Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bullet Hills: Chopping off the tail to kill the head?

Here’s a blog I’m hoping to hear more from.

Sherman Hills Apartments: a criminal element and incompetence

I was up before the crack of dawn, and switched my transistor radio from sports talk to WILK---our local talk radio outlet. And from 6 AM to this very moment, the Sherman Hills shooting has dominated the public discourse.

What people need to understand while advocating for the bulldozing of this complex is that most of the people that reside there are not bad actors. Most of the folks that reside there are there for a variety of reasons, but the great majority of them do not run around shooting at everything that moves.

You can speculate about the choices they’ve made, their lack of chastity, their education level, etc., etc., etc., but the undisputable fact is that some people just flat-out need our assistance. And as I have alluded to many times over on these electronic pages, as a youth, I was once one of those people that needed your assistance.

The truth is, if Sherman Hills is bulldozed, burned and paved over, very few of the bad actors will have been impacted. The questionable friends and acquaintances of ill-repute who visit the tenants may be impacted, but last I checked you can not regulate and legislate and control who a person chooses to hang out with.

Many are calling for a full-frontal assault from the City of Wilkes-Barre, which, as far as I’m concerned, is clearly called for depending on the layers upon layers of legalese and the like. But I think what is called for is for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to be deluged by concerned and outraged residents of Wilkes-Barre.

Because, at this point it’s obvious that while the ownership group of Sherman Hills is willing to accept millions in HUD money, it is not willing to provide for the safety of it’s residents. Instead, it defers to the city whenever the bullets fly, the medic units are tied up and the blood has to be hosed from the tarmac by the fire department.

When I lived in public housing on the public dole, not a single shot ever rang out. And if my mom had to face what the current residents of Sherman Hills have to face, she would have had a nervous breakdown and keeled over dead. She felt defenseless in a physical sense, with no man-of-the-house on scene. She was always afraid as it was with the racial tensions as they were. She was forever worried that the enormous chips on my widening shoulders would one day get me into big trouble. And she absolutely hated feeling so vulnerable all of the time, being that our meager “income” could not deliver us from even the slightest of economic setbacks.

The most pronounced difference between then and now being that none of us ever had to duck errant gunshots.

I am fully aware that a public assistance existence is much, much more lucrative than it was when it was our unwanted existence. But to evict hundreds upon hundreds of people, mostly poor women and children, is to punish the people who are already under siege.

The management and ownership needs to be held accountable, not the folks who for the most part are simply trying to keep their heads down in anticipation of the next eruption of gunfire.

Them’s all I got.


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