Monday, March 16, 2015

"Inequality is sneaky"

I was really unsure of what we would see in Detroit. We prepared all year about what Detroit had been through, throughout their history, how the people had and still do suffer from poverty, homelessness, addiction, but seeing these things in person is a very odd feeling. I am not necessarily surprised at how different Detroit is from anywhere I've been, it's something else. I can go a couple of miles down the highway and not notice the inequality but over time it weighs on me. Seeing these destroyed buildings, gray skies, and people on the street begins to take it's toll on me from an emotional and mental aspect. A professor that I had in the fall semester, Dr. Rutter, would say in one of my classes that, "Inequality is sneaky." In the context of the class that phrase meant that inequality is something that is not obvious to everyone; there isn't a sign directly pointing to where the problem lies or how to fix it. I think this phrase applies to my experience so far in Detroit. I haven't always been able to point out where there are abandoned buildings, or where there is crime but over time the inequality creeps up on me and shines a very small light on the reality of many people's situations in Detroit.

A part of me knows in order to stay optimistic and strong, I need to push some of these things aside to keep moving forward. However, I am realizing that when I keep pushing these thoughts away and never truly thinking about how all of this disparity is affecting me I will never really understand my relationship with Detroit and its people, and also the group. I want to make sure that I am making the time to understand how I am feeling and process my thoughts so I can express them via this blog or talking with the group.

On a side note, I am very proud of the group's ability to reflect on their day and internalize some of the many messages they are picking up. I saw everyone in my group (Molly, Calvin, Devon, Chelsey, Katie, Carla, Caitlin, Nolan, Colin, Julia) make some sort of connection during the day to help them understand what's going on around them. I am really happy to see that and will only make their experience that much more impactful. 

TL Brandon

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