I went by my old neighborhood this week in Raleigh, to revisit and flip though some of my favorite childhood memories.
My apartment complex has been abandoned. It looks like a horrific, apocalyptic movie scene. And I've seen some bad situations. It has seriously affected me to the point that I got up, wrote a really long post about it, and had to delete it. It was far too depressing. And I prefer to be positive and encouraging. I'll get to the encouragement.
But first, here's my point.
Our city may very well be closer to a critical tipping point than I realized.
I love Memphis. I grew up here. I know all the streets, all the areas, all the people. I see and know what's good about them.
But we are crumbling. And I'm afraid of where we're going next.
Just drive around and look.
Cherished communities are disintegrating, and they're being replaced by burned out apartment units and bars on the windows. I'm not being dramatic. I'm telling you what I know.
Every city battles poverty and crime. It's a part of life. But we have to face facts: we live in one of the more severely affected areas when it comes to these statistics, and unless we wake up and do something we're going to become the next Detroit. (No offense to the many good people of Detroit. But your economic issues and their ripple effects are well documented by you.)
While I feel for the people of Detroit, I don't want Memphis to follow in her footsteps.
And we're closer than you think.
When the City of Detroit had financial issues, do you know what was one of the first decisions they made? To cut back on Police funds, this cut back on Police presence. Which meant less patrols, less coverage, and oh yeah, less morale.
Have you listened to the news lately?
We've got serious financial troubles in our city. And guess what? We've been discussing Police cuts for quite some time. (Oh...and also critical? What our school system has A) been historically, B) what it's going through now, and C) where it's headed. But that's a whole other post).
Do we have leaders who care? I think so. But I don't think they're all ... how do I put this..."equipped"?
And I'm not telling you that I am either.
What I am telling you is to WAKE UP. To CARE. To HAVE SANE, WELL THOUGHT OUT, NON-REACTIONARY QUESTIONS....and DEMAND ANSWERS.
I love my city. But I'm telling you - she's in trouble and she needs us.
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