• Seema

capitalizing on you

Words from an interviewee:


There are a couple of friends – and I do call them friends now. They weren’t friends before. They moved on the block and they’re white and we’ve had conversations about this [gentrification]. When I was with our local civic council and we were having a meeting – 2018, 2019 I guess -- and one person was talking about safety issues. Public safety. She called the cops or something and they don’t come. This was a long term resident. Middle age older black woman…Then one other person who was white and newer to the neighborhood was talking about that: would the cops respond? I said think carefully before calling the police. Do you really have to? Your calling the police could cost me my life or lead to me being harassed or my husband being harassed while walking the dog…Our neighbor said to me after, "I never thought about that. That there would be an effect because of your race it’s just such a different perspective and now I know. I need to do better." It’s a positive change and I appreciate that…It was last year I guess the wife had texted me, hey how are you doing? And I was just sick about the multiple police murders – this is never ending. I let go in the text, “I’m fed up. I’m sick, I’m all of this. This is just how I feel.” And she responded, “Oh my gosh. Really sorry. I’m going to…” – they go to church quite a bit – she said something to the effect about “I’m going to look into how our church group can do something, and something concrete not superficial." I don’t know what they did I didn’t follow up. But last year was not different from any other year but I’m glad that people rose up in the ways that they did. But you know this system doesn’t yield anything. It doesn’t give. It can have the appearance of giving but the material of it is not forthcoming. It’s not going to deprive itself of capitalizing on you.

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