Do you know what it’s like to be raised in poverty and as a person of color? Instead of comparing yourself and looking down on those who aren’t blessed enough to have a trust fund or go to college with a full ride, educate yourself in the many issues POC face. Although you could never understand a “hood” person’s mentality, maybe reading some of our many talented writer’s posts could help enlighten you on this issue.
We’re raised in an environment where we have to tear each other down and/or kill each other in order to reach a certain level of “success.” We all dream that one day we can reach a social status in which we aren’t judged based on the color of our skin. We hope to reach a level of success where we don’t have to rely on feeding off of addicts’ cravings or relying on a gun to somehow make enough money for essentials such as diapers. It seems that our pain only feeds White America.
“Don’t commit crimes and then the police won’t react as they do.” Of course that’s the idea but how is that possible when we’re cursed to live a life where crime is the only way to even survive? We need a license to get a job, need to pay child support to get a license but still need a job to pay for those debts. How does that make sense? Our parents are struggling just as much as us. Our kids will face the same struggles. Our ancestors barely even survived their era. So tell me again how easy it is to make it out the hood. Tell me again how I won’t get killed if I don’t do what I can to make money. Tell me again how my people aren’t put into this position from the second they reach “the land of the free.” If they knew that “free” actually meant “free to live on the streets” then maybe you wouldn’t have to worry about us “border hoppers,” “wet backs,” and “n-words.” This self proclaimed land of opportunity only gives us the “opportunity” to kill ourselves in our on going war against each other.
Goals? Yeah we have goals. From our youth we are shown throughout media, and any other sources of entertainment or inspiration that being rich, having women and enough money to fill a room is what should capture our attention. Being rich enough to buy our mothers’ a house or to have a six figure vehicle is portrayed as true success. By any means necessary. Whether it be from being talented enough to entertain our White “Masters”, gambling until you hit big or even sell enough drugs to have power, respect AND everything else “promised” above, we a given that diluted depiction.
Sometimes it seems like we’re only given any “opportunity” because we’re entertaining the white masses with our various and mixed cultures. We’re giving opportunists the knowledge they need to take our heritage and white wash and profit from it as they please.
We live in a time period where certain kids barely 18 are richer than adults who have six figures in college debt, that “by any means necessary” mentality has been normalized. Now what does that say about us a whole? The fact that recording a three minute song about living in poverty or selling your town’s favorite drugs makes you more money than 8+ years of sleepless nights to become a doctor and MAYBE make a fraction of an artist’s income. There are easily double, triple, quadruple, (even more) times more aspiring musicians, drug dealers, and other jobs we’re looked down for having than those who could make an actual difference in the world. Intellectual, creative young people of color trying to “make it” in industries that show no love.
I’ve met people who’ve made well over $100k in a year selling drugs with the only “debt” being a short time period in jail rather than spending years in a more institutionalized “jail” known as college.
Imagine being raised in an environment where hood royalty and ones “crown” symbolizes “success” and “respect.” But realistically, that Crown is made from the blood and tears of your family’s and your enemy’s loved ones.
Disappointment and pain are the feelings we grow up understanding better than we understand anything else. Hate is what we feel from people who could never live our life. Envy is what we get when we try to aspire how White America expects us to live our lives. We succeed in our own backgrounds and we’re hated. We succeed in college and 9-5 jobs and are still hated.
We know why, but what we don’t know is when we’ll be able to live in peace. We don’t know when we’ll be able to become the kings and queens our parents hoped we’d become by chasing this “American Dream”. A colored individual with the lifestyle and opportunities that only white Americans are blessed enough to experience.
– Jay. Fruits of Addiction.