Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kirkwood resident responds to racist letter

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Jeff Johnson has a thing or two to say to the person who penned and circulated a vitriolic, idiotic letter that threatened African-Americans who live in Kirkwood.

Johnson, a yearlong Kirkwood resident and long-time Georgian, says the key to "saving" his neighborhood is to band together against displays of hate — and against the criminals whose acts instill that hate. He describes himself to the letter-writer as "the tall guy walking down the street headed to the park with my mixed kids. Don't Shoot."

Dear Angry Kirkwood Vigilante:

I hope you’re not as racist as you sound and just really angry over something that has touched you personally.

You mentioned crackheads, so let's speak on drug epidemics. If you were in the suburbs, you would quite possibly have the same issue, only with non-African-American meth-heads. On to our specific issue here in Kirkwood: To everyone that bought a pricey house, and even those that brought a broke-down fixer-upper, my condolences. I would be upset too if I discovered the indigenous crackhead population after the purchase. I personally have grown up with the crack problem and have lost much more than my HD and Surround Sound, so allow me to offer these tips:

  • If you are house shopping in a neighborhood it the midst of gentrification, please visit it at night with a hood-savvy friend. If there are more people walking and hanging out at night than there were in the day, then something is amiss.
  • This one comes straight from my grandfather (who spent 30 years in the hoods of the poorest state in the nation without a single break-in): "Make your neighbors think you're crazy." I don't recommend you shoot a pigeon on the sidewalk with a sawed-off like he used to, but maybe some custom yard signage might do the trick. Examples: "Trespassers will be shot repeatedly," " Landmines beyond this point."
  • Again, I live here too. I've had my gas siphoned. I've had my mailbox pillaged. (Unfortunately, they don't take bills.) I work from home so I get to watch the same zombie-like guys stroll up and down the block all day long. They scowl at me when I walk out to get my mail with a pit bull. (Yes, a trained house dog you can leave at home in your absence is the best defense I've found).
  • This one is very important. Any businesses that permit loitering and panhandling on the premises need to be singled out and boycotted. We could also file complaints with the corporate headquarters of the businesses that allow that sort of thing.
  • Instead of posing in your window with a rifle, pose with a long-range camera lens and photograph the trespassers. Publish a website and post the photos. You could even print them out and post them around the neighborhood to let them know they aren't the only ones watching. I'll help.

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