Okay, so I will be M.I.A. for a little bit. Going off to explore the allure of Rio de Janiero, Brazil ! But as I was doing some tremendous research on this beautiful city I couldn’t help but be bombarded by several warnings to be safe. In fact, it is the report of the several crime rates that turns many people off of this city. However it is a major tourist destination and almost everyone who goes always goes back (even if they were the victim of a crime while visiting). Call me crazy but if I got jacked in jersey I won’t return! So that leads me to wonder, if you use street smarts, is the city just getting a bum rap because of it’s economic back ground (it’s considered third world) and large amount of “brown people”? I mean, I’m in Baltimore and you’d think from the Wire and the amount of people who ask me is it dangerous here (including our popular New Yorkers) that we are in a warzone. We are a blue collar, for the most part, brown city as well.
But I’m not naïve enough to suggest that Rio doesn’t have its problems and that I plan to walk around swinging my purse in the air to prove a point (I like for me and money to part as little as possible, call me overprotective of it). I think what gets to me is that in some cities and countries, the poorer the area the less protection. We’ve heard the jokes, living in the ghetto the police/ambulance take forever to get to you. But if you live in a “nicer” area they are there before you hang the phone up. Part of what makes people fear the crime in Rio , or so I’ve heard of course, is the belief in an uncontrolled chaos. You could be in a shantytown/ghetto/favela and its calm one moment and a shoot out the next (of course I plan not to visit those places but that’s just me) and people describe the police as not as helpful. So I wonder, are the police less helpful in poorer neighborhoods? Why? Too dangerous, too hopeless, too much? Even the way poorer people or minorities are treated by authority is of a lesser nature than other groups. I remember the security guards would pepper spray people during a fight (even spectators or passerbyers) at my predominantly black high school (and the students were not poor or of a lower economic class). The phrase “if you treat them like animals they’ll act like it” never rang so true then. And part of me wonders if that is true in many aspects of life.
But I digress… see ya soon!
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