Let me just go ahead and say that just about anyone who has a TV to watch PBS is privileged relative to some of the atrocities others outside of America struggle with daily. Some who read my posts regularly may begin to think I’m anti-American because I’m so hard on my country, but to the contrary– I just believe we have yet to realize the full potential of who we are as a nation. Unlike many Conservatives, I empathize with the poor. But for all my empathy, like the Conservatives, I don’t believe that to be a reason to enable those in poverty. But what does poverty look like for Americans in 2012?
PBS = Pure Bull Shit
Because I don’t play the party game, I’m able to look at both sides of the situation. Many Republicans, who are statistically White folks, feel like if these poor folks (who are statistically people of color) can wear designer sneakers, over-indulge in food (albeit unhealthy) to the point of being overweight or obese in many cases, have Internet access, and have access to all the latest, greatest toys like iPads and iPhones, they have nothing to complain about. And to some degree, this is correct. And before some of you get all offended, really read what I’m saying. . . .
I don’t support the idea that being poor is synonymous with being lazy, feeling entitled and taking advantage of the system, but I do believe that many tend to exploit The System, as opposed to exploiting their resources.
A few bad seeds give a bad name to poor people at large. They make needing assistance a shameful, scornful existence for those who really do need it. Being that this is America, all of her citizens benefit from First World privilege in 2012, regardless of where they sit on the class scale. And privilege is most often accompanied with a sense that certain things don’t have to be earned for they’re entitled to you. Americans love to state what they have right to while having the privilege of not being aware that in many other places people are most concerned with their basic needs being met.
Exposure > Access + Excess
As a result of the aforementioned, there seems to be this fundamental debate between most folks on access versus excess. But, to me, there is something larger that speaks to the source of the problem: exposure. You can have access to the point of excess, but without being exposed to things of quality, it all means nothing. When you’re exposed to quality, you’re given an opportunity to experience the finer things in life. You’re blessed with a chance to be able to develop a taste for and appreciate the beautiful subtleties that make life so sweet and dynamic. But just because you’re exposed to it, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll take advantage.
Entitlement has an uncanny way of polarizing folks who appear to be on opposite extremes of the economic grid. It is my feeling that these seemingly different types have more in common than not. I’ve seen rich White people saunter across the street before moving traffic the same way poor Black folks do. Both possess an aloofness while walking slowly in front of your vehicle while daring you to hit them at the same time. No matter how you slice it, ignorance is ignorance. The amount of bread in the bank may determine your class, but it doesn’t determine who has class in the end.
Love Me Tender . . .
Romney and Obama both speak of American citizens like they’re mice that need to be guided through a maze. The primary difference is that the Republican philosophy is based on the idea that you make it through the best way you can, and the Democrat’s is that you’re not smart enough to make it on your own.
As a result, the majority of American people are treated like baby veal– kept in dark and dimly lit areas, confined to quarters with limited space to move around in so that they remain tender, vulnerable and never able to develop the muscle to self-sustain. Instead of creating policy that will enable the majority of American citizens to achieve what both candidates have for themselves and their families, Romney and Obama shield that information from the public thus placing themselves in positions of power. You can have access to the information, you can have an excess of information– but without exposure to the right information– your chances of breaking beyond the middle are slim.
You can take the chains off of the slave, you can release a person from prison, but they won’t truly be free until they are exposed to choice of quality.
What Poverty Looks Like . . .
If you define poverty as the absence of quality, most people in America would qualify as impoverished. Lack of monetary resources is the most obvious form of poverty, but it’s also the quickest to cure. Getting money is easy, but changing an impoverished mindset is next to impossible. The American society has devolved as a whole because its people have fallen victim to an impoverished mindset.
This doesn’t happen by accident. This is the result of years and years of ignoring the symptoms and the American government conditioning its citizens to be culturally malnourished.
That’s Why Darkies Were Born
We are living in a cultural Dark Ages. Culture is the heart and soul of a community. When culture dies, a people die. It’s gotten so that the American mindset has become barren of the likes of the famines in the Horn of Africa. Both are political and have been used as a means of policing the people. Outsiders can raise money and bring temporary aid to the sick and hungry, but unless The System changes–whose inflation and greed caused the famine–the people will be starving soon again.
To be impoverished, is to have a lack of options and choice. Poverty is unnatural and manmade. Mother Earth is not set up for people to live in poverty. It’s the government’s greed that brings about poverty of the mind, poverty of the spirit, and causes the soul to starve to death.
Someone had to pick the cotton.
Someone had to plow the corn.
Someone had to slave and be able to sing.
That’s why darkies were born.
- Henderson & Brown
I would dare say darkies weren’t born, they were created.
. . . for more on why, tune-in to Part III.
- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop