The Stories Of Your Community

By Nick Blumberg
December 05, 2011

The Fronteras Desk always wants to know more about the community you live in. That’s why we partnered with Not In Our Town to talk about how safe and accepted you feel in your community. We heard a variety of responses from a diverse group of people, and we’d like to share some of them with you.

“I feel completely safe,” wrote Peter Benedict of South St. Paul, Minn. “I'm a pastor at a local church and I do a lot of service (leading a 12 step ministry, opening a food shelf, etc.) and I don't feel endangered even with the more challenging members of my community.”

Benedict also shared that he lives in an accepting place: “My wife and I adopted internationally from Africa, so we're a multi-racial family, and everyone has been tremendously supportive.”

“I think fear is over-rated to an astounding degree by most Americans,” Benedict wrote. “I've lived openly and with a confidence in my safety for decades; even when I lived near my undergraduate university in a crack complex on a line between rival gangs in Phoenix, I never locked my home, told local people about it, and lived an open life. It has served me well.”

Frank Paiano of Chula Vista, Calif. echoes those sentiments.

“You can always be in the wrong place and the wrong time,

But when it comes to acceptance, Paiano believes sometimes people have a hard time understanding his worldview.

“I am definitely counter-cultural. I refuse to watch television, and that puts off many people. I wish the professional sports teams would pack up and leave,” Paiano wrote. “I believe people waste most of their lives watching others have fun instead of having their own fun.”

Trudy Schuett lives near the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona. Even though it’s an area that’s often in the media, Schuett doesn’t think she’s in danger.

“Border Patrol is highly visible both on the ground and in the air. We had a couple of close calls in the 1990s where somebod