Events have brought me out of the lurker zone into print for the first time. Apologies in advance for any errors, omissions, or anything that offends.
I am putting this out there because I can't put it on Facebook. I expect that will make some people angry, and I don't blame them for that.
I grew up in Dearborn Heights. I lived there for 17 years. My father still lives there.
And I learned about Renisha McBride yesterday and all I wanted to do was scream.
More after the jump.
I can't put this on Facebook, because I don't want to know, or hear, what my friends and family think.
I don't want to hear about what a tragic accident it was.
I don't want to hear about everyone's right to defend themselves.
I don't want to hear about how the African-American community is getting themselves all whipped up over nothing and looking for publicity.
I don't want to hear that I don't know what it's like because I don't live there any more.
And I know full well that they don't want to hear what I have to say.
That Dearborn Heights is hurting, like every single town in Michigan, but its gradual racial and ethnic integration has only hurt it as much as people have opted to run scared from the Arabic and African-American "invasion" to "better" suburbs.
That this is only part of a decades-long trend of white fear, panic and flight that has done its share to tear down the infrastructure of the Detroit metropolitan area.
That the conscious decision not to catch the fever of fear, to band together as a community and fight those forces which have, and always have had, a vested interest in keeping people scared of each other, is the only thing that will improve the situation.
And that so far, the vested interests are winning the game in a walk, and that is what is "dooming" Dearborn Heights and cities like it across the country.
And for those who are angry at me for my lack of guts, those whom this will piss off as much as anything that happened, I understand. I don't want absolution or forgiveness and I don't deny that people like me who are scared in our own way are part of the problem. Because we are. I am.
Maybe talking here will help me figure out what to say out there.
Meanwhile, please accept my profound thanks for reading.