Baltimore, Deja Vu

I wasn’t going to write about the riots in Baltimore. It wasn’t because it’s not topical or important, it’s that I didn’t want to simply rehash the same complaints I had regarding the events in Ferguson, MO. There are many parallels regarding the people involved, reasons for the riots and the driving factors that would lead them to riot in the first place. A young black man with a criminal record dies while in police custody, a downtrodden people, a bubbling tension with the police just waiting for the final straw. Mix in the final ingredient, a few agitators, and you have a recipe for violence and riots. There are differences too, but they hardly seem to matter at this point.

Instead of re-hashing my Ferguson blog, I’m going to explore possible reasons why and how we got to this point in the first place. Here’s what I came up with off the top of my head:

  1. War on Poverty
  2. War on Drugs
  3. Monetizing Victimization
  4. Politics of Fear

Of course these poor people marginalize themselves by the people they elect to office, but that is just a symptom of the problems I listed above. What appears to be a circle of life for these people and many others around the country when viewed from the surface, changes to a whirlpool when viewed from a different angle.

The war on poverty is, in my opinion, the largest reason for the current mindset of the American poor. It was a wholly unnecessary idea with the expressed purpose of creating dependency. That was not the stated goal, of course, but the goal none the less. The thought that a government can pay someone a salary in order to make them self-sufficient is, for lack of a better word, stupid. That the government would pay more for each child as long as no father is present is, for lack of a better word, intentional. The fact that they would pay poor people just enough to scrape out a meager existence without having to find work, but not enough that they out of their control is nothing less than cultural genocide. Since the “war on poverty” began in 1965 the poverty rate that had been falling steadily for 20 years became stable and has not changed to this day. Black unemployment has changed drastically. The first 60 years of the 1900’s show that black youth unemployment was about the same or better than white youth unemployment. The war on poverty specifically targeted the black population and while the poverty rate has remained unchanged, the unemployment for black youths is consistently increased and is now hovering around 70% in Baltimore and most poor, black areas of the country. This unemployment rate is twice that of their white counterparts. The war on poverty was designed specifically for this purpose, in my opinion. I think this because given the data and results of the program, no other conclusion seems likely.

The war on drugs is on the list because it builds on the failure of the war on poverty. Let’s face it, when you are poor, drugs are an easy way to make money. There is no question that being addicted to drugs has devastating effects on a person’s ability to be self-sufficient. Drugs destroy families, relationships and lives. I’ve seen addiction first hand in my family and wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I don’t think that being addicted to drugs should be illegal. We should see these people as patients instead of criminals. The people dealing these drugs are harming their society, but are not forcing people to buy, therefore, what they are doing should not be illegal. If drugs were made legal, I would worry about an increase in drug use, but the fact that these people would not have to fear jail time would allow them to more easily get the help they need. When drugs are not hidden they can be made safer and drug cartels would essentially vanish. When you look at Freddie Gray’s record, almost all of his crimes were drug related. When our prisons are filled with mostly non-violent drug offenders it contributes to unemployment and government dependency. People with jail time find it harder than others to find gainful employment. I’ve never had to deal with drug use or incarceration, but I would imagine that these people have a less than rosy outlook on life after being chewed up and spit out by the system.

As the poor people in urban areas grow more and more dependent on the government, people have found ways to capitalize on the misery. These people are often called “poverty pimps” and similar things. They get paid by fomenting upheaval within the black community, extorting businesses with threats of racism, generally perpetuating the victimhood of these poor people. They create industries revolving around things like “multiculturalism” and “diversity”. These programs are designed to define the victims and villains in our society and thereby keep them in business. They create an, us vs. them mentality by inventing terms like “white privilege”, “triggering” and “social aggression”. These terms are specifically designed to keep poor people down. They, by their nature, mentally place poor black people on a lower footing than white people creating a never ending boogey man and cash flow for themselves. These are the worst kinds of people because they are often black people who grew up in poor neighborhoods that found a way to be successful by praying on the very people they claim to serve. They are the first to cry racism. They are the first to call for justice, as long as that justice gets them paid and a little more power. These people are part of the problem because they use the power of language and uplifting sounding speech to convince a people already downtrodden by welfare and unemployment that there is no hope but through more government and of course, themselves.

The politics of fear refers to the vicious cycle of dependence created by government. The generation born into dependency has nothing to compare with. Dependency becomes the baseline for existence and threats to that existence are met with fear. The politicians who promise more are heroes and the ones who offer another way are rejected out of hand. They see people outside the system, but it has to look foreign to them. They might try to conform what they see into the reality of their own life. Others get more because the government lets them have more and they should be entitled to the same. The private sector is a foreign concept to these people trapped in generational welfare dependence. People trapped in dependence and the self-sufficient people in the private sector have a hard time communicating, or even understanding each other. Government dependent people are not stupid, or lazy, or shiftless. These are people who see government assistance as a normal part of life and often work, as long as the work does not interfere with the assistance. So many of them have drug offenses that a really good job is hard to come by. The industriousness by which they endeavor to make money under the table is impressive. These people are America’s greatest untapped resource. I firmly believe that a good free market education goes a long way. It may take generations to get out of the mess caused generations ago, but it is well worth it.

The bottom line is that the people rioting in Baltimore are being manipulated by the government they depend on so much and poverty pimps that make money on their misery. The fact that they are angry at the system that, at the same time, sustains them and controls them might be a sign that big government answers are being looked at with skepticism. Maybe when the dust settles someone can go in and show them that there is another way. Freddie Gray wasn’t the reason for the riots, he was just the last reason. I can’t and won’t condone any riot. However, when I have a choice to support people or government, I will always choose people, even these people. I’m not excusing their actions, I don’t understand their actions. The concept of rioting eludes me. These are criminal acts that cannot be justified, but we should not give up on them. In the horrific videos shown on the news, there were some nuggets of hope. All is not lost.

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