I just noticed a little more damage than usual and decided to pull over and just check it out. As I walked towards the front along side the MLK mural I noticed I kicked a rock or something. Then a foot or two more and I kicked another. So I looked down and realized that my foot was about to collide with a massive pile of HUMAN shit. Pissed I looked up and see the front door barely covered by ply wood which is broken, so I could see into the building which is of course in disarray, and of course I noticed more piles of human feces around the entrance. This is a literal shit show.
I’ve been pretty silent on the exodus from the building I grew up in, as I really didn’t have much control over it’s sale and nothing to do with it after; however, to watch my former office, my childhood nostalgia, and let’s be honest, an iconic location in South Dallas be treated like some toilet in an alley really hurts.
So why is this the case? I imagine the new owner had to show what would happen to the building after it’s purchase, I heard some stories of multi purpose, multi function, co working blah blah blah, but as of today, there is nothing but blight on the busiest street in south Dallas. The thing that makes me most upset is the legacy and history that building represents, and how it’s being abused. More-so, I continually see people posing majestically in front of my mural, (yeah MINE) and acting as though there is some baton being passed. Folks will stand on legacy and act like they earned it. I’m tired of it. I live here, I work here, I raise my children here and I take it all very seriously.
I can’t really take it personal, the trend seems to be happening up and down MLK and throughout south Dallas. Building or some piece or property get purchased, people take pictures, media PR surge, next week, building still sitting there. This is where I see the problem. These people may not realize the damage they do by NOT developing these properties. Gentrification aside, we need more development in our community, and there is verifiable evidence that having abandoned and run down properties in affects the literal health of residents, not to mention vandalism, theft and other crimes. We are just meant to sit and wait until some benevolent should feels like it’s time to help.
This is reflective of the over arching Dallas attitude about south Dallas.. they can wait. Just around the corner from my house is an asbestos ridden middle school that collects sleeping homeless and all the litter in the neighborhood. Is DISD doing ANYTHING to fix, renovate, sell?… not that I can see. Throughout my neighborhood are plots of land owned by random people who do nothing with it, unless you have some crazy amount of money to buy it from them. Again we wait, living in a broken environment.
And then of course there is my childhood home, the iconic corner building and Dallas photo destination the former Dallas Weekly building. Sitting front and center across from Madison, down the street from Fair Park. Prime real estate in this “let’s scoop up all the best property in Dallas that we once ignored” era. Surrounded.By.Shit.
I feel as though some of these folks are waiting for the neighborhood’s property and land owners to die just to swoop in and gentry with little resistance. It feels like that everyday. And those who should know seem to know nothing, or at least are ignorant of what they can do. City council is looking real typical like the “north Dallas business community” has a plan, and they seem to be on board for this apathy.
All I really want is for the lies to stop. Stop saying you’re here for the community, you care, you blah blah just say you want to make buck; or want these poor people gone, or just don’t give a damn.. all of that is a lot better and a lot easier to swallow than the blatant disrespect and disregard for my home.