Although the trend has been building for some time, it's easy for today's Houston, tomorrow's America, to have sneaked up on some folks.That's a mighty tepid embrace by the "many of us." We don't go to the Galleria too often, but we feel comfortable in pointing out that the overwhelming majority of the cell phone-mesmerized zombies gliding up and down its walkways are white, maybe seven out of 10 you'd corral at random. Not a place where an upscale shopper such as Falkenberg would be discomfited by a general lack of whiteness. Perhaps she meant to type "Sharpstown Mall," but then that's really no place to wrap diversity in a heartfelt abrazo, since white shoppers there are almost as hard to find as a black or Hispanic editorial writer at the Chronicle.
But many of us experience the richness of Houston's diversity every day, at work, at Hermann Park, at the Galleria, and embrace it.
As for "at work," we also feel comfortable in pointing out that the particular workplace where the Teen Columnist slaps together her schizz also is overwhelming white, almost as white as the ice rink at the Galleria, and the higher you go in the hieirarchy the whiter it gets. Not only does the paper boast (maybe it doesn't really boast) a downsized all-white editorial board, but the particular racket in which Falkenberg is engaged is so damn white it's funny: of the 20 personages listed as columnists for the paper, 18 appear to be as white as Falkenberg. That's 90 percent. The other two are African American. Not a Hispanic in view, in a city where, as Falkneberg "reported" with a touch of undisguised glee, Hispanics constitute a plurality of almost 43 percent. Not a one--nada.
This can mean only one of two things: either the Chronicle is one racist institution, nowhere near as willing as its Teen Columnist to embrace diversity, or the newspaper hires and promotes based on merit (and who you know, of course), not on race/ethnicity. Falkenberg could partly remedy this imbalance by voluntarily stepping aide for a Hispanic Metro columnist. Maybe the paper could find one who's a conservative ideologue AND knows something about the city, thus correcting three imbalances with one wild shotgun blast. Falkenberg could then go work the paper's police beat for at least a few months to get a somewhat deeper perspective on the city than can be obtained dining at the Cheesecake Factory.
We will grant that Hermann Park, the third venue where Falkenberg and the "many of us" embrace diversity, does attract a fairly mixed crowd, but outside of the golf course there's really not much of an entry requirement at the park.*We noticed in her subsequent column Falkenberg seemed to indicate that she is with child. Of this we know no more, not having read past the second paragraph, but we do offer a heartfelt "Congratulations" and wish her the best of luck in finagling the magnet school thing.