The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Columns

September 11, 2013

Primus Mootry: Does Anderson's west side pass the 'eye test'?

A very dear friend of mine uses a method he calls “the eye test” to judge, among other things, the state of the predominantly African-American section of Anderson’s west side. It’s where he grew up. He is passionate about improving conditions for the total mix of people who live there — African American, white and Hispanic.

His “eye test” simply means “Look around you.” Is there a beautiful tree where there was once just an ugly stump? Has a vacant lot strewn with broken glass become a joyful community garden? Do you see in the face of the people happiness and hope, or the face of isolation, despair, and desperation?

Look. What is the visible, tangible, measurable evidence that these questions are being answered? If you see it, great. If you don’t, then ask why not. I join my friend and others in concern for the west side and its people.

Out of this concern, I recently did my own “eye test” drive through the area. It is an area roughly bordered by Brown-Delaware (E); Eighth Street (N); 25th Street (S); and Costello Drive (W). It’s an area small enough to make a tangible difference, yet large enough to invite investment from anyone or any group that cares.

One afternoon as I was coming from downtown Anderson, I drove west on Historic Eighth Street. In a couple of minutes or so, I saw wonderfully painted, stately old mansions and homes, with a smattering of law offices and other businesses tucked here and there. Easy on the eyes.

But in another minute, I was crossing newly paved Madison Avenue. Far less colorful. Far less well kept. Although it had its bright spots, the section of the beautiful Eighth Street I was on a minute ago was pockmarked with blight — vacant lots, houses in disrepair, inferior streets and sidewalks, and other “eye test” evidence of neglect. Troubling.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Have you been to Mounds Mall to see the “Imagine Mounds Lake” display?

Yes, and it solidified my support
Yes, but I'm still opposed
No
     View Results