Monday, March 16, 2015

Take Back Montrose (From Who?)- Through My Lens

Background on the crime that caused the event:

"Ramirez and a friend were walking to their car when police say two armed men rushed them, stole his car, robbed his friend and fatally shot him. Police said Ramirez refused to give his keys to the carjackers, so one of them pulled out a gun. According to investigators, Ramirez tried to run for help after he was shot, but ended up collapsing in the parking lot next to F Bar. He died at the scene."
The event: Click here
"We need to take back our beloved Montrose. Let's demonstrate Friday after work so we have the full attention of the public, media, and HPD. The crime is ridiculous and police presence is lacking. We need patrols! Make a sign and let's meet at the corner of Montrose and Westheimer by the new Mattress Firm and do something about this crime! Bring signs!"
My Experience:

In a conversation leading up to this event, I had very strong reservations about how this event would play out. The first question in my mind was and still is: "take back Montrose from who?" Who are we taking Montrose back from, gentrification, the wholesale exodus of LGBT establishments, mattress stores? Our community lost someone and it is tragic, I truly hate that this has happened. Also, there is tragedy in the fact that two teens had to rob someone to get something that they are lacking. Think about why crime is on the increase in the Montrose area... at every turn is a town home with a Jaguar parked in front of it, high end restaurants, and then there are the patrons of LGBT establishments who don't always live in the area but come to be around those that they identify with. People who commit crime in that area think WE have money because of all of this development going on. Now you think about all of the homeless LGBT youth, homeless youth in general and even if they aren't homeless; the socioeconomic status of those who may turn to a life of crime.  In order to address this tragedy we have to examine the biotic and abiotic factors that led up to it. 

A post leading up to that event:



"In the SPIRIT of #‎BlackLivesMatter‬ THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION:
No matter HOW YOU MAY FEEL ABOUT the lack of support from THE LGBT COMMUNITY during this ongoing movement to stop POLICE BRUTALITY AND USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE, we need to stand up for our fallen brother Juan Carlos Ramirez. NO, his life was not taken by police AND what we need to ASK is: would this have happened IF many conditions that the PERSIST in the black community including but limited to bad policing policies? Furthermore, this is an opportunity to RECOGNIZE OUR INTERSECTIONS and come together and be there for each other in ONE VOICE, a HOUSTON VOICE! A life taken in ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM IS UNACCEPTABLE! This is a chance to take stock of who we are as the LGBT community and HOUSTONIANS at large, to re-evaluate how we treat each other and how we can better PROTECT each other.
SOME OF YOU WILL DISAGREE, BUT DON'T THROW THIS CHANCE AWAY TO CREATE CHANGE!"

During the event:
I saw a few folks that I know and a huge amount that I don't know which was fine until I saw an "all lives matter" banner and If have been part of the movement like I have, then you know that slogan is a big issue. Now, what I didn't see is many people of color and that bothered me as well, because as well meaning as that even was meant to be, it still fed in to my reservation about the title "take back Montrose" being projected by a predominantly white crowd.








Links:
- ProjectQ
- KHOU
- Towelroad
- Fox26
- etc...

I encourage you to attend the vigil and you can click here for more info...