Today is the 1 Year Anniversary of my move from Boston back home to Brooklyn.
In the year that I’ve lived in Brownsville I’ve noticed the changes. There are white faces sitting on train platforms next to brown faces. There are name brand stores like the Popeye’s where the Crown Fried Chicken used to be. There’s an amazing community center that has a variety of resources for both kids and adults. There are trustworthy police officers on every corner. Without a doubt, Brownsville is up and coming.
The only thing that has not changed is the violence.
Last year a stray bullet killed a baby in his stroller. The bullet was meant for his father but as my mother told me at a very young age – Bullets Do NOT Have Names on Them.
A few months later a young boy was shot in the back by the police. They thought he had a gun but he was just scared and decided to run.
And a few nights ago as I rode with my dad and other family members we heard pop pop pop. My dad slowed down even though he had a green light unsure of which direction the sounds came from. We looked to the left and then the right and finally we looked up at the lights in the sky – early fireworks in preparation for the 4th of July. We each silently Thanked God and headed home safely.
I wonder where is the tipping point. How does this change for the better? It’s not enough that a child can be killed in a stroller. It’s not enough that an innocent kid can be shot in the back. It’s not enough that members of the community don’t feel safe outside at night. Which crime will be too horrible to bear?
The true test is whether or not we can turn things around before we reach that point.