Living in Rochester, there is a giant elephant in the room in which no one wants to discuss, but we’re all very well aware that it’s there. Rochester is known for being the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Not far from where I sit right now, is where Fredrick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony are buried, but if you were to walk through Rochester today, you would never guess that this is where it all began.
It’s everywhere you go. Though we don’t hear about it as often, it’s just as much an issue as it was back in the 60′s. Racism is growing within our communities, and there are little signs of slowing.
Today I was reading through the Facebook wall, when I came across a post from another local blog, Rochester Subway. A reader commented on the blog that African-Americans are the reason for the demise of Rochester. I scratched my head for a minute in pure shock, but then I gave it a serious thought. Though the comment was as wrong as any I’ve ever seen, it did make a solid point, which is rarely, if ever addressed. Racism is as strong as ever, right here in Rochester.
How the hell are we supposed to move on as a society when all we can do is blame the other party? How the hell are we supposed to progress as a people if when instead of working on a solution, we work to distance ourselves from it?
Everyone in Rochester hates everyone. No one seems to be safe from the bigotry that seems to come from all fronts. Whites, African-Americans, Asians, Latin Americans, they all hate each other. It’s evident when driving through the different parts of the city which feel more segregated than in the ’60′s south. When you ask anyone who to blame, it’s always someone of a different color, a different race, belief, sexual orientation, or political background. No one can ever look into a mirror and put any of the blame on the person looking back.
I don’t think this is a way to achieve sustainability within a community, much less within an entire city or society. I don’t think we can sustain anything when people would rather work against, rather than with one another. Who’s to blame? It’s everyone. We’ve all contributed to the demise of the city I call home. Every time we purchase a product made in China, or when we buy produce grown at the other side of the country, while here we are with one of the most fertile and active agricultural movements in the country right here. There isn’t a single person reading this who can honestly say that they’re not guilty of any of this. As much as I try not to be, I’m guilty. We all are.
What can we do? We can stop blaming everyone for your problems. We can stop crying when we lose our jobs because the American product is being outsold by the foreign product. That wouldn’t happen if we truly supported our own economy.
Then again, I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
Thank you Rochester Subway for the inspiration for today’s rant.
That was a year ago and after all the work that’s been done, things are getting worse. We’ve had a steep rise in crime, poverty is still out of hand, and still, no one is willing to take any responsibility for anything, including their own actions.
I would like to hear from each and every one of you. I would like to know what is your solution to this problem which has infected Rochester right to the very foundation of who we are as a community.