There seems to be a parallel that tells a disturbing tale about this city we live in in two cases that have surfaced in Austin media (and therefore my Facebook newsfeed) in the past two weeks. One is the story of the guy whole stole $50 from a coffee shop in freshly gentrified East Austin, he stole this tip jar on April 25 and police released his image on May 4th. The other is the man who was serial raping women in as yet revitalised North Austin, the first of his attacks dates back to AUGUST of 2012, this was first addressed in the media on April 24th of 2013.
The thing that is most upsetting about this, of course, is not that they didn’t know who he was until April, that is understandable, they had to work a case, the issue is that they were not making people aware in North Austin of this happening AT ALL. That the media did not deem worthy offering warning to the women who live in this area that such a man was even out there, and it has been happening once to twice most months since AUGUST of 2012. That a man swooped in on a coffee shop and stole $50 dollars from some barristas made news within 10 DAYS and it creates an outrage and everyone is falling all over themselves to find this guy.
I guess, all in all, what I am saying is that I’m not sure I can say I live in a progressive, forward-thinking city when stealing from a coffee shop is bigger and more important news than a man raping women of color. Or that thinks APD killing a dog warrants a banner parade and bumper stickers but when they murder a young black man who is sleeping in his car, well that “thug deserved to die”. Then the murdering officer is named Austin Police Association’s Officer of the Year two months after the fact, and somehow we are in some way progressive. Please remember, a truly progressive city doesn’t need to clothe itself in words, but instead shows its true self in its actions