Pubdate: Thu, 19 May 2016
Source: Daily Times (Primos, PA)
Copyright: 2016 The Daily Times
Author: Reyna Guy
Note: Reyna Guy, Willistown, Darby Borough native


To the Times: "Today is a beautiful day in Darby."

I read these words from Mayor Helen Thomas and it brought back 
memories of all my favorite Darby traditions; the Memorial Day parade 
rich with culture, music, and a collective sense of Darby pride, the 
BVM carnival where I overstuffed myself on funnel cake and "wooder" 
ice, and the annual Community Day at the old Darby Police station in 
which I received my first license to ride a bike!

That is truly what a beautiful day in Darby means to me, but these 
memories came flooding back amongst a statement that was made on a 
very tragic day. A statement that brutally confirms that Darby has 
seen its best days. I write this in frustration and through tears 
because I am a young woman who was born and raised in Darby to two 
wonderful parents who were also born and raised here as well. The 
faces in those mug shots staring back at me are my family, my 
friends, my first crush, and my last connection to a small town I 
left many years ago in search of better opportunities.

However, my opportunity came even before I left Darby because I did 
not have to struggle with the poverty, drug addiction, violence, and 
lack of quality education that many of my peers were faced with as 
children. So I am not surprised to see some of the people I shared my 
happiest moments with demonized in the media as terrors to their own 
community. A community who never had the tools and resources to reach 
them as troubled youth needing guidance. A community who is infamous 
for its political circus acts and corruption. A community whose 
leaders would proudly proclaim that "today is a beautiful day" as 
another generation of youth helplessly watch the adults in their 
lives become part of the "system." So on this day of celebration I 
wonder how long the party will last? As long as we think that 
throwing people in jail for drug-related crimes is the best solution 
than the party won't last forever because we can be sure that the 
next generation will be fully prepared to take their place.

This is the ugly truth and as Delaware County fights the "War Against 
Drugs" I can't help but wonder why Darby (one of the smallest and 
poorest towns) was chosen for a federally funded investigation. 
However, other small towns like Ridley, Holmes, Norwood, and 
Haverford that similarly struggle with drug sales and addiction 
haven't been targeted with the same zealous and aggressive 
investigations into criminal activity.

To cope with my sense of shame, loss, and anger I take solace in 
knowing that there are others who share my belief that this is not a 
drug or criminal issue but a social injustice against people who are 
considered throw-away's and a threat to society.

We see them as humans and we will continue to fight for their right 
to be treated as such.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom