Dangers and Safety in Sarnia’s Bayfest and the South End

Sometimes I am a little thrown off at what some people consider dangerous. It isn’t so much the dangerous act that I think is safe, but rather where people are coming from when they consider something dangerous.

For instance, Rachel and I live in the south end of Sarnia. We have been warned numerous times by quite a few different people to “be careful.” Don’t let Rachel run alone at night. Make sure we lock our doors. We’ve heard numerous stereotypes about the kinds of people that live in our area. We hear the odd comment about oh this is what it is like starting off but not to worry because eventually we will be able to get out of there. We typically make our judgments on what is safe or dangerous based on very shallow and simple observations. It’s easy to make our judgments based on socio-economic status or physical attributes of people or their houses.

I am not saying these things don’t give hints, but what bothers me is the host of other things left out in these judgments. For some reason no one assumes that we are in the south end because we feel that it is just as safe, if not safer than the north end. While we may be more at risk of some things being where we are, I would argue that being in the north end leaves you at risk for quite a lot of things also. Being at risk of never being convicted of your spending habits. Being at risk for never interacting with your neighbours or experiencing your local community. Being at risk for never seeing blatant needs that we are called to meet. Being at risk of greed taking over our lives and thinking that everything is ok. I wonder when people are worried about us not being safe if they are conscious of the things in their life that are unsafe?

Sarnia is a big festival town and Bayfest is going strong this week. There was a lot of people upset when they found out Motley Crew was coming. Different people felt that their pornographic ventures on and off stage would bring a bad image to Sarnia. While I don’t necessarily disagree that Motley Crew probably doesn’t uphold the kind of morals we hope that the world will follow I don’t think bringing in Motley Crew is more dangerous to our city than any other bands that were brought in. No one however seemed to be concerned at all that Fergie was coming into Sarnia and attracting our younger crowds. We’ll see ten year old girls wearing Fergie shirts singing the lyrics to “My Humps.” In case you are not aware of some of the words…

They say I’m really sexy
The boys they wanna sex me
They always standin next to me
Always dancin next to me
tryna feel my hump hump

I drive theese brothers crazy
I do it on the daily
they treat me really nicely
They buy me all these ices

but they keep givin
So I keep on takin
And no I aint taken
We can keep on datin
ill keep on demonstrating

Please, someone tell me how lyrics like these, and someone like Fergie isn’t just as dangerous to Sarnia as someone who tells grown women to take off their tops. For some reason, I fear encouraging our young teenage girls to listen to and enjoy Fergie may be just as dangerous if not more dangerous than a bunch of young adults stripping for a tit cam. How can one be upset about Motley Crew coming and not about Fergie? It is the girls that are drawling at Fergie who eventually start taking their clothes of for Motley Crew, so maybe we need to start a little earlier on. Here is an article by the Windsor Star about the Fergie show the other night.

I struggle with people being unable to see their current dangers while pointing from what they think is afar at other dangers. It isn’t that I think that there isn’t dangerous or safe decisions, rather I just think that most of our decisions are misinformed. I think there is a reason why Jesus told us to take the plank out of our own eye before we worry about the spec in someone else’s. He says this because typically if we have time to worry about someone else’s problems, it’s probably time that we saved up ignoring our own issues and dangers. The world would probably be a better place if we stopped worrying about dangerous situations that other people are in because we are probably speaking from a much more dangerous place.

And thank-you Alanis Morissette for this video.

4 thoughts on “Dangers and Safety in Sarnia’s Bayfest and the South End”

  1. great post, nathan. i really enjoyed your take on ‘safety’ … what exactly is it that we are trying to keep ourselves safe from? the focus is often protecting ourselves physically without any thought as to how are lifestyles may be, in a way, unsafe in the grand scheme of things.

    and i prefer will ferrell’s version of that song in blades of glory.

  2. heh … people were bummin’ about Motley Crue? Wow.

    Thanks for the heads up on Fergie … I’d never heard of her. Fortunately my teenager is more into Linkin Park.

    Excellent take on perceptions of “safety” … sometimes it can become a prison.

  3. I also live in the south end. (between Confederation and Devine. I was raised in Camlachie/Brights Grove, so I’m not a native south-ender – but I am by choice. I bought my house here because it was where I could afford; but I would gladly buy in the south end again. Neighbors are wonderful and will help in a heartbeat. It is fairly quiet and I feel just as safe in this end of town as I would anywhere else in Sarnia. I’ll always be a defender of the southend.

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