"Reflecting On South Phoenix From Above"


    When I paused for a freeze frame moment to focus on one small aspect of South Phoenix, I happened to be in the produce aisle at the Ranch Market. The ranch market is located on the Northeast corner of Central and Southern avenue. What first struck me was how fresh and full the different vegetables bins were. The colors were bright yellows, reds, greens and orange. Each bin was neatly stacked at least two feet high. Not one piece was out of order. I thought, "this is South Phoenix, how could the aisle be so plentiful and look so appealing?"

As I stepped back and "magically" floated up to get a bigger picture I first looked northward up Central Avenue. I saw the scar known as the Salt River and thought how ugly it appeared. This made me realize, "why didn't I look to the South at the beautiful mountains of South Mountain Park?"

As I continued to "float" I saw the high rises of downtown Phoenix and Bank One Ballpark. This got me to thinking of Dr K's red lining speech. Red lining, which is used by banks and other lenders, is the act of drawing a red line around entire communities and refusing to lend money to the people residing within those lines. I thought of asking the powers that be “just how far does the red line extend?” “How come there are no high rises or sports complexes in South Phoenix?”

 By the time I reached the pinnacle of my imaginary ascent I was now situated over the entire valley. I could see from Sun City West to Apache Junction. I thought of the negative attitudes that I have encountered from one community to the next regarding South Phoenix. I thought to myself "your produce aisles are not any better than the ones at the Ranch Market." At that point I realized how unfairly South Phoenix is labeled. If others would stop and "freeze frame" they too might see that South Phoenix is full of just as much color and freshness as the produce aisle at the Ranch Market. There is some good as well as bad in the area, but the residents should be entitled to the same opportunity for economic prosperity as the rest of the valley.


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Chris Fowler