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Friday, June 24, 2011

"Forget about it Jake - It's Chinatown."

Earlier this week the producer of a local television show came across my blog and asked if I would be willing to be on the show for a segment about raising non LDS kids in Utah.We'll be talking (honestly) about raising non-LDS kids in Utah." she wrote. I must admit I was thrilled to have an opportunity to finally express to a wide audience the challenges my family and so many others face on a daily basis. The day before the show, I requested an agenda so I could be prepared for our discussion. The segment was to be only 6 minutes and I wanted to be sure I could fairly and succinctly express my experiences. When I received the agenda I was shocked!!!!! The topics to be discussed included(and I quote):

"--the religious saturation is not unique to Utah"

"--get the LDS perspective on interaction between groups"

"--talk about the benefits of the LDS culture"

I was a bit confused to say the least. Remember, this segment was meant to be 6"honest" minutes about raising non LDS kids in Utah. I was flabbergasted that we could not go just 6 minutes without having to give the LDS perspective. Don't we Utahns get that every day?

And although there are benefits of the LDS culture which I have written about here in this blog, I don't think that belongs in this very short segment. So.... I called the producer and shared my concerns and said I really was not interested in participating in the discussion if this was the direction she wanted to go. She was very nice, and explained that they were just concerned about this being one sided and so the panel would include one of their other producers who was LDS. What??? Should I be on a panel about raising kids with disabilites? I think not as I don't personally have any experience in that area. To ask an LDS mother about raising non-LDS kids is comical!!!! It was clear there was not going to be anything "honest" about this round table.

The next day I watched the segment in hopes that maybe I was wrong about the shows intentions. Sadly, the 6 minutes were what can only be described as "fluff" which portrayed the issue as almost a non existent problem. If us outsiders just go to Primary and LDS camp we will be just fine and accepted by our neighbors. What a load of crap! It is so sad that this show was afraid to be "honest" and inform people how hurtful some behavior can be.

My desire to go on the show was never to say anything bad about LDS people - it was only to educate them that sometimes outsiders have hurt feelings about exclusion and judgements whether intentional or not. If they could have focused on those issues maybe some changes could take place. Instead, as usual, the issue was glossed over and down played. I felt sick after I watched the show! Still I was relieved I had not participated. First of all, I would have looked like an idiot as my mouth would have been hanging open and my eyes bulging. Secondly, anything I might have said would have looked like I was putting a damper on the perfect world these people described.

Anyway, I guess for now Utah society will continue to ignore others and their feelings and opinions. Maybe that will never change...

Forget about it Jill - it's Utah!


Keri said...

I've just been browsing through your blog and wanted to ask a couple of questions. My family is thinking of moving to SLC. I saw that you had lived in draper and didn't like it. Where did you relocate to that you did like? Do you have a high school that you think is more diverse?
Thanks for your thoughts.

jill said...

Hi Keri! I am glad you found my blog . I haven't written on it for ages as I have decided to write a book about my experiences and am busy working on that. Draper is a beautiful place, but not diverse. I suggest going into Salt Lake City or even just North and a bit closer to Salt Lake. I have heard that Holladay is a bit better than Draper and it is also lovely. I don't know a lot about the high schools downtown but I can try to find out for you. My son goes to Jordan High and it is a much better experience than my daughter had at Alta High School. Good luck and let me know if you do make it to the area. We could meet for coffee!

Heather said...

Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! I have a question about your blog. HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com