This ongoing (and largely media-fueled) feud between Memphians and suburbanites is a function of the longstanding inferiority complex that plagues the entire Mid-South.
If we could stop pointing fingers and mocking each other for where we choose to live (a very personal choice, mind you), perhaps we -- residents of Midtown, Hernando, Eads, Downtown, Germantown, Whitehaven, Arlington, Frayser, Cordova, Collierville, Hickory Hill, Southaven, East Memphis and West Memphis -- could find the time to start competing with the rest of the country and the rest of the world instead of constantly competing with each other.
Live where you want to live and don't assume to know the reasons others choose to live where they live. Let the people who live there make their own determinations about what's right for them, their families and their communities.
The most important things these programs do is identify -- at an early age -- children who show a proclivity for solving simple problems quickly and looking at complex problems in advanced ways. In order to be successful, a program for these children must seize on that innate capability and nurture it--fueling it with increasingly complex challenges and higher expectations.
These childhood abilities are the seeds of the innovation, scientific discovery and entrepreneurship that will solve our world's greatest challenges, cure its diseases and drive its economy through this century and into the next.
What makes a Downtown Memphis property that's rotting from years of neglect by its owner any more worthy of "blight remediation" than one in Hickory Hill, Frayser or North Memphis? Why do Memphis residents outside of downtown continue to tolerate a city government that throws good money after bad (The Pyramid, Peabody Place, The Pyramid [again], Pinnacle Airlines, Hotel Chisca, etc.) in one part of the city while ignoring the problems that plague other areas?
The citizens of Memphis should spend more time, energy and money making Memphis a city people WANT to live in and less time, energy and money on making it a city people HAVE to live in. The residency policy was ill-conceived and shortsighted. And Memphis will pay the price for it for years to come.
By Jackson Baker
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