Friday, January 11, 2008

Sick and sad

A 10-year-old boy is struck by a stray bullet as he's taking a piano lesson. The kid may be paralyzed. This happened five minutes from where I used to live off Piedmont Avenue -- one of the safest-feeling, cleanest, nicest areas in Oakland.

The majority of Oakland is a cesspool. And the thugs who make it a cesspool are bleeding into other, nicer, areas -- Rockridge, Lakeshore, Piedmont. Crime is way up in the Bay Area. It's insane that any parent should be afraid to send their kid to piano lessons at 4:30 in the afternoon, at Pleasant Valley and Piedmont.

Fuck these thugs. I don't know what else to say or do, but I'm sick of seeing them standing around with their long white t-shirts and their gold teeth and their ignorant attitudes. There's a reason downtown Berkeley sickens me. Now Piedmont. Where next?


Max Airborne said...

Hey Allison,

When you say that most of Oakland is a cesspool that's bleeding into the "nicer, cleaner" areas, it sounds to me like your blame is misplaced.

I feel like the only thing that can really help is to look toward the root causes of the violence, like racism and poverty. Why the huge class/race disparity between the "nice" neighborhood and the "cesspool?"

In the spirit of productive discussion and healing,


Allison Landa said...

Max, thanks for giving me something to think about. This post was made in anger and I do regret its vitriol.

My reaction is against the stupidity of what happened -- the randomness and tragedy of a child sitting down at a piano and never walking again.

What's more tragic is that this could happen anywhere, at any time. Out of that anger and, frankly, fear, I misspoke.

Thanks for reminding me to think about my words before pressing that Publish button.

Max Airborne said...

Yeah, I certainly understand and agree with you about the stupidity of random suffering getting rained upon innocent people.

Before I saw your reply I was thinking about what if we could take the sadness and anger of experiences like this, and see it as a way to connect with others who suffer from this kind of thing. I think about this particularly as someone who lives in the heart of Deep East Oakland, where random killings of innocent people happen a lot. It's always horrible, and comes with so much suffering. So maybe the suffering could be a point of connection, rather than a point of separation, between the two seemingly disparate communities/neighborhoods.

Just a thought from a human, hoping to create a world we can all stand to live in.

I appreciate your open-hearted thoughtfulness and self-reflection.

Allison Landa said...

And I, in turn, appreciate you helping me to see things in a different way -- from a point of reconciliation rather than blame. A good lesson, that!