Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Truth Tellin'

It’s time for some truth telling.

I’ve been noticing some things while walking around the ‘hood and it’s time to call it like I see it.

Traditionally, we all know Black neighborhoods in Chicago have been largely ignored by local government.

This shouldn’t be news.

Yet the thing that chaps my hide is how some people just don’t respect their own neighborhood. How they’ll just throw trash just any which-a-way.

Frankly speaking it just pisses me off.

You practically have to pull teeth around these parts to get people (or institutions) to do right.

I’m sorry, strike that----my alderman is a rock star.

Leslie Hairston is a huge reason why our little stretch of paradise looks as good as it does. And truth be told I’d wager Alderman Cochran has chimed in a time of two to make the magic happen.

I don’t know for sure but I’m just saying…

Nonetheless, no measure of governmental involvement can lift people out of a “ghetto mentality.”

Hell, yeah I said it.

Because that’s only way I can explain why someone who actually lives on my street would turn the parkway into their own personal trash can.

I don’t get why it’s so difficult for some people to pick up after themselves.

Then of course these are probably the same people who think its okay not to know where their children are at any given time.

We all know how successful that philosophy worked out around here.

My point is that when something goes wrong in the ‘hood the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.

Community activists come out of the wood work and “demand” governmental accountability.

Well I have a news flash for you.

Why don’t those activists as well those members of the community hold each other accountable?
Why don’t we speak out as voraciously against shitty landlords who don’t perform adequate tenant background checks and rent to anyone with enough money (or government subsidy) that can afford their rent?

Why don’t we take the fight to them in their comfortable neighborhood as they make money off of ours?

And here’s the tough one.

Why don’t we try to convince the nice lady who lives down the street that her no account grandchildren who live with her do more harm than good to the neighborhood.

You know what I’m talking about.

Despite the fact no one wants to publically admit it, there’s always a home (or homes) on the block that harbors those asshole, layabouts who leech off of a family member and single handedly contribute to rise of crime.

Who bring their bootleg ghetto ass friends along with them and their collection of bad habits.

And when I say bad habits I mean felonious behavior.

I’m not advocating being unnecessarily nosy in people’s affairs but when the situation warrants questioning the status quo, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable to do so.

After all closed mouths don’t get feed and bullets seemingly never hit their itended targets.

Turning a blind eye to the blatant foolishness that’s going on may one day come back to bite you in ass.

I know it’s not easy.

Nobody wants to be labeled as the self righteous Gladys Kravitz of the block.

But in this “Stop Snitching” atmosphere, perhaps it’s time to go back to some good old fashion community standards.

No I’m no going all conservative on you.

Then of course I don’t think our conservative friends have cornered the market on values and standards.

And no I could give a shit what two (or more) consenting adults choose to do in privacy of their home.

As long it doesn’t attract a negative illegal element.

As you see it’s a slippery slope.

My negative element could be your set of best friends.

The qualifier here is illegal. That’s the whole shooting match---if you’ll forgive the pun.

Ladies and gentlemen we’ve got to do better.

We must either individually or collectively hold those who seek to continue to marginalize our neighborhood accountable for their actions.

We have to want better neighbors who mind their children, throw their trash in the proper receptacles and live law abiding lives.

It’s not enough to hold an anti violence march.

We have to do better.

So the next time you’re up in arms at a CAPS meeting or find yourself thinking that the police aren’t doing enough to keep your neighborhood safe you need to reflect on what you’ve done to improve or eliminate a problems that surround you.

At the very least, you should at least be truthful with yourself.


Eric Allix Rogers said...

I just can't believe it when I see people standing around and then fling trash on the ground. Bags of chips, things like that. It's happened a few times that I've been coming out of my building right as people have done that. I just stop and glare at them, and it usually works wonders. Of course, Kenwood is already pretty clean, so it's easy enough to embarrass people into behaving up here. I'm not sure what I would do if the problems were worse than that.

Redbone210 said...

I feel like you live next door to me. I'm on the west side - yes, the wil' wil west side, where throwing garbage is a national past time.

rdb said...

A gutsy and heartfelt post. At our previous home, in Northwest Hyde Park, we lived between a dodgy convenience store and a school, so we had a steady accumulation of chip bags and other refuse in front of our building. One of the many pleasures of our new block in North Kenwood is that all the residents take great pride in the street and cooperate to keep it clean and relatively trouble free.

Erin said...

this post is pure genius. seriously.