The author recounts the details of the burglary that struck the apartment in which he lived twice which completely shattered his sense of security. He observes that crime and violence were not uncommon in this area, but they always seemed to happen elsewhere and could be avoided. He realizes that break-ins were not a common occurrence for most families in America and that having bars on the windows was not normal. He studied karate and took lessons from a black Muslim sensei named Rahim, formerly Robert, with the express purpose of becoming tough enough to feel secure. He had moved up a rank in the karate hierarchy, his association with Rahim did not achieve the intended goal of feeling safe and secure in the neighborhood, and for a simple reason: within a year Rahim was shot and killed.
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