Oakland Who?!

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Oakland Skyline Dear Oakland,

I lived here all my life and I know you weren’t always like this. That’s why I wonder if being ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world affects you. Sometimes I question myself, how did you get like this? Could we have done anything to prevent this from happening? Its so tragic how everyone who isn’t from Oakland, sees us as ratchets and ghettos. Even though I’m not ashamed of living here, I’m truly scared for my life.

A couple years ago, my mother was robbed at gunpoint from four different men. They grabbed her and shoved her in a closet face down, though they were nice enough to move her to the couch when she was in pain, there is nothing anyone can do to help us feel that sense of security we once had. Ever since that incident my mother and I live in fear. We are constantly reminded of that day, and we both are traumatize that it will happen again, which it did; twice actually.

There are times where I feel very vengeful because of all we lost. I felt like a mother cheetah that cares for her cubs, and wanted to punish the hyenas who invaded her territory. My mom worked really hard for the money that was stolen. She isn’t supposed to be working, but she works anyways. If she doesn’t work, my family won’t have enough money to live on, here with you Oakland. Before this incident happened we had enough money to support ourselves with a little bit of money on the side. Now we are barely making it and she has to work twice as hard. Waking up early at three in the morning to make a living.

That is why I despise you. You carry lots of anger that leads to violence. It affects everyone around you. However, you are my home. I grew up here and I know you inside out. I love that you are not racist and that you are so diverse, with all the different ethnicities you have within you, you create the sweetest aroma from all the diverse food you bring together. And I hope you continue to improve and won’t let anything break you.


Teresa N.


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