I don't know, maybe I'm beginning to look at things as they are - not just as they could be.
Maybe I'm just tired.
As my early month errand sessions lead me to interact with a bunch of people that most people would shun, it seems that more and more of the traits of the hood are making me sick.
While these traits are not endemic to the hood - their effects seem to be more pronounced for it's residents.
- You know your in the hood (or maybe Appalachia) when you're asking a 33 year old woman how her granddaughter is doing with her asthma and her 50 year old mother (a great-grandmother to the sick baby) tells you that she's doing better since they received the air purifier.
- You know your in the hood when you walk by a Pit Bull that was hit by a car, and the dog chewed the broken leg off leaving it with a festering stump, and the dog's owner tries to ask you for mercy because he can't pay his rent for the third month straight.
- You know you're in the hood when you see all the girls who work the block at their old spots with twenty to thirty extra pounds of fat. (The only time many crackhead prostitutes gain weight is when they go to jail and enjoy the three hots and a cot. Usually, police sweeps pick up and release the same girls at the same times over and over.)
- You know your in the hood when the new police officer on the block pulls you over and asks why it is that you have a bundle of ones, fives and the occasional large bill and a bag of rolled coin that smell of weed and crack in an area that is know for drugs and having the older cop (called in for backup) tell the newbie that that's just how some people pay their rent.
- You know your in the hood when an old, bed ridden, blind lady (who has never owned anything in her life, only has an eighth grade education, and only worked domestic jobs) brags that she isn't as ghetto as her neighbor. (It's odd, most ghetto people don't know that they are ghetto. Most ghetto people don't really care about doing or being better - their only real concern seems to be that they are doing better than the Negro standing next to them.)
I don't know.
Maybe most of these people never learned or accepted that they could do better.
Maybe doing well was a concept too foreign to grasp.
Maybe the state of failure was the only topic of conversations in their day-to-day lives.
Maybe failure was accepted as the norm and doing well was only a dream to be claimed by fools.
Maybe their poverty was taught.
Some of the most ridiculous advice given on how to succeed seems to be given by those who have never enjoyed any level of success.
No, not the advice of what not to do (This advice can be useful.) - but the advice on how one should go about living their lives.
One of the most simple-minded things overheard is the advice that a woman should put up with anything that a man does to her.
As we men were outside scraping and painting a home - the women were on the inside giving the young girls advice on getting and keeping a man.
"If he hits you, that's just what men do sometimes.",
"If he has an outside woman, just ignore it. A piece of a man is better than no man."
"If he has a habit of going to jail - so what, a lot of Black men are in jail.", are only some of the bad advice given from one generation to the next.
Another thing that seems to be a hindrance to progress is the acceptance of any level of performance.
"That's okay, a lot of people don't graduate from high school."
"That's okay, a lot of people often get fired from their jobs for (fill in the blank).",
"That's okay, we didn't steal it, a booster gave us a good deal.",
and on and on.
Why is this lowest level of standards accepted as being normal?
Why are the lessons of how to stay poor taught more often then how to overcome poverty?
Why does the hood keep spreading it's ignorance from one generation to the next?