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Monday, May 11, 2015

America Fiddles As Derelict Zones Erupt And Burn

Throughout history, when the poor become too poor and the rich too rich the same scenario repeats itself over and over again - with the same predictable results    

WORLD NEWS
By Dallas Darling
05/09/2015

Mahatma Gandhi warned that the deadliest form of violence is poverty. But for Gandhi, poverty consisted of not only economic impoverishment but political, social, and cultural. It also included psychological, emotional, even spiritual, neglect and abandonment.


Known today as America's derelict zones, abandoned youth and homes, ruined souls and buildings, depreciated students and schools, and neglected prisoners, mirror Gandhi's insight. 

Such hallmarks of American society also inflict deadly violence on their victims.

As a result of government corruption, corporate privatization, rapacious economic inequality, a mass media that indoctrinates viewers with trivial news and spectacles of violence, and brutal overseas wars, derelict zones and societal stressors are increasing.


They are also erupting and burning in various forms of social unrest, civil disorder, disruptive rioting, and outright rebellion. Again, this is what happens when some communities not only become undervalued and obsolete but certain groups of people.

The ensuing urban unrests in Baltimore and across America, after Freddie Gray's murder, was another outcry from America's derelict zones. It is always difficult to repress disproportionate arrests among young blacks and high rates of unemployment.

It is also a shame to ignore high mortality rates among births and low life expectancies. Still, 150,000 people, or almost 25 percent of people living in Baltimore, live below the official poverty level.(1) Deteriorating environments always threaten survival.

At the same time, the highest-ranking police officer in Freddie Gray's arrest had been recently hospitalized for mental health. Not only had family members reported erratic and threatening behavior, but the officer was considered a risk to himself and others.

The other police that brutalized Freddie Gray, then refused him medical treatment after he sustained serious injuries, mirrors another kind of segregated and institutionalized derelict zone: an absolute and authoritative zone void of concern and respect for human life. 

Dehumanizing institutions that invest into violent-provoking security measures and weapons instead of proactive outreach programs, find it easy to place their victims face down in police vans, slamming their heads into a wall which severs their spinal cords.

Extrajudicial killings take many forms and can be concealed behind violent institutions of racism, poverty, and militarism. Riotous police leads to riotous protesters, some beaten and shot. How many have been killed due to manipulating tax codes or marketing wars? 


Democracy ceases to exist without functioning and livable infrastructures. Nor does it thrive with high unemployment rates, thuggish institutions, or derelict zones filled with individuals that lack "fair" and "practical" opportunities to experience their potentialities.

Make no mistake. Today's large percentage of children living in poverty will have long-lasting consequences for America. 


Those who can barely meet the necessities of life, or who live in extreme poverty and go to bed hungry at night, will never forget. 

And when intact cultures, that provide people with a powerful means by which to bolster self-esteem and humanness, are deliberately and systematically cut off from their own cultural roots, the value of education and achievement may appear to be another's value.

Just as worse is a rapacious market, one which promotes itself as the only fundamental right of freedom of expression but which destroys human lives. Is it only fair, then, that in a commodified society destruction of property also becomes a freedom of expression?

The problem with future generations is that they are never considered. Neither are they included in decision making processes. They are instead held hostage by an archaic past and self-serving policies, policies which hold them and others captive. 

Justice delayed is always justice denied. Until future generations of youth are allowed to participate in democratic processes, and unless derelict zones are transformed into vibrant and dignified communities with caring institutions, America will continue to fiddle while derelict zones erupt and burn, perhaps even self-destruct.

Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Readingon Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some NationsAbove God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for www.worldnews.com. You can read more of Dallas' writings at www.beverlydarling.com and wn.com//dallasdarling.

Notes:

(1) http://www,alternet.org. "Ten Shocking Facts About Baltimore," by Bill Quigley., April 28, 2015.




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