i once was a part of a group on facebook. it seemed like a pretty good idea. neighbors wanted to help each other out. they wanted to be able to let people what was going on, and help find solutions. i don't know if this can ever really work, but i thought it was a good idea. eventually, i took myself out of the group.
yes, i left the "please help stop crime in the tower district" group on facebook.
why? well, despite the best intentions of the founders of the group*, it became a place to bitch and moan about the things that certain people didn't like. i admit, i wasn't fond of some of these things as well, but i also didn't think that these gripes really met the purpose of the group. yes, the tower community garden had become a mess, a nuisance, and some minor criminal activity was happening there, but overall, was that the problem of crime in the neighborhood? and the voluntarily homeless that loitered around some of the businesses were bad, but again, were they the major problem around? it was these sorts of frequent posts and ensuing comment threads that drove me out of the group, which, since it's a facebook group leaving was pretty easy.
the group continues on, as it should. and, as i would expect, it has just gotten worse. there are still some beneficial posts, stuff that actually alerts people about crime happening, but there is soooo much more. somebody thinks they heard a gun shot. someone saw some guy that looks "suspicious" in their neighborhood. the cops arrested someone in fresno with a gun so i'm posting a photo. i saw the cops, anyone know why? little ceasars is a nuisance. and the comments on most post, ugh. they range from racist to threats of violence to the occasionally helpful.
i mean, i understand if you just saw someone committing a crime, and you're giving people the heads up. but when there are continual comments and posts advocating open violence, i'm not sure you're helping to end crime in the neighborhood. i'm pretty sure that advocating crime isn't going to stop crime.
here's a few actual comments from recent threads:
"Forget the police. It's time
to shoot a thief when they try to rob your place. Maybe if a few gang
mutts were hung in front of the Tower they'd get the message and move
"Text me from now on since PD's
"too busy", besides there's only one thing these guys understand and it
isnt cell phone pics or threats to call the cops. Remember they didnt
grow up like you and me, their moral compasses are off, the threat of
the cops doesnt strike fear in them anymore because they know they'll be
out within the hour... so maybe a 6'5" 235lb tattoo covered Marine
confronting them would be the best medicine from now on"
"mark my words everyone, there
will be a day in the near future when we will have to rise up and
protect ourselves. Depending on a non existent police presence is not
going to protect you or your belongings anymore. We have to watch out
for each other, protect each other and stand up against this criminal
element who is preying on us like we are baby gazelle. If we ALL stand
up, If we all confront them in unison regardless of personal belief
about how to go about it, then they will stop. We cant stand idly by
anymore because we are too afraid to confront someone, we cannot let
these people take our possessions so freely. Please meditate on my words
friends. Because I will be standing with you should this be the case
when I am out, I will be emphasis to your voice and strength behind your
strength and courage. I hope that after reading this that we will start
making a difference, and not allowing people to stand alone as victims
now, those last two comments are from the same guy. who is he, bane?
here's one from someone else
"it's typical entitlement
society behavior. These street people think they can harass and
intimidate people. Then when challenged they want to play the
"homeless", "mentally ill' ,or "race card". It's time to teach them to
stop messing with people. This cavepest makes the mistake of sitting on
the ground in front of the post office in the afternoon. A good quick
kick from a steel boot might teach him some manners. Old ladies might be
scared of him but he better watch out. I's how they operate they target
people they think are weak or they can intimidate."
yep, this is going to stop crime in the tower.
my favorite part of the page, though, has to be the post about cafe corazon not opening until 10 a.m., and all of these people that "love" the tower attacking a successful business family for their decision to keep the hours that work for them. effing brilliant.
*please understand that this post is in no way intended as a slight to the founders or their intentions. the idea may be good, but i'm critiquing what the page has become and expressing the why i've left & stay away.