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Poverty is Criminal

September 25, 2007


The sight of urban poverty

It is almost criminal what is happening.

Thanks to the urban epidemic called poverty, a tremendous amount of human capital goes undeveloped within the Fairview Neighborhood.  Dynamic, creative energy and innovative, bright ideas, that should be directed out of the community fulfilling some of the city’s more pressing needs, are turned inwardly in a destructive spiral of individual and collective destruction.

In response, public policy must give attention to the pathologies poverty creates.  High domestic violence rates, rampant drug usage, illegal business transactions and dysfunctional family structures. The tremendous financial burden assumed by American city governments to support broken people harboring aborted dreams can easily be avoided.In a capitalistic nation such as America, poverty is a condition, a disease citizens can cure themselves of if given the right tools.  More than a lack of resources, poverty is a mental illness.  Life’s intense experiences teach the chronic (or working) poor to curtail their creative energy.  Have you ever dreamed and despite your most strenuous efforts seen that dream fail?  Can you imagine the emotional pain this generates? The internal scar such an experience creates results in a person afraid to dream.

Don’t dream too big, the message is passed by parents trying to protect their young from such piercing pain.  It is better to dream small, very small, because if the dream doesn’t manifest, the pain is small.  And if you learn how to not dream at all, you will not feel the pain of disappointment and discouragement at all!

Such thinking cripples a person. It is just as crippling as a physical disability.  It forces someone to live in boundaries a person does not feel he or she made for themselves, nor desires, but cannot free themselves from.  It doesn’t matter how intelligent or talented or gifted or motivated one is, without sufficient money a dream finds itself aborted; discarded; abandoned against its master’s will.

How do you heal from that?  In  a land where mega-churches broadcast to international audiences, entertainers enjoy judicial leniency, the CEO’s of major corporations receive severance packages equal to the collective annual incomes of an entire neighborhood and above all the bootstrap theory is given the highest praise – how do you heal from that?


Any form of escape will do

Some try to burn the pain of their aborted dream’s memory away in the temporary bliss of a drug-induced high.  But it returns with greater force when the inevitable crash from the high occurs.  Others try to mask it behind plastic smiles which erupt into volcanic anger at the slightest infraction of respect.  This destroys families, as members unleash their financial frustration upon each other.  Still more try to adjust by participation in the underground economy, pursuing their dreams down blind alleys that lead to hard time behind city / state funded penitentiaries.  A few manage to escape through resignation.  Most never find a cure.  They accept their impoverished state and try to be happy in it.

And therein lies the crime.

For reasons unknown, cures are not made available.  Those suffering the effects of poverty are quarantined into neighborhoods and hemmed in by public policy.  There the effect intensifies and becomes apart of them.  When the poor leave the neighborhood (i.e. ghetto or ‘hood) to attend school, they are labeled in ways that are inescapable.  Their diction bespeaks their poverty.  Their clothing styles bespeak their poverty.  Even how they solve a social problem bespeaks their poverty.  Everything about them shouts poverty.

The social safety net assists them in living, but doesn’t free them.  A zombie-like existence is the result.  The poor are here, but not here; living off of society.

Continually confronted with the effects of their poverty the infected develop psychological pathologies.  Just to survive, those suffering from poverty adopt a value system offensive to mainstream society.  A we-against- them mentality surfaces.  A parasitic, predatory population emerges.  The police are made into villains.  Ordinary citizens are seen as unsuspecting victims.

Yet, poverty is not a terminal disease.  These public policy-created zombies are treatable and in all cases preventable through specialized educational programs.  The entrepreneurial mind-set can be taught.  Through these skills ‘aborted dreams’ are placed into intensive care and resuscitated.  A person who finds himself, or herself, suddenly gifted can heal the scar of disappointment and cry – cry for freedom!

Choose, dear Reader, to become apart of the medicine and assist in the healing of America.  Otherwise, you are apart of a criminal enterprise. 


To participate in the By2015:AMERICA movement, please email us at


One Comment leave one →
  1. Teiana P permalink
    October 1, 2007 12:01 am

    Nice article brother in law, you hit it right on the head. Keep writing.

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