I guess we see what we want to see.
Incredible that anyone would try to deny the racial issues that infected Southwyck mall. Everybody commented on it including polititians.
Politicians talk crap all the time. Doesn't make it a panic, nor make what they say fact. It can , however, really f@#k up a business place when it makes the news that the mayor, councilman, or other associated power players declare that "this place is sooooooo dangerous". In fact, if you want to blame Southwyck's quicker demise on something, blame the politicians and the Blade for whipping up a panic about how "dangerous" the mall had become.
SensorG and I agree on very little here. But both of us were there at that time and neither one of us had any problems or felt any "racial bias". I was alone, with girlfriend(s), or with a group of friends. Both of us are, as he put it, about as WASP as you can get (hey, I'll agree with that on my side). We should be the first targets on "Black" night. Never happened. Ever. And Saturday night was primetime for sweetie-sweetie and me in high school...I was there a lot, especially in the winter. It ain't "rose colored glasses" of the way things used to be--it just wasn't an issue.
Crime happens all over the city next to storefronts or in alleyways or in the streets. The mall is probably one of the safest environments you can be in, yet it is not immune from a crime or tragedy (the young man's stabbing in 1990 that mom2 linked to from the Blade's archives). Or a brawl.
One poster even tries to deny the Black/White night despite it being common knowledge and discussed in the Blade.
Don't know if this is aimed at me or others, but I'll take a swing. This shit mattered to only those who gave a f@#k. What is this, somebody's clubhouse with a secret knock to get in? No. I paid attention to my girlfriend(s), what movie we were going to see, whether I had enough money to do stuff afterward, etc. I never... never, never, never ...had any problems at Southwyck on Friday night, Saturday night, or Thursdays at 2:54PM on a partly cloudy day.
Now, if I walked around like a scared little doe, maybe things would be different. Perhaps the overtones of random black youths and their "violence" scared off the people with dollars. It happens...and it may happen to Westfield. That is why I posted above that Westfield needs to get out in front of this perception before it really hurts them. The more often this perception is in the news...that Westfield is a barely controlled cauldron of racial goo waiting to explode in crime (whether true or not)....needs to be addressed and dealt with rather than stonewalled.
Else, it will suffer the fate of Southwyck.