I believe drugs and alcohol are the root cause of all problems involving crime and poverty.
We take drugs to feel good. Pure and simple.
Sadly, there are consequences with drug and alcohol use, abuse and addiction.
It is easy to down play the negative influence of drug use in and on society.
We want Bliss and Drugs gives it, temporarily.
Too bad the high doesn't last and detrimentally effects mind and body.
If only we, the citizenry, had more determination not to touch alcohol or drugs.
Things would change big time...
And we wouldn't be blaming each other for our failures.
Success would be as natural as breathing for every person.
Thats what I think.
Drugs and alcohol are the aftereffects of poverty. Such indicators aren't the root cause of impoverishment. The root causes of impoverishments are first of a negative, fatalistic, passive mindset------------> a feeling of powerless due to such negative thinking--------------------> poor life choices such as having children one can't afford or better yet, having large families(6 and more children per family) -in such instances children are impoverished without the proper nutrition, clothing, medical/health care, intellectual stimulation, and poor life opportunities------------------------->having a negative attitude towards self-improvement, education, and achievement------------------> having irresponsible relationships and/or sex----------------------------->last of all, seeing wealth as evil.
Now that I have said this, I am tired now and I am off to a VERY LONG and GOOD REST.
I agree. Alcohol and other drugs are just two elements in a chaotic life style. Also, it's not just poor communities that depend on them to get through the day. Being comfortably numb is a sought after condition in many other lifestyles, across the economic divide. If you have plenty of disposable income and get someone else to get rid of the evidence, (empty bottles etc) then whose to know? Lack of funds makes addiction visible. Swanky rehab centers would suggest a problem within the affluent and then there are the comfortably off who quietly pack away major quantities of booze. Western societies incorporate drugs such as alcohol into mainstream events and celebrations and it has been the norm to consume alcohol for many, many years. If we all adhered to medical guidelines, we would only consume a couple of half glasses of wine a week. Anyone needing a drink, however infrequently, is currently thought of as a potential addict.
The difficulties of the poor are legion. Sure, lack of sobriety makes things much worse but the cause? I think poverty is a bit more complicated than that and better people than me have found it a hard nut to crack. For a study of poverty, you can't beat William Booth. (He wasn't keen on alcohol either.) His mapping of absolute poverty in London, street by street, (black being the worst areas) is still an eye opener today. But no matter whether you think it is down to the individual, is structural, cultural or a mixture of reasons, there's an awful lot of it about. And poverty scares the hell out of people.
I have pondered this issue for some time. I agree with gmwilliams and in addition....
In the 80s, one of my sorority sisters did a workshop on the "brain drain" that was taking place in the inner city. I didn't realize the full impact until I started teaching school in the mid 90s.
As African American, who benefitted from desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement, became educated, we left the inner city. We left the elderly and our younger sisters and brothers. Our incomes did not benefit our hometowns.
The late 60s and 70s also brought more liberal thinking on sex and shacking. We were provided free birth control pills. With this came marijuana, uppers and downers and cheap wines to use as chasers. Many went on to use stronger drugs. There was no one in the community to keep Dr. King's vision before them. They didn't pursue education. Girls were having babies to get welfare checks. This was a major spiral down. This brought crime because unemployed people sell drugs, steal, and do whatever to get income.
Our neighborhood grocer, Mrs. Tabors, was robbed so much that she had to close her store. This was the white lady that extended credit to Black people in the community. I grew up several blocks from Little Rock Central High School which was integrated by the Little Rock 9. Our house was flattened in September 2014 because no one lived there and my sister, who is bipolar and crack addicted, killed someone there in the house. This brings up mental illness. We tried to get help for my sister from 1995-2004. We were told that, unless she hurt someone or herself, there was nothing they could do. Well she killed a fellow drug addict. She went to prison. She is out and still has mental issues.
Those who want jobs should be employable. They will not get jobs with pants sagging, drugs in their systems and inability to communicate effectively outside of their local areas. This is where professional African Americans need to intervene. These people are our relatives.
I plan to go back this summer after I retire. I've contacted community revitalization. Now I'm trying to see if I can get a producer interested in following the revitalization of the community.
I have many thoughts on this and have an emotional investment and sense of responsibility.
Excellent points dianetrotter! Alcohol and drugs are not the enemy, neither they are friends. We see abusive effect of them due to human rebellion against the Creator's principles in this orbit. Before humanity came this far, it has been given a blueprint with instructions safely to walk on this earth and safely to reach peaceful spiritual eternity. What has happen, you all know; the absolute morality has been replace by do it if it feels good... and great many people accepted the way of destruction choosing irresponsible spending money they do not earned, refusing " eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground..." Yo know what it means : everyone keeps his / her own garden tools and providing for his own family including children ... Imagine those some 50% " unemployed " gardening every square feet of available land around your house, the empty lots, living in freedom and liberty on your own small urban farming land... a father be taught before creating a baby to be responsible to teach and raised the children with their mom up to age of 18, living in real love and harmony...clean, moral, wise and in peace with man and God. My wife and myself have raised three sons to the glory of God: Our children didn't have chance to copy their parents in using alcohol, drugs or any other refuse putting in our system and they made their own choice to be wise and responsible members of this social system.
Enough. Why am I even trying to be part of this.
Ask any drug addict in recovery or any counselor alcohol and drug addiction is the result of a life not the beginning. Whether their life is one of bad choices or predicament the choice to use drugs or alcohol is an extension and not the purpose of their existence. Drugs and alcohol have always been around from the beginning. What has not been around from the beginning is the size of the population. This intensifies the use and results of the problem.
I believe at the root of the problem on many levels, is drug use…
Drug use is turning us into monsters and in turn, doing bad things to the youth.
To the babies,
To the toddlers
To the children.
and affecting their development.
Parents need to keep vigilant about drug use regarding themselves, regarding their kids.
The insidious influence of drug usage is corrupting to the human mind and spirit. It makes us do things and think things we would never think or do otherwise… in sobriety.
I agree, Diane, Mental health is the first step.
Healthy psyches is the answer.
And Free Sex didn't really work toward that goal ... did it?
You mention the lack of leadership after MLK left the scene,
Its not about the leaders…the way I see it
Its about our Fathers
and our Mothers
and how they contribute to the positive development of their children.
If you really think about it, it comes down to two things: love and logic in balanced measures.
We need to feel and think
and value and preserve these abilities in children.
In My Opinion.
Well, i use alcohol and am a completely responsible person. So while you can argue at the population level what would be best, at my individual level I see no reason whatsoever to be teetotal
...well, you and I disagree on many things.
And I think you know what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about mental health and maintaining it.
Alcoholics, as you know, can't touch the stuff.
Its a problem for many, even if not for you.
And alcohol makes the brain mushy every time its taken.
One time I went to a bar with my friend who said I could get rid of my cold by taking a shot of Vodka.
The bar tender disagreed when I asked him if it would work.
He said, "Alcohol is never good for anyone, ever."
I never drank alcohol again.
However, I understand that you are arguing for personal choice.
I agree. In fact, "Thou salt stay sober" is not in the Ten Commandments!
Hi Kathryn, I wasn't not speaking of "a" leader. I hate the concept that everyone needs a leader. During that time, people wanted education. We inspired each other. Our parents' friends would ask, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Our neighbors were the eyes of our parents. If we did something wrong, the news would beat us home. Most people were hard working rather it was being a maid, porter, or whatever. My dad probably got 6 hours sleep and spent the rest of the time providing for his family.
There was a push to get kids to attend HBCU's. Fraternities and sororities provided a camaraderie, community service opportunities to help others who needed a hand up, and networking for jobs. Right now there are two groups of African Americans. Those who have overcome and those who have not. Those who have not are involved in that vicious circle of too early pregnancy, dependency on welfare and section 8, drugs and emphasis on hair weaves, nails and every other thing that keeps that circle spiraling.
Exactly Diane those who haven't overcame adopt pathological lifestyle-unrestrained, irresponsible sex; marrying far TOO EARLY(teens and 20s) before completing their education and establishing a career, and either having children they cannot afford or having TOO MANY thus they cannot afford to support them properly. Besides those on welfare acting in this fashion, many of the working poor and lower middle class act in similar ways in terms of lifestyle and educational attainment. The working poor and/or lower middle class also fail to think in terms of future goals but also believe in immediate gratification. They also think in terms of jobs instead of careers.
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