“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and establishes a town by injustice!
13 Has not the Lord Almighty determined
that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,
that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? Habakkuk 2:12-13
A city, a town , and a neighborhood I proudly called home. I would say it loud and proud, ” I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee”. Whenever I made this statement people would ask me generalized questions about Beale Street, Barbecue and Blues. This was home sweet home and it had a special place in heart. Once upon a time, the city I lived in loved each other of course we had our problems like any other city. We were proud a city which thrive on our accomplishments and had the ambition to prove the world wrong. Now, I can’t even call this once beloved city home anymore because it has become one big poverty, racial-biased and uneducated war zone. Who there to blame for the decline of my city? The people who still choose to live here.
I know this come to shock that an actual citizen is saying negative things about the city. For me, this post and my opinions are long overdue. So much, I do mean so much has happened in the city for a couple months. According to a Huffington Post article 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America, Memphis is among the top five in fact WE ARE THIRD MOST DANGEROUS CITY . We have people and dirty politicians, who used to worked for county but got to the city became corrupted, have on rose-colored about the mere perception of Memphis as good. The city of Memphis has not or probably never will address these three things race, poverty and corruption.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother always told me the day Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated here on April 4, 1968, the city of Memphis will never be the same. She told me it was a like curse came over the city and people have been stuck in the racially enslaved mindset of the sixties. As a little girl, I did not believe it . I thought everyone loved everybody. As the older I got and traveled to other states, I would say Memphis is the most if not top racist cities in America. Everything is about color about race . Why is everyone so fixated on race? Most recent news in city of Memphis which made national headlines about Memphis police officer killed on Saturday August 1, 2015 during a traffic stop. Officer Sean Bolton responded to a car parked in a particular place. The shooter Tremaine Wilbourn shot the officer multiple times. As reported, he had two grams of marijuana on him and on probation. Monday August 3, 2015, Wilbourn turned himself in to police. This was in plight when Memphis Police Director Tony Armstrong put out massive hunt and publicly calling the shooter a “coward”.
In light of the situation, the city has not been more divided on race than ever. You have one side saying the shooter deserve the death penalty and never been on streets at all. On the other hand, there is another side claiming the shooter acted in self-defense and this payback for all the police brutality among African Americans. In the light of the black lives matter movement, this year has been a year police brutality ending in murder and killer walking free. Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Gardner and here in Memphis Daurrius Stewart all have been the catalyst behind the black lives matter movement. I do agree black lives do matter but do we scream that when black man kills another black man. Two weeks ago, a teenager in my city ,who was about to go to college ,was killed over a basketball game by another black man. Where is the uproar on black lives matter? This madness need to stop. We as citizens definitely need to stop looking at everything through black and white lenses. Race is not always issue but there are other contributing factors. Do I believe racism still exists? Hell yeah, it still exists. The reason it still exists because of people with a close-minded attitude passing their ignorance to next generation and sensationalized by media coverage, which adds fuel to the fire. The beast of racism will always exist if only if we allow it to.
Poverty has always been the bastard issue that is lightly addressed. If you live in Memphis, you can make the ends meet if work for particular companies such as FedEx, Methodist, & Baptist hospitals and most importantly the city government. If your degree or specialty falls outside the bubble, you are screwed. Trust me , I personally know. The poverty rate in Memphis is 27.7%(35th highest) and there are 82.5% adults with high-school diplomas (82nd lowest) according to the Huffington Post. These stats tell me there is need for education. When I was growing up, my grandmother made sure I obtain not only high-school diploma but a college degree. My grandmother was a sharecropper and only obtained an eighth-grade level education. The city should pour their money into educational programs for adults instead of stuffing it in their pockets. On the other hand, people don’t need to wait on the government to educate, feed and take care of child. If you are able to part your eyes in the morning, you are master of destiny. Get up and make the necessary changes to make life for you better. I encourage you those who are not from Memphis to take a drive around the city. Don’t travel to the Downtown Memphis area or Graceland but go North and South Memphis to see what I see. It hurts to me to see children to come to school because that is the only time they can eat. Come on, we got to do better.
Political corruption ain’t that America. It is alive and well in Memphis. It is my opinion the city as a whole would do so much better if they fire everyone. We have the same city leaders doing the same thing absolutely nothing. They sit in their chairs, get the perks and collect a check a fat one too. I urge the citizens of Memphis to vote all these folks out. Until then, we have the same stuff but a different day. As far as the current mayor of Memphis, A.C. Wharton, my opinion is it is time to turn off A.C. in this city. That’s all. This happens because once again we allow it to happen. Everyone is comfortable in their safety net until danger or trouble knocks on your door. Corruption will continue to go on until we finally exercise our right to vote instead of standing in line for some Jordans.
I feel this place is not home to me anymore. With all violence happening everyday, I have consider moving my family somewhere safe. It hurts me to core my city has become what is war zone. Instead of teaching the children how to resolve a conflict, you have tell them how dodge bullets and play dead if someone is shooting. This is not living not for me, for citizens and definitely for the average human being.
To citizens and politicians of Memphis,
It is high time for you to wake up or this city and everyone in it parish day by day.
What will be left of this mecca of the south? NOTHING