I feel for the suburbanites who have to take their kids to swim practice at King Park on America Street. I understand their fear.
America Street is a cemetery where the American dream died. It's a sad, lonely stretch of dilapidated houses and government-subsidized apartments, where men post on street corners and wait for trouble to arrive. It is a haunted place that few Lowcountry suburbanites have ever visited, a place where just last week a 22-year-old man was shot to death at King Park, right next door to the pool where the suburban brood swim.
So I wasn't surprised to read a Post and Courier report by Dave Munday on a meeting yesterday between swim parents, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, and Parks and Rec staffers about the incident and what can be done to keep their children safe. And I wasn't surprised when the parents offered their multi-million dollar solution to the problem. Munday reports
As the meeting progressed, the focus turned from the police department to elected officials. They’re the ones who control the purse strings to build another pool in safer area, several observed. None of them was present.
“I thought somebody from the city would be here,” Jody Huddleston of James Island said. “That’s the problem, not the police department. We’re afraid for our children, and we want help. It’s the city that should have been here. We need help from the city.”
One parent pointed out that the city just agreed to spend $5 million for drainage on a soccer field near the aquarium, and that money could have gone toward a new pool instead.
And this is exactly why people suck.
These parents are so concerned about their own unique little snowflakes they've turned a blind eye to the equally special children who live on America Street, the sons and daughters of parents who frankly can't afford to live anywhere else, the members of families who've been stuck on America for perhaps generations.
These uppity suburbanites couldn't care about the suffering of the citizens of America Street. In the eyes of the swim parents, the people of America Street are untouchables, criminals, savages and each one is deserving of their hellish lot in life — or so goes the teachings of Dave Ramsey, Joel Osteen, and the other proponents of Wish List Christianity, where God rewards the most devoted with XBoxes, Hybrid Honda Odysseys, and convenient access to strip-mall sanctuaries where they can give credit-card oblations to Ann Taylor, Old Navy, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
If these people had any heart whatsoever, they would grieve for the people of America Street and urge the city to make their lives better. They would champion Head Start programs, after-school centers, and computer literacy courses for the children of America Street. But they don't, and they won't. A neighborhood is drowning, and they don't give a fuck. All they want is a new multi-million dollar pool for their children to play in.