Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Number 1 Males

As the resident of a city like Baltimore, you get used to the idea of crime. By saying "get used to..." I, by no support those who feel they can proffer at the expense of others. This last statement includes white-collar perps as well.

There is a lot of crime in Baltimore. My neighborhood has recently been suffering a wave of crime perpetrated by a few brazen individuals who would dare attempt to break in to someone's house in broad daylight. What is common about these individuals is that they are African American. (Sigh) Being African American myself, it saddens me that my neighbors will invariably view us all as suspect. It happened tonight in fact. I was out in the alley behind my house with my dogs. One of my more paranoid neighbors happened to see me walking down the alley. I could tell that when I caught her glance that she presumed I was up to no good. Fortunately, she recognized me at the last minute before the police were called. Am I paranoid? Not at all. Take an African American friend to any of the pricey boutique stores in your town for a lesson in soft racism. Notice the helpful clerk who just happens to need to fold every item in your vicinity... Yeah...

The idea is floating around to hire a private security force for the neighborhood. I want to live in a safe neighborhood where I don't have to worry about knuckleheads trying to steal my stuff. What I don't want is to live in a fortress neighborhood where we don't trust anyone outside of our blocks. I feel that that is the root of the problem. I seem to live near a surplus of "scared white people" (not my words) who flinch every time someone new walks down our streets. What's the solution? I feel that the first step would be to partner with the other neighborhoods near us to join forces against the nuisance of crime that we ALL hate. There is safety in numbers; our neighborhood watch could work another watch to patrol our combined areas. Taking an interest in each other's safety will foster trust and break down biases against those different from us. We could all certainly use that lesson.