For years the city of Detroit has induced strange looks and snide remarks when people ask me where I’m from. Although I have not lived there for close to 12 years, I still defend my city. I get defensive when people speak negatively about my city. I still represent my home teams in every sport. I am a Detroit girl all the way. I love my city.
In recent years I’ve noticed a drastic change in the city that I love so dearly. My city has been raped of it’s beauty and it’s treasure. It has been deprived of quality time and attention from its inhabitants. It has been overthrown by death and destruction.
The city has begun to turn people against one another. Reports of mothers torturing and killing their children. Reports of dead bodies found in cars. Reports of missing and exploited children. Reports of people murdered in their homes. Reports of babies being left in cars intentionally. Reports of semi-arsenals being used in road rage shootings. Reports of fatal domestic violence against women and children.
Every day as I defend my city from the strange stares and snide remarks, my city is attempting to defend itself from implosion. I’m slightly removed from the direct pain that my city is experiencing but everyday I am exposed. Every day, as I scroll through my timeline, I see posts with news of more reports of death and destruction in Detroit.
I hurt for every family that gets the call or the visit or the message that their brother, daughter, niece, sister, mother, cousin, aunt, husband, uncle, nephew, father will never be home again. I know the feeling of having to sit in a room and view a recording of a person that you were just speaking to and laughing with in order to confirm their identity because the catastrophic gunshot has caused severe mutilation to the skull and you cannot go in and view the body directly.
I know what it is like to be told to be quiet when you are speaking up asking for answers. I know what it means to be forced to suppress your desire for justice when justice is all that you want. I know what it feels like to have someone who you love an cherish ripped away from you due to violence.
I still love my city. That will always be home. It hurts to know that home is a place that I may not be able to go back to. Home is not as welcoming as it once was. Visitors become victims and suspects become ghosts. Crime ensues and heartbreak increases.
Schools are closing faster than church doors at prayer time and desperation is flooding the communities. Phones go unanswered for fear that there will be more reports of death on the other end. Message notifications get muted in case there is more news of tragedy attempting to get through. The city…this city…my city is attempting suicide. My city is crying out for help and the streets are filled with tears of blood. The screams break the glass of the abandoned buildings. The fight for survival is the only fight they have left.
They want peace and prosperity. They want success and support. They want love and loyalty. I want them to live to tell about how they got through it all.