What have I experienced in my three years of residing in Oak Park?

Once when I was dog-walking in Austin Gardens on a Sunday afternoon, a large, bearded, Caucasian man threatened to punch my lights out for no reason whatsoever.

I was also the recipient of an unprovoked sucker punch to the back of my head from a teenage African-American male bigot when I cut across Holmes School’s playground in broad daylight. From a distance I overheard him bragging to his friends that he socked a “white guy.”

The point of this letter is that even though Oak Park is a relatively safe place, bad things do happen to good people anywhere, regardless of it being day or night. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Your primary goal should be self-preservation-walk with that purpose. Think steps ahead to avoid potential trouble. Most importantly, always try to be vigilant.

As diligent as they try to be, the police can’t always be around to help you. Only you can ultimately protect yourself.

Name withheld upon request

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