i A Time and a Place...: You're Not Doing Them Any Favors...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

You're Not Doing Them Any Favors...

"To the casual viewer, the situation is an incomprehensible mess that raises questions about the intelligence, sanity and moral worth of those trapped in the city. Why didn't those people evacuate before the hurricane? Why don't they just walk out of town now? And why should anyone care about people who are stealing and fighting the police?

That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool. In far too many cities, including New Orleans, the marching orders on the front lines of American race relations are to control and contain the very poor in ghettos as cheaply as possible; ignore them completely if possible; and call in the troops if the brutes get out of line."

The quote above is from an article in the Front Page by Errol Louis.I know he means well but are articles like this really helping anyone?

His line about his ancestors who were slaves does nothing, as far as I can see, to help anyone. It only promotes hatred toward people like me who never owned a slave.

Worse, though, in the article he refers to people who are locked in ghettos;

"All in all, they acted exactly the way you could predict people would act who have been locked up in a ghetto for generations."

Do you know what the easiest thing to make is? I'll tell you! It's an excuse!

Any time something doesn't go right for you or something is bad, the first thing some do is make an excuse. And people like Louis encouraging them to do just that makes it easier.

Everyone has a cross to bear but just because it is heavy and there seems to be no way to do it doesn't mean you should blame the owner of the lumber yard.

People are in ghettos because they didn't move out.

It's been a long time coming," Derek Dabon, 29, said as he waited to pass through a guard checkpoint. "There's no way I'm coming back. To what? That don't make sense. I'm going to start a new life."

This man knows what to do. Is he so different from the others? Or did he just decide to stop making excuses and make a life instead?

But what do I know, a dumb Texas Okie from California. Later...

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