October 5, 2009
New Orleans, La is mostly known to the world as a party or carnival city, but to my family and community, New Orleans is our home. Three generations of my family have been born and raised in the 3100 block of Fairmont Dr in a community named Gentilly. All three generations have experienced playing outside while police sirens were constantly in the background or walking home from school, sharing the sidewalk with thugs and gangsters. Many communities in New Orleans undergo so much exposure to crime that isn??™t being reported or is kept ???under wraps??? from the public eye, which would lead to the reason of why our crime rate continues to be on the rise.
Up until 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, many residents did not know of the crime rate in Gentilly. The news and city officials seemed to spotlight the crime in areas of the city where poverty was at its worst. The fact of the matter was that the everyday shootings, drug trafficking, and gang violence was and for a long time had been how crime was in the city. My grandmother has always filed complaints to city hall to get recognition of the violence in Gentilly to be seen by the public, but all of her attempts failed. Then our community as a whole attempted to bring positive reinforcement to the community??™s crime. This was also a failed attempt because of the lack of organization.
In my opinion, my community and others like mine should have organized groups that actually meet and have formal petitions against the crime. These groups should not go against to city or its officials, but rather join up with the police and help clean our streets of the crime. I love personally love if at least some of the crime went away because I love my hometown and my community, but home is where one should feel safe and I have never felt safe at home.