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Neighborhoods are better off with families like the Bennetts (“The Stoop at 1701 Euclid,” 12/3), who have been a stable part of the community for generations. The Bennetts are unable to control what goes on across the street from their home any more than the police, who have tried for decades. Nor should they be indicted for gathering on the stoop.
Drugs and the culture that surrounds them were around long before the Bennetts settled at 17th and Euclid Streets. These are real people with real lives and real stories. People are more than just a blob of “black jackets,” as the newcomers have taken to calling some of their neighbors. It is a shame that people move into communities and do not take the time to get to know people, but rush to make assumptions, organize committees, and use law enforcement as tools to advance their personal agenda.
To involve a U.S. attorney and local politicians seems to be a supreme waste of time and resources that would be better used addressing our sad state of public education and the actual importers and distributors of the drugs that flood our street corners. If neighbors took the time to know the Bennetts by inviting them to some of their clandestine meetings, they might find they are fighting for the same things—the right to live in a community that is as much theirs as anybody else’s.