Tuesday, October 20

Giant, feel-good mural does little to reduce crime.

Columbus, OH — The Bottoms is a troubled place. A neighborhood mired in poverty and crime. And it's been that way for the past 25 years. Here, hope is hard to find.

Especially if one is looking for it in a new mural on the side of one of many dilapidated buildings in the neighborhood

The mural, completed last year by noted muralist 'Stan' features a portrait of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. surrounded by doves. A glorious rainbow bends over his shoulder, showering the children of The Bottoms with love and peace.

Sadly, the mural has had little effect on the plight of the neighborhood. Last evening, Bottoms resident Tyrone "T.K" Woods was shot to death under the mural, his blood spattered on King's bible-clutching left hand.

City councilwoman Lisa Rogers (formerly Rogers-Furmano), who led the effort to commission the mural was shocked by the recent spate of violence affecting the neighborhood. "I just can't believe it. Look at how wonderfully peaceful and colorful and pretty this mural is. It has flowers and enough diversity to make Benetton jealous. I don't understand how this could happen."

Besides Woods' murder, the area has been plagued by several assaults, two rapes, four armed robberies and a man dressed in a tri-cornered hat who exposes himself to pregnant women and stray cats over the past two months.

"I thought the benevolent, grinning face of Dr. King would help remind our residents of his legacy, and stop the ongoing brutality."

This reporter found Rogers' naiveté about the socio-economic conditions that engender such crime a bit charming, to be honest. Her ass-hugging True Religion jeans didn't hurt, either.

When contacted why no image of the mural accompanied this article, the Ledger editors replied "Photographers are expensive. Dead ones are even more expensive."