Letter: Restore hope and create opportunities

It’s amazing how people try to simplify a problem that’s centuries in the making. Shots were fired on Saturday night in downtown Cedar Rapids and if you read the comments section of the incident’s post on Facebook, they are ignorant and shortsighted, as usual. When one says “thanks Chicago”, what does one mean?

You should be thanking those in the first half of the 20th Century who passed policies and laws to deny people escaping the weight of Jim Crow in the south fair housing and fair wages. You should be thanking the poor schools available to the people who had no choice but to live in vertical ghettos, with little hope for much in their lives. You should be thanking those who are now capitalizing off that same land of those vertical ghettos, displacing thousands, sending them fleeing to neighboring states, looking for better opportunities because they now cannot afford to live in the luxury apartments, condos and homes that have replaced the vertical ghettos.

Lastly, thank yourself Cedar Rapids. Many of these “Chicago people” come to Iowa for a new beginning and all are labeled a problem. We have many young men and women, many who have encountered severe trauma in their youths, many who feel hopeless, many who feel like no one cares for them. And rather than finding ways and putting funds toward restoring hope and creating opportunities, we label them all as the problem. So I say thank you Cedar Rapids. Way to show care for your fellow man.

Gibril Mansaray

Coralville

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