Are some neighborhoods designed to fail the people that live in them? My neighborhood produces many excellent people but it also produces a lot of people the world would call failures. People who are in jail, people who don’t graduate high school, people who don’t make above the poverty threshold. Who’s responsibility is it that 2/3 of kids that live in my zip code live in poverty or that half of Black adults in 53206 have spent time in jail? One of the things I now understand to be true is that “bad” neighborhoods don’t just happen on accident. They happen by many small things happening over and over again. That could be a Black person being overlooked for a job promotion that a white person gets. Or a Black student getting in trouble at school for something a white student gets a pass on. It makes me wonder how many times I have been responsible for an injustice. I know I need to continually check myself and see all the injustices going around, not just the ones that affect me. If I can take responsibility for a few more injustices today, there will be hopefully less of them tomorrow.
Alex and I just finished a 3 part podcast series on the question: ‘Are you afraid of getting shot?’ which goes into the question some white friends asked us after we moved into the 53206 zip code. Our conversations brought about a lot more questions. We would love to hear your thoughts and what you think about a “bad” neighborhood.