Does Rockford, Illinois need a Batman?

Or do we need a Harvey Dent? A Thomas Wayne?

Perhaps we need a man such as Bruce Wayne’s wealthy father, who, along with his wife Martha, tried to set an example in hopes that the wealthy elite of Gotham would take part in changing the city. Rockford is no Gotham City, and yet we suffer from the same inconsistencies of what life was like for Gotham people. And who has been there for us? The federal government? Don’t make me puke. The local government? Steam locomotives worked well in the 1800s.

Crime infestation, poor becoming poorer while the rich become richer. You may think that Rockford problems exist all throughout the country. That would be your biggest mistake. There are more cities in America that have no idea what it’s like to be a Rockfordian than cities that do. I don’t need to name the short list of cities that have it worse than us in America.

Who is Rockford’s Carmine Falcone? Is he really out there? Does he exist?

What I am asking is: is there a single man, or a single group that has put Rockford in a stranglehold? Have we been kept on the brink of suffocation and only allowed air at the moment right before we parish in order for us to barely survive?

And if you can answer that, then who is our Thomas Wayne, our Harvey Dent, our Bruce Wayne, our Batman?

What is Rockford’s symbol for life and continuance? Batman may have worn a mask to protect those he loved, but the true nature of Batman was to be a symbol for a better Gotham, to give hope to the people. Rockford needs a symbol, not a face, not another marketing scheme claiming we have great attractions.

Perceptions are the keys to these locked minds we have in Rockford. Too many are perceiving this way of life as non-solvable. Rockford faces some of the greatest challenges the country has ever seen. How do we bring back jobs? How do we stop crime? How do we improve education?

Batman-Symbol-Wallpaper

It seems there are too many questions and not enough answers. Too many ideas that are never made tangible. So, despite the title of this post, I am not asking; I am telling: Rockford needs a Batman.

The police will tell you that vigilantism is frowned upon because it will be the catalyst for more pain and suffering than what has already been caused. But how is that so, when the pain Rockford has experienced has reached its pinnacle just days ago?

Perhaps Rockford is not as bad as Gotham is in the movies, where 99% of the police are paid off to be ignorant. This should shed a glimmer of hope, because that would mean there is a bigger percentage of Gordon’s who truly want to bring positive change to the community. But how is uncorrupted change possible without someone who lives above the law? Haven’t you heard the saying that it takes a wolf to catch a wolf? How can a wolf be caught and tamed if the sheep are only allowed to work within the limits of the very rules that hold us back from bringing that change we all so desperately need. Some may be disgusted at the thought of having a caped crusader being the symbol for us in Rockford.

But let me tell you what a vigilante, what the symbol of a caped crusader can be: parents, educators, you and me. Bruce Wayne’s experiences growing up made him become Batman in his adult life. His experiences taught him that justice was hardly served in his hometown, and his environment showed him that greed, manipulation, and the law itself was an unworkable solution to the problems Gotham faced. He seen progress as only an imagined word and concept, something non-existent in his world. Batman’s existence was the product of Gotham’s existence. What will be the product of Rockford’s existence? Will it be despair, an endless loop of scratched records and broken song? Or will the product of our dark existence be brightened by the One who is willing to absorb that darkness?

Our government won’t do anything to save us, despite certain personalities who mean well. They will always be within the stronghold of the law that hold us strongly at stagnation. Rockford people themselves won’t rise up; there is no symbol to act in contingency with. Collectively, we are uneducated. We don’t vote. We don’t inform others. Why would we inform people of something they don’t care about? Their perception is that this is the only way of life. The allegory of the cave holds true to Rockford, Illinois. We are a bunch of prisoners locked in a cave, made to believe that the only reality are shadows of a wall. And when we finally see light, we retreat back into our caves, afraid of the reality of what we could be in sunlight. Do we need a Batman in order for us to accept the light that touches our skin when we venture out from our caverns? A Harvey Dent, or Thomas Wayne? A Bruce Wayne?

Rockford… don’t be afraid

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Categories: Things You Need to Know

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6 replies

  1. Incredibly insightful. You have to back away and see what the rest of the world looks like to see how bad it really is.

  2. This is a great article. Rockford does need a symbol, something to believe in.

  3. I have since left Rockford, but lived there for the vast majority of my life, and still have several close friends and immediate family that live there. This is a great piece. I think it may be too late for a single superhero to save anything though. Soon, the masses will tire of the tyranny, and rise up to meet their rulers.

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