Doing the DIV ER S ITY Drag
by Martin Siegel
Copyright © by Martin Siegel, 1997

I’M TONY, an Italian guy from Chicago. I guess that makes me an Italian-Catholic, Chicago-American. My wife Cathy, from Cleveland, comes from a Scottish, Protestant family—so, she’s Scottish-Protestant, Cleveland-American. We’re really proud of our first child, two-year-old Jason. Since he’s half of both of us, that makes him Italian-Scottish, Catholic-Protestant, Chicago-Cleveland American. Oops, I almost forgot to mention we live in this really nice house in Peoria, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

“A friend and his wife from Minneapolis are spending the weekend with us. Kevin is African- American, also Catholic, and hails from Newark. He married Angela, a Native-American from Albuquerque, who’s non-denominational. The way they tell it, it was love at first sight between an African-American, Catholic-Newark man and a Native-American, non- denominational Albuquerque beauty. What makes this especially nice is that they have a son named Dwayne, who’s the same age as our Jason.

“They say the test of anything American is if it will work in Peoria. Well, Jason, who as I said before is Italian-Scottish, Catholic-Protestant, Chicago-Cleveland-Peoria in background, just gets on great with Dwayne, who’s lineage is African-Native-American, non- denominational and Catholic, Newark, Albuquerque and Minneapolis. Obviously, explaining this is pretty simple when it’s just a matter of two small families getting together. Diversity can have its problems, though, when it’s a matter of a get-together with, say, a couple of dozen people or more. True enough, it can get complicated!

Y’KNOW, we found this old nickel that had our country’s motto on it: e pluribus unum. In Latin, that’s supposed to mean something like: ‘of many one.’ I realize those folks back then were pretty smart, but don’t you think they had it backwards?”