From generation to generation, certain values and habits are carried on and on. But with these, our way of living changes, too. We have more and more rules and laws. The cost to survive everyday has increased.
We were good neighbors before. We could walk our streets at night with no fear. We could walk our streets during the day without being approached by someone who has learned to leech off others. We didn't need to lock our doors at night or close and lock our windows.
Now we have more technology, more knowledge, but we are not safe.
We are surrounded by drugs and gangs, which bring violence on our West Side. If you live here, you are exposed to it day in and day out. This doesn't mean the East Side doesn't have its share. They just handle it differently.
Our youth are the ones who are losing out. They go to school, but for punishment they are sent home, so they run the streets only to find involvement in becoming streetwise.
The education system has let them down. They go from feeling good about earning A's and B's to feeling good about which one of them has the best arrest record.
There are more of our youth who have little or no home life. They streamline into the nook and crevices of trying to survive the best way they can. They try to get a job. When they do they find the hours and pay are not enough to live on. So, they live in a group environment. Their family, their education, their society and the system have let them down.