For too long America’s capitalistic schemes have forced an unfortunate few in the lower classes of society.  These socially disadvantaged families have dealt with a history of often tragic circumstances.  Forgotten and pushed under the rug as if they were yesterday’s dirt, their cries for equal opportunities are unanswered.

On the flip side, because they are products of their environment the often tragic hard lessons of life are passed on to the youth;  breeding new rivals and new social radicals that are determined to leave a legacy of street credibility.  Their focus is different than ours in the sense that they don’t care about the decrease in home values nor neighbor courtesy.  Loitering serves as a “no trespass zone” for many. Forget about the value of education since video games and music videos were their teacher.

Drug dealers and their protege keep police cautious. Forced to choose between snitching and living, silence sweeps the community while the noise from neighborhood gang wars take over.

All the while, those who’ve mastered the art of capitalization snub their noses at these unfortunate few. “So long as we keep them out of our neighborhood.” Says many of us who pay for overpriced housing just to steer clear. Working jobs we can’t stand and playing the game of the rich often causes tragic issues under the surface that are not so obvious. Health issues due to stress, work coming before family and divorce just a breath away, I’m inclined to remind those same people “Those who live in glass houses, should not throw stones.”

There is a price for everything. Whether or not you are willing to pay is a different story. And although not everyone is on this extreme side of the fence, it’s a great reminder to show us that we are one. Understanding each other is key to a better America. Helping and teaching should be a part of life. And for those who disagree, just think…”whose job is it to teach?” Is it the parents of these low income families? Well…yes of course. But is it also the responsibility of those with the resources to help but choose not to?

“If you give a man fish, he will die within a week. But if you teach a man how to fish, he’ll live for a lifetime.” Why not teach, why not restore the value in the neighborhoods.  “A smart man can play ignorant, but an ignorant man can never be smart.” So why does all of the blame go on those kept down by their environment? These famous statements haven’t stood the test of time for nothing. There’s truth behind these words and so I believe that if we want to see a better economy, safer neighborhoods, and clearer visions, we must first get our hands dirty. This goes for everyone!

– Written by Beatrice McClearn