Vox Populi (The Commentary of Blogger [a short-short story])

. . . and then she says:

Now that street thugs have cell phones they are not going to destroy the new terminals for charging cell phones–what, they did not have quarters when the cost of a pay phone was twenty-five cents? Of course any fear of the dregs of our city destroying community property is not to deter the city from offering this service to the community. Yet, does anyone remember trying to find a pay phone, especially in poorer neighborhoods? It was nearly impossible with how many were broken or trashed.

I am not maligning poor people, but saying simply that community property suffers greater damage from the public in poor neighborhoods than community property does  in more affluent neighborhoods anywhere and everywhere in America. People with greater livelihoods feel more invested in their community, it seems; but then this is not news, is it? Are we really only about money? It might seem this way. This is one way to understand this conundrum in our society. Do poor people in poor neighborhoods have less respect for what is communal? It does seem so, doesn’t it? They do, though, have a savage, nearly reptilian response to any affront to their own property, personal belongings. Step on some poor city kids sneakers and apologize and see what happens.

I just do not get poor people in city neighborhoods trashing their neighborhoods the way some of them do–and it’s true. They do trash their neighborhoods. They do shit where they eat and sleep. They are jackals, some of them. If you were to examine the amount of waste and refuse left in the gutter, on the sidewalks, in the halls and vestibules of their apartment buildings–what? You do not see that poor people litter their neighborhoods not only with paper but refuse that leads to more rats and roaches. Look at the buses and the trains that mover though these neighborhoods. What gives with poor people taking privilege with what they can do to community property and public spaces? And it is a sense of privilege–unless they feel so inferior to rich people that this is the only license they can come up with indulging in the matter of their liberty.

It is a privilege they take when they think they can leave their food refuse on the busses and the trains and in the hallways of their buildings. I have members of the poorer communities moving into my rent stabilized building and I am seeing chicken bones in the vestibule, sneaker boxes in front of the door, coffee cups half full on the stairs . . . the front door lock being repeatedly broken. There isn’t even the good sense enough to understand that they make themselves and their loved ones less secure by breaking the door lock when they insist on remaining too stupid to remember to take their key or too cheap to spend the dollar to make a copy ozone to take along–no! Let’s break the lock so I can spend my dollar on what I would like to know. You can’t imagine I would not want to beat any one of these dregs of humanity with a stick.

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