Warning Shots

This morning, I’m out trying to do a few errands (none of which got accomplished) and decided to pop into Starbucks to grab a coffee while I was out. I just got an iPhone this past weekend and decided this would be a good time to read some news on the phone. I pop on over to pnj.com (the website for the Pensacola News Journal) to see what’s going on in my hometown.

That’s when I ran into this article about Mujtabaa Muhammad & his boy Dustin Conner, both 30, who were out getting a late night bite to eat when all of a sudden, shots rang out. Even worse, they weren’t even the targets in the whole deal. Muhammad was only hit in the shoulder, but Conner (who was visiting from Ohio) died on the scene.

It blows my mind how these two guys were hit. I used to think that this only happened to folks in a curtain age group of about 16-22. But these guys were 30. Apparently, the violence doesn’t discriminate on age.

A couple weeks ago, my dad was talking about how he doesn’t like to go out to eat anymore because he simply doesn’t feel safe. If he did go out, he’d hit one of the navy bases. It’s pretty bad when you’d rather seek the safety of a navy base just to go out to eat.

Yet, I want to go back.

I can somewhat identify with what NOLA (New Orleans) folks are going through. As you know, many of NOLA’s residents are displaced throughout the country. Many of those folks want to go home, despite the fact that they know nothing there is the same as it was before and despite the fact that New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the country since Katrina. But, they still want to go back… because it’s HOME.

This is the struggle I fight with in my mind everyday. I’ve never totally adapted to Lincoln in the 12 years I’ve lived here, not because I couldn’t, but because I didn’t want to. I want to be back where I was. This is why I’m so animate about sporting the Gators gear, or bangin southern based music, or eating southern food… because it takes me back.

Back in March, I took a trip back down to Pensacola for the first time since Christmas ’95. I could even feel the change in the social climate down there, yet it still felt comfortable. I felt like I belonged there.

It might have to be that I have to go down there and experience what life is like now, to fully decide wether or not this is the right thing for me. After all, I’ve done a fairly good job in my time in Lincoln of duplicating my kind of environment where I live.

Thoughts, opinions and questions are welcome.


~ by Steve L. on October 29, 2007.

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