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Huntington, WV

re: Diversity? - 5/17/2009
- 8/7/2012
As a social scientist and both resident of CA and WV with family in both areas, I can tell you that your question about diversity is important. Yes, there is some ethnic diversity but one needs to ask, how is it tolerated. There is still to quote, "a colored part of town." Yes, the university and medical school have helped some and generally attitudes are changing with the youth, however, generational ignorance and poverty have led to barriers for social improvement. People there are some of the nicest you will ever meet, hands down. That is unless you are "an intolerant liberal", have an alternative religion, are a "foreigner", speak a language other than English, or heaven forbid are LGBT (I have sat in church services in recent years where it was asserted that gay people are of the devil and are ruining our country). Of course this is becoming minority opinion but the newspaper once claimed that G.W. Bush had been sent by God to save the world. I have heard many hurtful aspersions cast about Asians and seemingly based on some ideas people got from a 1940's cartoon.
I do not wish to frighten, like I stated, a university town is generally good with diversity and the youth are changing things. I have heard it said that one plus (if you can call it that) to the bigotry there vs. CA is that there it is pretty out in the open and one knows where they stand. Prejudice tends to be more hidden in our so very PC SF bay area. There, if you aren't the right ethnicity some bars, for example, will simply lock you out. As an adult this wouldn't scare me and I would chance it. If I were a parent, I would think diligently about the decision and how my child might be perceived.
Huntington people are absolutely beautiful for the most part but you may face some challenges with some people if you aren't white, fundamentalist Christian, conservative politically, and straight. Not unlike many places outside the Bay Area.
Best wishes on a happy transition! I hope I am just being pessimistic but I felt obligated to share.

West Virginia, WV

Montani Semper - 8/7/2012

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