- Posted August 22, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your view of the Ferguson protests
Why Fergusson Missouri represents most cities in America.
I live in Hartford and like most major cities crime is high, but generally restricted to certain areas. The problem with these densely populated regions is not money as most people would assume. The federal government pumps millions of dollars into these areas every year. Much more than the suburban areas; so what’s the problem? Well if you live in the city take a walk outside. The people who are employed to police or protect you aren’t from your community, they don’t know your streets. They don’t share your walk, they come in get paid and run like hell back to surburbia; but that is actually not the root of the problem. It starts in the schools. You probably drop off your kids every day in a school where 90% of their teachers also don’t live in their community. The teachers are also most likely from completely different backgrounds.
The major difference can be seen very easily in how disruptive kids are treated in the suburbs verses the cities. The following is obviously a gross exaggeration, but it clearly delineates an suburbian experience from an urban one.
In the suburbs Jonny hits a class mate:
Teacher: Jonny what’s the matter with you this morning? Why did you hit Todd? Jonny explains then the teacher responds: OK please sit with Mrs. Marly (social worker /therapist) today and tell her what’s going on. Jonny is diagnosed with some mental handicap and meets with Mrs. Marly regularly. The result is, the other kids may make fun of him, but no one will become so disruptive as to warrant intervention.
The student body is constantly fed with positive images of fellow neighbors who police them, teach, nurture and guide them. Students aspire to follow these wonderful examples.
In the city Joshane hits a class mate:
Teacher: first of all the school has a zero tolerance rule against violence; and so Joshane is immediately “processed” for detention. Parents are called to pick up their wild animal as if from a zoo. The result, some kids use suspension as a way to skip school. This is also the prelude to mass incarceration. Prolonged absence leads to a loss of enthusiasm, because children can’t catch up. Dropout rates sky rocket and the cycle of poverty is generally maintained. The overflow of wonderful citizens from the suburbs now floods the city in search of jobs.
Later on both Johnny and Joshane commit a crime. Before any details are known about the crime, we already know of Jonny's psychological evaluations. Chances are, he may simply be admitted into a rehabilitation facility. Oh we don’t know the details about Joshane either, but he most likely will serve some time, won’t be able to get a job when he gets out so his life is over.
This cycle is so evident in my city. The major corporations don’t even post their jobs in the local paper. Only 15% of the residents in the city own the property that they live in. The result is millions of dollars in grants and federal funding are used up by suburbian people who pose as city residents. Local magnet schools and other programs intended to build these neighborhoods also get used up. Most of the residents of the city aren’t educated about the vast number of resources available to them.
Poverty is not a condition, it is a state of mind. If your entire bank account disappeared would that make you poor? No, because the average successful person would find another way. The condition of our cities, is that the WAY is not made clear to the masses. These people are literally barred from every open door out of their situation and the worst part is that those who find the door run. They become part of the suburbian cycle. They return with condescension above their old neighbors because, “they made it out.”