When I posted this yesterday, I said that there is someone always cleaning somewhere in Germantown. I was standing in a corner store waiting to pay for my food, and this older gentleman comes up and starts sweeping. I’m sure he was doing it for a few dollars in his pocket, but you can’t tell me that the only people who want a cleaner Germantown live above Chelten Avenue. We all want a cleaner and safer community, but some of us need incentives. When we stop trying to shame people about the behavior and do more to encourage people to take ownership, we may see a change. A lot of people feel like this community doesn’t belong to them anymore and therefore feel justified in littering and engaging in other antisocial behaviors.
Germantown needs to get real about these racial and class dynamics if it intends to change in a way that looks and feels more inclusive than how other communities have done it. We can’t be like, well, we’re good with the fact that we have a few model Negros, so we’re racially diverse ENOUGH. And so on and so forth. The numbers just don’t support this utopian perspective. We have to come to an understanding that community will look a whole lot of different ways to different people as defined by their socioeconomic reality.
Anyway, that’s my two cents on the matter.