Race and My Community
I have a very different perspective of what I consider a community. I am married to a soldier and I work for the military as a civilian contractor. Ours is a community formed out of a single commonality, the military service of ourselves or our loved ones, and a deep love for the country, so vast and accepting of new people, cultures, traditions, and religions. Brought together to protect the very right to display all these differences and even the ability to speak out against those who serve to protect you. We are wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, children, and friends; we love our soldiers equally and believe the person standing next to “our” ...view middle of the document...
My community is difficult to define, we are spread out all over the states of Texas, yet, I still consider them my community. We are alike in so many ways, different in may others, yet race is not a factor for us, your commitment to your country is what stands some apart. A dedicated Private, black, white, red, or brown, will be treated with the same amount of respect as First Sergeant or Lieutenant Colonial.
There is of course a rank structure that is always present and that will indicate the difference in how people are treated. Officers are given more respect, because they’ve earned the respect that comes with their position. The leaders, or officers in my community treat their soldiers with respect and dignity, there is a fine line they must walk to ensure that all soldiers are treated with respect, and no one is treated any differently due to the color of their skin or their religious preference. I see this every day, as I work for the military as well as being a spouse of a member of the Armed Forces. I have never seen any leader or person in a position of power treat anyone less respectfully because of their race, religion, color, or creed. The leader of my community, essentially is the Governor of the State of Texas, Rick Perry, he treats every single military member the same, of course there will be more “pomp and circumstance” when a general walks into a room, but a the color of that person is not a factor in how they are treated.
I consider my military community a part of a greater community, which would be the city of Austin. This central Texas City is ripe with diversity, in every manner imaginable. The Military members, as a part of this community are sometimes treated as second-class citizens, Austin being the only “blue spot” in the state. On occasion, while being out and about town, right after my husband got off work at Camp Mabry, we’d encounter some stares that were almost of an angry nature. We had one experience where a woman asked me how it felt to be married to a “baby killer”. It took everything I had in me to hold my head high and walk away with dignity by not engaging this obviously irrational person. My husband on the other hand seemed more used to these types of comments, and just brushed it off. It was not so easy for me, but he, living in the central Texas region has come into contact with that more than once. Many people in this community have also treated us wonderfully; people have bought our dinner when we were eating out, getting ready to drop him off at drill or more recently for his deployment to Iraq. Some members of the community provide more support to our sub-community than one would ever imagine.
The local media is a huge part of this community, both to our larger community of the City of Austin and our smaller, sub-community of the local military members. The media, in all it’s different forms have shown support on multiple occasions, showing the good that the military can do, covering the...