Blog 2

According to the readings of “The Right to the Sidewalk: The Struggle over Broken Windows, Policing, Young People, and NYC Streets” by Cahill and “Some Unresolved Constitutional Questions” by Eisenberg; it is not possible to imagine cities with a culture of participatory sharing in which public space is utilized to literally serve the public due to the fact that there will always be something against ones’ color, religion, race, ethnicity, and beliefs. Cahill talks about the Broken Windows policy in which it is supposed to help the community but in fact it is the opposite. Police officers stop people of color as they walk on the sidewalk since “they fit the description” or “they look suspicious”. There are no safe places for people except in the comfort of their own homes, but even then, they may not be free from harm. Both public and private spaces have some sort of prevention like Zuccotti Park which is a privately owned, yet public space that had forced the people to leave by police forces.

Prejudice and discrimination will be prevalent in everyone’s lives. It is a sad fact of life, that one cannot go around without being judged. There is also the blame on minority groups based upon individual crimes. A group of people are blamed by society for an action that may not have even been done by a member of that group i.e. all Muslims for the attacks on September 11, 2001.  To overcome the obstacles in which we face, to becoming equals is harder now than ever before. My cousin just the other day was attacked with racial comments in Rite Aid. She was minding her business when a man and his elderly mother came up to her and shouted, “you should get the F**K out of this country”. If we are in fact able to overcome our own individual differences, then the possibility of having a public space be utilized by the public.

On the other hand, the reading, “Sweetness in Public Space” by Fallen Fruit talks about different types of fruit trees around Los Angeles. These fruits rot and fall onto the sidewalks and streets. These fruits bring together people of all color, religion, race, ethnicity, and beliefs in the community. They brought back what is called trading in which they share their fruits in return of another. It helps the community to communicate with each other and get to know one other equally. By putting aside their differences and uniting what they like helps bring civil participation and sharing. This would be a way for participatory sharing in which public space is utilized to literally serve the public.

1 thought on “Blog 2

  1. Christopher Swift

    Very well written and considered response. You blend your understanding of the reading with personal experience and ideas. I can see why the potential for change seems bleak, but you see that even in a simple action like collecting fruit some positive change can happen in a community. I think this goes back to what we discussed in class with Prof. Shepard — that the focus on positive outcomes (while staying cognizant of inequality) is often the most effective means for change.


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