Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cities Are Rough All Over

I read the story about the shooting at a high school in Los Angeles today. It looks like the City of Angels is trying to make sure they stay relevant in the battle to see which U.S city is doing the most to keep it real. So much for the non violent spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. The city I live in is a serious contender for the crown. We might be wearing the title belt right now. Nine murders in 17 days and a bunch of other people shot is quite a resume. I bet there are a lot of people who feel the same way we do in New Orleans about where they live. Crime and social issues are personal and it’s hard to see past where you live and the immediate danger and concern of that.

I’ve been ready for my city to come off of the list of dangerous spots for a long time. Since most of the victims around the country look like me no matter where they live I am ready for the culture of violence to die world wide but it would be great if New Orleans was one of the first places to turn the corner. I’m ready to have a few conversations with my friends where we look around and marvel at how far we have came and how safer everything feels. That might be a dream that seems impossible especially after a particularly violent night or yet another tragic story of a young lady like Mariah Woods whose only mistake was going out with her friends in the city she lives in and ending up in the middle of a police chase. It’s hard to recover from that mentally if you have any concern for your community.

We’ve been going through this same drama for a long time now but I am old enough to remember that it wasn’t always this way. Some of my best memories as a kid are playing in the streets at night in the 7th Ward by my aunt’s house when everyone was sitting outside for blocks and no on was scared of anything. There’s no reason we can’t get back to that. It’s going to be a rough road back but we can do it. We better to do something and get this stuff turned around because I’m not leaving. I’m sure people in other cities are feeling this way too. If they fix it before we do I hope they let us know how they did it. I'm open to anything.

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