Thanks For Not Shooting?
This woman is doing exactly that in Uptown:
I have lived in Uptown since the mid eighties. It is different now. Back then it was a bonified ghetto, with burnt out buildings, drunks to step over on the sidewalk and children of drug addicts playing on the streets in rags. Over the years it has changed. Like much of the North side of Chicago it has been gentrified. Starbucks and Borders, condos and a Target. Only there are still gangs.
[...] The Black P Stones are a few blocks away on Magnolia, and they battle the Uptown Vice Lords who live on our street. In the summer the Vice Lords hang out near our building, behind the school. I hate that they are selling drugs, I hate that their leaders send younger members like so much cannon fodder to kill one another. Lives ruined, mothers crying for dead children. Gangs are easy to hate. It is easy to see the insanity of what they do.
But this woman isn't hating them. She's teaching her kid to respect them:
In the summer my family walks to where the P Stones hang, a park across the street from Starbucks that has a big water fountain. They are there with their families. The dads play basketball and the kids play with my kids in the water. The adults get a kick out of Jude, my big autistic son flapping and laughing in the water, and Eden, my eight year old, runs around with the other kids. Once one of the men made a joke about Eden’s bright red hair, and he scowled at the group of men, not wanting to be singled out.
I brought Eden over and had him apologize. These members of the P Stone nation were incredulous, this lady making her kid apologize to them. “Just trying to teach him to be respectful,” I explained. Not because they were P Stones, or because this was their park. Because they were humans, people, who God loves and have mothers and children and matter. How am I going to teach my son that the homeless man on the corner matters if I deny the humanity of someone in a white tshirt? I didn’t say that. Mr. P Stone smiled at me, and nodded respect to my husband.
Respect? Highly doubtful unless your husband was packing a pistol or a something. And then she's thanking them for not shooting her husband, even though they just shot at least one person on her block:
- Uptown is my home, just like the guy with the white tshirt at the park. Just like him I have sin, and a mother who loves me, and I need some direction, somehow to make sense of this sinful, broken world. Merry Christmas, Mr. P Stone. Thanks for not shooting my husband, and try to stay safe. Hope to see you next summer at the park. God loves you, and I am guessing your mother does, too. Take care.