The Blog Squad

Monday, January 23, 2006

Should a city crime forum be held in Hanover?

The Times-Dispatch seems a bit defensive about its Public Square forum on crime being held tonight at its Hanover plant. Readers and community residents have already criticized, questioned or at least pointed out the irony of holding a forum on crime in Richmond at a plant in sleepy Hanover county. The paper's lead editorial this morning goes out of its way to argue that the problem of crime is a regional one which affects every county. No argument there. The editorial also makes clear that the Hanover plant is bigger and more comfortable for the crowd they are expecting tonight. However, the forum is being billed as "Crime: Has Perception Become Our Reality?" It is the city of Richmond that is getting the scary reputation, earned or not. Richmond even took the brunt of Henrico's iBook riot in the national reporting. But the most recent spate of horrifying murders has indeed occurred within the city's boundaries. If we are going to confront these issues, let's really do it. It may be more comfortable in Hanover, but maybe right now isn't time to worry about making people so comfortable. Maybe if we all were a little less comfortable with Richmond's real and perceived crime problems, we would each work a little harder to improve things. I can see why, as a matter of logistics, the T-D is holding the forum in Hanover, but sometimes perception is reality, and they should have realized that this would be perceived as highly ironic -- holding a forum on city crime in the safe-as-milk suburbs.

P.S. I can't be there tonight (the kids are still under the weather). If any of you reading this attend, please provide us with some of your thoughts on the forum tomorrow. Thanks.


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