Friday, November 16, 2018

The Underbelly

This morning I woke up to varying shootings, kidnappings and varying other criminal activities that dominate the news.  Then I read about the shocking surprising reality behind the Amazon announcement of the "excellence" center being established here sometime in 2021.  You would think that it is next week and given the math and intellectual skills of the average resident that is entirely close to reality.

The Chamber of Commerce, or the real power brokers, of Nashville of course played up that the city is on the upswing and there is ample tech skilled individuals here to assume any number of jobs that Amazon or any other business could demand in the time ahead. Sure.  I am not sure who got sold a line of bullshit here but it seems that they threw in some local flavor and a woman who graduated from TSU (notably she is white given it is a largely black college) to seal the deal.  Okay then.

Apparently they failed to mention that the education system generating future employees suck, that the tech field here lacks, only 1/3 of the state residents possess degrees and even fewer graduate high school. But they I am sure told them of Haslam's "Promise" of free tuition for two years after graduating high school and the additional plan that now has adults enrolling for certificates over the age of 25 and that it too is just a success story despite that both programs are not even five years in, which would mark how many went on to pursue higher degrees or even to know what jobs they found and with what salary ranges they are in.  Who needs facts? Apparently data driven Amazon neglected to get those but hey when you are wined and dined and sixty-nined who cares!

Did Vanderbilt bury the story of the rapes on campus? Or how about UT? Did they neglect to mention to Amazon that Lipscomb and Belcourt and Trevecca are all campuses that profess God over country?  That Fisk and TSU are largely black colleges that are struggling with their own issues to meet the needs of a sorely neglected community?  Did they mention that despite the diversity of the City there is little to none in State or local Government other than a few positions of note?  Did they mention the strong anti gay rhetoric here?  Did they mention that Trump is  a God here?  Did they neglect to mention anything that took the shiny sheen off the keys they were waving to distract them from the Public housing units that encircle the entire city, the lack of transits, the sidewalks, the flood of 2008 that nothing has been done to resolve the potential of it happening again?  Or how building here does nothing to withstand high winds or have to disclose flood damage?  Or how about the fact that the city of Nashville was in arrears in over 35K just six months ago?  Money that was allocated for the dumpsters or what they are commonly referred to our public schools or other needed metro services like Police or Firemen? Or the ongoing drama surrounding our TBI and varying other public agencies?  Or really even how bad our schools are in and of themselves.  So much to the point the Board is requesting not one but two different audit firms to asses the endless corruption?  What is even more hilarious is that the supposed "richest" county in America (they are unaware of Medina home to both Bezos and Gates I assume) Williamson, cannot even agree nor find the money to build schools in such a supposedly important part of the area. So much for focus on education cause even the "rich" don't want to pay for it. I have said repeatedly that education here is at the bottom level of import.   Guess not.

Most of the crime is directed by children to children.   Yesterday not one, not two, not three but four bomb threats were called in directed to varying schools in East Nashville by a 15 year old student at one of them.  This morning just up the road in Mt. Juliet a teenager was arrested for murder. That wasn't even the crime of the day. The Knife wielding maniac.  The pellet gun toting babysitter (well grandmother was in jail so that may explain some of this).  The girl kidnapped leaving her babysitting job, taken to bank to draw money from an ATM and then escapes only to get shot. Another man shot in a parking lot.  Somebody else will get shot later or whenever, I'm psychic that way.

Seattle has a massive homeless problem some of it generated by a lack of housing and in turn neglect from construction over the years which is part of the problem in San Francisco when they enact strong legislation to prevent such building you have a squeeze, then the costs rise and then what was once affordable becomes inaccessible.  Seattle was largely single family homes which were in clustered neighborhoods with transit and walkability overall making the city fairly easy in which to get around. There were distinct neighborhoods with the issue of color very much marking how they were structured but they were all distinctly within the city.  Nashville does not have the same composition and structure and in turn the historical components that enabled these two cities to change over time are a reflection of those willing to energize the locals to take on the heavy lifting. This is not happening in Nashville, the flood of 2008 literally opened the gates to enable outside individuals to enter the market and remake the city in an image that is now coming to the forefront. With the build of a convention center and politicians willing to do whatever it took to rebuild and re imagine a city without having to pay for it, actually do it they did. The developers took advantage of the South's ignorance, its desperation and its ability to sell out at any cost turned what was a sleepy little dog assed town into the supposed city of "it."

The reality is that the history of Nashville was it had to merge city and county offices together in order to fund the Government, the strip of Broadway was once a dump, the well to do with claims and history here were not residing here and they ensured that their enclaves were well isolated from access thanks to no sidewalks, no transit and other means in which to get to their homes easily. They knew the way to get home you did not. This breakdown of Nashville's residential areas redefine the meaning of hood.

 Seattle does not have that in common with Nashville but then again it has always been a largely white city.  As for manners and politeness goes along with the idea of Southern Hospitality here is akin to saying hello. Seattle does that too it is called courtesy. For years that was a noted trait until the reality of living in Seattle with its so-called "freeze" and in turn passive aggressive nature began to show its underbelly.   It is only a matter of time before Nashville's systemic racism, its obsession with religion and money along with its ultra conservative beliefs raises its head and exposes the belly below.   People here are by far more tribal in Seattle there are always sports and identities associated with that but nothing like here with College sports, where one is from and an identity tied so collectively to their place of birth.  Even Vanderbilt, the home school, studied that issue.  I have never used county distinctions in my life, never felt compelled to go I am UW proud, nor felt compelled to call myself a Washingtonian or Seattleite to prove my worth.  I have never actually known anyone to do so either but then again times change as do people.

As I sit here and wait out the day to end at the alternative school I am at I am trying not to be afraid, nor angry nor even bored.  The doors are perpetually locked and that includes the bathrooms so the sink will once again be my toilet.  For if I leave the room to find someone to unlock the bathroom I have to find them again to unlock the room and if I leave the room unlocked my stuff will be stolen. Learned that the hard way.  Even letting the kids in I am afraid as they have no boundaries and on the teacher's desk was a bag of candy, which as I was shutting the door he took it and was eating it by the time I turned around. That is how they stole my phone the last time. Boundaries here are non-existent and they are truly disturbing.  So is Amazon going to hire any of these boys to work in their office?

One boy was sure I knew him from another high school I have subbed at. I assured him I have no clue as I go to five schools in five days and I see hundreds of kids a day at the end of the week I don't even remember what school I was at on Monday so no.  Then more personal questions about where I live, who do I live with, etc.  Again all of it bizarre and again I just lie.  A couple of years ago a gal at this same school asked me what it was like to be a Widow. I forgot that was one of the many lies I came up about my personal history.  I assume they believe this is polite but I know it is done to mock and debase as later another boy joined the group and the discussion about how I take the bus was mentioned and that I was stupid and slow which is why I take it.  I am sitting right there. Yes this is Nashville you are truly a disgrace of a city.  Your underbelly is worn thin and raw and I am embarrassed living here.  Amazon you could not have found a better place in which to locate said offices, you are fit like a glove.  Not one OJ Simpson had but no less spattered with blood.

**and since I wrote this the same school is now an hour in a lockdown as a kid threw a fit.  I am hungry, angry, tired, bored.  This is what it is like in schools that teach the poor and marginalized. There are two Police on duty and from what it appears is that the kid postured with the Cop. Big problem and overreact is not something Cops do right? The underbelly is raw from all the scratching.

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