A month has passed since my last ramblings about life in Independence. I wrote about our community and its diversity and the challenges we face as our community becomes more of a reflection of the bigger world we live in and less of the homogeneous city it has been through its long history.

A month has passed since my last ramblings about life in Independence. I wrote about our community and its diversity and the challenges we face as our community becomes more of a reflection of the bigger world we live in and less of the homogeneous city it has been through its long history.

Since those comments last month I have had the chance to visit with several people around town, and even around the metro area regarding the impact of race in our society. As a self-labeled “middle aged, non-descript, white guy,” I worry about what type of world we are leaving the next generation, but I do not worry about it as much as when I wrote my last column.

As you may recall, my last column was about a friend of mine who happens to have a different skin pigment than I (he also claims to be smarter and better looking, but those errors in logic on his part we will explore later).

When he moved to this area some 30 years ago his friends warned him to not seek a home in Independence. In fact they told him to stay out of Independence. Don’t shop here, dine here, don’t even buy insurance here. The perception in the metro among many was that some people were not welcome in Independence based on their skin color.

My friend wandered by today for our continuing conversation on race in America. He clearly is not as smart or as handsome as your average part-time newspaper columnist, but he is still pretty in tune with the world. Since my column ran last month he has been visiting around about the perception of race relations in Independence. His report was very encouraging.

He reports, both from comments from friends and his own travels in Independence, that the perception of racism is no longer valid, Independence is a good place to live, work and eat BBQ no matter what race you were born into. He tracked down one of the guys who told him 30 years ago to leave Independence alone. His friend now recommends Independence as a good place to live.

No, I do not think anything has changed since last month. Real change takes time, and I think since my friend and I have been having these conversations we are more aware of what was, what has changed and what Independence has become, a truly good place to raise your children and live a good life.