What about mass murder?

I will pause for a moment my mission to publicize and formulate ideas that make for a more livable place, more walkable, more bikeable, with effective transit, a diverse range of people, and jobs close to home.

The city, and the streets, are not safe for many people, not just because of traffic violence, but because of all types of violence. The last two years have seen a rising awareness that Blacks are not safe in public space, subject to oppression by law enforcement and violence in the places they live, and on the streets they use. What was once the problem of ‘driving while Black’ is now obviously the problem of ‘walking while Black’, ‘bicycling while Black’, and ‘existing while Black’. The same is true, to perhaps a slightly lesser degree, for Latinx. Hatred of trans people is growing, and they are unusually subject to violence. And now it is becoming clear that it is also not safe for Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

The incident in Georgia was probably a racial hate crime, but whether it was or not, it was a crime against those who died, and against society. Misogyny is also a hate crime. White supremacy is also a hate crime.

We have become a society where many people encourage the arming of everyone including mentally unstable individuals (usually white males, but not always), and they then try to absolve them when they act out. The former president encouraged hatred of ‘others’, meaning anyone not a white male, but focusing on people of color. The Republican party has long been the defender of the idea that the 2nd Amendment and the ‘right to bear arms’ is more important than all other amendments, and the rest of the constitution, and life itself. If people are not safe from gun violence, particularly white supremacy-fueled gun violence (by individuals and under the color of law), then all other freedoms are moot. The former president has blood on his hands on this one, and so do all his supporters, and so do all of the people who have opposed restrictions on gun ownership. Gun ownership in urban places is a pox on our humanity.

I will continue to be a voice for livable places. I appreciate every day the work of people to make those place safe and welcoming for everyone. I often think that I should join those voices in a more active way, but I also see that there are now many such voices, but still only a few voices for more livable places, and I feel like I need to continue to be one of those voices. We must adapt places and build places where the transportation network supports affordable housing for everyone, and affordable housing supports an effective and equitable transportation network. That is my mission. But I know that my work is for naught if people are not safe in those places.

Author: Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.