Beating in a Beauty Salon:
I hope that's not the core of the future-orientation of Oakland
I'm slaggin' on my blogging and have been thinking of this latest story to surface in the Dimond Community this past week. Gone viral on the internet because of the disturbing video [embedded below] shared via Channel 7, the story concerns a beauty salon merchant in the Dimond District beat up in their store during business hours. [link to blog article on the Channel 7 site].
What is it about violence that seems so impossible to overcome and the continuing crime that seems despairingly to be accepted as part of Oakland culture? Maybe I'm watching too much of The Wire on netflix. A friend is in town this week and repeated on a recent drive their surprise about how nice Oakland is, that it's not just crime-infested ghettos ridden with violence and drugs as portrayed in the news. We were in the Glenview, on the border of the Dimond, in which there is crime like this beating, like the dead man dropped from a car in front of the library in the past month, and deals that I see happening most days along McArthur.
In the face of it all I feel helpless. What can I do? What do I do? Believing through faith, that we're called to overcome evil with good I feel convicted and called, yet all do often unclear about what and how I can be present like that in our neighborhood and shared city. A recent post on A Better Oakland asks the question "What are the core functions of a city?" Maybe that's the starting point. Oaktown has to be about more than hiring more cops, or putting up with crime, or hoping to move up the hill to Montclair.