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Cherish What You Have

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I never knew how lucky I was until I moved out of the Inland Empire. I moved to a "better place" the summer before my 9th grade year from Moreno Valley to Dana Point. One would never know how the world could be so different just an hour away from ones home. In Moreno Valley, one has a variety of culture in a suburban setting, something that is not usual across the country. But I never realized that. It never occurs to someone living in one place all their life what they’re lacking or not.
When I moved to Dana Point I had culture shock. I met people who never had black friends. I met people who thought where I came from was ghetto. No need for bragging, but all you got to do is roll by Sunnymead Ranch, Moreno Valley, California and you know what I'm talking about when you see the lake front mansions. Many times I felt like calling them fools, but that wouldn't do any good. They may be culturally ignorant, but I know better, it is not my place to calling them names.
Now, I know some people who live in the Inland Empire are thinking I'm crazy defending a smogged up community to a rich, beachfront area. I too thought that before I moved, I was like "Hey, no more smog alerts!" And I must give Dana Point it's props, they do have a nice environment. But notice how I said THEY; I may live and have many friends here, but I do not feel a part of the community. I feel that when I moved from good old MoVal, I was cut from the real world. Why they have a Japan booth during culture at my school and no Japanese people representing? Why do I see blacks raised in this area walking around like they are better than people because they can use their color to intimidate people? It's because no one is there to keep them in check.
People raised in Dana Point don't have the advantage like those in Moreno Valley when it comes to knowing how to treat sensitive cultural issues. I once heard a white kid shout across the hall to a black kid, "What's up my n***!" Now, you know that wouldn't happen in the Inland Empire because one is always kept in check. The black kid, looking all goofy, just kept up his act being cool because with his skin color he could let people say that. We need to stop this nonsense. He should have known that that word is not acceptable to be shouted across campus, especially in a school where you can count the number of blacks on campus.
But hey, that's how things go here in Dana Point. If you are a person of color living here you have to live with that thorn in your side but you must make the best of it. One can be the victim or be cool about it; it's all up to ones attitude. I know I've been trying to be cool about it for four years but sometimes one can’t. For all of you living in the Inland Empire, know that you are privileged. The fact is that there are more places than not that are like Dana Point. You have the advantage of living in a culturally rich area without living in an inner city. If you know what you have than you know what some people don’t.


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