In light of the alleged drug raid at Blitzed Detox Shop downtown, the stones that normally welcome travelers to Emporia have instead forced us to re-evaluate the perceived luxury of living in an idyllic town.
This drug bust creates not only a diminishing sense of pride, but it also produces negative images in others’ minds. When I speak to my friends about Emporia, they no longer think of the cleanliness that I used to describe. Their minds instead fill up with images of dirty alleys full of refuse and drug peddlers who line the streets to pawn their merchandise to any student or passer-by. Some openly show their disgust with mouths agape and ask me if I am referring to the same town.
I am furious with these miscreants and how they have altered not just the town, but also my own perception of Emporia. This drug bust, as well as others in the past few months, make me question my choice of living in Emporia and going to a university that occupies a town with these problems. If most school districts are afraid and unwilling to hire teachers based on their facebook photos, then I know they will question the hiring of a teacher from a town full of meth labs.
But to ask what happened here is the wrong mindset, as this kind of change could have been a gradual change that we never noticed, or perhaps the police have simply started stepping up their crack-downs while school is in session.
Instead of us asking these questions and mulling them over in silence, we must assist with the changes to help this town regain its status. Whenever we see the slightest resemblance to a meth lab or a drug deal in our own backyard, we cannot be afraid to call the police immediately. We bystanders have to become active members of society and call out these transgressions before they make their place permanent in our lives.
This town needs to stop drawing parallels to the world of “Breaking Bad” and resume its position as a small university town, a town where people aren’t disgusted by just hearing its name.