Comment 71778

By Borrelli (registered) | Posted December 01, 2011 at 13:37:44

It's crazy the degree to which our feelings of security are simply class-based stereotyping.


Two lessons: there certainly aren't mobs of criminals running around doing petty theft, and criminals doing petty theft aren't exactly masterminds. They stick pretty much to their routine and try to minimize their risk as best they can.

BINGO! I've been in Beasley for more than 5 years now, despite the fact that my Burlington-dwelling parents nearly shat a brick when they saw the neighbours and the bars on the windows. In all my self-righteous, grad-student glory, I implied they were being snobs, and we moved in anyway.

Since then, I've only ever felt insecure twice: when we found evidence that someone had been prowling in our backyard, and when some bulky meathead with a big dog told me to "get the fuck lost" when I confronted him for harassing and assaulting a woman on the street.

Those events were early on, and if they taught this suburban, lily-livered weakling anything, it was that security is a function of knowledge and confidence: the knowledge that, statistically, there was little to be afraid of (my neighbours were no more likely to be criminals than anywhere else in the city), and with that comes the confidence to go about your daily life without worrying about being a victim.

This conditioning is constantly reinforced depending on where you live and the life you see around you (or, in the burbs, on TV). My folks turn on their alarm system when they drive out to the Costco for milk (insane!), and I walk out my unlocked front door and walk two hundred metres to the bakery for mine. Their spidey sense tingles when they see an unfamiliar car parked near the house; I don't even blink as I walk past a car where my 80yr old neighbour is getting a hummer.

That's just life in the inner city, and it doesn't mean you're unsafe.

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