Last week was a momentous week for certain residents of Highland Hills, a small community located in Southeastern Dallas. For the past 8 YEARS the area lacked among other basic necessities a grocery store. Imagine 8 YEARS without a grocery store. Imagine having to go to another city to get food. Imagine having to ride the bus to go to another sector of Dallas, to go to a store and get fresh food. Imagine having to walk as much as 45 minutes to an hour to and from an adequate supermarket to get food. Imagine having to bring backpacks on your journey to load up with groceries to take back to your home. Imagine having to hop on the bus or walk with a couple of bags of chicken, a 15 pound bag of potatoes, a gallon of milk, bread, veggies among other things. I did all of that, and wore out numerous pairs of shoes in the process.
The previous local store, E-Zee Shop, which existed even before my parents arrived here in 1972, had become a shell of a supermarket until it closed around '07/'08. The atmosphere was dreary to say the least, and most of all meat, fruits and veggies were not up to par, the refrigerator equipment had become well outdated, causing meat and fruits/veggies to lose their freshness. Bread was rumored to have mold and droppings in them. I say rumors because I didn't witness it myself, but I clearly remember seeing Flour Weevils in a couple of cake mixes I purchased. When I went to the owner/operator to tell them what happened, they informed me of a switch in warehouses, mostly likely an older warehouse, as the reason for the change in the quality of food.
Plus the people there were not always the best when it came to customer service. Some people had run ins with them. The old man who owned the building was somewhat cool, but after his death, it was off the hook. The story as some folks tell it was they closed up because they were robbed at gunpoint. Typical hood story, yeah I know.
However a neighboring tenant who ran her own tax service stated they were not only mean to customers, but also to her as well, and cited that mistreatment among local citizens may have actually caused the robbery, as an act of retaliation and not just some attempt to get money.
I can agree with that analysis, because after closing shop for several months, the same people came back as another so-called grocery store, this time they called themselves Value Giant, promising to open up as a totally different store, even promising to open a deli, and allow customers to rent DVDs. Doesn't sound to me like the robbery attempt affected them that much.
Within days, maybe less than a week or two, Value Giant had to close down, selling off their meat at prices like 25 cents a pound. Did another robbery cause this to happen? Not at all. What happened was Value Giant was using E-Zee Shop's old outdated equipment (since they were the same people anyway), including the refrigerator, causing the meat to become brown and aged, and ultimately they could not operate any longer. My question is simply why would you try to re-open a store using the same antiquated, broken down, substandard equipment anyway? What does that say about your perception of the community you claim to serve?
Well you know how it is in the hood right? It's never their fault as to why these areas become targets of urban neglect, right? It's not the city's fault as to why a prison was built in the surrounding area before the crime actually came, right? It's all these damn criminals around here, right? Even if crime was not a problem at all, even when Highland Hills was considered a lower-middle class neighborhood designed and built especially for African-Americans who were looking to move their growing families into actual homes they could afford to buy, before the crack and drug era, before the proliferation of street gangs, but hey, let's not blame them, and definitely do not bring up the subject of racism. Racism and Dallas, Texas does not go together at all, even if in 2010 they allowed a casino named after a Native American tribe to post an offensive giant size advertisement in the middle of Downtown Dallas.
It's always the citizens' fault, and we blindly jump right on the bandwagon, with our self-hating, one -bad-apple-spoils-the-whole-bunch, believe everything they say about us, selves. Can you believe local ex and current politicians actually believed that developers refused to assist in "revitalizing" and investing in the area because of a few young Black men who wore baggy pants, and the supposed crime in the area?
During a talk about art in 2013 one ex-politician tried to challenge me on not believing such an idea, leaving me to present the flyer that the city of Dallas was sending out in 2010, encouraging local residents to vote yes to allowing liquor and beer to be sold in local stores, claiming the money accumulated would help build roads, parks, and aid in the police force.
For more information on this please read my blog "Sobriety Is The New Enemy." Here is the link: http://realquwwa.blogspot.com/2010/10/sobriety-is-new-enemy.html
So imagine this community being persuaded to allow a store that we don't have, because nobody wants to invest in such a "crime-ridden" area (code word for "a place filled with niggers") to sell a DRUG which contributes to up to 20,000 road deaths ANNUALLY, but not good enough to actually put a STORE with FRESH, QUALITY, AND REASONABLY PRICED FOOD in a neighborhood to aid and assist its citizens? And don't tell me nothing about paying taxes...We all know about taxation without representation...
Now that's gangsta nigga....
(TO BE CONTINUED)