For those of you who follow my blog, you probably already know that I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. The home of the Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings. The city that drinks Vernors for whatever ales you. The city within a city. Detroiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttt! Growing up my parents kept me pretty sheltered. They knew who my friends were, who their parents were and I wasn’t allowed to be anywhere without their permission. As a child, I didn’t understand why my parents kept me so guarded, my understanding of the streets were opaque. It wasn’t until middle school that I began to understand just how rough the streets were and how vicious people could be. Even then, I was still living in darkness about the city around me.
In high school, I had more freedom. My comings and goings were still monitored, but I had a lot of idol time after school, before my parents got home. I became friends and even dated some unsavory characters. I did a lot of things that I shouldn’t have, things that others deemed as normal. I was exposed to different experiences, environments and people,I learned a lot about the streets. My vision become more transparent. A whole new world opened up, not a pretty one either. I started to lose friends because of their involvement in the streets, or simply because they were in the right place at the wrong time. I guess I became numb to death and loss became a normalcy. It wasn’t until recently that I began to take heed to all of the negativity and evil occurrences that continue to transpire in the city. For most of my life I’ve dealt with negative commentary about being from Detroit. Most folks think that we’re all killers and drug dealers;the scum of the earth. In reality, there are truly some amazing people in Detroit and from Detroit. The city is truly discredited for it’s efforts, mainly because of crime rates and mainstream media.
I’ve officially been out of Detroit for three years, I’m actively on the outside looking in. Bad things happen every where, but for a place that you call home to birth so much ugly, both sadness and sickens me. I fear for the lives of my family and my friends. Everyday I see at-least one my friends on social media post RIP to someone they love. I frequently hear about childhood friends being injured or killed at the hands of someone else. Again, horrible events happen everywhere, everyday, but it hurts even more when you are from the very place where events are occurring, when your family and friends are in the mist of it and when you fear for their lives.
I believe that Detroit is diamond in the rough, but like most places people uphold themselves to a different moral code. Neighborhoods have lost courage. Communities are broken, people are broken. People are living in fear. The value of inanimate objects is placed before the value of a human life. Individuals are consumed with greed and under the assumption that they own the streets. People take what they didn’t not earn. So many people have accepted the death and corruption around them that they see no reason to rise up against it.
I pray for change. I pray that people everywhere begin to see the value of other peoples lives. I pray that people begin to see the destruction that they are causing and the lives that they are ruining. I pray that if nothing else, people begin to see the error in their ways.