Claudia Valentine observed, “Poverty and crime create a vicious cycle.
I spent nearly twelve years observing people creating and living in poverty that often leads depressed, angry, frustrated people to committing harmful anti-social against their peaceful neighbors.
I met the victims of poverty, depressed teens/adults who committed harmful anti-social acts that emotionally harmed and physically injured victims and neighborhoods.
After spending six years focusing her research on violence, Dr. Joy DeGruy wrote a book titled, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (PTSS) which revealed to me more about the human ignorance that enslaved and emotionally harmed many generations of peaceful Americans.
I did not read Dr. Degruy’s book, though I did watch the entire one-hour and twenty-minute video of her lecture that someone was kind enough to post on YouTube.
Listening to Dr. DeGruy describe how “Cognitive Dissonance” plays a role in perpetuating racism/human-ignorance and how it affected victims of human ignorance, further enlightened me about the sadness and horrors of our past.
Thanks to Dr. Degruy, I learned that Cognitive Dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.
Thanks to Dr. Degruy I have a better understanding of a an emotional, growth harming mental stress that I believe relates to why some kids living in poverty grow-up confused, angry, frustrated and need to vent these negative human emotions as the mature into teens and adults.
In his 2015 Grammy award winning Rap Performance titled “I”, Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”
In a January 2011 LAWeekly interview Kendrick, born in 1987, the same year songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and victim denial that was nominated for a Grammy award, he told the interviewer:
“Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 [THIRTEEN] siblings, and they all got SIX kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.“
“I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment. My moms and pops never said nothing, ‘cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.’”
Seems to me Kendrick identified the source of his depression, the roots of poverty, the child abuse/maltreatment that prevented him, his brothers, sisters, cousins, neighborhood friends and elementary school classmates from enjoying a fairly happy safe childhood.
Seems the adults responsible for raising the children in Kendrick’s immediate and extended family placed obstacles in their children’s way, causing their kids to deal with challenges and stresses young minds are not prepared to deal with…nor should they or any other children be exposed to and have to deal with.
Perhaps these obstacles and challenges cause some developing children’s minds to become tormented and go haywire, not knowing OR NOT CARING ABOUT right from wrong though knowing their parents introduced them to a life of pain and struggle, totally unlike the mostly safe, happy life the media showed them many American kids were enjoying.
I wonder how little Kendrick and his classmates reacted when their elementary school teacher introduced the DARE presenter and they learned about the real dangers of drugs and how they harm people, including their parents?
Claudia, I am not a hater, I was a toddler when Motown music was in its infancy, Motown and me grew up together. Motown musicians wrote and composed awesome music celebrating life, love, peace and unity. I ‘felt’ their music, danced to their music, celebrating life right along with these talented musicians, their producers and their millions of admirers around our tiny blue orb.
As far as this young developing American suburban kid was concerned, black people were okay in my book. As I matured I was happy to learn the human ignorance of our past was being addressed and laws were being written to educate and protect ALL my American neighbors from human ignorance.