Someone asked me about the safety of my neighborhood recently. I think I should probably write about this a couple of times since safety is the standard concern of most people I tell that we live in the inner city. I think it is going to have to be a couple of parts because I can’t even start talking about safety without first stating something that should be obvious, but isn’t.
I feel as safe as many or all of my neighbors do. My safety isn’t more or less important than theirs. Our lives have the same worth and therefore we all have equal rights to feeling safe where we live. Thinking about this now, that is actually one of the reasons why we chose to live in the ghetto. Just because you are poor and black doesn’t mean that you have any less of a right to feel safe where you live. I am not poor and I am not black, but that doesn’t mean I have more of a right to live in a place that is “safe” that someone that is poor and black. As I am thinking through how to respond to a very kind request to hear more about what our experiences have been living in the inner city, I have to figure out way to communicate that message, while still providing real commentary on the safety of our neighborhood.