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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 383: Do They Really Have Any Other Choice?

I've been watching OZ again and a recurring theme, or idea, is that the people who end up in prison, the people who are "repeating offenders" seldom feel like they have any other choice in their lives. In a way this is true, if you are born into a home that gives you no nurturance, support, or basic understanding of how the world works and how to set and attain goals - well then chances are you're not going to get far. If you grow up in a neighbourhood and family that is impoverished to the degree that you cannot choose the quality of healthcare, education, transport, housing, food, or anything else you receive - chances are you're going to do whatever you feel you must, given your available resources and understanding of the world, in order to survive and maybe, just maybe have a life that is semi-comfortable.

Below is an extract from OZ season 1 episode 7 by the character "Poet":

http://www.slamnation.com/archive/Links/mums/cigarette/poem.htm



Kidnap The President's Wife (from Episode 7)

Kidnap The President's Wife Without A Plan
Kidnap The President's Wife Without A Plan
Yeah, I got a plan
It's etched with a knife in the center of my hand
So I guess I'm gonna have to keep my fist clenched
Walk around D.C. in the rain till my wares is drenched
Wait for that mothafucka to take out the garbage and do a press conference about what great shape this country's in and when them welfare cuts is gonna begin
And when he pat his dog and kiss his wife goodbye, that's when I move in
I throw that silly hoe in a headlock
I muffle her grill so her screams stop
I whisper to her,"Your man ain't here to protect you, baby. He gone."
I dial up my nigga Old North
Tell him,"Meet me with the caddy on the white lawn."
I tossed her in the backseat
I covered her head with a black sheet
Put the steel to her grill piece
Be like,"If you don't shut up, I'm gonna let two shots in your dome piece."
Watch her have fits
If she don't understand, I'm gonna give the quick lesson in ebonics
"I'm gonna shoot you, baby."
I take her to my hideout in the low income houses down the street
I replace her Jones & Davids with Purple Reeboks on her feet
I give her four hungry kids, no job, no ambition, no family support, and a last welfare check
I give her crappy-ass Medicade and an ill type of growth growing out the side of her neck
I tell her,"Fend for yourself, keep you and them shorties in proper health."
And after sufficient time on that hype
I introduce her to the crackpipe
Yeah
I let her feel its soothing effects as she tries to forget about the absence of them checks
I make her sell her jewels for it
I make her pay her dues for it
And then I'll come to her late at night
And I'll be like, "Yo, everything ain't gonna be alright, you ain't gonna be able to go quietly in that good night. Peace ain't come till your death be done."
And then I'll lead her up to the roof
Ha
And I'll show her all the shit she don't own
I lead her over to the edge
And leave her there all alone.


So, is there a choice for those who are born into poverty? Yes, some few "make it out" and go on to be "successful" - but a very small minority. Those who are left behind will do what they must to survive, which is generally involving drugs and/or low paying and/or dangerous/crap jobs that no one else wants to do.

Ask any person if they would want that kind of life for themselves, or for their child - their answer will be NO.

The problem is that most people - including those actually living in poverty - believe that it is  simply a fact of life, this state of being that peels away at the very essence of someone. Obviously if everyone believes that nothing can be done then nothing will be done - it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. So those who are born into poverty will do what they feel is expected of them, for it is all they expect from themselves. They are born into a society that tells them over and over, in every aspect of their lives, that they are not worthy of dignity, not worthy of an education, not worthy of healthcare, not worthy of proper housing, and that they should just stay where they are and kill each other over drugs.

Did you grow up with your parents telling you how special you are? Did you grow up with your school pushing you to be the best you could be? If so then you are part of the lucky few. Imagine growing up with your parents telling you that you are worthless. Imagine growing up with the education system resenting you. Imagine growing up with the public service sector resenting you. Imagine yourself as a 4 year old, and everything you see is a testament of your value to society: nothing. Do you really think that your willpower would be strong enough, after a lifetime of degradation, to pick yourself up out of the ghetto of your life?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, for sharing.
    In the phrase:
    "They are born into a society that tells them over and over, in every aspect of their lives, that they are not worthy of dignity, not worthy of an education, not worthy of healthcare, not worthy of proper housing, and that they should just stay where they are and kill each other over drugs."
    Of course this is brainwashing, and this brainwashing not only comes from within the family or within society.... this form of brainwashing creates a lot of profit for the rich "white countries". Countries/societies being racist agains themselves and placing themselves submissive and inferior to "rich people".
    I experienced this when I was in mexico, I didn't feel worth having the wealth of the "white beautiful people", I was too ugly, too "indian", too un-educated, too un-cool to be part of a first world country, to have their rights. This is a very interesting point that I just realized.

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