We certainly have developed a sense of entitlement these days! A good friend from my home state recently told me about my former neighborhood which is in an old, historic area of town. There was a popular restaurant which had been oddly located in the center of this lovely old residential area. It had been there since the 1930's when the town was really beginning to grow and thrive. Six years ago, the owners decided that it was time to finally close the restaurant and retire. Well, it wasn't long before a developer purchased this excellent property and began making plans to tear the old building down (believe me, it had no historical or architectural significance!) and build luxury condominiums. The neighborhood responded with an all-out attack and to make a long story short, demanded that the city never allow zoning for anything other than a restaurant. No one objected to the building being removed, they objected to the zoning change that would have brought “newcomers” into the old area of the city where homes had been handed down for generations. The city acquiesced and the neighborhood won. Eventually, another fine restaurant set up residence on the site, but met a quick end when a fire gutted the building. For two years the burned hull of the building sat black and charred. Now, word is, a bar and grill complete with wet t-shirt contests and scantily clad women will be moving into the building as soon as possible. You can be sure that the “blue bloods” are not happy about this but even they realize that this is the unfortunate result of their previous resistance to “newcomers”.
There are times when neighborhoods must stand up and say that something or someone should not become a new resident, but those times are rare and few. For instance, I would definitely support a neighborhood with children who opposed the construction of a half-way house for sex offenders... but it isn't resistance to real dangers that I hear people lamenting. It is resistance to having things “beneath” them that they lament about and fight against. Why is it that some of us feel that we are above everyone else, and that we should be treated as special?