I wasn't born here, but I've lived here in Milwaukee since before my 1st birthday. This is my home. The current climate of anger, unrest and frustration may not be understood by those who live outside of the city or were not raised under the same circumstances as the people they judge for rioting. I'm in my mid-thirties, I go to a full time job every day, for 40-50 hours a week in addition to creating art in my off time, I just go to work and back home. I live a few blocks away from the Sherman Park area where this began. I may not like the violence or the damage being done to the city, Who does? But I am not angry with these young people. I can hear and feel the pain in their voices when they speak. It's time to listen to them. It's not just because of their personal loss of a family member, its deeper than that. Milwaukee has failed our youth. violence has surged here in the past few years, many Milwaukee Public Schools have been closing, jobs are leaving the city. There is a long history of police brutality here. These riots aren't just about a young man being shot by a police officer, it's an explosion of bottled up anguish and loss of hope. I understand. I won't condemn them. Milwaukee is the most segregated city in the country and often lands on those "Worst Cities for Blacks to Live in America" lists. I just hope that, with the eyes of the world turned to our city, we will start to see those in positions of power begin the work needed to bring about change.
This is my HOME.