A coworker just came back from a week of working with an organization called Work Camp which sends high school kids out into the community to help people fix up their homes who don’t have the money to help themselves. The organization arranges for schools and churches in the neighborhoods to house the kids and their supervisors while they are there for a week. It’s a very worthwhile program. He came back with horror stories of death threats from roving gangs, stolen property of the kids who came to help, police coming to the door of the house he was working in to arrest the son of the owner, details of constant police sirens, and tales of the horrible living conditions in which some people live.
Yesterday, my husband and I were coming back from our daily ride on the trail. As we neared the area where we cut off the trail to get to our home, we saw four to five police cruisers on the trail with several youth standing around. Apparently a woman was surrounded by some juveniles and forced off her bike. We spoke to the man who came by shortly after the event and called the police for the woman, standing by to guard her bike as she spoke to the police. This is another in a series of incidents which have happened in the same area since the cycling season started. The report was not in the paper today, but I am sure it will be blasted across the front page tomorrow.
I cannot begin to express my anger of these two situations. Although this is certainly nothing new, I have reached my boiling point. As I expressed in an earlier entry, I am to the point that I feel ready to lash out if someone approaches me with intent to harm. I know I cannot fathom someone else’s life who has felt the sting of discrimination and the anger of dealing in an unfair world, but I also see the results of their actions on the outside world and the sense of fear for the people I know and care about. It is abhorrent to me that such crime goes on. Why in God’s name would someone attack an innocent group if kids who are there only to help a poor woman who can’t fix her home, or harass a blameless woman who is simply out trying to get some exercise? What is there to gain by such action? Is that the kind of world some people want to live in; where people live like animals and the toughest survive? I just don’t see it. Even if it is a question of power, the end result of possibly getting caught and arrested with the life-changing consequences that results is more trouble than it’s worth, IMHO. I’d really like to know what goes through their heads.