and vic­tims of an­other. It’s heart­break­ing to pay at­ten­tion to the news th­ese days and see all the neg­a­tiv­ity sur­round­ing race is­sues. Here is a chance to cel­e­brate di­ver­sity, rather than search for any neg­a­tive hid­den mean­ings.

When put in con­text, Mary­land is home to the largest pop­u­la­tion of col­lege-ed­u­cated black men and women in the coun­try, and that pop­u­la­tion also holds the high­est me­dian house­hold in­come of the same statis­tic. As the re­gion con­tin­ues to grow, di­ver­sity is go­ing to be im­por­tant. With it, more eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties present them­selves. Peo­ple from dif­fer­ent back­grounds bring with them dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and ideas. We should take this op­por­tu­nity to em­brace th­ese ideas and op­por­tu­ni­ties and use them to build a bright fu­ture for Charles County. Only by em­brac­ing our dif­fer­ences and us­ing them to our ad­van­tage as a com­mu­nity will we truly make that next step to­ward racial har­mony.

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