It's about our community and our spirituality!

Doing My Part To Protect The Black Community


I opened the backdoor of the apartment building to go to work.  As I crossed the backyard to my car across the alley I couldn’t help but notice there was a small moving van parked in the alley blocking my way.   It was a drag.  It would be easier to just go the other way down the alley than to sit and wait for somebody to move the truck.

There was a loud racket coming from the four unit apartment building next door.  It had been abandoned just the week before.  Suddenly, in one weekend, the three remaining tenets moved out of the building.  Two had rental trucks and one had moved their belongings into one of those pods you load your stuff into and somebody just hauls the thing away.

In the short time it had been vacated the building has had a few of its windows broken and somebody had already took its pipes.  Somebody left a hot water heater in the backyard next to the backdoor.  It wasn’t long before somebody else came along and picked it up.  The building had seen better days.  The truck was parked in the alley behind that particular house.  Hopefully it was somebody trying to repair the house.

The guy next to the van started acting suspiciously.  He saw me and then went behind the truck.  As I passed by the truck to my car, the guy was now behind the dumpster appearing as if he was looking for something.  The people who moved out had left a lot of broken furniture and small appliances behind.  It wasn’t unusual to see somebody picking through the stuff.  I didn’t think anything about it.

But without asking the man jumped in his moving van and pulled away.  People in this neighborhood don’t do much for others.  Consideration for others just isn’t a factor.  As the van pulled away I looked back across the alley.  I had a clear, unobstructed view of the back of the building next door.  I saw who and what was making the racket next door.  Somebody was pulling one of the refrigerators out.  He was doing it without the aid of an appliance dolly.  The door jam had been kicked in.  The guy banging the refrigerator around came into the alley to see where the moving van had gone.

As I drove away I saw the van came back from a quick trip around the block.  These guys were pushing all the wrong buttons.  I pulled out my cell phone and dialed emergency.  I told the operator that two men were looting the house next door.  I gave the operator a description of the two men and a description their van.  I didn’t get their license plate.  I didn’t want to look like I was trying to study them.

After talking to the operator I called Ms. Peacemaker.  She sometimes watches me as I leave in the morning.  I wanted to know if she had noticed the men next door.  She couldn’t help but notice them with all the noise they were making.  She had called the police as well.  But she told me the two burglars had been spooked and decided to leave before the police could get there.  Oh well, we tried.

Ms. Peacemaker called me at work later that morning.  The police had knocked on our door.  The police got a report of a burglary in progress and had come by to take a look.  Beavis and Butthead left but they didn’t go far.  They were sitting and waiting for what who knows just two doors down   When they saw a police car pull up they tried to speed away with their back door wide open and a refrigerator sitting inside.  The police came by asking anyone if they had seen anyone.  Ms. Peacemaker was more than happy to help.  She called me at work to see if I could add anymore to the police report.

I have to admit that I may be the last person in the world to compliment the police.  Generally speaking I think the police are way too enthusiastic to crack down on black people for things they would turn an eye to if they were happening anywhere else.

But I have to give credit where credit is due.  These burglars are two first hand contributors to the conditions in the black community.  Instead of using their limited ingenuity to get a job or to go into the refrigerator moving business, they’d rather break into the buildings and cause more problems for the people trying to buy a house in the black community.

So many of the homes I’ve looked at buying have been burglarized with pipes missing and walls trashed and stairways damaged and windows broken just so somebody can steal a little metal.  This ain’t fuckin’ Thunderdome where humanity has to scavenge off others to earn a living.  And then, these people don’t even have the respect for the people of the neighborhood to keep their larceny under wraps.  They boldly go into these houses and do whatever, making all kinds of racket as if they don’t care if the rest of the neighborhood sees them or not.

I don’t like calling the police on anyone.  I don’t like seeing anyone going to jail.  But more than that, I hate to see someone working to trash the black community.  If I had to make a choice between the police and some two bit thugs I will reluctantly dial the emergency operator.  These two men didn’t consider themselves members of the black community.  They saw the black community and that house as nothing more than suckers to be fleeced.  We don’t need that kind of attitude here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Life, Thoughts


  1. Thanks for posting this. The house next to ours is one of those vacant houses that has been looted. Over the three years it’s been empty, we’ve had to call the police, the owners, and when the pipes froze and burst, we had to call the fire department while we rushed out to Home Depot to buy pumps to clear the water out of our own basement.

    Before all this, the African American owner evicted all her African American tenants, believing, I think, that they could see the property better if it was vacant. This was probably THE moment when the price might have been the highest on the market. But it was overpriced, even then. The owner later came to us, suspicious of the last tenants for the break-ins they were having. But we knew these neighbors and they were the ones who really took care of the place when they lived there.

    The owner sealed up the place, ruined inside from the flood. The outside still looks nice even with the wrought iron gates and padlocks all around it. But about a year ago the owner died suddenly and her children are trying to deal with it. In October we called the police (twice) who were unable to catch the guy who broke in twice in one night. Last week a piece of their cornice fell off into our front garden.

    Obviously I miss the last tenants: a couple with a college-aged daughter and two grade school girls. I still see them once in a while and we chat, but it’s not the same as watching those little girls grow up next door, chatting with their father when we were out shoveling snow or sweeping the sidewalk, finding the little girl’s lost beanie baby in our garden and returning to her, riding in on the same subway with the mother.

    The economic downturn means that the house is not likely to be sold anytime soon. The money that the owners have now used to deal with the flooding and looting could have been nicely spent on regular maintenance for the building, which could then still be producing a regular rental income for them while maintaining the life of the community.

    Comment by Betsy Hansel | Sunday, March 1, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Betsy Hansel,

      I bet a lot of people are wishing that they did things differently during this economic downturn. I know a lot of people who bought property at the very worst of time. I know some people who were planning to see their property but wanted to sit on it a little longer because the prices were going up and up. Now that the bottom has fallen out people are regretting their greed. Hopefully, people will learn something about themselves and about their pursuit of wealth.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, March 1, 2009 | Reply

  2. Way to go Brother. When it comes to protecting me and mine, as well as my neighborhood…I’ll call the police in a heartbeat. Too many of “us” get harassed innocently as is. Its time to turn off some of the unnecessary heat “we” get at the expense of good citizens.

    Comment by RiPPa | Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback RiPPa,

      I wish people like these entrepreneurs would do more to help the black community rather than continue to wallow and reinforce the disparity that continues to permeate in and around the black community.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hey there!

    You did the right thing!! The problem is that many people see crimes in progress and do NOTHING! My sister told me that she pulled into the Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch and the girl who answered the drive through monitor said, “sorry we are closed right now”. My sister was suspicious because there were cars parked in the back of the lot where employees usually parked. She pulled off of the property and then turned the corner and called the police. The police arrived and there was a robbery in progress. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

    Every time my sister pulls in that drive through, the employees recognize her voice and give her free food!!

    Comment by BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet | Friday, March 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. You did the right thing. I live in a community where, my neighbors worry only about themselves, to the point where i don’t know their names. I lived here for over 10 years. Sure the community dose not allow cars of too old age to be in the driveway. So you car better be less than 5 years old. I am almost ready pack up and move overnight to humanity. Our mailbox has to replaced, I’m not sure why, Its standing up still. I guess is for aesthetic reason… I’m ready to talk to my neighbor 1 leaf from her tree fell on my property, maybe ill ask her for her name. BTW I’m white but don’t belong in my community.

    Comment by Adam | Sunday, May 2, 2010 | Reply

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