Violence isn't exclusive to Waldameer

Categories:  BloggERy    Opinion
Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 11:42 AM

A man was stabbed at Waldameer last night.

Actually, first reports used the phrase “slashed across the throat” when a fight broke out. Inside the park. Near the main ticket booths.

In the immediate aftermath, three people were taken into police custody and the injured man – whose name, age, and condition haven’t been released yet – was taken to a local hospital.

This incident – according to those initial reports – was one of several fights. That night. On Memorial Day.

But this isn’t new news. It’s becoming old hat for our city. “We’re the next Detroit!” cry some. “We knew it’d come to this!” bemoan others.

Less than 24-hours later, the conversation continues to rage on. The problem, though, is that after this isolated incident, the comments will slow, tempers will cool, and we’ll sit waiting – waiting for the next time violence rears its ugly head, which could be a week, it could be a couple days, or it could already be happening.

I’m not about to tell you that I have the answer to this problem. Not a single one of us does. But based on some of the Facebook posts and tweets I’ve been reading, I have some observations I can’t help but share.

Maybe it’s me, and maybe it’s because I’m seeing a rash of these posts today for another reason, but it strikes me not as odd for residents being up in arms over a violence incident – but odd for the outpouring of comments when such a thing happens to take place at an amusement park. In Millcreek.

My second response – after I thought about the horrors those involved must have experienced and terrors those who witnessed it must have felt – was that I wondered where this outrage is when something similar happens not in an amusement park but in the all-too-forgotten neighborhoods in our city.

Perhaps we’re too quick to write that off – that’s just what happens over there or because we don’t see it or have to bare witness to it, it strikes us as less concerning. But when it happens somewhere we’d least expect it, or somewhere where we actually are, then it’s a different story because it’s now our story.

Aside from the blaming, the finger pointing, the I-told-you-sos, the myriad single-issue answers that will boil to the top, let’s consider that no matter where this happens, it’s always our story because it always affects all us. For every dollar more that we spend on detention, that’s one less dollar that goes to education, jobs programs, revitalization – you name it.

So instead of sitting back in the comfort of your [INSERT NAME AND LOCATION OF YOUR COMFORTABLE SITUATION HERE] and pontificating, check out the following links and consider how you can be part of whatever answer rather than just another talking head. They’re outreach programs and anti-violence programming and they took me all of two seconds to Google.

It’s not a full list, but it’s a start:

Erie County Mental/Behavioral Outreach Programming: http://erie.pa.networkofcare.org/mh/services/subcategory.aspx?tax=TJ-6500.6300

MATV: http://matverie.org/

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