The Persecution of Poor
The Future of Failure
Recently Social Media featured a news video titled:
(P.S. As I tried to find this news video, I was amazed how I found page after page of news stories that all had the same topic and yet each story was separated by time and place. It is a pervasive story)
The story was fairly obvious. We have seen it, read it, discussed it countless times. A teen, a 17 year old black teen, was seen exiting a home that he was suspected to have just committed a burglary, was shot by a homeowner. Police are saying that she was protecting her property and more than likely there will be no charges filed.
The story was discussed widely both on Social Media and with the original news outlet. Strong opinions were voiced. The Castle Doctrine was discussed. Blaming failures in the family unit, failures in “the children of today”, even projecting fears that what if the woman had been home…
What would she have faced? Thank God, she had a gun for protection.
With all of the discussion, there was not a single finger pointed at what might have been the real instigator of the crime.
On every television, in every show, on every billboard, on every advertisement, this child, his family, your family in fact all families are bombarded with a desire to have, a desire to possess, a desire to own and if not to own, than to be able to borrow enough to acquire.
A Car. You want it. Perfume, Clothes, Cosmetics, Vacations, Lush Furnishings, Cell Phones are waved under our collective noses. You want it. You want all of it. And it is there for you
But there is not a single clue and how you get it. There is not a single advertisement that suggests follow this path in education, get a position, save your money and buy, buy, buy.
Nowhere is anyone informed how to surround ourselves with the bounty of our civilization. Nowhere does anyone say: If you want it…Work for it. Save for it.
All they tell us is to just own it. No consequences. No delay. Just get it. And we are told this since we can recognize the images on our TV screens and we see it until the day we die.
My wife and I have had the “privilege” of eating through our savings, our Retirements even our dual home ownership as the result of a series of health related calamities. As I am told, we are impecunious. We are broke. Don’t gotta dime.
We are Poor. We are Poor and we are scared. We are Poor and we are frustrated. We are Poor and we are concerned that we are exposed to many of the same fears that the long term Poor face and we have little protection from anything.
We aren’t even able to face a flat tire let alone false charges from the police, a Government entity, a Bank…anyone. Now we understand a little bit better than we did before on a plight of the Poor. We are fortunate enough to both have a College education. We have both worked in various industries for 30 to 40 years.
We had stuff. We are lucky to still have stuff. We are having to sell stuff to survive in the future but we have had the experience of having stuff.
We see the commercials to buy this car, this couch, this home, or take this vacation or these medications and we can just shirk it off with a “Been there…Done That!”
That is not the case with the Poor, the lifetime Poor, the Multi-Generational Poor and the Youth Poor.
These people have never bought the car, the couch, the home and it is only with a struggle they get the medical treatments. They are constantly reminded to consume but they look longingly at their hero drenching in Champagne, surrounded by beautiful women and men and only think to themselves “Never Been There…Must Have That!”
The Poor are constantly reminded to consume but are never told how to meet their desires. Like maybe go to school, get an education, get a job. Save your money!
Seems obvious. Seems obvious to us but then “Been There…Done That.” We get it. It is rare that they will. It may be a fault of the parents. It may be the fault of the system. It may be the fault of the Advertiser. It may be their fault or it may be everyone’s fault.
Whatever “IT” is there is definitely wrong at play. A Robbery is wrong. Committing a crime is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Wrrong. Wrong. Wrong.
But Politicians knowingly poisoning a community is wrong. Invading a country and killing millions is wrong. Wall Street and Banks destroying an economy is wrong. Selling food that sickens people at a picnic is wrong and not a single soul finds themselves inside a prison to serve out a sentence for their crime.
Somehow, our Criminal Justice System has a disproportionately high percentage population of minorities as guests in our jails and prisons and cemeteries. Somehow a man trying to make a few extra bucks trying to sell some cigarettes ends up dead. Somehow a woman commits suicide in her jail cell suffering from a trumped up charge. Somehow thousands of children are poisoned and no one serves a day.
Somehow the Poor know that they have little chance to go to school, get an education, get a job. Save their money! The Poor knows the Police are watching. They are in their streets, in their homes and waiting for the Poor in their cars just to drive by.
Even when a Black man is elected President of the United States, successfully graduated from the greatest Universities in the nation and spent years giving back to his communities, even he is challenged. His citizenship is challenged. His birth certificate is challenged. His judgment is challenged Even his term in office as President is challenged at every level. We are reminded constantly that he is not prepared to meet the duties we have chosen him to execute.
And a Poor kid sees stuff in an empty house and he makes a bad decision and he gets shot by someone protecting her stuff.
I don’t know that he had much of a chance.
If we don’t reverse the decision we made to put our money into prisons and cut back our education system, it will never improve and we can continue to point and wag our finger at the Poor and the children of the Poor and the families of the Poor and the parents of the Poor and utter in our collective breath Wrong Wrong Wrong!
If we don’t change what we recognize and who we recognize in our society from the Sports figure and the TV personality or the Entertainer as successful and start rewarding and recognizing the effort of those that succeed in our Education System and our Communities. We must acknowledge those that benefit our Community, our survival and improvement our quality of life.
For now we can blame the kid for breaking into the house, killing some, jailing some but we must make some basic changes before they ever reach that point. Changing what drives people into action is not an easy task. Giving a person a reason to live to succeed to possess by redefining our immediate gratification reality is not an easy task.
It will take every one of us. It will take every institution, every group, every bit of media.
It will take all of us and that is not an easy task. There is much to do!