Saturday, July 11, 2009

Upside Down World

I read this piece on about this poor black man who got locked up in jail for two years for a crime he did not commit (and in the end was found not guilty).

If ever there was an argument that circumstances beyond our control (where we were born, to whom, our upbringing) predispose us to our future, it is this man's story.

Here is an excerpt from the article -
But innocence and guilt are funny things in America. If you are rich and guilty, if you have defrauded banks and customers and investment firms of billions of dollars, as AIG or Citibank has, if you wear fancy suits and have degrees from elite universities that cost more per year than Brown used to make, you get taxpayer money. You get lots of it. You maintain the lavish lifestyle of jets and spas and million-dollar bonuses. You live a life of unchecked greed and have too much in a world where most have too little. If you are moral scum in America we take care of you. But if you are poor, if you are, say, Tearyan Brown and African-American and 39 years old with four kids and no job and you live in the inner city, you are in trouble. No one comes to help you. You don't get a second chance. This is what being poor means. - Chris Hedges

I maintain that poverty is not a choice, as right-wing and Republicans believe. I also continue to believe that crime and misdeed are not the domains of the poor alone and I strongly adhere to the adage that one should give a man a fish as well as teach him.

Read the full article here -


Blogger Pax Romano said...

You know this, and I know this ... sadly, there is a huge amount of people in this country (and probably abroad) who don't- or won't accept it as reality based.

Sometime, It hurts banging your head against the wall for such a long time.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Being a baby boomer I was raised to believe that honest, hard, work was all it took to get ahead in America. I no longer believe this fantasy.

6:27 PM  
Blogger mommanator said...

very well written missy
a sad truth!

9:45 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

This is one of those complex issues that doesn't have an either/or answer. Poverty isn't a choice and it isn't entirely out of someone's control, either. It's a myth that we are all given equal chances at the same life because we are influence by the life we are born into and genetics and circumstances that are offered to us. And then people make choices, sometimes only partially in the person's control) about how to live. Our system is set up poorly, without taking into account an indivudual's particular limitations.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Pax - amen (about banging your head).

Brenda - What a tragedy that belief is no longer around, no?

Mommantor - thank you!

Secret Agent Woman - it is complex indeed. I just wish that the injustices of the world were not continually heaped on the poor.

4:41 PM  

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