Sunday, January 3, 2010
Hopes for the New Year
Like all products of the human imagination, St. Louis is full of contradictions.
While I see middle-class African Americans everywhere I go, there are pockets of the city that look like the worst cliches of Detroit--bombed out blocks of buildings, boarded up homes, small businesses with iron bars across their windows.
On a phone-in radio show on Christmas Eve, leaders in the city talked about their wishes for the New Year. Many expressed their desire to more fully grapple with segregation in this very American city.
A small beacon of hope: this sign off of Delmar in the Loop. Not a fancy, in-your-face sign, just one sitting quietly observing the traffic crossroads as Delmar transforms abruptly and absolutely from a vibrant college / touristy street into one of those depressed areas.The sign above, however, signals some hope for us all.
Other things I hope for in the coming year:
That our system of justice actually punishes the people who drove the economy into the tank--in other words, the white collar criminals who caused million dollar plus negative economic impact on people around the globe be truly punished.
That women across the globe attain rights to health and safety and equal access to economic opportunities. I heard on NPR once (or maybe I read this in a book about the history of feminism in Egypt?) that, in the developing world, for every $100 a woman earns, she puts $90 towards her family; for every $100 a man earns, he puts $90 towards his own pleasure. Imagine how countries could develop with more investment in the education of women and girls?
That we draw our war in Iraq to a close, and that the American government recognize our military actions in the Middle East are but a foolish inheritance from post-World War II European imperialism. We need to think of our own future, not protect the actions of Old Europe.
I also hope to see my boyfriend Kevin more in the New Year--this may be the one wish I have some control over!