Monday, May 20, 2013

Comment Of The Year

While many of the comments we receive here are good ones (with the obvious exceptions of the trolls), there are occasions where we do get an exceptional one.

Today was one of those rare occasions.

In my post about Leah Vukmir and her promotion of white flight, an anonymous commenter left this, which I felt the need to share it with the world:
So that child from Milwaukee will be dealing with issues a suburbanite couldn't even fathom let alone empathize with that child over. That child will look at him/her and quickly realize this person doesn't understand as they likely haven't been exposed to gang violence, drug dealers, or the local pimp and his band of prostitutes. These kids have no safe places left, no role models to show them they can truly make it. The solution in their eyes will be leaving the city as their teachers have. I grew up on the northwest side of Milwaukee. I encountered gang members, drug dealers, was jumped by a group of thugs, was shot at with a small caliber handgun because some girl thought I liked her boyfriend when I was 13, had a gun held to my head when a guy thought I stole his necklace (my friend had apparently), was exposed to all kinds of drug dealers and even met a few pimps. Luckily I had enough people in my life to show me how to navigate the world without illegal activities. None of them were from the suburbs and most of them were teachers. Now I'm an RN and live in Wauwatosa because I want a safe community for my kids. The schools are expensive but the kids have art, music, and gym. The MPS school they attended a couple of years ago started out great, but was overrun with violence even teachers were in fear. 30+ behavior problems without a teachers aid was insane. You aren't going to get the "highest quality" teachers from the burbs with the conditions that exist for these students. They try hard to maintain a safe, productive environment but there is so much one person can do. I would volunteer to help tutor students and assist the teacher one day a week and many of those kids were starved for attention and affection. Their moms (many had absentee dads) worked so much they couldn't be the parent they needed or wanted to be. I had a few of these kids calling me mom because I gave them a kind smile and my time. If people were truly committed to improving the lives of these kids they would do that, give of their time and volunteer. The rewards would be felt for years to come. Now I work in mental health and much of my time is devoted to helping these kids once problems have occurred. We could prevent a lot of it though. So 'burbanites you wanna help the kids of Milwaukee? Go there and give them your time, be a mentor, be a tutor, be someone important in their lives now so they don't learn to survive by robbing you at gunpoint. All of us are to blame for the failures we have perpetuated. Opening residency requirements isn't going to fix this problem.

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