Every place in America is safe until it isn’t.
Contrary to what you hear on the evening news, there aren’t places where crime is nonexistent, where nobody can hurt you, where the walls are so thick and the locks so strong that no one can reach you tonight.
Just because people say, when a terrible thing occurs in a rich neighborhood, that they didn’t think things like this could happen there … terrible things can happen anywhere.
What truly makes us less safe is our refusal to help one another. We become less able to go out into the world secure in the greatness of America each day we let our selfishness (and yes, this is selfishness, to hide behind a minor danger to oneself to avoid caring for others) be our guiding principle.
Our responsibility to one another is our only true security, and we devalue that, day by day, with rationales like Daniels’ and the rest of the Rockland school board’s.
Then again, perhaps I’m being too hard on Daniels, in the end. Perhaps all she intended in calling New Orleans a “war zone” was to compare it to Baghdad, Tikrit or Basra. Perhaps then, her thinking went, we could rally Americans in support of painting schools and building hospitals there and find billions of dollars in reconstruction money for it.
That seems to be the kind of war zone to which we have no problem sending our young people to pitch in.