Friday, April 17, 2009

What we want, what we really, really, want is a safe park

This comment was left today on an earlier DTES Enquirer post, "Murder on the Right Side of the Tracks".  It was a response to my point that the murder of Wendy Ladner-Beaudry in Pacific Spirit Park on the west side park has 75 police officers working on it while Downtown Eastside murders, such as the murder of a young woman at the Cobalt Hotel,  seem to get less resources.    

"I was very upset by your post. I resented the comparison. But you are right to a degree. A straight living woman (or man for that matter) murdered in the downtown eastside deserves the same investigative efforts as anyone. I just don't understand why people need to shove comparisons in our faces. There doesn't seem to be any consideration for the person killed or their family; just an opportunity to point out perceived social inequity.

The Cobalt situation is a poor comparison in my mind because the individuals involved have already rejected society's rules. Why should society exhaust itself untangling their nasty web. They were participating in illegal acts so they deserve less of our resources. Honestly, I don't even care who committed that murder. It's one less drug user/seller to deal with.

But when a presumably "straight- living" woman is attacked and killed in a normally safe public park it does raise alarms. Hundreds of people use that park each day, not to sell drugs or practice prostitution but to get exercise, walk their dogs and socialize peacefully each day. Most women don't enter the park alone but now NONE can without very real fear. 

Maybe part of the problem is that we desperately need to believe and preserve areas as safe in a city where so much has become almost forsaken. I was born and raise here, I've lived on the eastside and the westside as well as some suburbs and I definitely need to feel like there are areas that are "sacrosanct". Untouched by violence, drugs and all the other negative and destructive forces at work in this town. We used to shop at Army and Navy when I was a kid. Back then the people you saw were down and out, some were alcoholics, but I wasn't afraid. Now it has become a total hell whole, drugs everywhere. I actually worry that my shoes might be penetrated by a needle if I'm not careful of where I step.

I really don't think it is such a bad thing for people who make different choices in life to want and even expect to be able to feel safe."

No comments: