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Ghetto for Life - The Subculture
The life in the ghettos is quite different than most people imagine. The youth have nothing to lose, or that is their perception for the most part and that is the case everywhere: from Europe to North America to Latin America and so on. Life is very cheap sometimes.
“We living in a violent time and my eyes designed for crime,
We kill for a nickel and dime
And there ain’t no way you can vic me for mine,” Violent Times, Ill Bill
I started thinking about writing this piece when I read a blog titled: “The Police Wife Life – An officer’s worth”, by Melissa Littles. That was a few days ago and I started writing then, I erased everything. Who cares about the crappy little lives of those who live in the slums and the ghettos?
Indeed, all we’re good for most of the time, is to take the blame and fill the jails: “My whole community is seen as criminals.” – G Code, Scarface. I do feel that way and I am not alone. I actually feel that way without ever having been incarcerated, although I have been hand-cuffed and thrown in the back of cruisers many times. In the end, the cuffs come off and I go home but not until I have been harassed and until I have to put-up with all the useless scare tactics which many officers often use. And of course when no charges are placed, or when charges are dismissed, there is not even a pathetic little apology for us.
“We don’t talk to police; we don’t make a peace bond,
We don’t trust in the judicial system …” G Code, Scarface
I will be honest. I co-operated once, when I was a teenager and I had some hell to deal with, as a consequence. The case got thrown-out due to technicalities and I put myself in the worst situation possible, that of a rat. I overcame that though and I said to myself: “never again”.
Several years back I found-out about a guy close to where I live, who was making kids sell crack for him. When two kids (about fifteen years old) came to me and told me a crack-dealer gave them crack to sell and then, wanted a whole bunch of money from them for stuff that he said went missing, I completely lost it. I grabbed the rocks from the kids, found out the crack-dealer’s address and went to his door. I simply told him that making kids do his dirty work was not going to happen and that someone might get shot if he ignored my warning. I gave him the crack back and left – end of story. I see an injustice, I deal with it; there’s no 911 calling for me. I must say that it has worked-out better that way in my case: I have solved many nasty disputes, just by talking and nobody gets hurt or goes to jail. Saying the right thing at the right time is indeed critical, I would say.
Many people are sketchy, poor, hungry, tired and pessimistic. It’s a nasty world out here; waking-up in a stair-well, having to steal to eat … I’ve seen it all; lived it. If you make it out of the hood in one piece, you’re a warrior, a soldier. The attitude is that one can and should do whatever it takes or whatever is necessary to succeed. That is why many do soldier on, to make it out and interference is seen as antagonism, to say the least.
“This is the frontline, this is the dead zone
Barely alive or in a box is how you head home,
This is the frontline …”
- Frontlines, Diabolic, feat. Immortal Technique
Indeed, Mrs. Melissa Little’s article about her life as a wife of a policeman saddened me. I would have given a link to her blog but it seems to have vanished as I checked for it yesterday. She wrote about how many police officers are getting shot and stabbed nowadays. Loss of life is terrible; there is nothing worse than that for me. I see it and hear about it too much.
The police can never solve anything in ghettos though. Only people from the ghettos can solve their own problems. Having people come from the outside is like NATO trying to clean-up Afghanistan. Most people are quick to make assumptions and jump to stereotypical explanations yet, things are not as simple as they seem. You have to live in a ghetto, to get to know the people, their pains and their problems in order to make a change. Otherwise you are just seen as an outsider who is mingling in the personal matters of a community and when such a person tries to impose a certain way of life on others then, that person is risking their own life at that point (ex. Police officers).
Societies need to find leaders within ghettos in order to bring some clarity into a life of chaos, despair and disillusionment. This is true from Somalia to Mexico to Canada and anywhere else where one finds slums and ghettos. If you want to help you have to listen and assist the people in each community in a constructive way. Going in with the K-9 Unit and with Kevlar vests shows hostility and I am not surprised of all the police officers being killed nowadays. People are just sick of being told what to do but not being helped in any significant and honest manner. This is such a sad story …