In a few weeks I'll be working on a little project for my journalism class. Last week in lab, we were given an assignment. The theme: multicultural experience. In this case, it is mostly dealing with religion. We were given a sheet with different religions on it and locations of churches, and we were told to pick the religion that we would like to learn most about and that we have had no previous knowledge of. We are then to attend the service alone and write about our experience. Now, one would think that this would be a good learning experience for a student. But this isn't just about religion, it's culture. So, as you could have guessed, the majority of the churches on the sheet are attended by people of the black persuasion. Then of course there were Muslim and Buddhist establishments. What did I pick? Well, I'll be attending a Mormon service. Why did I choose Mormon? a. It's a safe bet that the congregation will be composed of happy white people b. Catholicism was on the list and, even though I am an atheist, I didn't want to lie and say I wasn't familiar with the Catholic religion. So what's my problem, you ask? What annoys me is the whole state of mind the professor wants us to get into. I understand we are being trained to be journalists, but what a lot of people nowadays can't seem to grasp is the concept of reality. You see, the point of putting all those black churches on there was to make us attempt to learn about a culture other than our own and be tolerant. What the professor doesn't realize is that prejudice works both ways. The assignment strictly states that we must go alone, which means if I picked a black church, there would be a very uncomfortable situation. Rich white kid pulling up to a ghetto church in a nice car all alone and walking in with a happy tolerant attitude? I don't think so. Sure, be tolerant all you want, but a happy tolerant white guy still won't get far if he walks the streets of Harlem at 3 in the morning (might be a bad analogy, but you can see my point). So, I'm really glad that I got my first choice and am going to a Mormon church. That way I can feel comfortable and safe around other suburban white folks. I'm not a racist, but I am realistic.