This weekend one of our neighbors moved out. She was a really nice woman with two kids. She was a quiet neighbor and left for work early and came home late. We didn’t see her a ton but when we talked with her, she was kind and seemed like she was doing a great job caring for her kids and making ends meet. A few months back, I told her we bought Ms. Maggie’s home and she was so grateful that we were taking care of it and didn’t have to worry about the home becoming dilapidated or being stuck with terrible neighbors. I asked her why she was moving and she said that the mice were too bad. She had repeatedly asked her landlord to do something about them and nothing was ever done. I understand, living in an older home, that mice can be a really hard problem (we have had our share of mice) but I was sad that her request wasn’t met. I told her how I was sorry to see her go and even more sorry that she wasn’t treated with the respect she deserved. Her family deserves to live in a home where they feel secure. Everyone deserves to live in a home where when there is an issue, it is taken care of or at least addressed. Everyone deserves to live in a home where they feel safe.
Alex and I have been talking a lot about the book ‘Why We Can’t Wait’ by Martin Luther King, Jr which he wrote in 1964. The beginning of the book talks about the homes in the Black areas of Harlem in 1963. One of the homes is vermin infested, which means it is infested with either, mice, rats, measles, lice or bedbugs.
Not enough has changed in the last 57 years. Black families are still living in homes where their landlords aren’t prioritizing safety. There are entire areas of cities that aren’t being taken care of. I was trying to explain to Dex that a change was needed in our city while driving the other day and I turned down a random street and we counted the foreclosed homes and there were 15 in 4 blocks. That is not acceptable and shows that things aren’t moving fast enough. Kids, no matter what their race or socio economic status deserve better than growing up in an area where they aren’t valued.
We talk about this a bit more on our recent podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/53206-cast/id1526303091. Feel free to give it a listen.