Soooo, Wise Guy. . . .

In my post on the book Ghettoside, I suggested that caring folks with pure hearts and sound minds could make inroads into poverty — and the terrible disease of gang violence in black communities — if not hampered by politics, social agenda and political correctness.  The blight of poverty is complicated — affected by a constellation of factors – both inside and outside these communities.   

Over the last few weeks, I have compiled a list of causes of poverty — offered with a pure heart and (reasonably) sound mind:  educational shortcomings; family dynamics (72% of black children are born out of wedlock) — resulting in single parent homes; young mothers who have trouble “parenting” — which triggers the 30 million word gap (see post of 9/4/15); a lack of positive role models — which helps inspire gangs; lead poisoning; mental illness; unemployment/underemployment; a culture of entitlement; resignation; political convenience; unspeakable violence on television, in movies, video games and music — which inspires a “culture” of violence — resulting in post traumatic stress; prohibitions against the teaching of values, discipline, direction and competition; cultural malaise; nutrition; obesity; drugs; low income; symmetrical, poverty-stricken neighborhoods; a lack of accountability; demonization of police by groups like Black Lives Matter (though usually not by folks who live in the neighborhoods).  “Racism” is a factor as well though the term is often too casually used for political purpose.

And I’m sure there are other reasons.  Where am I going wrong?  What can we do?    


Death was bad enough. The death of a child, unbearable. But the murder of a child? There was nothing worse.”

The hurt was too great for crying—tears belonged to a realm of earthly physics, but the murder of her son had transcended the coordinates of her world.”

Jill Leovy nailed it in her classic work Ghettoside:  A True Story of Murder in America.  This bestseller deals with the poisoned soul of gang violence which is endemic to inner city, poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Los Angeles.  She targets the horrific black-on-black murder rate that soars in these communities (witness Chicago with its thousands of victims of gang violence – the vast majority – black).  I don’t need to “review” the book.  Suffice to say I recommend you read it.  

To me, the big question is what do we do about this blight of violence?  One political party profits from poverty — because the poor are a voting block.  The other political party is accused of coming up with only tough love solutions.   And – like certain other issues today – no one is allowed to discuss the root causes of poverty lest they be accused of racism or bigotry.  So it goes on.  And gets worse.  Wouldn’t it be great if caring folks with pure hearts and sound minds could deal with problems in America unencumbered by politics, social agenda and political correctness?  Nahhh.   That’s way too much to ask. . . .