NOLA Neighborhood Crime
That’s my mayor. That’s my neighborhood.
At the dog park the other night, I was in the middle of a group discussing trading war stories about our neighborhoods. This baseball diamond is the only park in the area that you can bring dogs to at night, so people from the surrounding 4 or 5 neighborhoods come around after the softball games end.
One neighbor talked about how her neighbor chased after his son through her yard to stab him with a knife. Another talked about how some teenager drove through and shot out all the windows on the street during Christmas. This tiny girl talked about standing next to her window thinking fireworks were going off during a drive by and realizing she shouldn’t be near her window. This same girl’s 70 year old neighbor was killed in a drive by after picking up his morning coffee and donut. I piped in my post-New Year’s murder and mid-day post-parade drive by.
It was a sobering discussion but with a disturbing number of laughs. The laughter was not from the actual events but laughter at ourselves and each other for living in an environment where violence is an accepted norm. A group of doctorate level grad students, doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, artists, writers, service industry workers, etc. all willing to live in neighborhoods that suffer the plague of socially accepted violence.
Are we delusional? Probably. Do we love our city? Most likely. Do we have any faith in our government, law enforcement, or local leaders to make the right decisions to fix the problem? Definitely not.
People aren’t willing to accept that short term fixes and rehabilitation of a community isn’t possible. The reality is that long term education and the building of a new foundation of a different type of community is necessary for the social norm to change. The bad seeds here will always be bad seeds. The goal is to rescue the young ones, but it seems like it will never happen because it hasn’t ever happened.
It’s a damn shame. It really is.