Security is a Placebo, But Together We Stand,
I asked my teenaged daughter why young women walk in groups when they are downtown at night, hoping that she would tell me for safety of course. The answer was much different, she said because they feel like they are in there own world, a personal video shoot, moving in slow motion with the world watching. She then added that she knew that it was not true, but that was how she felt and that it felt good.
Marshawn Lynch Super Bowl Champion running backs mother would give him Skittles each time he scored a touchdown in little league as a child. She told him they were power pills, and that made him feel stronger but him in “Beast Mode”.
Today when he scores a touchdown the fans rain Skittles from the stands, and has a bag on the sideline to celebrate. I am sure he knows skittles the power pills story it is not true, but that is how he feels, and it must feel good.
Security is a Placebo, BEAST MODE Together
In his book “David and Goliath” Malcom Gladwell talks about bad perceptions, assumptions based on what we believe to be true or obvious. But it is often our beliefs that cloud our judgments and create problems like the Kitty Genovese story. We sometimes believe getting involved could hurt me, or that is none of my business, not my problem, somebody else will call 911, “they” will fix it, it’s not my broken window.
So what do we do to help others in some situations (like the Kitty Genovese's case)?
It takes both the placebo (personal video shoots, or power pills) and community involvement to make women and girls safe in urban low income communities. The bad guys can smell fear and they will prey on it. Women and girls have to believe they are safe. At home, in school, and in religious communities safety placebo’s need to be developed that build self-confidence and self-reliance. Build a Beast Mode in women and girls.
As a community we need build better relationships with the police and the police with us. Ninety percent of people in low income areas are good hard working God fearing people. But years of abuse has created mistrust of the people that should protect us. The protectors have a bad perception about the 90%. They are viewed no differently than the bad 10%. Malcom Gladwell describes this problem well in his “David and Goliath” as well. We need to work with local authorities and them with us to take ownership of the community back from the 10%.