Social Justice.

This post was prompted by a tweet by Candace Brown. It read, “I TIRE of stereotypical stories of us just sittin’ round collecting welfare checks. That is not a ‘black’ problem..its a POVERTY problem

I have long wondered how the world has become so disconnected with the awful reality in which we find ourselves. While my current experience is within the USA, I believe the problem is worldwide. What problem? The widening gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Everywhere I look, I find that the poor are held to blame by pervasive, society-wide anti-social rhetoric. What do I mean? Think about the things we’re told with such constant, implicit vehemence they begin to gain credence. We’re not told these things by our friends, who should be the people we trust. We aren’t even told them by the mass-media, who should be the people we trust the least. {Why? Because the mass-media is not “people”, the mass-media is amoral corporations who have no qualms about lying outright.}  No one in their right mind would ever come out and say something so blatantly stupid as, “The poor are to blame for crime.”  No, we aren’t actually told such things outright. However, they are implied with truly frightening frequency.

Think how many times you’ve seen coverage of the allegedly widespread criminal activity taking place all around us. Now look at the video with a close, skeptical eye. Notice how often low income housing appears. Notice how often people of color predominate. What is the unspoken message? That “those people” are the problem.

Look at the statistics of people incarcerated.  You can’t help but note how minorities make up the majority of convicted criminals. What is the unspoken message? That “those people” are the problem.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve seen coverage of people selling their food-stamps for pennies on the dollar in order to gain access to alcohol or drugs. These stories are invariably followed by a public outcry. What is the unspoken message? That “those people” should not be getting public assistance.

And the list goes on… Actually, with me the list does not go on. I don’t buy any of the nonsense the mass-media tries to force feed me. What I see in each of these scenarios is this:-

There is nowhere near as much crime as the media portrays. Period. In any given group of people there are going to be a small percentage of rotten apples. This is undeniable. Let me reiterate. ANY given group of people, white, yellow, brown, or black. Where is the coverage of the white-collar criminal who steals the life savings from hundreds or thousands of people? Show us the footage of fancy houses, in fancy suburbs, whose fancy driveways are filled with fancy cars. Oh wait, the mass-media won’t do that because of fancy lawyers who will sue them for fancy damages. The bottom line is that we don’t hear about crimes from people with the wealth to buy freedom from prosecution. Simply because we don’t hear about them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Incarcerated minorities. Yes, a truly disproportionate number of convicted criminals are minorities. Why? Because a vastly larger percentage of minorities are criminals than the white majority? No, I’m willing to bet that exactly the same percentage of people are criminally inclined in any racial or ethnic group. So then why? Because they are the ones who cannot afford legal representation. Because they are easy marks for a system desperate to find someone to blame, convict, and hold up to a public eye hungry for “justice”. Because being hard on petty crime is much easier than being effective against the really serious criminals. However this statistical anomaly also raises another, extremely troubling question. Why does this bastion of freedom deprive more of its people of their freedom than virtually any other country? {Indeed, the USA jails a greater percentage of its citizens than all but two countries in the entire world.  Including dictatorships and various other extremely oppressive forms of government.}

Selling food-stamps for pennies on the dollar. Outrageous! Actually, almost unbelievable. Make that completely unbelievable. Does it happen? I don’t doubt it for a moment. What I do doubt is that it is the poverty stricken who do this. I suspect the criminals, from that small, uniform percentage across all racial and ethnic groups, are the ones taking advantage of a broken system.

Let us talk about Robin Hood.

Sadly, the much lauded tale of Robin Hood is a two edged sword.  A two-edged sword of which both edges cut the poor in defense of the rich.

The mythical sword’s first edge raises a false hope of social justice in uncounted people, for everyone likes to think they have a chance of improving their lot.  And if that improvement comes at penalty to the obscenely wealthy then so much the better.  The German word, “Schadenfreude“, describes this rather well.

The mythical sword’s second edge grants crooks a siren song to sing to the unwary, a song that I have oft heard repeated. It goes something like this, “We shouldn’t take from the rich, in order to give to the poor.” Another version follows this refrain, “Though you can take from the rich and give to the poor, doing so doesn’t lift the poor from poverty, it only removes wealth from the rich.” Have you ever heard some variation on this song? No doubt you have, however let me ask you this… How many times have you heard of a rich person being stripped of their wealth in order that the poor might benefit? I know precisely and exactly how many times I have. Zero. It just does not happen. Ever. Not even in wartime.  Not even during the most violent of revolutions.

I tire of hearing that the poor will always be with us.  Perhaps in an unenlightened world that might have been true, but no excuse for it remains.  If we are ever to eliminate poverty, then we must stop implicitly blaming the poverty stricken for being trapped in circumstances from which there is no chance of escape.

That isn’t going to happen until the richest stop stealing from the poorest.

Social justice isn’t about taking from the rich to “give” to the poor, it’s about stopping the rich from pillaging the poor.

Yes, I know there are people in their wrong mind. I know because I see the results of their handiwork displayed under a convincing guise of pseudo-reason every time I make the mistake of paying attention to the mass-media.

The last thing I’d like to stress is something I’ve said many times before, and which I’ll say many times again.

There is no “us and them”, it takes individuals to make “them”, just as it takes you and me to make “we”. #thought

Phrased in other words… There is no such person as “those people”, there are only people.

{P.S. I’m just a man, just like every other man, no matter how poor. Please note that I don’t categorize myself with the wealthy. Not in any way, shape, or form. Not now, not in the past, and certainly not in the future. Like every reasonable human, all I desire is the chance to make things better for my family, with the proviso that by doing so I don’t make things worse for anyone else. If you want to help me improve our lot in life, then please buy and read my work. Reading it is important, since it depicts my view of a more just world. Perhaps Malmaxa will strike a chord for you and help you see that wherever, whenever, and however we are, we are all just people, though of course some are more just than others. But before you do, please grant dignity, thought, and charity to the billions who are far worse off than me.}

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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4 Responses to Social Justice.

  1. Angelina says:

    Excellent read. You and I share many thoughts and observations on this.

  2. As usual, you are spot on with your realistic views; those of which I resonate with on a huge scale. Your points are made masterfully and touch the depths of common sense in a truly sobering way! I always look forward to your realism and anticipate always your take on this ever-changing world that we live in!

    • C.G.Ayling says:

      Thank you, Sylvia.
      The world has never been a place of right and wrong, yet these days it seems we are encouraged to think of it in such simplistic terms.
      If I am fortunate enough to have common sense {an intellectual commodity in particularly short supply}, then I must thank my Godfather for that. Indeed, I must also thank him for teaching me compassion and for helping me set out on a journey to self – a journey I hope to never complete.
      ~ Charles

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