Shreveporters Have No Pride in Their City [OP-ED]
Last week, I wrote an article about how Millennials (people close to my age) view the city of Shreveport and its problems. I talked about the lack of opportunity in our community at the moment and how the city as a whole never takes the time to pat themselves on the back for their accomplishments or its rich history.
Then, when the article was posted on Facebook, roughly 95% percent of the comments were negative. The comment thread was literally everything that is wrong with our community. It was dozens of comments from people threatening to leave or saying how dangerous Shreveport is and how nothing is ever going to change here.
And, lets be honest, that's EXACTLY why Shreveport is in the position it is in. You have a large group of folks who elect the same leaders, do nothing to better the community and just moan and complain about how bad it is. They do absolutely nothing to fix the issues around us...they just bump their gums and convince their friends that this place is a cesspool that needs to be burned to the ground.
When I talk about millennials fleeing this town like it was cursed....this is a large part of why they're leaving. Not only is there a lack of financial gain, but on top of that, we have to deal with a bunch of folks talking about how bad things are while never lifting a finger to make it better.
That's one of the reasons I'm mighty fond of former mayor Cedric Glover. While I don't always agree with his politics, there is no bigger cheerleader for our city. He celebrates our wins. He acknowledges our rich past. And, when we have a problem, he doesn't characterize it as a hopeless proposition, he works to fix it. Now, we can debate the merits of his solutions, but at the very least, he's trying to do SOMETHING! He's not a keyboard warrior talking about the downfall of the city.
And while we're talking about violence and crime, its really not that bad. Don't get me wrong, we have A LOT of work to do in our community. The blight and poverty is out of control...which is leading an uptick in crime. But, the notion of "if you go to Shreveport, you'll get shot" is just stupid. Plain and simple. I've been to cities and towns where you have to constantly look over your shoulder and be prepared for a gun fight...this isn't one of them. Memphis, Tennessee for example is an EXTREMELY dangerous place. But that doesn't stop residents from having pride in their city or working to make it better. They don't just curl up in a ball and never leave the house because the murder rate is much higher than it should be.
Yet, people use that excuse not to support the wonderful things we have in our community. They won't go to a Mudbugs game or the Fair or a concert or any number of things because they "fear getting murdered". Well, if you truly feel that way, I-20 goes east and west...I-49 goes north and south. Please leave. We don't need you here. This community will never grow or prosper if we don't support what we have. If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
And, like I said, I'm not blind or naive. I'm well aware that we have issues to work through in this community. But, I have pride in my city. I WANT to make it better. I WORK to make it better. A lack of pride in our city has lead to mounds of trash, an ever increasing number of run down facilities, people and businesses fleeing town...if we're ever going to make this city what it should be, we must take pride in it. If not, we're just as hopeless as the idiots on Facebook say we are.