(a different kind of) porch party

Oh boy, here it comes…

I’m angry. Like really angry. Like really, really angry.

I’m involved in a conversation online that I should never have entered. I take that back. I’ve been steaming about it for awhile now and I finally said a tiny bit of my opinion and it’s spiraling and I’m starting to shake.

Here’s the final straw that made me enter the conversation about this ongoing issue I’ve been seeing consistently in our neighborhood online group recently:tipping point

I know there have been quite a few break-ins throughout our neighborhood. (We were one, remember?) I know that crime is crazy in Indianapolis right now. I read it. I see it. I feel it. I feel a pull at my heart that the people in my city don’t value life right now. That they don’t respect others in (and out of) their community. I feel it hard.

I understand being on edge. I understand feeling hypersensitive. Shoot, I called 911 Saturday night because we thought someone was breaking into our house when it turned out to actually be a huge raccoon scaling up the downspout to our 2nd story. (For what, we have NO idea.)

But let me tell you this. If you, FOR ONE INSTANT, think that profiling the people that look different than you isn’t just as harmful to our city, you are VERY, VERY WRONG. (If I could bold that more I totally would.)

Be alert. Watch out for your neighbors. But calling the cops about a “black man walking down the alley looking through trash cans” and posting about it to the ‘hood is going to far. It’s not illegal, first of all. And you’re throwing it away, so who cares?! I mean, obviously you, but COME ON.

And you keep seeing “homeless people” walking around the ‘hood? You must have good conversations with them if you find out they’re homeless. Oh, you don’t actually KNOW they’re homeless, you just think they LOOK homeless?

And freaking out because a pick-up truck is just sitting in the alley in the middle of the day and there’s no driver in it and now you feel scared and want people to make sure all their doors are locked? Hmmm…

If you moved to the north side of downtown because you thought it was all cool and hip and wealthy and white and perfect, you should have done some more research. It *is* cool and hip (and often wealthy and white) but it’s also extremely diverse and different and totally UNPERFECT. Which is exactly why we’re here. Don’t ruin it for us by freaking out every time someone walks on your public sidewalk.

So I’m checking out of this neighborhood online group. And I’m just going to talk to people at the park. And on walks. And while I weed my front flower beds. porch party

Oh, and on my porch. Where I’ll sit and drink if I want. And because I look like you, will never have the cops called on me. It’s way more fun than reading people freak the freak out over people who look different than they do.

 

I had intended to write this beautiful post about community and the city-wide porch party that took place on Sunday, but this is what came out instead. Oops…

6 thoughts on “(a different kind of) porch party

  1. Jacqueline Wilson (WritRams)

    Well said. Good for you for taking a stand. And, unfortunately (and as you know) it doesn’t end at color. As someone who works with people in poverty every day, the stereotypes are overwhelming. Just because someone lives in a trailer doesn’t mean they’re uneducated. Just because someone is receiving assistance doesn’t meant they’re lazy and taking advantage of the system. Just because someone is different than you FOR ANY REASON doesn’t mean they are going to harm you or take advantage of you.

    SO THANK YOU for being strong.

    Crap. Now I’m going to have to write about this, too. SIGH.

    Reply
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  3. WouldntU Like2kno

    Profiling is bad, but guys hanging on the porch of an abandoned house IS reason for concern, regardless of race. Abandoned homes become crack houses, even in wealthy neighborhoods. Plus, squatters are very real and very difficult to get rid of.

    Reply
    1. katie Post author

      Calling the cops on 2 guys sitting on the porch drinking was not my issue. I stated that. I agreed that the cops should have been called. My issue is the “protect your belongings” comment which has NOTHING to do with 2 men sitting on a vacant house porch drinking.

      Reply

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