A recent trip back to my hometown made me think about diversity when it comes to my own life. I'm half Japanese and half Chinese, and in Hawaii where the almost half of the population is Asian, that's a pretty mundane mix. And Hawaii has a lot of mixed race people (called hapas) so you would think it's a pretty diverse place to live. There's even a song that makes fun of all the races and is super racist (there's a feeling in Hawaii of "nah, we're not racist" though a lot of racist remarks are made as jokes here. Definitely a gray area). But there aren't a lot of Black or Hispanic people there (and there's quite a bit of racism to those minorities from old-timers there I think). But in general, there's an "aloha spirit" there and less racism than the mainland (that's the continental US).
I personally don't think I'm racist even though most of my friends were Asian in Hawaii and are Asian now. But in college my best friends were a half-black gay man and a half-hispanic bi-man. We were a really diverse group because our whole dorm floor were friends. When I make friends, it's really just about who ends up being in my near vicinity I think.
But I've come to realize that if you don't seek out diversity in your daily life, it's easy to surround yourself with what you're used to. For example, I never watched "black movies" because I didn't think they were of interest to me. I don't really relate to black culture and used to view the "flamboyance" and bravado of black culture as a bit irritating (a stereotype, I know. And I'm coming from "diminutive" Asian culture so it's even more of a contrast). But recently I watched "Girls Trip" and loved it and of course "Get Out" was great if not bizarre. I need to seek out those movies and watch them instead of defaulting to white movies all the time (have yet to watch Black Panther but since I don't go to movie theaters, I'll have to wait until it's on HBO lol).
Also sometime last year I noticed my Instagram was all White and Asian bloggers. I thought that might be because I don't really relate to the colorful or street style of most black bloggers. But again I was wrong. There are minimalist and and fair fashion black bloggers out there, but you have to seek them out (my faves are Tigertemi and TheOxfordist). Then I started seeking out other black women on Instagram (my faves are Elaine Welteroth and Tracee Ellis Ross). Technically the last two are mixed race, which I also think is the way to progress. We need people who understand both cultures to help bridge it for the rest of us (other examples including Obama and Meghan Markle).
Anyway this is just some stream of consciousness writing so if I've offended anyone or got something wrong, I apologize. I also have racist tendencies that I need to realize, address and fix all the time. But sometimes having discriminatory thoughts doesn't make us a racist. It means there's work to be done and progress to be made. And as Maya Angelou said, when we know better then do better (also make sure to watch her documentary "Still I Rise"--it's so beautiful!).