When I first started doing Crime Watch a lot of my friends, the ones my age, were really against it.
They thought that this was a return to the way things were where Chinatown would police itself. My mother, often talked about earlier versions of these days and for her some of the people that were really bad, could do no wrong. At least that was the bed time story I was told.
But this incident was recent, within my lifetime, effected a classmate at Kwong Kow. Before cliicking on that link, it is the shooting that happened in 1991. You may not want to read this article. But sometimes talking about things can be good. Quoting the article, the guys plead innocent " setting up a trial that will relive a night many people in Chinatown still refuse to even talk about."
Well I've talked about it plenty. But I wouldn't talk about it in front of the victim's family would I?
And maybe they read this blog. The article is well hashed out and researched. It describes the incident as a wound. The thing is, it's not my wound. But do I dare ask my friend to be interviewed about THIS event?
No, if I interviewed them I would just ask about Chinatown in General and then if they WANTED to talk about this story I would let them talk about it. But I imagine it would be very difficult.
Crime watch was not a return to times like that at all by the way. And I think these articles remind us that not all the changes are bad. Would this kind of thing happen in Chinatown today? I seriously doubt it. But then, even in 1991 it didn't seem like something that would happen, until it did.
But in all of these articles, the story is a bit impersonal. It's how the outside sees Chinatown. It's not about the people who were affected by this tragedy. Granted if you are the family of these victims, maybe you don't want to talk about it, even so many years later. But then maybe you do, and you never had time to hash through it yourself, in your own words.
I hope I didn't offend anyone by writing this post. But I also hope that Chinatown can have a space to tell our own story in a more personal way about every part of life. And this horrible tragedy, is one of the many parts of life.